we’re all sitting here on our computers reblogging, trying to bring awareness to issues, maybe even giving money to these issues on occasion. Then we get to feel good about ourselves, and the issues slowly fall out of the media loop and public consciousness. The are never truly solved. The system remains unchanged. We did not take to the streets like our grandfathers. We did not march. We did not vote. We did not risk anything. We did not sacrifice anything.
So many eloquent writers and so little activism. So many good articles that present great solutions to these issues but where are the politicians that will make them actually happen?
At a lecture I was giving in a large West Coast university in the Spring of 2008, the female students talked extensively about how much they preferred to have a completely waxed pubic area as it made them feel “clean,” “hot” and “well groomed.” As they excitedly insisted that they themselves chose to have a Brazilian wax, one student let slip that her boyfriend had complained when she decided to give up on waxing. Then there was silence. I asked the student to say more about her boyfriend’s preferences and how she felt about his criticism. As she started to speak other students joined in, only now the conversation took a very different turn. The excitement in the room gave way to a subdued discussion on how some boyfriends had even refused to have sex with non-waxed girlfriends as they “looked gross.” One student told the group how her boyfriend bought her a waxing kit for Valentine’s Day, while yet another sent out an email to his friends joking about his girlfriend’s “hairy beaver.” No, she did not break up with him, she got waxed instead.
Two weeks after the waxing discussion, I was at an East Coast Ivy League school where some female students became increasingly angry. They accused me of denying them free choice in their embracing of our hypersexualized porn culture, and being the next generation’s elite women, this idea was especially repugnant because they saw no limits or constraints on them as women. Literally two minutes later, one of the students made a joke about the “trick” that many of them employ as a way to avoid hookup sex. What is this trick? These women purposely don’t shave or wax as they are getting ready to go out that night so they will feel too embarrassed to participate in hookup sex. As she spoke, I watched as others nodded their heads in agreement. When I asked why they couldn’t just say no to sex, they informed me that once you have a few drinks in you, and are at a party or a bar, it is too hard to say no. I was speechless, not least because they had just been arguing that I had denied them agency in my discussion of porn culture, and yet they saw no contradiction in telling me that they didn’t have the agency to say no to sex. The next day I flew to Utah to give a lecture in a small college, which although not a religious college, had a good percentage of Mormons and Catholics. I told them about the lecture the previous night and asked them if they knew what the trick was. It turns out that trick is everywhere, including Utah.
I tell this story because, on many levels, it neatly captures how the porn culture is affecting young women’s lives. The reality is that women don’t need to look at porn to be profoundly affected by it because images, representations, and messages of porn are now delivered to women via pop culture. Women today are still not major consumers of hard-core porn; they are, however, whether they know it or not, internalizing porn ideology, an ideology that often masquerades as advice on how to be hot, rebellious, and cool in order to attract (and hopefully keep) a man. An excellent example is genital waxing, which first became popular in porn (not least because it makes the women look pre-pubescent) and then filtered down into women’s media such as Cosmopolitan, a magazine that regularly features stories and tips on what “grooming” methods women should adopt to attract a man. Sex and the City, that hugely successful show with an almost cult following, also used waxing as a storyline. For instance, in the movie, Miranda is chastised by Samantha for “letting herself go” by having pubic hair.
idk maybe because of shit like this
noticing a trend….
instead of asking “why black women feel the need to wear weaves” let’s ask “why black women have been made to feel that they need a weave in the first place”….
for centuries the standard of beauty has not been that of the black woman…(we all know who i’m talking about) instead we have been pushed to ‘conform’ to those standards without any second thoughts…i mean “white is right”…right….
black women are the only group of people who have been unmercifully criticized for the hair that grows naturally from their scalp…we have been told that our natural locs are “uncivilized’ “ugly’ undesirable’…that in order to be anywhere near beautiful we’ll have to rock straight european hair or permanently straighten our own..it’s all psychological from years and years of conforming..sadly the ideas and stigmas still have an effect on black women of today…
it’s sad that the number of us who have gone natural are looked up to as ‘being brave’ or ‘being a leader….the fact that black women even had to “go natural” shows how much we’ve fucked up and how society has brainwashed us into believing we are less than on the beauty scale because of something God blessed us with…
what’s even more saddening, is not only do black women have to deal with the ignorance of other races not understanding our hair, but we also have to deal with the comments of black men who have fallen into the “bash black hair’ trap….the cycle never ends…
Even though the stigma behind wearing a weave is thought to be fueled by self hatred, on the complete opposite side of the spectrum some women wear weaves to better their natural hair…the elements can be SO harsh on black hair and sometimes it just needs a break. wearing a weave helps maintain hair growth while protecting it from the weather for months at a time.
Also some black women just love to change up their looks every once in awhile and they do so by wearing a weave because it’s much easier than dying, growing, or cutting their natural hair…so let them have fun expressing themselves…
in my experience, i’ve had multiple white women strictly assume that black women wear weaves to “get like them”
i mean because
Omg the last one
I feel like, white girls that say shit about black girls w weaves always have some fucked up ass weaves but black girls have really mastered the art of wearing weaves. Yall the shit!
So I finally get the courage to un barricade me bathroom and look around. No sign of the roach. Relieved but still skeptical, I proceed to use the bathroom and shower without incident. Whew. “Maybe it found a hole and crawled back outside?” Whatever. THEN I GOT UP TO BRUSH MY TEETH JUST NOW. Brushing away. Latidah and bullshit, I LOOK FUCKING UP AND THE SHIT IS PEEPING ME FROM THE LEDGE OF MY HIGH ASS WINDOW. LOOKING DOWN ON ME LIKE A FUCKING CREEP EVIL GENIUS ABOUT TO POUNCE ON ME. I ran my ass out and slammed the door. I didn’t even turn the light off, fuck that shit.