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John Mayer Apologizes for Using the "N-Word"

Posted by JD on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 , under , | comments (4)

Rocker John Mayer used his twitter page to apologize for gratuitous use of the word "nigger" today. Word of John Mayer's interview with Playboy magazine surfaced this morning, and immediately created a firestorm of both criticism of his words and outright dismissal of such criticism across the web. In the interview, he managed to break almost every rule in the book of public relations as well as the book of generally being a good person.

The excerpt for which is apologized is the point in the interview at which he brought up the possibility of him having a "hood pass":
MAYER: Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’"
[2 hours before posting this blog, I dropped my white pass in the snow and am still on a desperate search to find it. If you have any information regarding my white pass, please post it in the comments section.]
Not sure who asked him this question...or if it was every really asked (many people like to use the strawman technique when they wish to tackle a certain topic without being asked--see what I did there?); but for some reason, Mayer seemed to believe he was accomplishing 'something' with his out-of-blue statements. So far, the only thing he's managed to accomplish is to make people, like me, wonder what he was thinking.

The Playboy interview was riddled with boastful tales about his sexual conquests and a very weird moment where he refers to the actress Kerry Washington as 'white girl crazy.' He rounded out his quest to offend every group on the planet by referring to his penis as a white supremacist.

Let me make it clear...I'm not offended by Mayer's statements. I'm not angry. I'm not riled up. (As a woman, especially as a black woman, you always have to preface your displeasure with such statements.)

What I am is intrigued by Mayer's thought process and misguided humor. Mayer's statement on having a "hood pass" shows that he understands that there is NO SUCH THING as a "hood pass." Yet he completes that same thought using a word that, in the same paragraph, he acknowledges that he's not allowed to use under any circumstances.

Here's a man who's known for his brilliant mastery of words. I don't see Mayer as someone who is ignorant or careless with his statements. That makes me wonder even more whether he believed there'd be no feedback to his words--notice I didn't say backlash.

In other words, I don't view his statements as off the cuff ramblings of some thoughtless celebrity. And I wonder why he felt it necessary to go out of his way to 1. use the word nigger 2. to paint an explicit picture of his lack of attraction to black women and 3. to be insulting toward a black female fellow entertainer who had NOTHING to do with this interview beyond Mayer's decision to mention her name (and sexual habits?).

Combine that with his less-than-gentleman-like comments about his previous "loves" and I wonder if he cares about his image at all? It's one thing to give off a little assyness in an interview, it's something totally different to be repeatedly offensive and to randomly overshare in an insulting manner.

He refers to his arrogance in his twitter apology, and he says that perhaps its time to stop being so 'raw' in interviews...I disagree. It's probably time for him to start re-evaluating his beliefs and intentions. The rawness of his words is what I can respect...but using his language mastery and forum to hurt people is more concerning.

She's A Maaaan Eater!

Posted by JD on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 , under | comments (0)

I remember when Nelly Furtato released the single "Maneater." I loved it IMMEDIATELY.

A taste of the lyrics:

Maneater, make you work hard
Make you spend hard
Make you want all, of her love
She's a maneater
make you buy cars
make you cut cards
make you fall, real hard in love
She's a Maneater, make you work hard
Make you spend hard
Make you want all, of her love
She's a maneater
make you buy cars
make you cut cards
Wish you never ever met her at all!

I thought it was great to hear a woman sing about dating freely and putting men through a few innocent paces. I didn't really think about the song's implications.

But recently this topic has come up quite a bit.

A few weeks ago, Tillshow issued a string of tweets about maneaters, a group of women he defines as those "who consciously use sex appeal & flirtatious ways for self-satisfaction without care for males' feelings."

A month or so ago, I guy I was seeing at the time said I "chew men up and spit them out." I've been called out on my maneating ways many times over the years, and have dismissed people's comments out of hand. I figured that if a man came along who could actually hold my attention longer than 5 minutes my urge to cop and drop men will subside.

But that's not really true. I can't speak for all women who may fall under the maneating umbrella, but I can say that when it comes to making playthings out of the men I date, it's not that I disregard their feelings. To disregard men's feelings I would first have to believe that men actually have feelings.

And I do...sort of.

I have been influenced by the barrage of messages that say men care about very little. In fact, men are the biggest purveyors of those messages. Men are constantly simplifying themselves to the lowest denominator e.g. telling women that men don't care if they are used for sex, that men aren't as 'into' relationships as women are, that men just don't get as 'worked up' about things as women do, or that men just do stuff 'to get the booty.'

Don't even get me started on the anti-male dating advice that men tend to dish out freely. I will never understand why so many men choose to portray themselves as simple-minded chest-beating lowlifes who are happy so long as they have a big sandwhich and a bigger ass on which to rest their drink.

