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.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I am NOT a slut!

It’s very important to keep one’s eyes on trends.  Black sexuality is political.  There is an emerging movement, very much like feminism of the 60s but dissimilarly driven, that has given rise to a segment of the population referring to themselves as sluts and whores as some sort of “empowerment”.  Some women are doing so without thought or consciousness, because they have been conditioned to believe that it’s arousing to be called names during sex.  Others, however, are doing so because they believe they are somehow changing the meaning of the word.  It is those women who give me great pause.  Internalizing our abuse is not reason to sanction our own objectification.

Society will call women, ESPECIALLY women of color, sluts and whores, label us as promiscuous at the drop of a hat, all day every day.  Turn on the radio, watch a movie, there are Black women being called sluts and whores ever where you turn.  For us to call ourselves that doesn’t change anyone’s opinion of us, it simply reinforces to them their negative perceptions.  They see any sign of a woman’s sexuality, any display of owning our preferences and desires, as being slutty.  If women enjoy sex, we are sluts.  Well, I’m not a slut.  I’m a woman who masturbates, enjoys porn, who loves hot, steamy, passionate fucking, but I’m not a slut.  I don’t think it’s arousing for men to call me a slut or a whore, I don’t want to be slapped around, spit on, called names and nor do I think if I ask for it or call myself names am I empowering anyone other than perhaps the person I’m with to feel superior to me, like they can treat me like shit with my approval. 

“I’m changing the meaning of the word, taking the sting out of it.”  I’ve heard that exact same argument from numerous women in reference to being called a slut.  It’s the same argument I’ve heard from Black people about using the word nigger.  If you look at the segment of the population who uses the word nigger, they aren’t particularly empowered.  They are at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, they are under-educated and under and unemployed.  They are seen by society as niggers and treated thusly.  Other than a handful of rappers who have used to word to ride to fame by degrading themselves and their race, there are very few “niggers” who are commanding respect from those that would oppress them.  I’m going to politely suggest that the same is true for the women who claim that they are making a bold political statement about calling themselves sluts.  I’m not really seeing the instances of men feeling uncomfortable by their words and actions; I’m not really seeing a movement for men to be more introspective and rethink their use of the word.  Men are more and more comfortable calling women degrading names and the women who sign on for it, whether it be for political or sexual reasons, are NOT empowering anyone. 

There is an entire generation of young women who have grown up on porn.  In my day, porn was hard to come by and if you did happen upon it, it was a magazine with softcore pictures, not, the constant stream of hardcore porn that young people have grown up on.  My sexuality and VCRs (machines that played video tapes for those who are too young to even know what they are) are about the same age and I never saw an adult film until I was almost 20.  There was no internet so you had to go to a store and in the store there was a back room separated with a swinging western door where men looked at the ground and tried to pretend they were invisible.  There were NEVER any other women in the room, no matter what time of day you went, no matter how long you stayed.  There were three categories of movies: straight, gay, and lesbian and even the lesbian porn was created solely for men.  There was no anal section, there was no MILF porn, no, Japanese, shemale, public, or certainly BDSM or extreme or any of the numerous categories that can be found in seconds today on any computer.  Interracial porn was in the fetish section and considered an oddity.  And quite different from today, there was no common theme of the rape and degradation of women.  Back in the day, was a lot of moaning and groaning in porn, there was even a ton of kissing, and they were the masters of sexy talk.  That talk, however, wasn’t, “You filthy fucking whore, gag on my dick bitch.”  Today, you can’t watch a movie without a young lady being spit on, gagged, choked, slapped, spanked, and being called and calling herself every name in the book. 

I can clearly see how young ladies today, growing up in a time when porn was accessible and their only exposure to sex has been about degrading women would find that arousing.  I can also see how women my age, who have had to hide their sexuality all their lives, who haven’t had outlets to express themselves can watch videos of other women being degraded and get a secret thrill.  I’ve heard more than a few women who have been the victims of sexual abuse say that they are empowered when they call themselves sluts and whores and feel that they are diffusing the meaning of the word by doing it.  I’ve never really gotten a good understanding of how that works exactly.  If society and men in general don’t change their perceptions of the word, calling oneself a slut doesn’t seem particularly empowering, it seems more like objectifying yourself.  To be honest, to me, it seems like abusing yourself and calling it liberating.  In any case, there are legions of women, for one reason or another, who feel that calling themselves sluts and whores, and/or being called a slut and a whore during sex is arousing and empowering.  I don’t. 

I’m secure enough in my own identity as a woman, a sexual woman at that, that I can say, “No, I am not a slut.”  I don’t find it arousing to call myself a slut, I do not think it’s empowering to have someone call me a whore, I don’t think I’m making a political statement by conforming to society’s preconceived notion that I’m a slut, that’s not redefining anything.  I personally find it far more empowering to BOLDLY and unapologetically say, “Look at me.  I’m a regal queen.  Hey world, I’m a precious and divine gift and I’m not going to share my body with random men who are undeserving, who don’t treat me with respect, who don’t value what I bring to the table.”  Yes, I’ve been raped, more times than anyone ever should in fact.  I have struggled with my sexual identity like most women have in this patriarchal society.  My wants, desires, and preferences have been shaped by the lovers I’ve had in the past, my sometimes low self-esteem, and my overwhelming desire to take responsibility for my sexuality.  In the end, I’m much more comfortable defining myself and my sexuality by not apologizing to anyone for having desires and lusts that celebrate me being a woman, not a whore, thing, or a slut. 

I guess, at the end of the day, one has to ask themselves what they feel is more empowering.  Is it, “I am a gorgeous and divine queen, deserving of nothing less than a man who will treasure, adore, please, and treat me as the special and unique individual I AM,” or, “I’m a filthy, nasty slut who wants men to treat me like a cum dump.”