Monthly Archives: June 2010
Patriarchal masculinity teaches men that they must not express feeling with the exception of anger, that they must not do anything considered feminine or womanly.
So what are some non patriarchal things you do in your daily life?
I’ll go first:
I teach others that gender equality is rooted in ensuring boys the same rights as girls– such the right to not engage in aggressive or violent play, the right to play with dolls, to play dress up, to wear costumes of either gender the right to choose.
Many black gay men responded:
|“Wearing skinny jeans to work.”
I certainly don’t think so.
How about you?
One of the most poignant and profound Drag Queens of all time. Dorian Corey featured in Paris Is Burning, shared lots of beautiful commentary in the documentary. His parting words in the video have always stuck with me.
Here’s a transcription of this clip:
“I always had hopes of being a big star, and then I looked… as you get older you aim a little lower. And I just say, well, yeah you still might make an impression. Everybody wants to leave something behind them, some impression, some mark upon the world. And then you think, you’ve left a mark upon the world if you just get through it and a few people remember your name. Then you’ve left a mark. You don’t have to bend the whole world. I think it’s better to just enjoy it… pay your dues and enjoy it. If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.” – Dorian Corey
1. The trailblazers. Alvin Ailey, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin are just three of the gay icons that I look up to. Dance, Literature, and Civil Rights haven’t been the same since they hit the scene.
2. The J-Sett battles at the club. I love dance and choreography and the unique spin that gay men put on J-Setting is always fun to watch.
3. The lingo. “Shade”, “Reading”, “Tea”, “YESSS!!!”, “No mam”, etc have all been appropriated by larger society but they never get old in the gay community. Hilarious colloquialisms of the gay community.
Sherri Shepherd has never never been the brightest crayon in the tool box. If she isn’t maintaining that the earth is flat, she’s insisting some other asinine belief that isn’t backed up by anything other than her ability to believe it. I wasn’t going to tune into The View today because I honestly can’t stomach the show when Whoopi isn’t there, but I decided to tune in for whatever reason, and I was royally disappointed, even disgusted.
Today’s show featured comedian DL Hughely and Thomas Roberts who joined the women to chime in on different topics. Somewhere along the line the topic of HIV/AIDS rates came up and the conversation took an intellectual nose dive. DL Hughely chimed in that he thinks that men who give women HIV should be jailed as he likened the act to committing murder. He also took offense to the notion that anyone would paint HIV/AIDS as a completely black disease and that just because rates were high among blacks thats no reason to demonize them because of it. He seemingly took no issue with the historical marginalization of gay men and the disease, but he was real upset about it happening to blacks.
Sherri Shepherd then began to perpetuate the media narrative of the helpless black woman totally incapable of defending herself from HIV/AIDS. Thomas Roberts to his credit tried to bring the focus back to people taking responsibility for their own sexual health but Sherri wasn’t having it. She said that HIV rates were higher among gays to which Thomas corrected her saying that infection rates were in fact highest among black women. And then Sherri went in for the ignorant win. There was a little trepidation in her voice like maybe I shouldn’t say this, but she forged right ahead with her ignorance and never looked back.
Sherri Shepherd said on national television!!
That the reason HIV/AIDS rates were so high among black women is because they have sex with gay men.
Yes you heard me correctly Sherri Shepherd said the reason why HIV/AIDS rates were so high among black women was because they have sex with gay men.
I thought we were past this blame game, where we created the gay “boogy man” to cover up our own inability to come to terms with our responsibility in our sexual health?
AIDS is caused by the HIV virus not be gay men.
HIV is spread primarily through unprotected sex, that of which a lot of heterosexual women continue to engage in because they think HIV is a gay disease.
When do we start taking responsibility for our own sexual health instead of placing the burden on the other person? What was stopping the many black women who acquire HIV from using a condom with their partners?
It continues to amaze me that Sherri Shepherd has a platform, but I thought we were beyond the JL King brand of HIV awareness.
Keith Boykin said it best,
“All humans cheat, and men of all races creep with women and men. Cheating and lying are both “fatal infections,” whether your partner is creeping with a woman or a man. For black women, the down low has become the classic scapegoat. It’s the reason why HIV is still not their problem even though infections continue to skyrocket among them. By focusing on the DL, they can point their fingers at “those shady, unidentifiable men who are doing it to us,” thus leaving black women disempowered to protect themselves.”
Sherri Shepherd sigh.
To contact ABC and voice your disappointment with Sherri Shepherd here is a link: http://abc.go.com/site/contact-us
Link to the CDC’s report on HIV/AIDS among women: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/women/resources/factsheets/women.htm
If you aren’t watching VH1′s new show “Dad Camp” I highly recommend tuning in. So often in our society when it comes to pregnancy and child rearing only the stories of young women are told. Shows like MTV’s Teen Mom and other shows have always focused on the young woman, and never demanded or showcased the role of the father to be in the pregnancy.
VH1′s new show features couples expecting a child going through different tasks that encourage them to be better men, better boyfriends/husbands, and hopefully better fathers.
