Friday, September 6, 2013

A Word On Street Harassment - Actually, Quite A Few

No sooner than my newest/latest post hit the Internet on my personal blog The Obsidian Files, about the importance of the Brothas to put their cars in "park" and stretch their legs on walkabout, did one of my longtime readers, one Mr. Zaz Brown, alert me to the fact that the popular website, Single Black Male recently run an article entitled "Cat Calling Pick Up Lines: Is ‘Street Harassment’ Ever Acceptable?". This was important, Mr. Brown wrote to inform me via Facebook, in light of the increased attention the phenomenon known as "street harassment" has gotten in more recent times - and has been bundled into the laundry list of grievances on the part of the Sistahood in the wake of the #BlackPowerIsForBlackMen kerfuffle sparked by's Ms. Jamilah Lemieux. The resultant article which examines this issue, raises a number of key points that I should like to address. 

But before I do that, it is very important to understand, that in a very real sense, Single Black Male is the Black analogue to the Good Men Project - and is as often derisively spoken of in various corners of the Internet known to many as the Manosphere. The above article that forms the basis of my own here, lays out precisely why that is.

Among other things the author of the SBM speaks of and to in his piece, is the seemingly hard-to-kill and spurious notion of "Black Male Privilege":

"For many men, the idea of saying, “damn girl, smile?”, or “you really wearing that dress…” or any of the other things we come up with is simply a way of letting you know we’ve noticed you and that we appreciate whatever it is you just did to our day. For many men, it never occurs to us that some of these statements might be disrespectful, demeaning, objectifying or just rude. We often don’t even realize that we’re probably not the first, or second, or third, or fourth person to speak to you that particular day. This is the pathology of male privilege."

OK, first off, enough with the whines of "Black Male Privilege" already - I've already debunked this baseless canard seven ways to Sunday in previous writings, and will do so again today in this column. For one thing, and this is something that can be demonstrably proven, even as recently as the murder of the late Trayvon Martin, Black Men, writ large, have no "privilege" anyone, and that often includes Black Women themselves, are bound to respect or recognize. Second, what so many who bemoan this bunk theory are really saying, is that they are butthurt over the relatively small pool of Black Men who, but a combination of work, timing and luck of the draw, are in positions of relative influence and as such, truly are privileged - but are no means are they anywhere near in the majority, or even a sizable minority. As a matter of fact, if you're such a Privileged Brotha, almost by definition you're NOT what the Sistas are complaining about when they screech about street harassment. Why? Because, and anyone with two brain cells to rub together would know this, it's because those Men who have the least to lose and therefore the least to offer a Woman, resorts to such crude tactics. If you don't believe me, just head on out into the streets and observe this for yourself - you will rarely encounter High Post Brothas cat-calling like that. 

And that brings us to the next point, which the author of the SBM piece raises himself in the form of a question to the ladies:

"3. How much does the attractiveness of the man cat calling play into how you respond to it?"

The article in question was published on the SBM website yesterday, Sep 5, 2013 and has, to date, more than 150 comments - and the vast majority of them where the ladies are responding directly to the question above are lying right through their teeth. 

How do I know this? 

That one little skit, which was written by a Woman herself and has garnered millions of YouTube views alone, I might add, really gave the Game away, so to speak - and once again, gets to the core of the street harassment issue. The real problem is that its being done by unattractive guys, that the ladies are responding to and making such a lot of noise about. Again, don't take my word for it, go outside, walk the streets, hop on mass transit/hangout at the bus/trolley/tram/train stops, etc, and see for yourself. More often than not, the main offenders engaging in street harassment, are the guys who are the least attractive - and by "attractive" I just don't mean lacking in Leading Man looks. I mean guys who's pants are sagging, or wearing clothing that looks several sizes too big; who sound as if they can barely string several words together into a sentence; who are hanging out on the corner with similarly disposed dudes and often will wait for the lady in question to walk past them, and then try to "holla back"; or, who attempt to "holla" from a gal from their Buick Lesabre or Crown Vic while driving down the street. Make of that what you will, but these are hardly Exemplars of "Black Male Privilege"; more like examples of Black Male Dumbassery, sad to say. 

Men who are attractive - who wear clothes that actually fit, who groom themselves properly, who speak well (and smell good!), can approach ladies on the street with a much higher rate of effectiveness than the aforementioned lads; indeed, it is these kinds of Brothas that the ladies most ask about during "meet market" events and the like, wondering why there aren't more of them. Trust me, if there were an army of such Brothas out and about and stepping to the ladies, they would have minimal problems with it. 

So, the author of the SBM piece had it half right - "Hollaback Game", as it is currently constituted, and nine times out of ten, doesn't work - but that's a different question from whether a Brotha can and should step to a Sista when he's out and about. He can - IF he's the RIght Kind of Guy. 

Being fit, wearing nice clothes that fit, speaking well and knowing how to read the signs, all denote being the Right Kind of Guy.

Which street harassment was never meant to address. 

My job is done here.

Now adjourn your arses...

The Obsidian
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