There's a thin line... between sexual liberation and sexual exploitation. Especially when we consider the potential effect on young impressionable girls.
When Miley Cyrus came out on stage with a big foam finger, licking her tongue out like a reptile and twerking her back, the public had a collective WTF moment, but feminists of all shades defended her right to do it.
Then Beyonce came out with an album that many look at as ultra-sexual, giving plenty of details about her private bedroom life and apparently some white feminists had a problem with it. Black feminists were understandably annoyed by the hypocrisy there.
(My take: I personally don't like either one being some type of representation for women's liberation. That's not their main goal. The main goal for most entertainers is to make money B.A.M.N. and to draw as much attention to themselves as possible.)
So long story short, the new rally cry quickly became "sexual liberation" for all women! But isn’t there is a thin line between this new idea of sexual liberation and sexual exploitation of women?
What's unfortunate is that instead of looking at the bigger picture -- the potential for opening ourselves up to a new wave of objectification or "jezebelification" if you will of black women in 2014 -- this seems to have turned into a "if she can do it I can do it too!" battle between black and white feminists.
Let me tell you something: if our ancestors modeled themselves after some of the behaviors and values of *some* white people in the days of slavery and even back to the Medieval times, I don't know if we would even be here. Instead, black people decided to maintain their own moral codes -- their own sets of rules, values and norms, which I believe has played a role in keeping black women resilient for many decades despite our circumstances. It's what helped blacks set up independent Wall Street communities during and after slavery and to survive the brutality of everyday life in those times.
These values and codes started to become "obsolete" in the late 1970s / early 80s with the crack era and I believe trashing those values is why the black community is where it's at today. So I'd like to know: will we trash our ideals and values as a way to seek "equality" with white women? I wonder what Zora, Malcolm X and Harriet would say about this idea?
Let me first say, women in this country are already sexually liberated thanks to the constitution. No one can come into your house and tell you not to have sex with whoever you want. They also can't tell you not to post nudes or booty pictures on your Twitter page, (although Twitter may have a problem with it). You have complete control over your own sexual lifestyle.
But if you want sexual liberation to mean that everybody will be forced to agree with your personal choices (even if they're reckless), that's not likely to happen.
Firstly, YOU define your own self-worth. If you are truly sold on being sexually liberated (whatever that means for you) what does it matter what anyone else thinks or says? Do you. Why is there a need to convince the world (particularly young impressionables) that what you're doing is A-Ok?
Next, why do some black women care so much what Miley Cyrus has going on and why do some of us want the approval of white feminists so damned much? Why are they even on our radar? We've been promoting a major BWE movement for over a decade now on our own that has turned out quite well. Isn’t that enough?
In fact, why are black people constantly seeking approval from white people period? For instance, the Grammy Awards showcased mostly white acts and blacks were bellyaching for days. You know what it is, and if you didn't know, now you know!
An article recently exposed the faces behind the music industry and they are pretty much all white and male. So are we really surprised that they promote white acts and uplift white women who act all "sexually liberated" on a public stage?
But let's stay on the topic at hand. Does this whole "movement" to publicly promote sexuality in black feminist circles source from an argument over what white artists can do versus what black artists can do? That's what I've observed.
So here is the million dollar question that trumps all of them: will we take the risk of potentially influencing young black girls to use their bodies and sexuality to get what they want in life based on a petty argument with white feminists? Will we pretend that they wouldn't be putting themselves, their future kids, their health and their bodies at risk by having indiscriminate sex with a lot of people? Will we completely let the moral code that our ancestors established for us blow in the wind? Where are we going as a people, and as women seeking TRUE empowerment that goes far, far beyond the idea of sexual freedom?