The Black Eyed Penis'
The Black Eyed Penis’
By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)
The Black Eyed Peas are a pop music group with a hit song out right now called “My Hump.” The song, written by a black male, has a white woman with little clothing on, singing, “My hump, my hump, my lady lumps” as if it is a cute little anthem. Well, my lady lumps are FISTS. In a move of transparent patriarchy, the men in the group perform FULLY CLOTHED, in long sleeved shirts and long pants, while the woman with bare legs almost to her hips and bare mid-drift, writhes on the floor like their private prostitute, singing about her “lady lumps” for the men.
When men are willing to fully sexualize women they work with, while they themselves stay wrapped up like precious goods, fully clothed, it really does smack of oppression. It feels like women are merely sex objects for men, but men do not have to act so stupid, as they have REAL value. Men don’t have to dress in mid-drift tops and hot pants to sing about their “male lumps” because they are more important than that. And ironically, men who do dress up like that, like Freddie Mercury, for instance, are seen as raging drag queens. As a woman who refuses to be relegated to ”lady lumps,” finding a way to be taken seriously as a performer, while not dressing like a sex object for men, is seriously a challenge that my “brothers” do not face.
It is odd, but I have more respect for the men in the music industry that at least sexualize THEMSELVES as much as the women they sing about. One of the refreshing aspects of the Red Hot Chili Peppers when they first came out, for instance, was their willingness to sexualize THEMSELVES, as men, in their own videos, rather than relying on women solely for that function. The Black Eyed Peas show the opposite behavior and it smacks of sexism, hard. Even though the Red Hot Chili Peppers had sexist lyrics, at least they primarily sold themselves off sexually, not random women. I do have some respect for that.
Led Zeppelin, another sexist male act, at least sexualized the front man as much, if not more than, any women they engaged on stage. Many an act of all men, has brought in female dancers to writhe on stage. But even in their hey day, Robert Plant did not need writhing half-naked women on stage, as that would only take focus off of his sexuality on stage. Again, I respect that more than the men standing around fully clothed, asexually, in long sleeved shirts and pants, leering at women acting sexual, women who have barely a shred of clothing on. The Rolling Stones also are a band with sexist lyrics, but a front man who is not above sexualizing himself. There is something utterly cowardly about a group of male musicians who expect the women to writhe around like prostitutes while they simply stand around like paying patrons, who are there to do nothing but TAKE.
Tupac Shakur was an interesting character as he totally sexualized himself, while also putting out terribly sexist videos and music, but he also wrote the most powerful anthem for welfare mothers ever, in his song, “Keep Ya Head Up.” Tupac obviously understood sexism, but he just did not care about it at times. The weird thing is that even the hottest male rap artists never show anything more than a shirtless chest. You NEVER see males in music videos with their legs exposed. It is a weird phenomenon that women are constantly standing around with nothing on their legs, while men are ALWAYS fully clothed in long pants next to them. Look at the next rap/hip hop, rock or country video you see. The most the men do is take off their shirts. Now look at the women. Can you name even ONE music video where the women are wearing more clothing than the men? Now, can you name a music video where the men are wearing more clothing than the women? Think about that contrast long and hard. To what do you attribute those consistent and marked differences?
Rap groups like Public Enemy have gained legitimacy by using a political message for power, rather than relying on subjugated women for their entertainment value. The respect that a group like PE commands in contrast to the bubble-gum image that the Black Eyed Peas have earned via their work, shows that even men degrade their own work when they resort to using purely sexualized women as the focus of music and videos. And groups like OutKast, which have great creative potential, also lessen their respect when they litter their videos with a fully clothed fat Big Boi while the very thin, practically naked women writhe around him to make him think he is important. Queen Latifah’s classic U.N.I.T.Y video is one of very few rap videos you can find where a woman is in long pants and a shirt that does not expose her mid-drift. Queen Latifah is one of the very few women who also has massive respect and lasting power. There is a correlation there. Queen Latifah's "lady lumps" of merit are fists, not tits, is my take on it.
This trend continues on in most entertainment genres as well. Look at the Dukes of Hazard. Daisy Duke has shorts up her ass and her shirt is as minimal as possible. Now look at “the dukes.” Pants to the floor, long-sleeved shirts…same old formula. Almost any form of entertainment you look at has this phenomenon going on. There were no “fly boys” on In Living Color. The movie/play “Chicago” had women scantily clad throughout, yet the men, again, fully clothed. This option of success while clothed in long sleeved shirts and long pants is almost nonexistent for women in entertainment. If you, as a woman, are not willing to dress in the monkey outfit for men, there are other women who can replace you and will do that. This also fans out into advertising, even in “anarchist” and alternative media sources. Look at the ads in your favorite “alternative” publication. How many women’s legs and stomachs are showing and how many men’s? Count them. I can guarantee you that you will find many women’s legs and NO male legs exposed in MOST publications. It happens in vaudeville, it happens on Broadway, it happens on TV, it happens in movies, it happens in the press. It is everywhere. Men acting like prudes, while wanting women to act like prostitutes and groupies.
This thing where women are supposed to show “humps” and “lady lumps” wrapped in seductive clothing for men works two ways. When men show the same interest in arousing women, in catering to women via THEIR sexuality, perhaps this can be seen as something other than blatant sexism. But at this point, if you have women half-clothed in your act, yet you, the male, are standing around in long pants and long-sleeved shirts, wrapped up like a modest nun, perhaps you should admit you are a sexist pig. I ain’t writhing on the floor in hot pants for money, for any man who is standing around fully clothed. If men want sex in their videos, why don’t they step up to the plate and be less modest and expose THEMSELVES? Why don’t these men sing about THEIR OWN lumps, rather than writing songs for women to sing about our “lumps?” Again, my lump is a f*cking fist and I find little to nothing sexual or liberating about me prancing around in hot pants while hermetically wrapped men watch. It only reminds me who I am here to serve.