I never understood fantasy sports leagues. I barely understand real ones. I could simply YouTube a tutorial on the latter. As for the former, all I would need to do is travel a short distance to Piedmont High School, forego the internets, and receive live tutelage on how to keep score by maneuvering imaginary balls into holes or between poles.
On October 19, 2012 parents of Piedmont High School (Piedmont, CA) were notified of a fantasy sports league organized by students of the campus. Contrary to its name, there are very few things fantastical about this league. Particularly the balls.
Piedmont’s fantasy sports league is reported to have been a competitive game of sexual prowess. For each documented act of sexual activity with a female peer, one accrues points. The girls who were drafted reported having no knowledge of what was going on.
The hasty response of administration and the current quest to identify those involved, is an indicator of how intolerable and seemingly out of character this behavior is amongst the students of Piedmont High School. I applaud the administration for their claims to interrupt the league and lay it to rest.
However, I am inclined to align this mishap in middle-class culture with popular culture in general and mainstream rap music in particular. Though the fantasy sex league has received national attention resulting in condemnation at the local level, most mainstream rap artists–who have an international listenership and similar fantasies–are consistently featured in the press and honored by media conglomerates in exchange for broadcasting the number of women they’ve slept with, without consideration as to whether the interactions were consensual.
The utility of women in mainstream rap has been deduced to sexual objectification since the 1990′s. Similar to the Piedmont fantasy sex league, rap–an element of African American culture–has been nationally chastised and condemned due to its profane lyricism and overt misrepresentation of African American women. Irrespective of critique, response from the general public administration does not mirror that of Piedmont’s. They have been lethargic (and in some cases absent) in attempts to interrupt and prohibit such content from being regurgitated and mimicked by students of all grade levels. If Black popular culture and working class communities were held to similar standards in which lewd behavior was perceived as out of character, then perhaps the response to it would mirror that of their wealthier counterparts.
In light of the contrasting responses to behavior performed by both working and middle class Americans, Piedmont’s fantasy sex league poses a question greater than: which Piedmont students were involved? There is a larger question at hand; a question that demands we reassess cultural perception as well as cultural bias because ultimately, we are all impacted by this behavior.
While young men of various socio-economic backgrounds keep a running tally of their sexual partners, I suggest we increase efforts to score ourselves on how decent a job we are doing to support the dissemination of media that suggests they do otherwise.
When I was four, I wore pants on my head. I would run around the house pretending my hair was made of zippers and crushed velvet. In an attempt to find beauty of a varying grain, I neglected the texture of my own hair and pocketed it beneath hems.
When I was in sixth grade, I knew a woman who was shaped like a bell. Her boobs were bigger than her head and I often wondered how she kept her balance. Determined to figure out the physics of her, I never missed a moment to telescope her image whenever my mother invited her over. I was particularly interested in her artificial ponytail, which I eventually won in a game of spades.
She taught me how to brush my hair back into a bun. This quickly became a test of strength to see if I could stretch my curls straight enough to match the texture of my winnings. With every tug of my hair, my eyes felt like they were moving higher and higher up my face. I do not remember exactly why I took this as a sign to carry on. When I finally achieved the perfectly sculpted bun, I was eager to be noticed and applauded for such rapid hair growth.
Years have passed and had it not been for my complimentary uncles, a few honest movies (Sankofa) and the many church-going women who proudly wore all shades of their natural hair, I would probably still be walking the streets with pants on my head or eyes in my scalp.
Visual reminders are important to the economy of black women’s self-esteem. Though this has yet to be empirically studied, I’d like to bet you five dollars and a graduate degree that I can come close to proving this. Taste a bit of logic: When taken into account the personality of a mirror neuron (a physiological ingredient that helps us to adopt new behaviors after witnessing them), they become an integral factor to the curation of esteem. Place a few of your mirror neurons in front of a popular reality television show where images of women with silky hair outnumber those of women with hair like linen or fleece and you have yourselves a pool of black women who refuse to get their hair wet.
Which brings me to klassykinks.tumblr.com. No, this site does not involve bondage of any kind unless it requires a rubber band or bobby pin tousling across a hairline.
Courtesy of by Ijeoma Eboh, a Harvard University grad who has studied the history of science, with a focus in history of Medicine, and a minor in Global Health and Health Policy, Klassy Kinks is a blog consistent in its depiction of Black women who wear natural beauty as though they were never instructed to do otherwise.
I urge anyone interested in loving black women to visit Ijeoma’s blog and let your neurons feed you a new perspective of texture. Enjoy!
Blame it on the bottomless sake.
