Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

On Black Men, And Why We’re Not “Allowed” To Be Human

alg-chris-rock-louie-ck-jpg

I first became a fan of Louie CK four or five years ago. I’d heard of him before—and had even watched an episode or two of Lucky Louie—but I didn’t really pay him much attention until I started to notice that more and more writers and comedians I respected considered Louie to be a comedic genius. This sparked my interest, and after watching a couple of his stand-up routines, I realized they were right.

Perhaps the thing I enjoy most about Louie’s humor is his tendency to speak about taboo subjects and use taboo words. This in itself isn’t noteworthy. There are dozens of popular comics whose acts revolve around them touching on untouchables. But, while most of those comics incorporate this tactic for shock value, when Louie does it it seems to be to prove how absurd it is that anything would be deemed untouchable in the first place.

For instance, in one of his shows, he has a bit where he spends a few minutes talking about fellatio. I forgot exactly how it starts, but by the end of it he jokes that he’d suck an audience member’s d*ck. It was classic Louie—absurd, inappropriate, self-deprecating, and subversive—and the audience loved every minute of it. I did too, but I couldn’t help but to make a somewhat sobering observation: a Black comedian could never tell this joke. 

Actually, let me rephrase that. A Black comedian, a popular straight Black male comedian could in fact tell that joke. But, if he did—if a Chris Rock or a Kevin Hart told a man in the audience that he (paraphrasing) “probably has a beautiful d*ck and would like it in my mouth”—the hundreds of trillions of tweets, articles, posts, studies, and stories it would prompt would likely shut down the entire internet. There’d also be never-ending rumors about his sexuality, his HIV status, and his sanity.

The dynamic allowing Louie CK to go places that a Black comedian wouldn’t be able to go extends past comedy. In fact, that dynamic is a direct result of the (mostly true) idea that straight Black men aren’t expected or even “allowed” to be multi-faceted, to be fully free, to be, well, human without having their sexuality and even their Blackness questioned. If we don’t fit a certain hyper-hetero ideal, we’re not really men and not even really Black.

This is not a new observation. For years people have written, spoke, and even created art about the fact that African-American men are burdened with a suffocatingly rigid definition of who and what a man is supposed be. It’s also common to blame this on a combination of history, socialization, and sexual expectation. Basically, Black men are the way we are because society in general—and Black women specifically—expect us to be that way.

But, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how valid this is today. Yes, it’s true that there have been some very major historical influences on the way we’re supposed to be, and yes it’s still somewhat true that Black men who fall outside of the hyper-hetero ideal might be sexually shunned in a way that other races/cultures of American men may not have to deal with, but I wonder how much of this is self-induced. I think we (Black men) do it to ourselves more than anyone else does it to us. I think we’ve grown comfortable inside the shell. I think many of our problems in regards to being hyper-hetero are completely psychosomatic. I think we have a bit more leeway to be human than we want to believe, and I think there’s a bit of a mental and emotional safety net with not fighting against this expectation, as any crude, sexist, homophobic, racist, and just generally unprogressive act could be blamed on socialization. It may not quite be learned helplessness, but it isn’t far from it.

Also, I think some of us need to truly ask ourselves if we’re ready for that type of freedom. While an increased leeway to be who and what you want to be—as exhibited in Louie CK’s ability to tell a joke that a Black comedian couldn’t say—is one positive aspect of it, with more freedom comes more responsibility, with more responsibility comes more expectation, and with more expectation comes less leeway to make excuses. Basically, “You wanna be free? Fine. Now grow the f*ck up.”

I’d say be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it, but I think we already got it. I just don’t know if we really want it.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://diablosbastille.blogspot.com/ Rod

    Great piece! I’m a comedy writer and director and sometimes stand up. Been a Louis CK fan for a minute. He and I are on the very same wavelength as our comedy but I’ve found myself honing bits and questioning myself for the exact reasons you speak of in this article. Great observation because I’ve been dealing with it for a minute. LMBO

    • http://lifetheroughdraft.com/blog Rone

      Same here, man. There are some bits I’ve performed at open mics that have gotten nervous laughter, I think, because of what people expect me to talk about when I step onstage. Nothing as envelope pushing as Louie, so I can’t even imagine.

