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Three Reasons I Am Here for MiMi Faust by: The Ignant Intellectual

June 5, 2014

Three Reasons I Am Here for MiMi Faust

by: The Ignant Intellectual

1) Because I Am Not Here for Double Standards, Sexism, or the Like

I love when I see a man hold the door for a woman or fill his daughter’s gas tank or pay for a meal or get down on one knee or pay a mortgage. But if I had to trade that all in for people calling R&B singer/reality television star Niko a ho’ with the same venom as MiMi or equally bashing Stevie J for his sex tape with Eve, I would. Because last I checked, neither MiMi nor Eve were phukin themselves. What I am not here for are double standards rooted in sexism and patriarchy, which say that the sexuality of women is to be judged and chided while men’s sexuality is to be prized and trophied. Not here for it. Please note, I didn’t say bashing men INSTEAD of women. Nah. Let’s be equal opportunity venom spewers here.

Few can argue that sexism doesn’t exist, but the hard part seems to be in actually calling someone sexist versus identifying institutional sexism. Media portrayal of a very monolithic black woman can be viewed as institutional sexism. Stevie J threatening to take their child from MiMi because she filmed a sex tape, despite allegations that he previously filmed one with his ex, can be viewed as individual sexism. But given Stevie J’s relationship with women (which seems to directly stem from a troubled relationship with his own mother), we don’t have to dig too deeply to find examples of him as a sexist, chauvinistic misogynist. Media portrayal of MiMi as a hoe and Nikko being portrayed as Nikko can be viewed as institutional sexism. Black women feeding this portrayal can be viewed as internalized sexism. Typically, institutional sexism/homophobia/racism/etc feeds individual isms feed institutional sexism/homophobia/racism/etc. It’s cyclical.

I am here for MiMi because MiMi is a hoe and Nikko is Nikko

2) Because I Am (96.8888%) Not Here for Respectability Politics

The majority of the criticisms I’ve heard over this sex tape that was ‘leaked’ (guhl bye) have been lodged by black women. We don’t need men or white folk to degrade us. We, black women, got internalized degradation on lock. From accusations of her ruining the image of black women, to her motherhood being used to further police her choices, to black elites and their use of the word ‘rachet’ to separate themselves from MiMi; all of these are the workings of The Politics of Respectability. And these politics are going to be the death of us.

The Politics of Respectability state that in order to be viewed as human, one’s actions must fall within very rigid confines, set forth by white supremacy and enforced/upheld by white people via whiteness. These mandates are what determine a noble, worthy, and respectable negro. They originated as a sort of guideline or template for racially marginalized groups to follow in the effort to be viewed as human in a White supremacist society and by individual Whites. They fundamentally require that one must earn the right to be ‘human while black’ and one earns this by engaging in behavior approved by White supremacy which is approved by individual white people. Respectability politics guided black people to show up to the voting polls in their Sunday best to prove that they, too, were human worthy of voting rights. Respectability politics are what cause black elites to shame ratchet culture while (secretly) consuming it. Respectability politics guide our idea of a suit being a signifier of power and influence and these politics guide our beliefs and behaviors around sex.

There are fewer spaces within Respectability Politics that rile folk more than sex and sexuality. Possibly because sex and sexuality are two spaces most historically policed by white supremacy. Don’t let a negro actually express the existence of a libido. Honey, the sky cracks and the black baby Jesus’ trumpet sounds. Historically, our oppressors/colonizers assumed the role of policing, suppressing, and sensationalizing black female sexuality via labels like whore and hyper-sexed, yet were known for the consumption of black female sexuality—but these days we do it for them. And this task aids and abets this narrative where anytime a black woman chooses to act in a way that suggests she has a libido, she is automatically not a respectable negro. Because apparently respectable negroes don’t get hot and bothered. Y’all just mad it took y’all SIXTY minutes to get all dressed up and you actually made it to the club. Shade. For these reasons and more, fundamentally, the ways that we are policing MiMi’s decision to git necket, set up cameras and amazing lighting, and hit record are highly problematic and, quite frankly, not ok.

3) Because I Am Not Here for Motherhood Being Used as a Way to Further Police the Bodies of Women

Motherhood has been used as a way to police womanhood for ions. This ain’t new. Unlike fatherhood, motherhood is often used as a way to silence women from advancing in their careers (for God’s sake, you’re a parent, it’s time to stop chasing all these whimsical dreams you have and get a real job with some semblance of security), as a way to police the sexuality of women (for God’s sake, you’re a parent, it’s time to settle down with one person, don’t you think), as a way to police the accoutrements of women (for God’s sake, you’re a parent, it’s time out from wearing such revealing clothes don’t you think), and as a way to further silence and suppress women from being sexual beings who can consensually share their sex/sexuality with the world IF THEY CHOOSE (for God’s sake, MiMi has a child, she should be ashamed of herself. What will her daughter think when she grows up and sees her mother’s sex tape and/or she will get teased in school.) I feel like this is The Second Coming of Beyonce! The feminists are back out. Y’all ain’t had need for your Surfboardts yet? Woke up in the kitchen knowing exactly how the hell that shyt happened? Poor tink tink. Again, we don’t need white folk to police us. WE POLICE US! And we do not police men and women equally. I’ve yet to hear a man told that he must choose his career and parenthood. Not once.

Be clear. Gender, class, race, age, parenthood, or any other identity should not erase a person’s ability to exercise agency over what they do with their body. If you want to have a solid critique, how about we charge the various social institutions with more accountability and responsibility to portray a more well-rounded image of black women in media so that little brown boys and girls will understand that women are a spectrum, that blackness is a spectrum, that class is a spectrum. Please note that I did not say a ‘better’ or ‘more classy’ image, because the truth is that women like MiMi, Evelyn, Jackie, and Sundae exist. And they deserve to have air time just like Clair Huxtable. We aren’t all Claires. And we shouldn’t be. Otherwise life would be pretty boring. We weren’t all kings/queens. Some of us were proletariats and peasants. The idea of women not being able to exercise agency separate and apart from the idea of having children is dangerous. Motherhood should not deter women from being sexual beings and sharing their sex/sexuality with partners, if they choose.

My desire is for the MiMi’s and Beyonces to start a mini sexual awakening among women. My desire is for Home Depot to continue to be sold out of shower curtain rods, for MiMi’s ‘leaked sex tape’ to allow her child to eventually grow up and be so free in her sexuality that she causes Home Depot to sell out of shower rods again. Respectability Politics leaves far too much pent-up sexual energy within us and it doesn’t allow us to explore our sexualities with no chains. And my theory is that pent-up sexual energy is responsible for 99.99999% of the shade being thrown, the mean mug pandemic, and the overall discontent and bitterness outchea in dese streets.

I am here for MiMi Faust. I am here for Beyonce. I am here for the liberation of black female sexuality.

__________________________________________________

The Ignant Intellectual is a Harlem-based writer, New Orleans native, social & cultural critic, and public health professional with over a decade experience in social justice organizing, youth leadership development, and public health. The Ignant Intellectual is the creator and founder of The Ignant Intellectual Brand, established in 2011, a socio-political movement inspired by the ever-widening gap between the Hood and the Ivory Tower, despite the similarities and beauties in both. The writings of The Ignant Intellectual can be found at For Harriet, CNN, Elixher Magazine, Strong Families, bklyn boihood, The Brown Boi Project, and Philly Gay Calendar.

IgnantIntellectual@gmail.com ● @IgnantIntellect ●www.facebook.com/TheIgnantIntellectualhttp://www.IgnantIntellectual@wordpress.com

 

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