Erotic provocateur, racially-influenced humanist, relentless champion for the oppressed, and facilitator for social change, Scottie Lowe is the brain child, creative genius and the blood, sweat, and tears behind AfroerotiK. Intended to be part academic, part educational, and part sensual, she, yes SHE gave birth to the website to provide people of African descent a place to escape the narrow-mined, stereotypical, limiting and oft-times degrading beliefs that abound about our sexuality. No, not all Black men are driven by lust by white flesh or to create babies and walk away. No, not all Black women are promiscuous welfare queens. And as hard as it may be to believe, no, not all gay Black men are feminine, down low, or HIV positive. Scottie is putting everything on the table to discuss, debate, and dismantle stereotypes in a healthy exchange of ideas. She hopes to provide a more holistic, informed, and enlightened discussion of Black sexuality and dreams of helping couples be more open, honest, and adventurous in their relationships.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Learning to Love

I am, what I like to call, emotionally retarded.  You see, I did not receive love from the first, most important source every child experiences love, my mother.  I have to struggle to love, to receive love, to feel deserving of love every single day of my life. 

In her defense, my mother probably never really learned how to love from her parents.  In fact, she probably learned that love is strict, mean, violent, oppressive, and very conditional from her parents.  That’s not to say that her parents, my grandparents, didn’t love her or were abusive to her, I’m saying that loving, how to love, isn’t something that’s taught in Black families.  My grandparents loved their children but didn’t know how to show it with affection, hugs, reading to them, spending quality time with them, or even saying, “I love you.”  To my grandparents, descendents of slaves born during the depression, raised under the oppression of Jim Crow, and who became parents on the eve of the civil rights movement, loving your children meant putting a roof over their head, clothes on their backs, food in their stomachs and enforcing enough discipline to keep them from being identified as “a nigger.”  Their parenting skills, while probably exceptional when being measured in terms of their providing stability for their children, left much to be desired.  They raised three completely dysfunctional children. 

I have one uncle who is an alcoholic, wife abuser, and the most “niggerish” of the bunch.  All that discipline and structure created a rebellious, stagnated soul who buries his pain in a bottle, makes Arnold Schwarzenegger look like the poster boy for marital family values, and who has raised his own two sons to try to single-handedly attempt to repopulate the planet.  Every year, if there isn’t a new grandbaby by a different baby mama, there’s an adult, coming out of the woodworks, identifying themselves as a long, lost offspring who wasn’t acknowledged or raised by his very fertile sons.  He sees nothing wrong with his sons’ behavior and loves them unconditionally  which usually takes the form of him praising them, even when they do something wrong. 

My other uncle stopped maturing at about the age of 10 years old.  While there is absolutely nothing about him that could be considered niggerish, he throws hissy fits and tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.  His entire life is based on superficial perceptions.  Whenever he walks in a room, he has to have the most beautiful (light-skinned) woman on his arm, be the best dressed, and the most charming.  His conversations, however, are limited to celebrities, music, and the most publicized politics of the day.  If there is a task to be done, responsibility to be taken, or manual labor to be performed, he can only, will only do it if there is someone there to see him do it.  Otherwise it will NOT get done, EVER, no matter how pressing, urgent, or important that task is.  He is the epitome of narcissism.

My mother SEEMS the most balanced of the three but in many ways she is the most unbalanced.  Her great dysfunction is in her need to control, dictate, manipulate, and lie.  She got pregnant with me in her senior year of college which brought shame to her very prominent family.  The shame was actually all in her head, constructed from her own internal dialogue, not an indisputable fact.  The fact that my grandfather more than likely didn’t say anything to her made her construct a reality in her head where he hated her for her “mistake”.  Combine that with the fact that my biological father (look up the definition of absentee father in the dictionary and you will see his picture) dumped her and married another woman before I was even born, coupled with the fact that she and I have different RH factors which made her sick for her entire pregnancy, means she resented my very existence before I was even a person.  My mother never loved me.  She never bonded with me like most mothers do; she never thought I was a special and unique gift, she never felt the genuine love a mother feels for her child.  She felt burdened and shamed by being forced to be my mother.  She took out her frustration and hatred on me, and still does to this very day.    

I remember my mother would go for WEEKS without speaking to me.  Some people think that’s rather benign, not so bad in the scheme of life, no big deal.  It is, however, emotional abuse of the most extreme sort and sets a child up for a life of isolation and feelings of being disconnected.  It was always in response to some minor infraction, some insignificant slight she perceived I had done wrong to her.  Not hanging my coat up after school, setting the table without napkins, or GOD FORBID, not performing some chore to her impossible standards of perfection, all resulted in violent, abusive physical outburst followed by weeks of emotional withdrawal.  Any way I deviated from what she wanted, from how she expected me to behave was interpreted as me disrespecting her, resulted in her withdrawing her “love” from me as a form of punishment.  Love, for her, was providing me with educational and cultural opportunities and had nothing whatsoever to do with her feelings for me. 

