Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Umm... Can I Get Some Fries With That Shake?

*Sigh*... Glorification of the booty. The Bandunkadunk. The diaper bum.

Where did this originate from exactly? I mean, I can throw in some relevant arguments about Saartjie Baartman exhibited as some freak show as Hottentot Venus (Hottentot: derogatory term for Khoi people; Khoi: pastorialist natives of Southwest Africa) in 19th Century Europe and call it a day. I could throw in the usual go-to blame displacement and say it is ALLLLL Hip Hop's fault. But let's look at this at a different perspective. I could blame Kim Kardashian. But I wouldn't give her that much power. This was before her time and out of her control.

What qualities are associated with the booty that it is so glorified and so mainstream that women are determined to go all lengths - back alley booty injections? And why is it that so often, I’m being told that this is classified as a "black problem" not a social problem? Not a patriarchal problem?

It's a blend of things, in my eyes. It's patriarchy at its finest. It's body image, insecurity and misconceptions about a women's qualities being physical-- not intellectual, it's pop culture and Western ideologies. What a woman carries in her pants is valued at a life-threatening price than what she carries in her brain. Aside from all of the arguments we've heard before about where the fascination with a woman's body originated from, the question I'm asking is, has anything really changed? And perhaps, what are you doing to stop contributing to it?

Women ridicule each other for lacking a booty, but never for lacking education. Why? We're all worried about squats (although, it is the smarter choice) rather than getting a degree. We're investing in cement booty shots rather than our intellect? Women love to call each other all kinds of names and compare their assets and name them after fruit and vegetables to compete with each other. Then, they ridicule each other for having a disproportionate booty:legs ratio. Who the hell had time to figure out the probability?

As horrible as this bum to leg proportion looks, how do you get to this point? I doubt that this was a decision made overnight. It's the constant manipulation of the mind that bigger the booty, the better -- to both men and women. Can I get some fries with that shake? At what point do you say NO?

Men choose women based on the booty for 1) Their own satisfaction that their woman has a fine ass; 2) To show other men what they don't have; and 3) The belief that a woman with a booty is far more valuable than a woman with brains because you can immediately see the ass, you need to invest in a conversation to realize the intellect.

Patriarchal ideologies contributing to the glorification of the booty isn't irrelevant at all. This isn't a "black problem" either. 

Baartmen was paraded around Europe by a Scottish man and examined by white Professors, Doctor's and onlookers. She was some amazing miraculous discovery to them. Her body, alive or deceased, was an object.

"Watch out black girl, a non-black girl is fighting for the title in a category in which you are only qualified for because you don't have the qualities to qualify for anything else"...

I questioned several people on their point of views along the journey of this piece for the blog. Yet, no one can tell me WHAT QUALITIES are associated with the booty, that it is worth your life?

It bothers me when people announce to black women out there that they need to "watch out" because non-black women are getting booties now. Oh, we've joined some club or something? But by announcing this as some sort of threat for competition, is it not implying that black women have nothing more to offer than their bodies? Like: "Watch out black girl, a non-black girl is fighting for the title in a category in which you are only qualified for because you don't have the qualities to qualify for anything else"...

Are black women known for nothing else than their asses? Are they known for nothing else than a body to be examined like the Hottentot Venus, then to transform this into some misappropriation by other races? Does this not negate hard working black women who want to be known for their success that has NOTHING to do with their measurements?...

I can be counter-argued by women who claim to have the whole package: Booty, Brains and Beauty. But answer this: What is noticed first? What has more value to them? If someone asked you what you want to change about yourself, would you choose to alter a body part or would you choose academic upgrading or a better job? Argue all you want about "I don't do it for them, I do it for me". That's some bullshit. I'll end that argument there.

Baartman was barely into her 20s when she was sold and exhibited. Women are barely in their 20s now when they're getting their booty injected with some concoction. What has changed?

Parenting - A SOCIAL SKILL

There is a constant debate going on about which parent or parents a child needs in order to grow up into “civilized” individuals. Cut the crap. Everyone is focused on a child needing both mother and father, without considering different types of families. According to Ross and Sawhill (1975), the proportion of single parent female-headed families have doubled since 1960 in America. Other scholarly journals indicate that high levels of psychological distress is prevalent in this specific type of family. However, patriarchal ideologies and misconceptions of primary caregivers are not discussed as frequently as they should outside of Women and Gender Studies.

