Saturday, March 30, 2013

RAPE IS NOT JUST A FOUR-LETTER-WORD

"Put molly all in the champagne, she aint even know it
I took her home and enjoy that, she aint even know it."  

Those are the lyrics spouted by the former correctional officer, Rick Ross, on some guy name Rocko's song.  I gave up on Hip Hop quite some time ago.  I grew up on the sounds of Run D MC, Slick Rick, and Big Daddy Kane etc.  After the death of Biggie the music slowly began to lose my attention.  Every now and then I hear a song I like but, with the exception of Drake, I don't pay much attention to the lyrics.  Rick Ross is that guy I wish would keep his shirt on when I am watching award shows. He is not on my musical radar.

Officer Ricky

Well Mr. Ross has come under fire for those damning lyrics. There are those challenging his sponsors and the radio airwaves.  I heard on the Breakfast Club morning show in New York that he actually said I didn't say the word rape in his response.  You do not have to say the word rape to convey the message.  Rape is not just a woman screaming "NO" at the top of her lungs as an attacker violates her.  Rape is when an individual does not or cannot give consent to a sexual act; that could be a fourteen year-old, a woman that is unconscious, or a man being physically restrained.

Hip Hop does not have a track record of being supportive or protective of women.  Bitches Love Me, by Lil Wayne, which is all over the airwaves, is not a term of endearment to me. That song like so many other rap songs wouldn't be played at a NOW rally.  Rape and bitch are two different topics. Women use the word bitch just as much as men do, probably more. Girlfriends play around and call each other bitch,without any insult being felt.  The use of the  B-word is just as muddied as the N-word.  The word bitch is a staple in the Hip Hop world, whether you like it or not.

Rape is more than just a word or concept. We cannot allow rape to be taken lightly in any part of pop culture.  Music is powerful and quite influential.  Anyone that denies that is lying to themselves.  Why else do we have the term baby-making music?  When you want a romantic interlude you put on Marvin Gaye.  The melodies and lyrics influence a mood.  Popping a Molly in a young woman's drink is not a frivolous act. It is an egregious felony. Rick Ross' lyrics cannot be construed as an ambiguous message, it is quite clear: It is trivializing rape. The last thing a young man or woman (or anyone for that matter) need to hear is that a woman's consent is not necessary.  It is never ever okay to downplay how ugly and depraved an act rape is.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Am Not Feeling it Anymore....




The Black Blogosphere was buzzing with the announcement that Regina King and Malcolm Jamal Warner had entered splitsville. Celebrity couples, break up all the time; so it is no big deal. What got my attention was the theme of the break-up. It was alleged that after a two-year relationship Malcolm admitted, "He wasn't feeling it anymore." It is no one's business, but if you were an 80's child like me, their pairing was cool for nostalgic reasons.  Theo Huxtable and Brenda Jenkins caught up in a love thing. Rumors have a way of spreading their wings and soaring within the blog world. Via twitter Ms. King has responded, "You shouldn't believe everything you read."

Putting the rumor aside, it can be devastating when you invested your  time and your heart into a relationship only to be told, "I'm not feeling you anymore."   I had a friend that was engaged . I'll call her Sonia.  Sonia and her fiance had been living  together for four years.  As the upcoming nuptials approached, she and  I spent hours perusing bridal magazines, visiting reception halls, making arrangements, etc.  "What we do for friends."  I listened as she glowed about her future hubby and the life they would have together.  Her heart soared with thoughts of their future .  Why shouldn't she? Sonia had devoted four of her pretty years to this man.  It was time to reap the benefits. 

 I am down playing it when I say she was destroyed when her man decided he wanted to move on because he wasn't  "feeling their situation anymore". Sonia became withdrawn and swore off the opposite sex for quite some time. Every weekend found her held up in her apartment numbing the pain with junk food. With time she she came around and eventually did get married to someone else.  But that bubbly spark of optimism had dimmed to a light flicker.

Prior to the split I myself questioned why he was not sitting down with her to plan their wedding.  He would rather crash on the sofa nursing a beer than give her a moment of his time. She nervously chuckled that, "men don't have time for those things". To an outsider it appeared that he had emotionally checked out of that relationship.  Was Sonia blindsided thinking that it was guaranteed they were headed for wedded bliss? The  signs of discontent were there but she chose to bury her doubt deep.  He could have informed her before she purchased a dress and made a deposit on the hall but like many men he dreaded the confrontation.  So a woman must pay attention to the signs.  Go with her gut instinct.
A woman does herself a disservice when she doesn't reevaluate the relationship she is in.  Especially when she is aware that she is putting in much more than you she is receiving.   A man's intentions should be clear.   There is no need for second guessing.  Either he has both feet in or he is out.  The author Greg Behrendt said it best in "He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys":

“Don’t spend your time on and give your heart to any guy who makes you wonder about anything
related to his feelings for you” 



Words to live by....