My mother didn’t know how to love me, even if she had actually loved me.  Her concept of love is based on people doing exactly what she deems appropriate.  Unfortunately, her perceptions of what she considers reality are based on elaborate lies she constructs and then believes them to be the truth and her fear of going to hell for the hurt and dirt she has done to far too many wives and people she no longer considers friends.  She alienates and ignores anyone from her past who knows the truth and she sets out to hurt, destroy, and demonize anyone who threatens to expose her for who and what she is.  She has an irrational need to be right (as do most people) and she justifies her actions without an ounce of guilt, remorse, or regret, no matter how heinous, manipulative, or just plain wrong she is.  She feels justified in treating me like I’m evil, like I’ve done something wrong to her, because I’m not rich and successful.  She NEVER apologies because in her mind, she’s never wrong. 

It is that mentality that can allow her to believe that she is perfectly justified in telling me that I wasn’t raped, because, as she said, “You didn’t act like you had been raped to ME.”  When I needed her support the most, when I needed a mother’s unconditional love at my lowest point, she not only withheld it, she falsely accused me of lying to cover up my alleged promiscuity.  You see, my mother refused to accept that I had gotten pregnant from being violated from a man who took what I would not give him.  No, my mother assumed that my pregnancy was because I was fast and loose and that I refused to accept responsibility for my actions like she had so nobly done.  She has defended her actions, justified her behavior and continued to deny that I was raped over the subsequent decade and a half that has passed since that day because she refuses to acknowledge that my pregnancy wasn’t like hers. 

I could write a list of egregious and offensive things my mother has done to me over my lifetime for which she has never and will never apologize.  Some people reading this will inevitably offer their apologies to me, uncomfortable with my level of honesty and needing to say something to me to show that they empathize with my pain.  Some others will find my openness about mother offensive, suggesting that I’m too sensitive, ungrateful, or just plain fucked up and trying to blame my mother for things that are my fault.  It is most often those people who will flat out tell me that I am undeserving of love because they are similarly hurt, struggling with their own feelings of inadequacy, and they will strike out at me for daring to be unashamed of my emotional wounds. Others still will offer advice, tell me what I need to do in order to heal, tell me to pray and forgive my mother in order to release my pain.  The vast majority of people who will offer advice, critique, or words of solace have never thought to examine their lives as I have done, never thought to explore their issues, and are most certainly not brave enough to share their pain with the world. 

My healing comes through loving.  Well, writing and loving.  For almost two decades, I wasn’t in a relationship.  Certainly, nothing that resembles anything healthy and nothing that would facilitate my healing.  I have learned that through loving, and allowing myself to be loved, that I experience my true, divine purpose.  It’s a process, and not one that is particularly easy at that.  Sometimes, I don’t feel worthy of love, other times, I find myself withholding my love from people because they don’t love me the way I want them to love me.  More often than not, I have given my love to people who don’t deserve it or who make me feel inadequate. 

There will never be a day when I don’t have to struggle with the gift of love.  It is a burden I will carry with me until the day I die.  I can never be completely healed of something that is so deeply embedded in my psyche, in my subconscious mind, that is can’t be accessed.  The best I can hope for is that I continue not to be afraid of telling my truth so that I can face my demons head on and that I continue to recognize when I am playing the broken tapes in my head that tell me that I’m not deserving of being loved.  I’m quite assured that it will get easier for the more I love, the more I want to experience giving and getting true, unconditional, L.O.V.E.

Scottie Lowe Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Love Who I am When You Are Inside Me

I close my eyes and I feel your lips touch mine and I’m lifted, transported to a time and space where I become the embodiment of all that is feminine and womanly.  That primal instinct, that genetic, biological, evolutionary stuff that makes me a woman, that makes me think and move and navigate the world like a true womb-man is activated and I feel . . . I FEEL alive and whole.  Your hand reaches out to caress my flesh and my body comes alive.  You tell me your dirty little secrets, I reveal mine, and I know that we are intimately bonded.  All of the nerve endings that make my nipples hard, longing for your mouth to suckle and nurse them, that make my pussy start to tingle and throb, getting wet and slippery with arousal awaiting your gentle manipulation, are electrified and I feel aglow with warmth that only your touch can ignite. 

Feelings of joy, peace, tranquility, and love flood my very soul when our bodies are intertwined.  Our legs become a tangled mass and our heartbeats begin to sync up; my inhalation and your exhalation become a sensual metronome counting our fevered passion until we become one.  Your hands roam my body and I feel your hardness, your wetness against my brown thigh, evidence of your desire for me.  You need to be inside me, to feel my cunt envelope and embrace you, to let down your guard and feel safe, nurtured and loved.  It’s because when you are inside me, those DNA strands that make you feel inherently like a man, those instinctual drives that propel you to unload your hot cum deep inside me, filling me, completing me, make you feel like a provider and protector, like you are truly home. 

I love who I am when you are inside me.  I love feeling desired, pleasured, and needed.  I love when I feel your sweat raining down on me, knowing that pussy, MY pussy is driving you mad with bliss.  When we are fucking, the sheets damp with our fluids, the neighbors’ blaring music becomes a soundtrack to our lovemaking to drown out the sounds of my very vocal encouragement.  Hearing you grunt, working hard to make me cum and feel my juices explode all over you fills me with a sense of intimacy and security only shared by tu y yo.  I am your woman, your lover, your divine right partner and nothing and no one can disturb our peace.