One of the most powerful aspects of the show is the way that it goes about challenging and changing patriarchal masculinity. Dr. Jeffs Garderes does an amazing job of having these young men tap into their emotional selves as well as their feelings, allowing them to be open and honest with themselves as well as the women in their lives. The men on the show display a lot of rage which is typical of patriarchal masculinity, but they also through self reflection and honest dialog come to display vulnerability, reflection, and even self criticism, all traits that aren’t expected of a typical male in society.
Seeing these men be vulnerable and dig deep inside themselves and explore their whole selves is something rarely seen by men on national television. Vulnerability is one of our greatest strengths and its encouraging to a feminist like myself to see these men traversing patriarchal masculinity in order to become better men.
It’s truly refreshing to see a show on National TV tackling fatherhood and patriarchal masculinity. Most wouldn’t expect this kind of programming on station like VH1, but I must say VH1 has done a good job with this show. I recommend it for all especially young men who plan on being fathers one day.
The show airs Mondays at 10pm.
“Anytime a single male dares to transgress patriarchal boundaries in order to love, the lives of women, men, and children are fundamentally changed for the better.” – bell hooks
I hear so many black men and women talk about what they can’t question, what they can’t critique, what they can’t challenge. They go on and on about how their faith in this or faith in that won’t allow them to examine or analyze things. That an angry being will punish them for daring to challenge its authority.
Did I miss something? Are we still enslaved?
I don’t know about you but slavery ended and I refuse to serve any master.
No one will deny me the right to free thought and inquiry.
We must all oppose any tyranny over the mind of man, any efforts by religious, political, ideological, or social institutions to shackle free thought.
My new favorite quote is “Slavery ended. I serve no master.”
Most know that I am a huge fan of all things dance. Whether it be ballet, hip hop, jazz, or contemporary count me in. I stumbled upon this beautiful piece yesterday on Youtube and I still can’t shake it from my mind.
The duet ‘On the nature of Daylight’ created by David Dawson for the first AIDS gala held in Munich (2007). Using music by Max Richter and starring principal dancers of Dresden SemperOper Ballett Yumiko Takeshima and Raphael Coumes-Marquet.
Much has been written about the pervasiveness of absent fathers in the black community. Publications like Essence, Newsweek, Jet, and Ebony regularly feature articles questioning and decrying the lack of fathers present in black homes. According to a Newsweek article, roughly 50% of black children are living in fatherless homes. Reasons cited range from black women being to career hungry to black men’s high incarceration rates. While these reasons are surely components of the issue, I think we do ourselves a disservice when we fail to articulate the role that patriarchy with its perverted sense of masculinity, plays in the creation of black men who grow up to be fathers who are absent from the lives of their children. Fathers who offer more to their child’s life than there presence. Many times the debate over why so many black men end up in jail, abandon their children, and are killed at dismaying rates, never mentions or references patriarchy. We are told to accept that these are just harsh realities and that there’s not much that can be done about it, but we should pray that things change. The role we all play in reinforcing, maintaining, and sustaining the system of patriarchy with its perverted sense of masculinity is never acknowledged. It’s swept under the rug with all the other things the black community does not want to talk about.
Noted feminist bell hooks has written at length about the role men and women play into conditioning young boys into patriarchy. She believes that we teach young boys from a very early age that they must not do anything that is considered feminine or womanly. Being nurturing, compassionate, loving, cooperative, kind, tender, accessible, and vulnerable are not attributes that we allow young boys to display. We teach young boys to be tough and hard.
One of the ways we induct our young boys into manhood is through the toys we allow them to play with. Boys are usually given toys like guns in order to prepare and teach them how to be tough and aggressive. Toys like baby dolls that encourage nurturing behavior are denied to young boys. Boys who wish to play with baby dolls are seen as punks, sissies, and weak. Parents are quick to tell little boys that they have no business playing with baby dolls and little boys are thus conditioned into patriarchal masculinity. To be a man is to be tough. A man has no business in wanting to be tender, caring, nurturing, a man has no business with babies.
Given the way that we raise our little boys and girls. Why is anyone shocked or surprised when the little boys we raised to only be tough and hard grow up to be men who are only tough and hard? Men who lack the relational skills like compassion, tenderness, love, and the ability to be nurturing. You don’t have nurture a toy gun, you don’t have to be tender with a toy gun, you don’t have to be compassionate with a toy gun. The only thing you have to do with a toy gun is hold it and shoot it. But babies dolls those precious little baby dolls that we deny our little boys so often require that the owner be nurturing, that the owner be tender, that the owner be loving.
Children are very impressionable and they pick up on cues quickly. The notions we teach our little boys stick with them for a long time. The pervasiveness of absent father in the black community didn’t just appear out of thin our. There are a number of factors that add to this phenomenon, and one of those factors, is the patriarchal masculinity we condition little black boys with. The next time you throw your hands in the air at the fact that another black man isn’t involved in his child’s life think about the role you played in creating this black man. Think about the role the black community played in creating this black man. Think about the role society played in creating this black man.
We have more responsibility in the reality than we are willing to admit.