Tuesday, August 15, 2006

When the Flava of Love is bitter

A few points I’d like to make

I am not afraid of sex. The human body is beautiful and I enjoy its celebration.

I found my life mate on the internet.

I applied for several (3) seasons of the Real World cause I thought Heather B (season 1) was so on point. I stopped after Puck – it was too far gone, and had turned into a frat party.

Its not like I don’t have my guilty TV moments. I watch foodtv and HGTV daily, okay I TIVO them daily.  My kid watches cartoons in the morning. I watch enough reality medicine TV that my husband thought I was crazy when I was pregnant, but not enough to think I knew what is going on (outside of a very basic understanding, and the comforting feeling that I wasn’t being talked over, but rather to) while I was in labor.

I don’t harp much on race, or politics here. Being a black woman is very essential to who I am as a person, but it is not the end all be all of my existence or individuality. Most of my posting here is about being a mom and that is something that transcends race and is truly about love.

I am learning how to be the best mom I can. Cammy does watch too much TV, we need to spend more time on learning, and ABC’s and shapes and numbers. (Daddy I plan I picking up some things to help with that this weekend.)

Why have I felt it necessary to make these points. A blog I read made mention of the new season of Flava of Love. And as a woman, let alone a black woman, a person who believes in marriage, and least of all a Christian I just really feel like this has just been pushed too far.

If you have not seen the show, count that as a blessing. Flava Flav, former hype man for Public Enemy, yes that’s right Public Enemy, has decided to take his comeback via Reality TV. I personally have issue with most reality shows that belittle marriage and commitment. The Bachelor and Bachelorette, and Bridezilla to name the top three. In the same breath that Americans talk about the sanctity of marriage as their basis for denying gay marriage or civil unions, 12 to 20 million people watch Trish and Ryan spend more money than either have made ever in their life on a circus wedding. Or watch this years Bachelor, whether he be a second string NFL quarterback or a B list actor riding his brothers coat tails gloat as perfectly normal women morph into strange creatures normally only present on this kind of show. Then break up citing “insert fluff reason here” with in six months of the finale. These girls do things and allow themselves to stoop to levels on national TV I am sure their parents never even considered. So what do I do? I don’t watch it. I probably should have put all of that in my previously mention points. I digress.
Then comes Flava Flav. With his Ghetto-fied version of The Bachelor, Selecting females, because most of these girls are not yet women, I can’t make myself call them women, who glorify and embody every negative stereotype in their respective races. Then they are made to chase after every woman’s fantasy – that’s right Flava Flav.

Because there are no quarterbacks or actors who are looking for a quality black or ethnic woman, at least none that VH1 could find, right?

And I’m supposed to teach my daughter the exact opposite of every lesson she sees, every movie that depicts black women negatively, every brats doll, every Barbie, every music video, every rap lyric. Every teen mother, every drug victim. I am supposed to be more powerful than Hollywood, the billion dollar porn industry, the billion dollar music industry, than peer pressure, than cool stuff. It is my job to prove to her that she is better than Hoops, or New York, or what ever stupid arsed name they tagged you with cause the one your momma chose for you makes you too human. Makes you more than thighs in four inch heels. More than ass, more than the chick who defecated on national TV.
I’m supposed to tell her people see you for who you are when the majority of persons in CEO and president and vice president positions are white males, who while they probably don’t watch Flava of Love, read the same news snippets and think that is a fair assessment of ethnic women. Or the mom who sees a segment while trying to figure out how to get her teen to pull his pants up, or why he lets them hang down. It will color people perceptions long after the novelty fades away.
Why we glorify stupidity and call it individuality. There is nothing individual about low self-esteem. Nothing individual about bytches and hoes being common rap vernacular. You are talking about me, whether I am a bytch or not. Its me on TV whether its my face or not. Its my daughter, and that makes me want to cry.  

I’m ranting. I’m going to stop.

I wish I could remember how my parents did it. I wish I knew what they differently in me than in my sister than in my brother. I wish I knew what buttons to press to make her a leader and not a follower.

When I was pregnant, I really wanted a son, for all of the above fights I don’t know how to fight. I wanted to believe that raising a strong black man, with pride, socially responsible, who respects women and people in general and has values, manners and morals. Its not. Its no easier giving a boy the tools to build a man, than it is to give the tools to a girl that make a woman.  

I’m finished.

I’m tired

All I really want is a few sushi rolls and a pepsi. Oh yeah and for my daughter to be everything she can be.


Blogger Aeshema the Fury said...