When I was working in a daycare, two little girls, adopted by a gay couple, had started daycare. They loved the girls with all their heart and cared for them the best they could, and if I were to set standards, I would say they were doing just fine.

But that didn’t stop the widespread comments made by parents and daycare staff about how the two young girls didn’t have a mother in their lives. Some threw pity at the girls for not have a mother, but two fathers. They expressed their “concerns” about how the girls may be bullied in school when their older, yet these adults didn’t realize their contributors to that type of bullying mentality by spreading the idea that a gay couple as incapable of caring for children because there not a traditional nuclear family.

If this is the case, are they saying, then, that a traditional nuclear family of a mother and father ALWAYS raise an upstanding citizen? Are they guaranteeing that those children never grow up to have identity, trust, body image issues or any other issues?

This picture circulated around the internet, and of course, people took to social media to express their opinions of how fathers are not as appreciated as mothers. Let’s be honest, there are a lot more single mothers than single fathers out there.

However, why are we choosing to put one parent on a pedestal over another? And why is there this mentality that a child needs a mother AND a father? What about children that grew up with two fathers or two mothers? Are they doomed?

Yet, the discussion continues. A lot of people who believe that gay couples should not, or I should say, could not possibly care for children tend to have underlying issues with homophobia. For some reason, they believe that if your gay, you have disowned the ability to raise a child.

If a child was to have a mother and a father, this does not guarantee that the child will grow up healthier than having two mothers or two fathers. Children don’t need a mother and a father. They need parents are WANT to be parents, despite gender and sexual orientation. They need people that would put the children before themselves. They need security and safety and nurture.

Those who don’t agree with same-sex couples caring for children often argue that they are subjecting their children to ridicule and discrimination. Yet, they never question why society is imposing that type of ridicule to a child. To avoid ridicule, people believe they should “just stop being gay”. Have you ever tried to “just stop being an idiot”? Guess not.

Plenty of issues intersect in this matter. But there is no guarantee that a person’s sexual orientation determines the livelihood of a child. There is guarantee though, that a child will FOR SURE have several issues if they are cared for by adults that just don’t give a shit about them and have no interest in parenting at all. Why are you so concerned that a child will be discriminated by their parent’s sexual orientation rather than being worried that you child lives in a world of narrow-minded thought process—everywhere.

The argument that a child needs both parents in order to have a healthy childhood and adulthood excludes those raised by grandparents, single parents, same-sex parents and so on. It maintains this mentality that children are only raised right if a man and a woman raise them. Admit it though, we know some really fucked up mothers and fathers who stay married and fuck up their children.

We know a single father out there who is ecstatic that he was able to finally put his daughter’s hair in a bun by holding the ponytail while she spins in circles. What is so wrong with that? Is she going to now lose her ability to identity with femininity because she was raised by a man? Do you not think that the patriarchal society is going to have a worse impact than a loving man that is raising her?

Parenting is not a skill that is innate. Mothers aren’t “naturally” able to care for children more than fathers. I truly believe this. Why? If women were NATURALLY able to care for children better, are you saying there are NO women that don’t care to care for their children? Where is their “maternal instinct” with these individuals? Don't we all rely on outside information to gain parenting skills? 

Parenting is a social skill. You learn it. When you’re a girl, and your mother focused on teaching you housekeeping, cooking, child rearing, but didn’t teach your brother these things, it’s not because it was INNATE in you. It’s because you’re a girl. If you truly believe that parenting is innate in only a woman, you’re basically allowing many men to wash their hands of their responsibilities. Yet, you know men that care for their children well. This is relevant to the argument that a lesbian couple is far more capable of raising children that a gay couple. This is all about this idea that women have this maternal instinct that is innate and natural.

If parenting wasn’t a social skill and it is natural to women and women only, why do we have women who don’t or can’t care for their children? Why do we have men that can?

Let's discuss.