Or, the fact that my vagina is about to bleed. (This is also commonly referred to as pre-menstruation). If the past two sentences have not lead folks onto another site, kudos for me. If so, then this is telling of how much patriarchy is reigning and is also indicative that any mention of menstruation is still considered taboo at most, and at the least, a reason to turn the other cheek and stick a maxi-pad on it.
For whatever logic nature has prescribed me, I am sensitive at the moment. Raw like the sushi my stomach is now nestling. It could be the premenstrual situation I’ve mentioned, or the side effect of prescriptive antibiotics for my most recent wisdom tooth extraction. Why am I even attempting to rationalize my sensitivity as though its mere existence isn’t evident of its reality?
A few months ago, we were walking down the street. Conversation as casual as the changing of a stoplight. I was myself. Then, he grabbed my hand. I continued to be myself, yet aware of another slick brown palm touching mine. I expressed my discomfort and he asked, “why?”.
For months, I have been searching for ways to write about my disdain for hand-holding without pathologizing (spell check says pathologizing isn’t a word) myself; casting me as a Black girl from such and said experiences, who has undergone such and said struggles and therefore feels an innate urge to puke when a man holds her hand. I exhausted myself by compulsively question marking my preferences and am at a point to where I’ve lazily accepted it is as me not wanting to hold hands with someone whose mom I have yet to meet.
For me, holding hands is like kissing. Which makes the me-not-knowing-your-mom statement irrelevant, because I have swapped plenty of spit with tongues whose preceding mammary glands I have yet to acknowledge. So, I guess I should start over.
Holding hands is gross. Period.
It is like trapping air betwixt two fungi breeding palms that could be better off contributing to the livelihood of a lavender plant.
It reminds me of the most predictable scenes in movies when you know what is going to happen next. Cliche.
I feel like holding hands is a default. Why can’t we stretch our ability to innovate the art of affection and skip alongside one another in unison? Or walk down the street touching backs? Holding hands is what everyone does, and I no longer understand what it means to anyone anymore.
I know what you are thinking, everyone else gets meningitis. Why am I not writing about that? Answer: I will.
I am going to keep this post short, because as I said, I drank sake. And ate sushi.
And I might be shedding my uterine lining at any moment.
This is a simple request to all of my twenty-something subscribers and anyone else who has been trafficked to this site by googling pornographic terms: what is the significance of holding hands (besides making sure you do not lose your “date” to a well-dressed passerby)?
if you’ve made it this far without clicking the links, be sure to scroll up and do so.
As do men. But this is not about them.
Moving on, I am fond of rap. At one point, I wanted to marry it. And then it called me bad names, so I changed my mind and decided to shack with electronica and neo-soul. But that is another story.
Where is this going? Up your butt-pipes and onto YouTube. This is where I got a glimpse of a young lady whom, I am sure many men would like to wed. Once she’s old enough to legally patronize nightclubs. Read more…
I am not sure what to think of Erykah Badu. According to the two-hundred plus comments on Shadow and Act-an online website that recently featured Badu’s most current music video “Western Esotericism “- many people are clear about what they think of her increasing comfort with nudity.
Etomi suggests: “…Badu has succeeded in her purpose.”
Vanessa states: “…lately she’s become straight out weird. Must be all that angel dust she’s been using.”
While still, Juston thinks: “…she’s becoming increasingly connected to a smaller and smaller audience by these off-the-wall videos and publicity stunts…”
In her most recent video, Badu features her sister’s breasts, baduty as well as her lips-the ones that part to make way for baby heads. Throughout the video Nayrok (Koryan Wright), conjures up several images, most of which many commentators and viewers alike have either stood up against or scurried to the nearest corner to covertly pleasure themselves in.
And with all of the public feedback, we have yet for any of it to be informed by Badu’s personal perspective.
Until I take up my dream job as professional tea-sipper who often times interviews her favorite artists, I will continue to dialogue amongst myself with what I think artists will tell me in response to my questions (otherwise known as an interview):
TEA-SIPPER: Hello Ms. Badu. How are you today? Read more…
I am sitting in a classroom listening to my co-worker talk to students about how low-income communities have more access to drug paraphernalia than they do grocery stores that sale organic produce. I am sitting slouched, perhaps a little too comfortable with the facts. The co-facilitator pulls out a 4 inch glass cylinder and asks the class what it is. On most occasions, students stare intensely at the object for a few seconds, shout “pipe”, “glass” or “glass pipe”. The facilitators say “yes” for affirmation and congratulate them for not having guessed “small whale”.
Today, one student in particular skips past the jargon of a D.A.R.E. commercial, and dives right into what are the first few seconds of Pusha T’s most recent music video. “Crack pipe!” he guesses. “Yes, you’re absolutely right”, says the co-facilitator. I am silent and still sitting hunched over.