Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Knew I couldn't get away from a post like this in the summertime!

Just going through a lot of stuff in my brain these last few months. Summer doesn't make it any easier, what with the higher skin quotient, heat index and aggravation that goes along with it. Summer in NYC is no joke... you either better have the funds/job to stay air conditioned or the ability leave for cooler vacations, because this concrete will bake you above ground and broil you in the subways!

Literally, boiling brains leads to ignorant, dangerous and ill-advised behavior from both sexes. And the rest of us have to run for cover, lest our vocal protests incite a riot, or worse. Just try and diffuse an underground tirade from people being squashed together in weak air-conditioning! If you can, the best thing is to walk away, except when simply walking down the street invites visual and vocal assailants, which I describe below... 

Shall I mention the hyperactivity of certain groups? There is a vibe that hits me like the transition from freezing city bus/train to the humid wall of misery that is "outside", and it's getting harder to pass off. Namely, cat-callers and their obnoxious (and quite infuriating) counterparts, summer skanks. I recently read a post on BB&W that pretty much summed it up for me....

'I’ve found black men, in general, aggressive. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve been accosted by a brotha who went all Morris Day on me – “Baby, what’s your phone number?” – before even asking my name, or telling me his.  (And, no, calling a woman a “bitch” after she turns you down is not endearing.)'

THANK YOU for making this public knowledge, in writing because I might have overheard someone talking about this phenomenon, but it was either me or someone I didn't know and couldn't go full sistah-rant with.  No one seems to bring this subject up enough, as if in fear of some serious anti-whatever backlash.  If anything, this should be part of the conversation when BW and BM are trying to get and stay together as well.  I am NOT against BM, I am against many instances of anti-social behavior that they are the foremost (if not the sole offenders) to exhibit in certain situations. I want to wear my shorts (not, for the record, shiny hotpants or any stupid bottoms that insist on advertising said bottom as "Juicy"), my summer dress, dammit, even my heels without being required to respond to every "Hey Beautiful, that's a nice dress", or "Can I help you with your bags?" Does this ever work? Maybe for the summer skanks, who advertise by way of dress and disposition.  Well, either these brothas are totally myopic in their assessment of  who is fishing for such attention, or they just cast every line every which way to see who will bite. Maybe all men do that, in their various fashions (kind of reminds me of that hilarious scene in Night At the Roxbury when Cheri Oteri finds herself between the two club dimwits asking her to dance!), all oblivious to proper social cues.

If there is anything that makes me long for the more genteel eras of yesteryear (minus the overt colorism, classism, racism and smarmy sexism of those times), it would be the dating and courting processes, where a man would never dare to be so forward and expect the whole neighborhood not to shun him as a CAD for it! And that certainly goes for the summer skanks as well. It puts us all in a bad light, invites ridicule and disrespect and makes it that much harder to defend human rights to dignity and against sexual abuse. No... nobody is asking to be gang-banged, but on one hand, such behavior from men hints to me that they are capable of that beastliness, and such dress by women lends reason that they are all for the ride. Don't believe me? Come out to ANY ONE of those brightly colored party ads all over Crown Heights (pick them up at the Caribbean food shop, or the sidewalk). Better yet, it will be a "White Party" in some re-appropriated storefront, and no one but you and I and probably the photographer will be over 25. Sexing on the dance floor... And they don't even have the thought to have some of those free NYC condoms by the entrance, because "they're not supporting underage sex" BULLSHIT!


I am soo glad my mother established the dating rule of 16, which she pushed back to 18 on a whim... Mind you, I still had a phone boyfriend at 15, but I was too damn scared of doing anything else (at least until college)!

Rant Over...

Update 12/19/12... Miss Chesca is succinct in her analysis on the subject! You go gurl!

1 comment:

  1. Lots going on in this post. I'm seeing a pattern with you ... I think you should explore short story writing. Your observations are spot on and I like the way you capture vignettes.