  • MistahG

    I was gonna say tell that to Prince, Michael Jackson, Chris Bosh, etc! And then I realized that you were right. They’re only rich and successful BECAUSE they’re not human, not in spite of it.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      Prince is definitely the exception to the rule.

    • Parker

      Actually Prince, Michael Jackson, and Chris Bosh, have all been accused of being gay becasue they’re not Hypermasculine.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

        I’ve heard some people say they think Prince may be bi-chexual but, I’ve never heard anyone say they thought, not accused, he was gay.

  • That Ugly Kid

    I think we have a bit more leeway to be human than we think

    Drake’s entire existence, especially the largely unfair and mostly illogical scrutiny he gets, says otherwise.

    Black men in general are pressured to be hyper-masculine. The only Black men that get passes are ones who are widely liked. They are the exception, not the rule. Which is why Biggie (regarded as a hip-hop Great) can say “You look so good, I’d suck your daddy’s d*ck” and no one would blink. But if Drake said the same thing…he’d never hear the end of it. Ever.

    I think the reason why Black men are held to a higher degree of masculinity stems from the way society treats and views Black men. Our mere existence makes life more difficult than any other demographic in the country, with the exception of Black women of course. We have to struggle longer and try harder to get things other demographics can obtain more easily. It requires enormous amounts of mental fortitude.

    • nillalatte

      You kill me TUKster.

      “Our mere existence makes life more difficult than any other demographic in the country, with the exception of Black women of course.”

      I agree with the black women part, but think about the other races of men in this country and tell me that other part again. I’m just thinking of all the different ethnicities of men I know, and they all seem, in different ways, very hyper-masculine. Not sure black men have the corner market in that game.

      • That Ugly Kid

        Then you’d be very much mistaken. I’m not saying other ethnicities of men aren’t/can’t be hyper-masculine. What I’m saying is that they aren’t pressured to be so as much as Black men are.

        • nillalatte

          And, how do you feel pressured to be so?

          • That Ugly Kid

            Society, Black culture, Black communities, etc. Listening/witnessing the comments made about Black men in pretty much every facet of life when involved in “suspect” behavior.

        • http://TheNewEve.com Bunni

          I think the only other group that faces real-life pressure to be hyper masculine for fear of ridicule would be italian men…a lot of my male friends are italian, and they seem to have the same plight as my black male friends…same ish, diff complexion it seems

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            And, Chicano men too. They have a culture of Machismo.

          • nillalatte

            The reason u all may perceive this is only a pressure for black men is limited exposure to other cultures. Arab men are SUPER hyper-masculine. That’s why I kind of giggled & said black folks, black men, don’t have the corner market on a lot of things I see discussed. The reason some think or feel that way is because of limited exposure to other cultures where one is in deep enough to observe, contrast & compare.

            • Oshun

              Queen,

              I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. However, as it relates to the U.S., especially, they have this market on lock. No doubt about that.

              Great point nonetheless.

            • Rewind

              You’re right as far as the world is concerned. But this is America, and America, though it claims to be so in touch with the world, sure knows how to keep its citizens shut in.

    • http://www.twitter.com/black_yoda black yoda

      I disagree with the black women part. Black women do not have a more difficult life than black men. You can argue that it’s difficult in different ways than for black men–and maybe that’s what you mean–but it is most certainly not more difficult than black men and we can look at a whole host of wellness metrics to back that up.

      • That Ugly Kid

        I disagree with the black women part. Black women do not have a more difficult life than black men.

        I didn’t want to touch that subject because I don’t want this to get derailed into another Oppression Olympics post, which got so bad that Panama had to write a post calling out the entire VSB community just so people can start behaving like adults again.

        So for the sake of everything (including my sanity), Black women have it equally as hard as Black men. Period.

        • SweetSass

          Nice avi.

