Stripping the Black Whore Complex

I was furious. I almost grabbed my purse, walked away from the conversation and left the restaurant. But I couldn’t do that. My friend needed me. So I stayed, but corrected her.

In complaining about something inappropriate her man had done, she repeatedly kept blaming women. “I hate whorish women. I think they should all die,” she said. “They should have more dignity.”

Finally our other friend attempted to make friend #1 think about her statements, “Don’t blame women for what your man is doing,” friend #2 said. I loved it.

As my blood pressure boiled I went on to explain that many women that we label as “whores,” “hoes” and “sluts” have severe psychological issues. Many have been sexually abused, assaulted, raped, molested, have low self-esteem or grew up in households without fathers. For some it is even a combination of all these issues. We as a society are too quick to label women. Of course she disagreed with me and I doubt she will ever change her mind. I guess she’s perfect.

Even the Secretary of State Can't Escape the Horrible Label of Hoe

I then thought how many times I’ve been so quick to say a female was a hoe, or that she was “going”- a term meaning she’s loose or going for whatever in terms of sex. It had been far too many that I’d pass this same judgment without knowing anything about these women’s lives.

When it comes to sexuality and promiscuity I think black women are condemned while women of other races are given a pass. Most recently we’ve seen this with Erykah Badu’s new video “Window Seat.” In conveying her message of groupthink and people being taught to fear what they don’t understand, Ms. Badu bears it all. Mind you it is done tastefully without an inch of ass crack or a tit in sight. Immediately folks accused her of degrading herself to sell records. A lot of people totally missing the message of the video. However, when Lady Gaga or Madonna bare all we think its genius creativity. Artistry.

Other examples are non-black women like Kim Kardashian who received a pass for her sex tape, but still managed to land one of the top paid quarterbacks in the NFL-Reggie Bush. Had a black woman’s claim to fame been from a sleazy sex tape I highly doubt black men would be rushing to wife her. But because Kim is white and Armenian she gets a pass for her promiscuous behavior.

So why are we so quick to ostracize black women and each other for their sexual endeavors? What’s with the automatic attachment of the harmful labels that scar women’s reputation for life?

Double standards. Men who partake in sex with a multitude of women are not criticized half as much as women. Some are not even labeled with the awful derogatory terms. Many of them go on to settle down because they are still deemed a great candidate for marriage. But not women.

I’ve heard so many men say they would never wife a woman if she has had multiple sexual partners, had a one night stand or if she’s done anything they deem too raunchy. Some of it is just ridiculous. It is not just men who resort to the name calling. Women are equally as harsh on other women. We are so quick to assume. If a woman has more than one baby’s father she must be a hoe. Umm, no. Those men could have been the only partners she’s ever had. Or if a woman has a child out of wedlock she must be sleeping with all types of men without protection. Couldn’t she have got caught up with this one man she loved? Why does the woman take all the blame?

Many will argue they didn’t make the rules, “it is what it is.” Some will say stop pretending as if there are not hoes in the world. I strongly disagree. But for those who have such a simplistic mind I have a few questions.

What makes a woman a hoe? Is it how many men she has slept with? Is it her intentions for sleeping with the men? Tupac once said, “A woman isn’t a bitch because she sleeps with a lot of men. If a woman sleeps with a lot of men she’s still my homegirl. I don’t look down on her for that. But if she’s doing it only for money then she’s a bitch.” Do we agree?

I don’t subscribe to the black women are hoes ideology because it’s hard for me to accept labels that denigrate a large group of people. Poor decisions should not mean a woman is forever stamped with the irremovable marker of her sexuality. A woman’s promiscuity based on society’s definition of the word, does not reflect her character. Nor does it determine the goodness of her spirit and heart. I will not accept anyone saying that a woman is not wife material because she’s been around the block. When that same woman may be successful, cooks, treats her man like a king, ambitious, smart, genuine, real and has a good heart. Especially if we are not holding men to the same criteria.

It is time we start uplifting black women in a society that constantly tells us everything about us is wrong and unlovable. We must change how we view each other and ourselves. Black women are so much more than hoes, slut, jump off, or side chick. We are the creators of life. That in itself makes us the most powerful beings on this planet. Period.

Let’s strip this black whore complex…

“Cause if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies who will hate the ladies.” -Tupac