Scottie Lowe copyright 2011 All rights reserved

I Am a Colored Girl

I am a Colored Girl

I am a colored girl.  I am a colored girl who has considered suicide when my life seemed cloudy and gray.  I am a colored girl who has been raped more times than any woman should, given her body and her love to undeserving men, and who has been a mother to an unborn baby whose life I chose to terminate.  I am a colored girl who has had to suppress, deny, and internalize my pain because I’ve been told that I don’t have a right to express my angst, that to be a good colored gal is not to be uppity but rather to be a sassy, one-dimensional caricature.  I am a brown woman who has been blue in a white world that is responsible for spilling the red blood of my black ancestors. 

Ultimately, however, this little missive isn’t about me, it’s about Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls and its impact and impression on the Black community.  The fact that the movie speaks to me, to my artistic spirit, to my personal struggles and survival as a Black woman beyond the offensive and incessant deluge of Basketball/Rapper/Housewives gold-digging, materialistic, shallow depictions that flood the media is almost irrelevant.  I get that most Black women are entertained by their own objectification, that the more degrading the image, the higher the ratings.  What shocks me most is that I am almost singular in my praise of the movie among my peers.  Of all of my feminist, womanist, academic, like-minded friends, I stand essentially alone as a fan of the movie, its message, and its execution. 

I went to the movie on its opening night with a sweet gentleman who had more baby momma’s than can literally be counted on two hands.  The theater was packed to capacity with loyal Madea fans who really don’t give a damn if their entertainment is buffoonery or comes at the cost of their degradation.  They laughed at inappropriate places and yelled homophobic taunts at the screen as if the actors could actually hear them.  When I cried, my companion held my head to his shoulder to comfort me and whispered to me that everything was going to be okay.  As we all filed out of the packed auditorium, I heard the same sentiment echoed throughout the halls, “Yo, that movie was deep.”  

It wasn’t until I sought solace and comfort among my contemporaries that I found this, what I can only call bizarre critique of the film.  I fully anticipated that Black men would hate the film, that was no shock.  Any discussion of Black men that doesn’t proclaim them flawless and unfairly maligned is going to be met with a unanimous proclamation of, “Male Basher!”  I never once thought white people would get it, the cadence and rhythm, the subject matter is truly beyond the scope of what they deem to be acceptable Black entertainment.  Hollywood only loves Black movies when we are criminal, degenerate, or ghetto so I knew not to expect praise from The Academy.  It was only when I turned to the women who I thought would see the beauty and innovation of the project that I felt alone.  It seemed to me that almost every woman I thought would love it, said she hated it or wasn’t moved by it.  It was from my inner circle that I heard the critiques that it was nothing more than of unwarranted male bashing, that it was simply another typical Tyler Perry flick with no substance, that it was . . . too poetic.  The very same women who lament almost daily that there are no stories that tell our tales are the women who said that they couldn’t stand the movie.  I heard everything from contrived critiques that Perry only made the movie to hide his sexuality to he didn’t stay true to the original author’s vision.  One has to ask themselves exactly how hypercritical one must be not to take note of the fact that there were good black men in the movie, that the poetry remained essentially in tact, and that there was a beautiful story woven around Ntozake Shange’s words that had absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Perry’s personal life but the original play. 

I am not a Tyler Perry Fan.  My critiques of his movies falls more along the lines of Spike Lee’s assessment than those who have a collection of bootleg Madea DVDs they’ve purchased before the movies even come out.  That didn’t prevent me however, from going to the movie with an open mind and seeing the beauty, artistry, and genius of this film.  From the way it was directed, filmed, the exquisite way the stories were interwoven and interpreted, to the fact that it wasn’t watered down but that Perry maintained the integrity of the poetry, For Colored Girls was nothing less than brilliant.  Young and old, rich and not so rich, the movie gave voice to the myriad of women who have been socialized in a society that was not created for them. 

It’s almost as if the movie’s harshest critics were the same women who have dedicated their lives to fighting for our stories to be told, but when they actually saw their stories, with all their blemishes, they didn’t like what saw; they saw something ugly and it looked a little too close to what was reflected in their mirror.  In a day and age when what passes for artistry in the African American community are rap songs with the rhyming skill of a third grader, unscripted “reality” shows that have nothing whatsoever to do with any sort of reality, and plays with the exact same you-don’t-need-a-man-you-need-Jesus storyline rehashed time and time again, this jewel, this rare gem was cerebral, earthy, and genuine.  It’s a very sad commentary that the people who appreciated the movie the most probably have no clue what Sister Shange was attempting to do with her seminal choreopoem. She, like Perry, wasn’t trying to bash men or put out a work that was too sophisticated for the average Black person to grasp, she was telling the tales of colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf . . . like me. 

Scottie Lowe copyright 2011