Bodak Power

You know what song I really like? Bodak Yellow.

I know, surprising right? I’m a nerd whose hobbies include knitting and reading. And yet Bodak Yellow was what I listened to on my way to work on my first shift. It makes me feel like I can conquer anything. Something about the way Cardi B says “LITTLE B**** YOU CAN’T F*** WITH ME IF YOU WANTED TO.” I haven’t got any red bottoms but man, I feel like I’m wearing them when I listen to it.

These expensive, these is red bottoms

By extension I like Cardi B. She seems like a nice, genuine person. She’s worked hard to get where she is, she was in a terrible situation and managed to get out using every asset at her disposal. Bodak Yellow was sitting pretty at the top of the charts for a while, and gurl get it. I’m so proud of her. She don’t gotta dance now, she has made money move.

So it really sucks when I see people being horrible about her past (and women like Blac Chyna and Amber Rose). People get on their high horse and say some really disparaging things about these women because they started off as exotic dancers, strippers or prostitutes, and it really upsets me for several reasons.

First of all, they did what they had to do in the situation they were in. Very few women go to their school’s guidance counsellor and ask for advice on how to write a CV for their local strip club. People do what they gotta do to put food on the table, clothes on their backs and a roof over their heads, and stripping pays way better than serving fries at McDonalds (and it’s an easier job to get, McDonalds rejects thousands of people every day). If I had a nice body and needed fast money because there are debts to pay and the landlord’s threatening eviction, I would be on the pole faster than a fireman (and by the way, pole dancing is really hard. You need an insane amount of core muscles and coordination to do anything on it. It takes real work to get good enough to get paid for it, and real athletic ability to make it look as easy as they do. Pole dancing should be an Olympic sport, honestly. #Pole2020 get it trending).

Do what you gotta do

Honestly, I find them pretty inspirational. Unlike Drake, they actually started at the bottom and now they are here. Amber Rose is touting her unique brand of feminism, advocating for sex positivity and for sex workers (who have a pretty dangerous job tbh. The statistics are damaging). People going on about Blac Chyna being a gold-digger when she married Rob Kardashian need to know that our Angela is worth more in terms of investment than he is. She’d have to pay him alimony, HA. Who’s the gold-digger now!

And my girl Cardi is an unapologetic feminist. She paid to go to school, to get out of the hood and to have a better life. Plus, she’s from the Caribbean so I have a bias. Girl do your thang. You worked so hard to be here. People who can’t look at her achievements and react positively need to take several seats. Fair enough if Bodak Yellow isn’t your thing, but she isn’t any less of a person because of her past. In fact her and women like her all over the world who are making better lives for themselves through sex work are as hard-working as any of us and don’t deserve our scorn but our praise. Maybe it’s time we support women instead of tearing them down, hmm?

Anyway, I gotta go. Bodak Yellow just started playing and I have some lyrics to yell at unsuspecting bystanders.

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Periodic Confusion

As I lie here in a pool of blood, a tangled mess of hormones and cramps, I wonder vaguely how my ex is doing.

I saw him in public the other day and this was actually my reaction. But that’s another story for another day.

Not that my ex and I are in any way close. If I could go back in time, I’d have stopped our meeting (going back any further would just increase the chances of me, A Black Person, getting murdered anyway), and I only want to see him in the future when I am rich and successful so that I can be petty in an Aston Martin. But the reason why I think of him in these monthly trying times is because he once asked me if there was any way I could “push it out”.

“It???” I, an adult, asked my adult ex-boyfriend circa 2BB (2 years Before Boyfriend).

“Yeah, y’know…. your *stage whisper* period. Can you push it out, like a baby? Or like pooping?”

It has been 4 years since that fool asked me that and I still chuckle heartily at the thought. Sir, you have a sister and a mother. I was your 4th girlfriend. You have access to the internet. Are you seriously asking me this question??????

Dated him for his looks (and because he liked anime)

I’ve seen Twitter conversations and Reddit threads on this very same topic. It seems like there is a significant portion of the population who does not know what 50% of the population get up to monthly. How is this a thing? Who do I have to complain to so that this is fixed? Do non-menstruating folk have a manager I can speak to?

 

I will go to my hairdressers TOMORROW if that’s what it takes

To be fair, this is but a small part of how sucky people are at having The Talk with kids. It amazes me that people can remain woefully ignorant of a whole system of organs in another person just because they don’t have a set themselves. And before you ask, yes, I do know the bits and bobs of men’s bits and bobs. I am a licensed healthcare professional. Also, I have access to Google.