Eventually, these messages can lead a woman to believe that it doesn't matter how you treat a man, he doesn't have the capacity to give a fuck about you anyway. Combine that with having a bunch of friends who have all been cheated on, lied to, and in come cases smacked around, and it becomes kind of hard to see a man as a human being rather than some predatory wild horse whose spirit you are obligated to break by the very fact that you have the ability to so. How can I pass up such a challenge!

When I look back over my dating history, I can say that I have a history of dating men who were nice to me. They showed me feelings that I ignored. Truth is, when you intrigue and charm a man they can actually fall for you pretty fast and hard. I have left a trail of hurt feelings behind me all the while thinking that the men who professed to care for me were being fake and weird. I can remember one guy I dated who was so so so so very sweet. He told me he loved me over the phone to which I responded, and I quote, "Okay I gotta go" and I hung up the phone thinking what the hell is his problem??

This is not to say that I don't place any blame on myself. I love boys and I love me and I love when boys do nice things for me. It's going to be really hard to break the habit of taking advantage of that. But I'm a lot older and smarter now, I'm not listening to all the messages in society (from rap music to male relationship bloggers) that reduce men's feelings to rare occurrences. I'm resolving myself to see most men as the fragile, sensitive, multi dimensional human beings they are, and hopefully making a commitment to one will come a little bit easier for me.

[After I'd written this post @MauiMescudi posted the following quote to twitter from an episode (21) of the TV Show Bones entitled "The Soldier On the Grave." I'd be interested to know what men think...

  1. Riley FreemanMauiMescudi "Men aren't like us. They're much more fragile, and needy. The fact that they think we're the needy ones is a testament to our superiority."

In Defense of Groupies...

Posted by JD on , under | comments (3)

(To view photo source, click here)

During the lead up to the NFL's Pro Bowl and Super Bowl in Miami, I grew very tired of all the groupie tweets, facebook statuses, and comments of real life friends and other acquaintances. Unfortunately, there is more to come. NBA All Star Weekend is coming up so we can all expect more of this type of commentary. I even expect people to try to be "creative" and combine groupie jokes with Valentines Day cracks. ahahah...ha?

Don't get me wrong, groupie jokes can be funny, but there seems to be an undertone of...of...of something deeper that annoys me a little.

To speculate on what that something is, I'll tell you my thoughts about some of the commentary.

A lot of men who complain about groupies are upset because the groupies don't want them. Groupies are often the life of parties. They came in various desired flavors...dark chocolate honies with curvy bodies and pretty faces. Exotic fair skinned women with voluptuous shapes and fun personalities. Everything from Jessica White types to Kim Kardashian look-alikes, the groupies cover the spectrum.

Unfortunately, during an event like Super Bowl they are simply not checking for regular dudes. In fact, they may NEVER check for regular dudes. And in the scheme of things, men need to get over wanting what they can't have.

Too many women complain about groupies because they see those women going after what they want (however unseemly), and believe that such "thirsty" pursuits of highly desired men are beneath them. Notice I said "pursuit." I have no doubt that if most of the women who complain about groupies were ever "approached" by this cutie here:

they'd happily oblige him his request. But once again, they don't want to be seen 'chasing him.' I guess they've never heard the phrase "A closed mouth doesn't get fed." [Maybe that's just a southern thing?]

The female complainers believe that those women shouldn't be out there "exploiting" themselves just to get close to a man, however rich, handsome, or connected even if they're both single and out to have a good time. All groupie-ism isn't sexual, sometimes women just want to flirt, take pictures, and drink free champagne. Apparently, even that is all too untoward in some people's eyes. Perish the thought.

In other cases, the women who complain didn't have the money, clothes, shape, looks, leave time, or other such necessities to go down to Miami and participate in the fun, and even if they did, they may believe that their personal chances of sleeping with or even chatting up a baller would have been slim to none anyway. (And they're probably right).

I won't even spend more than one line side-eying the batch of females who are THIRSTIER than neglected dogs and try to hide their thirst by throwing shade at party attendees.

The comments that bothered me the most were the ones from people saying that it's a shame for people to go to Miami for the Super Bowl if they don't know anything about football. Pardon? Why? Last year I went to the CIAA basketball tournament and didn't even realize there was basketball being played. I went down to enjoy the parties and to flirt with boys (regular non-balling but nevertheless handsome boys). Besides, nobody says you have to learn Brazilian history before going to Carnivale. Why is the Super Bowl or NBA All Star Weekend held to a different standard? Especially when the game/activity ticket prices are through the roof.

In general there is an obsession with loose women in this society, in particular in the black community, that I just can't wrap my head around. There is also a simultaneous effort to paint successful black men as victims of these coquettish women's feminine wiles even though part of what makes being a baller so appealing is that very same female attention.

All in all, the word "groupie' has become an umbrella term that is used by both men and women as part of a greater tendency to categorize and demoralize a female whenever her sexual behavior "appears" to be something other than what you personally find acceptable. And I must say, the tendency to call any woman who goes to these high profile events a groupie while exonerating from judgement all the men who flock down for the action is really offensive to me.