I’m a pretty open-minded person so I'll take the time to understand all sides to any given topic up for public debate. But, y’all, my brain was oozing out of my ears earlier this week as I earnestly sought to understand the problem with Ayesha Curry’s tweets.
Tried as I might to find the intelligence and validity in the arguments of those who took issue with her words, I’ve now settled in my heart that the points they raised aren’t worthy of any further cerebral activity.
Nope! Not one more precious brain cell will be used to intellectualize an argument that is so clearly rooted in tomfoolery!
In my opinion, their issue with her has nothing to do with feminism or women’s rights and very much to do with the fact that Ayesha’s sentiments are a threat to what I call the “THOT life”.
The reason silly women can band together and "class-shame" women like Ayesha Curry is because for at least the last two decades “them ____ over there” have been "winning"! A few months ago I posted a prayer to my personal Instagram page asking that God allow THOTs to begin to lose again. I’m not saying these women should be degraded or disrespected as human beings, but that they be convicted and corrected that the THOT life should NEVER be a woman's or little girl's life goal. Of course, this prayer was posted in jest, but my sentiment behind it was serious, as it was inspired by the fact that it seems men and, as a result society in general, have been celebrating such women for FAR too long! Somehow, in an our well-meaning attempt to promote female empowerment, we’ve created a culture that makes it easier for men and women to begin to view the “THOT life” as socially acceptable.
So, what is the "THOT life" you ask? Well, allow me the liberty of keeping it all the way funky and first break down MY theory of the evolution of this cultural phenomenon. (Brace yourselves…I’m about to go all the way left on y’all. lol!)
The reason women like Ayesha can NOW be shamed for her line of thinking is because she’s the antithesis of what we as a society have progressively normalized over the past few years: stripper culture. (I see you rolling your eyes, but stay with me. I wrote my thesis on this topic and it has informed a good bit of where I'm about to go. lol!) The second we said exotic dancing was a bona-fide career choice for the liberated, empowered woman and began associating strippers with “independent women" who are "bout dey money", we inadvertently began to mainstream the idea that prancing around half-naked for strangers is perfectly fine if that’s something a woman chooses to do, and especially if she is successful at it. When music and other elements of pop culture began to tell women they "don't mind" that she's exposing her "goodies" to strange men as long as she’s making “dat money” (side eyes Usher and Juicy J), we became active participants in giving the THOT life...LIFE!
We’ve typically said a woman who covers up and "keeps it classy" knows her worth, is valuable and is an example of “wife material”, but that’s not what we’ve been showing our kids. Instead, we began to make the stripper the “boss chick”. We made HER the woman who had the power to make a man fall in love and want to marry her on the spot. We made HER the woman that even “good girls” began to envy and little girls aspired to become because it seemed that SHE was the one who got all of the money, men, success, and recognition as beautiful and desirable.
It’s only natural that this culture began to spill into the streets and has become increasingly part of our everyday life - the THOT life, as I've been noting throughout this piece, is where stripper culture and everyday life converge. It's the trend! And it’s only natural that the empowered stripper - the woman we’ve said “owns her sexuality” - would be later joined by “empowered” sex tape stars. When you have women who became famous, and CONTINUE to profit, from having sex on camera now becoming happily married wives and mothers, it tells young ladies that following in their footsteps is a perfectly fine - heck NORMAL - route to living her happily ever after.
This isn't to say women who have participated in these activities or professions are less deserving of a second chance and shouldn’t also get to enjoy loving relationships, parenthood and success. But it does highlight how low we’ve set the bar for women and how much more willing we’ve become to throw discretion, a little meekness and an element of class out the door.
Yes...I know it's almost 2016 and that women have the right to do what they wish with their bodies. But we have to ask why so many are conveniently choosing to show them off to the masses. And, no, it ain't because God made Eve naked. It's because we're teaching women this is the SOLE source of their power. Somewhere in our movement to empower ourselves, ladies, we created the THOT who has now taken on a life of her own. So, when you get a woman like Ayesha Curry - an influential 'good girl', wife, and mother - speaking on her preference to cover up, of course the THOT Beast is going to clap back!
