Like I mentioned in my previous post, I had a really good discussion with some kasamas this weekend about the use of the word “Bitch”. I didn’t want to kill the flow of the conversation by playing this song from Lupe Fiasco, but it was definitely in the back of my mind. I’m definitely curious to hear the different critiques of this song.

What I love about Lupe’s music is that I almost always catch something new when I listen to it. The wordplay and the conceptualization really makes the listener think (unfortunately, not everyone likes thought provoking music. I’m not knocking those folks at all, I’m just stating the facts). For this song in particular, I love how it all ties together at the very end. That third verse is something else, yo.

Sure enough in this little world
the little boy meets one of those little girls
and He thinks She a “bad bitch” and She thinks she a “bad bitch”
He thinks disrespectfully and She thinks of that sexually
She got the wrong idea, He don’t wanna fuck her
He thinks She’s “bad” at being a “bitch” like his mother
“Mama never dress like that: come out the house, hot mess like that”
“Ass, titties, dressed like that. All out to impress like that”
Just like that, you see the fruit of the confusion
He caught in a Reality, She caught in an Illusion
“Bad” mean “good” to her, She really nice and smart
But “bad” mean “bad” to him, bitch don’t play your part
But “bitch” still bad to her if you say it the wrong way
But She think she a “bitch”, what a double entendre

When I ask my students at the beginning of my Men and Masculinity course about “real men,” I get responses like, “real men aren’t afraid to show affection,” or “real men like to dance,” or “real men can cry in public and not care what anyone else thinks.” My students want to subvert the traditional “sturdy oak” model of masculinity. They mean well. But all they’re doing is swapping one unattainable ideal for another. Just as “real women have curves” delegitimizes countless slim women, “real men aren’t afraid to cry” shames those men who for any number of reasons are awkward about public displays of emotion. The contemporary “real man” ideal presents itself as inclusive, but it’s just another cultural straitjacket. — (via hugoschwyzer)

(via krystletugadi)


Tony Porter: A call to men

“I come to also look at this as this fear that we have as men, this fear that just has us paralyzed, holding us hostage to this man box. I can remember speaking to a 12 year-old boy, a football player, and I asked him, I said, “How would you feel if, in front of all the players, your coach told you you were playing like a girl?” Now I expected him to say something like, I’d be sad, I’d be mad, I’d be angry, or something like that. No, the boy said to me — the boy said to me, “It would destroy me.” And I said to myself, “God, if it would destroy him to be called a girl, what are we then teaching him about girls?”“

At TEDWomen, Tony Porter makes a call to men everywhere: Don’t “act like a man.” Telling powerful stories from his own life, he shows how this mentality, drummed into so many men and boys, can lead men to disrespect, mistreat and abuse women and each other. His solution: Break free of the “man box.”

(Tony Porter is an educator and activist who is internationally recognized for his effort to end violence against women.)

WORD. Let’s deconstruct and redefine what it really means to “man up”

I highly recommend this film to everyone…especially all the fellas out there. Well, that’s if you’re not too scared to think outside the box. But let’s face it…challenging societal norms and trying to make yourself a better person isn’t the “manly” thing to do, right?

You can watch the hour long documentary HERE (it’s in separate parts though).