All you have to do is ask...and you have asked. THESE are the moments when I really hate being the responsible one...All I Want to do is take you some sushi. You know that, and thats why you wont ask me to do it. Because as strong as I am, Im not SO strong that my wife really pleading with me isnt going to eventually break me down. Thats why I love you. For all of it. For wanting to ask, and not asking, and asking anyway.


12:48 PM  
Blogger Queue said...

I'm not asking you...

you are hearing things. Stop that, the happy people in your head are going to get you committed.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Aeshema the Fury said...

You said 'all I really want'. Thats both the beginning of the hook for an awful Blackstreet song, and my mental cue to pay attention.

I want to be the provider, the entertainer, the financial planner, AND the spoiler at the same time. But they cant all exist in the same space at the same time without mayhem and mischief.

I'll try to stay calm and not break.


1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girl, I saw five minutes of that show while flipping around and I lost a couple of brain cells. The quality of the show is at the same level as Jerry Springer. Idiot television for those who wish to watch idiots. My friend once told me shw watched Jerry Springer once in a while to feel better about herself and her situation. I still laugh thinking about it. In my opinion the show is sad attempt to draw in viewers looking for skin and sin. The show is pointless and has no value in entertainment unless I am a drooling teenage boy looking for half naked women who wish to lower their standards. I cannot believe he even got another season...

And you are right, stupidity has a really high pedestal in Hollywood. Damn shame...


1:39 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Damn it, my comment didn’t take. I’ll try again.

“It will color people perceptions long after the novelty fades away.”

So true. And the people responsible for these things claim no responsibility. They say, “Don’t watch it if you don’t like it.” Yeah, like that’s going to keep my kid from being affected. What about the 5-year-old who will mistreat our daughters fifteen years from now? What about our daughters’ self-esteem, beaten down over years of this public perception, despite all our efforts to bolster it? It’s just frustrating.

I am so aware that we have to draw the line somewhere. I don’t want every program to be squeaky clean. I just want some level of decorum during daylight hours. I don’t want government regulations, I want personal accountibility.

That’s my rant, I can’t think of anything else to say. I’ll just link to you, since you said it better anyway. :)

4:10 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

This post was AWESOME.

I believe you will succeed, against all of these forces that will want to break your daughter down and re-form her into some sort of commodity, easy to use and easy to control. I believe you will succeed, because reading this post, I can feel how much you want to succeed, and I can see how carefully and intelligently you have thought about the obstacles to success.

Interestingly enough, when I was pregnant, even though I knew I'd have to do a lot more in many ways to protect a girl, I wanted a girl.

Because I wasn't sure I was up to the task of raising a good man. A man who wouldn't take undue advantage of his society-given privileges. A man who would treat all people, and women especially, with courtesy, empathy, and respect. The world is awfully short on such men.

I guess life always tries to teach us the lessons we need to learn, rather than those we want to . . . heh.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I wish I could remember how my parents did it."

They just did the best they knew how at the time, Ms. Q. As will you.

And somehow it all works out.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Sylvie said...

That show is really really really crazy.... how did our parents do it? PRAYER much Prayer.

3:22 PM  
Blogger The Adventures Of Dr. Gene and His Mate WonderMum said...

I think Sylvie is 100% correct...I know that's how I got through with my boys and the neice that I raised. ALOT of prayer...and involviong my child in the prayer process. I can't get over how people like Flav just KEEP putting this crap out there...how would he feel if someone like Bow Wow came along and treated HIS baby girl like Flav himself treats ppl of the female gender! BTW..WTF? How does Flav get away with thinking that he's ANYTHING to look at? OMG! He would tell ME to pick up his crap one time...and he WOULDN'T like the amswer he would get...

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Jamila said...

I love how you unabashedly lay out your fears, hopes and passions for the world to see. I love you for bearing you naked soul for a moment.

11:03 PM  
Blogger clarelittle said...

Practical advice: Keep her in a private school thru elementary school even if it leaves you bankrupt, homeschool her thru junior high so she is never scarred during her adolescence, and keep telling her who she is over and over, and she will beleive it. What a troubling post. The world has changed so much. Brainwashing everwhere you look. Be thankful you have such great support here.

9:48 AM  
Blogger NeenaLove said...

**thunderous applause**

this post MOVED me!

the fact that you are aware of the negative images and stereotypes is a GIANT step in the right direction.

i HATE mainstream television. i HATE the networks. i HATE the news networks. none of them give an accurate accounting of minority folks. TV is not necessary and surely not condusive to raising moral young men and women.

you are on a great path. with all the passion you have --- your daughter can only rise above any disappointment society can throw at her. being a parent is such a precious and noble work. one day GOD will bless me with my own children.


5:00 AM  

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