And while I remain disappointed at how viciously some women went in on Ayesha, I found feedback from men the MOST interesting thing about this entire ordeal. I noticed that men took Ayesha’s tweets as the opportunity to check women for losing their mystery, discretion, class and decorum. They used this as a chance to say, “SEE...THIS is what we want!” They even posted memes and daggone diatribes proclaiming that THOTs are the reason they’re having a hard time finding a wife! Huh?!! Do they not not realize that THEY (or at least their homies) are also responsible for this FUSTER-CLUCK of an issue we’re facing?!!!! Men you can’t praise, oggle at and/or chase after strippers, naked Instagram models and video girls - you can’t show through your actions that you desire those women - then come back and tell us that you really want a “good girl”. You can’t celebrate what are collectively considered to be THOTs, but say that all along you actually wanted a LOT (Lady Over There - Sorry. I make this stuff up as I go). You just can’t do that. Actions speak louder than words.
Thankfully, there are those of us who can see past all of the smoke, mirrors, butt shots and half-nakedness, but most people live their lives by mimicking what’s happening around them. Most of us are actually more easily influenced than we’d like to admit and we look to society to tell us what is and isn't acceptable. Our kids are looking at Miley twerk, Kim werk, and RiRi jerk, taking note of their popularity and influence and saying to themselves, “I want to be just like her”. And as adults, as much as men and women like to claim our decisions aren’t influenced by the opposite sex, I have to object and boldly proclaim THAT IS A LIE! If we’re honest, we’d admit that at least 85% of what we do (even subconsciously) is to attract the attention and acceptance of a romantic interest or spouse. (The only reason this isn’t 100% is because we have to sleep.) Men, at the end of the day, want to impress women so they do what they BELIEVE we want. Ladies, at the end of the day, we want to be considered desirable, so we do what we BELIEVE men want.
The woman rocking panties at the grocery store can claim “sexual empowerment” all she wants, but I’m here to tell you there is TRULY no such thing in this context. Empowerment implies having choices, the freedom to make said choices and having ownership over the resulting actions from those choices. One might argue that a woman who takes half-naked selfies and posts them to Instagram demonstrates her sexual empowerment because SHE CHOSE to take and posts “sexy” images of herself. Yet, she doesn’t realize how those "choices" even got to her...she doesn't realize that she’s still subjected to what society defines as “sexy”. The only choice she’s made - the only power she’s demonstrated - is her power to choose to exploit herself within the confines set for her. She is only empowered up to the limits of what the system will allow her to have, so she maxes it out in hopes of attaining some form of gain (attention, money, self-esteem, etc). The female stripper, who was the initial archetypes for female sexual empowerment, is only a “boss chick" making mad coins because her onlookers have defined her as sexy. The second that definition of “sexy” changes, her so called “power” is gone.
Thus, when the Ayesha’s of the world challenge this definition of “sexy”, which has equated to “power”, THOTs know they’re going to have to tap into something deeper to offer the world. But the sad thing is most of them don’t know what that is, so they’re blowing their bra tops to keep in place the only system they’ve learned to pimp. (Let that marinate). In two tweets - each of 140 characters or less, Ayesha checked these chicks without even trying. Now, THAT's power...and something tells me THOTs know that.
So...yeah...we can claim "sexual empowerment" all we want. We can say women like Ayesha are counterproductive to the feminist movement all we want. But I, personally, think that women who choose to show it all are actually the pawns - they’re the ones playing into the role a darker side of society secretly wants them to play. I believe TRUE empowerment is choosing to not be purely defined by our sexuality or exploit it, but by redefining what what sexy is...and it doesn’t get any sexier than by bucking the system and leaving at least a little bit to the imagination.