          • That Ugly Kid

            Thank you!

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        Let’s just say that both Black men and women have their own set of difficulties that can’t necessarily be compared and probably shouldn’t be compared.

        • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

          Uh, no, let’s not:

          Tackling The Bugbear Of “Black Male Privilege”
          http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com/entry/130174

          Just for you, Ms. Val.

          Enjoy!

          :)

          O.

          • http://www.blackyodaprime.blogspot.com Black Yoda

            Excellent!

          • http://www.politeonsociety.com GhettoSensei

            Great post Obsidian.

      • Wild Cougar

        Is this the Wah edition? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Let me offer some kleenex for your head start in the oppression olympics. I can get with a Black man who cries and shows emotion. Black men who whine and whine and whine about how much harder it is for them than everybody else…..?

        *dry heaves*

        • Rewind

          Sometimes you’ve got to whine for someone else to shut your whining up so that you know the difference between venting out a real problem and just being a b*tch.

          Would a woman want to here a grown man whine? No. But would it help if she understood where the whining comes from and help introduce facts that might get the man to think twice? Yes.

          • Ms. Bridget

            Uh, oh! Look at Rewind being all constructive :-)

            • Rewind

              I’m trying…no point in complaining if no one offers a solution.

          • Wild Cougar

            Enlighten me. Where does this insipid whining come from?

            • Rewind

              You call it whining. I call it discussing facts…but to answer your question:

              Black males usually have a limited group to have discussions with on life problems. Many of the people around us limit our ideas or comprehension because they are not using facts, they are using assumptions. A boy can’t speak on how to be a man. A woman can’t speak on how to be a man. Ergo, we get skewed information.

              Then when we go out into the world, applying that limited information to our everyday lives, only to have the world say “you’re wrong, you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know how to act, what is wrong with you?”, eventually it will tear any person down. They will stop caring about what anyone has to say and just start doing anything that resembles stupid just to keep things moving. Hence the stereotypes and bad images.

              Black women know this road all too well, but both sides have distinctions. And lets not act like there aren’t websites dedicated to actual whining for both genders.

              All I’m saying is the same things get repeated because noone is learning the lesson, and the few who do still have to deal with millions of people who don’t. So it is going to keep being repeated until things change.

          • http://inanimatethoughts.blogspot.com/ Animate

            lol at the “just being a bitch” part in relation to this very post.

            • Rewind

              Aye we’ve all seen that extreme and none of us like it.

        • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

          This is all about exposure. Those who live in narrow circles will whine because no one has a soultion to the problem. The more your circle overlaps other circles the more evolved you become.

          • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

            +1 @ Animate & Tentpole

        • Keith

          This comment here is why brothers portray this image. Why throw stones?

      • http://www.twitter.com/black_yoda black yoda

        Are people whining about what they perceive to be whining? :o)

        • Wild Cougar

          Yes

    • AfroPetite

      Cheese pizza?

      • That Ugly Kid

        With pepperoni, sausage, ham and jalepeno peppers on it!

        • AfroPetite

          well this was a topping fail

          • That Ugly Kid

            This is that deep dish pizza life. Technically in this case, these aren’t “toppings”, as they are stuffed inside the pizza. So no, there is no fail.

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      I think hyper-masculinity amongst Black men has a lot to do with the powerlessness that society has forced on Black men to differing degrees through the history of this country.

      The more powerful you truly are the less masculinity you need to show. And, conversely those without any real power use hyper-masculinity as a way to try to make up for not having any real power.

      So, as more Black men gain economic and political power, the freer they will become, IMO.

      • minxbrie

        +1

      • Latonya

        “more Black men gain economic and political power, the freer they will become”
        So you are say that Black men that have money can do whatever they want? That should impley to black women as well.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          No, I’m saying they feel less pressure to express their masculinity in stereotypical ways.

      • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

        @Ms. Val:
        “I think hyper-masculinity amongst Black men has a lot to do with the powerlessness that society has forced on Black men to differing degrees through the history of this country.”