I think that this kind of learning should start early. Kids get curious about the body at a fairly early age (the first time I saw a penis I was about 6, we had come back from the beach and my cousin stripped naked and went to wash himself under the pipe outside. I think there’s a picture of the two of us, we’re at the age where nudity is cute and not a felony). I remember asking what it was and my mother (Number One Stunna OG) told me (cuz the streets ain’t got nothing on Mama D). She never left me hanging on those questions, perhaps because she was a nurse herself, or perhaps because she is a #Gangsta4Lyf. It’s not a hard question to answer. Boys have penises and girls have vaginas (heteronormative I know, but it was the 90s). Some people stand to pee, others do not. Why? That’s how we were made. Cool ok, can I have a snack? Ok sure.

 

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I was a simple kid

OG Don Momma never stopped having the talk with me. As I got older, my mother changed the conversation from the basics of consent (“if someone touches you and you don’t like it, kick them and aim low”) to where babies come from (“when you’re old enough, a man puts his penis in your vagina. But only when you’re older, and you’re ready, and you can pay to take care of a child because my diaper-changing days are over”). When I got my period, my mother pulled up some online encyclopedia and, a little misty-eyed, explained to me that this would be a monthly occurrence so carry lots of pads. When I grew boobs, my mother informed me not to let people touch them without my permission. I overheard the word lesbian and was told it’s when a girl likes a girl romantically. The last time I had the updated version of the talk (V2.5.2) was about 3 weeks ago when I was informed to double up on contraception as I have just started work and I don’t need no babies right now. Lifelong Learning, y’all.

I’m aware that I am lucky. Many people I know are still waiting for their parents to give them the birds and the bees talk, and hey that’s OK! But that is no excuse for ignorance. Non-menstruating people of the world, learn what a uterus is and why we complain about cramps. Understand why I have suddenly become grumpy and spotty, and why it lasts 3-7 days, and why I may start unconsciously rub my chest in public. Wikipedia uses a lot of big, confusing words so if that’s way too much to deal with, ask your local woman. They’re not hard to find, there’s 3.5billion of them in the world. I’m sure one of them will be willing to divulge the secrets of the womb. Just don’t ask her if she’s on her period for whatever reason. She will murder you and you will get no sympathy from me.

Finish Last

I like to think I’m a nice person. I mean, people tell me I’m nice.  And I do things like charity runs and fundraising and I give food to the homeless, and I work with sick kids and knit hats for babies and old people and all sorts. I think this qualifies me as nice. But you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever thought this meant that I was owed anything in return. Cuz, yknow. I’m nice like that.

I’m modest, too

So it fascinates me when I see or hear a guy describe himself as nice, then lament at their lack of romantic success. I am of course speaking from a heterosexual female’s perspective, feel free to tell me if this occurs in other situations too.

After all, bad behaviour is unisex

About 1BB (one year Before Boyfriend) I distinctly remember talking to this guy. It was complicated in the way only millennial dating can be, but I won’t expand on that. Anyway we had this conversation about previous dating history and he said that he had been dumped for being too nice. This angered and confused him. I mean, who doesn’t want to sleep with someone who is nice? Guys like nice girls! Why are women so complicated? Y’all womenfolk don’t know what y’all want! Blahblahblah.

I interrupted him.

“So, are you dating me because I’m nice?”

A pause. “Well, yeah.”

“Only because I’m nice? Not because I’m funny, or clever or because I’ve got a big… ego?”

“Oh. Well yeah, of course.”

“If I had none of that, just niceness, would you be here right now?”

No reply was given. No reply was needed.

And there’s the crux. Niceness is not the only thing anyone is looking for in a partner. Why would it be? Niceness is the bare minimum anyone needs to be a functioning member of society, and even then you don’t need that much of it. You need enough niceness to be kind to the staff at restaurants, and to not cuss out the bus driver if he misses your stop. You don’t need to give to the homeless or run 10k for disabled kids,  although it certainly helps. Niceness is not the price you pay to society to be seen as an attractive person to your chosen gender. In fact, it’s barely the price you pay for people to be nice back.

People can and will ignore you

This is why Nice Guys™ amuse me. I’m sure they have a list of requirements for their potential partners, and did not gravitate towards their victims targets potential mates solely because they saw how much money they have donated to the Red Cross. And yet they get really angsty because their chosen sucker person isn’t appreciative of their actions… or at the very least aren’t appreciative enough to go on a date with them. Double Standards are a helluva drug.

Although once again, I acknowledge that bad behaviour is unisex

Look, I get the frustration. I was an awkward fat kid that became an awkward fat young lady, and dating is hard when you’re awkward and fat. Especially when your beautiful slender nonawkward friends are getting laid left, right and centre. It’s tiring sometimes, trying to be interesting and interested in other people for little to no return. But I have never expected someone to fall on top of me because I help old ladies across the street, and I certainly don’t see why anyone else should. For one’s own benefit, it’s worth learning how to be funny and how to do one’s eyebrows, and how to ask questions and what perfumes make you smell good versus what makes you smell like a locker room at peak time in a budget gym. It stops you from being a Nice Guy™ and helps you become more than just a nice guy.

Or at least a less stabby guy