        O: Wrong. It has almost everything to do with WHAT A PLURALITY OF BLACK WOMEN DESIRE. End of.

        “The more powerful you truly are the less masculinity you need to show. And, conversely those without any real power use hyper-masculinity as a way to try to make up for not having any real power.”

        O: If you mean using violence or the threat of same, that would be true. But that would only be true for the lower classes – which by definition would largely exclude the VSB demographic.

        “So, as more Black men gain economic and political power, the freer they will become, IMO.”

        O: The vast majority of Black politicians are Black Men. Chris Rock is among the most successful comics ever, and the majority of successful Black comics are Black Men. A Black Man was elected Leader of the Free World twice.

        This is about what Black Women have clearly indicated they desire from Black Men. Period.

        O.

        • Rewind

          Nah man, that is not true.

          Black women and their desires alone do not constitute all the reasons Black Men do the things they do. They are like 30% of the reason. There are a whole list of other reasons like environmental dangers, lack of leadership, weak history, lack of positive and nuturing ideas to embrace….and to disagree or say that is not true would undermine EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE and the lives of the young men I see here in these projects not going anywhere fast.

          • dtafakari

            @Rewind, I agree. I think that the promise of the “reward” of a woman can only take a man so far. I would love to believe that all the good that black men have done is more a reflection of who they are then of what they were trying to get. With respect to hypermasculinity, black men learn how to posture from other men, i.e., as you stated, “environmental dangers, lack of leadership, weak history, lack of positive and nurturing ideas to embrace.”

            • Rewind

              Exactly, a woman’s touch can only take us so far, but we still got a host of other issues to deal with.

        • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          “O: Wrong. It has almost everything to do with WHAT A PLURALITY OF BLACK WOMEN DESIRE. End of.”

          This is routinely disputed by the displays of masculinity competition amongst OTHER MEN.

          • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

            Cheekie, you are SLAYING me with that avi! werrrrk!!!

          • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

            @Ms. Cheekie:
            “This is routinely disputed by the displays of masculinity competition amongst OTHER MEN.”

            O: All it proves is that Men are competing against other Men for…

            …wait for it…

            (Black) WOMEN.

            :)

            O.

            • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              Ehhhhh, I figured you’d say that but, I’ve witnessed far too many discussions between men (yes, grown ones. yes, straight ones.) in which men succumbed to the pressure of their peers to conclude that the decisions they make on masculinity is wholly based on what black women want.

      • Todd

        Val, if it wasn’t for that whole lesbian thing and bigamy laws, I’d marry you. :)

        • Freebird

          +1000000000000

          We’d be fighting…..uh, debating….
          If I had a lesbian daughter I’d want her to date someone that thinks like Val.

          Great post Val.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          :-)@Todd and Freebird. Thanks.

        • Rewind

          Word, Val makes my stomach tingle sometimes.

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            Lol. Stop it.

            • Rewind

              I’m serious. I love intelligence, and I don’t see it in my offline life often so I appreciate what I get.

              • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

                Thanks.

        • Brother Mouzone

          I second that emotion! lol…You’d have to beat me to her, Todd.

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            :-)

            • Oshun

              *waving*!! :)

              • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

                Oh wow, hiya, AM!

                *waves back*

                :-)

      • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

        ~ The more powerful you truly are the less masculinity you need to show.

        Richard Parsons. wow. the way he commands a room, the way everyone knows, his power is radiant. i am so curious about that cat. his story must be something else.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          I saw a news piece about him, Esa. He is really interesting.

          • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

            he is magnetic. whoa. how he got to be who he is, that is one autobiography i await with baited breath ~*~

      • Sweet GA Brown

        +1 But I wouldnt limit this to the US and its history. This can be applied in all of Europe as well.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          That’s true, SGB.

      • Rewind

        Indeed Val, indeed.

        I feel much more secure in my manhood by not acting with machismo like I used to to when I was younger. Some people think I’m soft, I’ve even been asked if I was gay several times, simply because I refuse to act hard if I don’t need to. But that comes with the price of progression.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          Your actions show growth and perspective as well as a mature understanding of what it means to you to be a man.

          • Rewind

            But for me, my back was against the wall. I had to make a decision; be miserable or be myself while fighting the world.

            I don’t know what it would take for other men, I believe we all have our specific journeys but the risk is worth it in my eyes.

            • Freebird

              That takes courage. A lot of us are afraid.

              • Rewind

                It does. But sometimes you lack a choice to have courage, you just either create some on the spot or you’re enterally screwed.

                It is not the fairiest decision to make, but instead of worrying about consequences that are immediate, people need to worry about the ones that are far down the road, because they hurt the most.

                • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

                  “…people need to worry about the ones that are far down the road, because they hurt the most.”

                  Yep.

        • Sweet GA Brown

          Thanks for saying this. Theres is something very attractive and segzy about a man that is comfortable being who he is and doesnt feel he has to prove anything to anyone.

          • Rewind

            It comes with time and endurance. I’m 29, and it has taken me 14 years to find comfort in who I am, and I still struggle on a daily basis.

            But I never regret this decision because I would have been way worse off if I kept pretending. Men eventually see how it all works when they view other men who failed miserably.

      • Keith

        Agreed to a point.. and it comes with age as well I believe. I grew up in a time when everybody believe they had to wear those damn dickies suits and try to be hard 24/7. Im glad those days are over. Sometimes you can escape.

      • Uncle James

        I wish I could hit “like” for your comment, sister.

    • mena

      The only people I hear dogging Drake on the regular are black men. I truly believe that y’all are your own worst enemy. Anytime a woman says she likes Drake, black men give the eye roll. I agree with Champ. Y’all have the freedom and aren’t ready to accept it just yet.

      • BriA

        Agreed. I think Black men are the hardest on each other. How often is the word “simp” thrown around when a BM expresses his interest for one woman and told that women are hoez/female dogs and should be treated as such. It’s not BW saying this stuff, but other BM. A lot of BM seem to embrace the hyper masculinity stereotype because of the sexual advantage it gives them. It’s like “Oh, I may not have power in other ways but let me prove to you how much of a man I am with this d**k.”

        • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

          @Ms. Bria:
          The problem with your argument is, well, Black Women REALLY like s8x as a general rule – and the CDC stats bear this out. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m just sayin…people respond to incentives. Hence, incentives, well, they do matter. Black Women place a high premium on being a good lover, and so this is what Black Men strive to be, with varying degrees of success, of course.

          O.

          • mena

            The way you describe men is to make them sound extremely weak.

          • BriA

            O,

            So the CDC stats prove that BW really love sex. O____O Oh, ok. So all this talk about BW being prudes in bed and WW being more sexually free are all lies, huh? As mena said below, you are reducing BM to mere children and robbing them of all their power and responsibility when you blame BW for everything the BM do.

            • Yoles

              yet i have read so much research that states that women in general have s.ex for so much more reasons then men do… and not because they just love the D so much… but i’m not learned or seasoned or educated or done research papers on human se.xuality …. im sleep

            • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

              Lmao! Yeah u could’ve just said black women love sex and left the CDC out of it lol. Not everything needs official statistics. Some sh*t ppl won’t refute…

              • SweetSass

                Newflash, Black women (and everyone else on Earth) love sex.

          • Yoles

            don’t ALL se.xually active heterosexual women put a premium on male lovers being skilled??? i have never, ever in all of my long torrid life ever heard a woman say “oh i don’t care if he can do it or not”… yes women will be with a man that can’t for various reasons but its never something i have heard to be the desired outcome… me thinks you are leaning too hard to one side Obie…

        • mena

          Black men are the hardest on each other by far.

          • Kema

            Yes!!!

        • Rewind

          I disagree. A lot of women have adopted hyper masculinity to, and integrated it into their feminity. I don’t just hear hood rats talking like dudes, I have met fully functional high class women doing the same thing.

          The problem is that people believe they need to play a role in order to achieve anything in this world, but lack the galls to be in touch with who they really are, because that is the harder role.

          Actors have to pretend to be someone else, but depending on the role, they actually need to create a mental and emotional alternate in order to play a character. In doing so, they become so embroided in the character that they actually need psychatric help to desolve the alternate character once they are done playing the roles, as not to assume that is a part of who they really are (if you can find the Nerdist Podcast with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he explains this perfectly).

          That’s what all of us out here are doing..ACTING. But it is time to stop and be ourselves, for better or for worse.

          • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

            throughout my life, people notices my theatrical tendencies, which i used to heightened effect to hide (or so i thought) my myriad of psychological conflicts, because i was never allowed to just BE.

            i couldnt be me, but i couldnt be anyone else. so what i created was this strange set of masks that i was convinced were ME because i invented them.

            and for the longest i didnt know how else to be. now, i’m not entirely sure i know how to be, or not to be, or whatever the question is. i think, for many people who never felt that who they are is enough, there is a crisis of identity that goes to the very existential question of identity, in as much as it is both a fixed and mutable proposition ..

            • Rewind

              And I think we all face this issue. But many people miss that golden oppurtunity to look in the mirror and take the mask off. And honestly, if you miss it, that is it and done, because the consequences afterwards are quite severe.

        • Todd

          As someone who has done the latter, I cam’t front on this comment, especially the last couple of sentences. Still, the hatred of simps comes from a loving place, believe it or not. All men know that one dude who got did dirty checking for one woman too hard. Any man who didn’t warn of the potential risk would be an a$$hole par excellence.

          • Keith

            +1

      • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

        @Ms. Mena:
        Common said it best: “If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, it don’t mean that I’m hatin'”. For me, Drake is whacked not because he’s “soft” but because he’s whacked as a rapper – meaning, that he pales in comparison to truly great rappers with actual rhyme skills, or even really good rappers who were lesser known. Personally, I think he got over because he looks a certain way that LOTS of Black Women like.

        O.

        • mena

          Never have i heard him criticized on his lyrical content. It is always on his masculinity and the fact that he cries. Heck, VSB wrote an entire post about his song where he calls the girl and people went in on him.

          “I think he got over because he looks a certain way that LOTS of Black Women like.” How so?

          • Kema

            Yes!!! Cause I am not attracted to Drake. But he seems to be one of the realest rappers doing it now. Maybe its weird because men dont generally act like him in public but he reminds me of how most men are when other men are not around to critize.

            • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com Malik

              TUK is the resident Drake fanboy. Got posters on the wall.

            • Rewind

              I disagree.

              Drake is the 2K version of Prince.

              That’s all there is to it. Same way women loved Prince back in the day for being out the box, they love Drake now for the same thing.

              • Yoles

                Drake wish…

                you coming out of pocket now Rewind..

                • Rewind

                  Say what you will my dear, but I see the trend, except Prince was revolutional for his time. Had Prince debuted in this era, what do you think things would be like?

              • Kema

                Prince was nowhere like an ordinary man. Drake on the other hand doesnt seem that different to me. He’s been hurt by women. He’s hurt women. Whats so off about that?

                • Oshun

                  Drake is as regular as wonder bread. It is the BLANDest tasting bread in America. That’s how regular his azz is.

                • Rewind

                  I’m not talking about Prince music wise, I mean reception wise. Prince & Michael Jackson were the only two men period who came out being hyper emotional, but to be Black men on top of that is what made them mega stars.

                  Real talk, this is a different era and while many things changed, some things still are the same. Drake tugging on heart strings and the ladies love it, the same way they did with Prince.

              • IcePrincess3

                @rewind Correction: Miguel is the modern day Prince, not drake!! And is it jus me, or does anybody else feel like “started” was gohst written? Don’t get me wrong, I luv da song, dat junt go hard. But from the very 1st time I heard it, my spidey senses went off like, “this jus don’t FEEL like authentic Drake.” I really think Mac mane or Gutta or someone else in YMCMB wrote it. Ijs….

                • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com Malik

                  No one is a modern day Prince. Very few men have been as fearless to obscure the gender-binary as much as Prince. Miguel doesn’t even flirt with it. In fact, he goes out of his way to inform his audiences about how masculine he is. It’s honestly kinda sad sometimes.

                • Rewind

                  I doubt that part, Miguel is just a unique artist for this current era.

              • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

                Prince is a visionary, an artist, and an iconoclast.

                once someone is on that level, there are no comparisons. there is simply recognition of the singularity of the spirit made flesh ~*~

                • Rewind

                  I’m not comparing Drake to Prince, I am comparing his reception to the world. What Prince represented was truly unique given the time he debuted, but in this era, he would not be the seen the same way. However someone like Drake mirrors the reception he gets by avoiding hyper masculinity and tugging at the emotional strings of women.

              • Oshun

                That’s like saying Justin Bieber is the 2k version of Michael Jackson. Jesus! Rewind…..uh uh!

                • Rewind

                  Beiber very well could be given that his career started as a child and he’s been a pop phenomenon since. Only way the comparison sticks is if he grows older still being a man-child.

                  again..don’t compare the music, compare the social relevance.

                  • Oshun

                    Oh dear heavens…social relevance. DRAKE and PRINCE?! These are surely the end times.

          • Sweet GA Brown

            Drake resembles a sloth.

            • Yoles

              we are twins i said the same thing at almost the same time :D

              Sloth… real talk

            • Ms. Bridget

              I think he looks like a lamb…

              • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

                ewe (giggle)

            • AfroPetite

              I concur with the sloth comment. I don’t think men know what other attractive men look like.

          • That Ugly Kid

            Never have i heard him criticized on his lyrical content. It is always on his masculinity and the fact that he cries.

            Exactly. Drake knows this as well, which is why on Lord Knows he says:

            “I know of all the things that I hear they be poking fun at
            Never the flow though, they know I run that”

        • http://TheNewEve.com Bunni

          Ive never in the history of Drake’s career (Degrassi included) heard a woman say ‘drake looks like MY kind of man”
          At best, hes adorable. the jew fro and chipmunk cheeks are precious, but hes hardly the black woman ideal…he doesnt even get many points from being light skinned…the women i know who like him, like him for his content

          • Yoles

            drake looks like early man before evolution completed or like his face is made of scented candles or like human sloth facially personified… only females i have ever heard say they like drake’s face is the screaming fanboys and fangirls ie under 22…

            secondly we all know that money makes men more attractive… so me thinks its the fame and the money and the crew etc that makes the girls swoon…

            • mena

              I think O is about to show which generation he comes from if he says it is b/c Drake is lightskint.

            • Keith

              captain caveman huh lol

          • Rewind

            And yet he’s out there banging some of the most beautiful women the world has to offer.

            So I got to figure, the opinons of 300 women online who aren’t attracted to him as opposed to whole cities of women who line up to bang his entourage just to sniff one of his pubic hairs is a stark contrast.

            • Yoles

              u think groupies fvck dudes cause they look good? if that is the case i have a bridge in nyc to sell you, total and complete proof for string theory and a working time machine… come see me ;)

              • BriA

                Right! If that was the case 95% of these rappers would get no play whatsoever

                I cant think any woman, straight or otherwise, who has EVER said Drake was attractive.

              • http://www.twitter.com/epsilonicus Eps

                Attraction is not always based on looks…

                • Kema

                  Yea… Money plays a part too. :-)

              • Rewind

                Is it ever about looks Yoles?

                Come on, yall are nitpicking like hell. The facts are, he’s still getting his in. And it aint just regular chicks, its models, R&B singers, fashion designers…like for real, stop with the games, what is done is done.

                I’m not saying I agree or even care, but these things did care. It don’t matter what the women want him for, he still got them.

                • BriA

                  I think the point is that Drake getting all these women is not about how attractive he is, but about his power, status, and money. and let’s be real, those are what attract certain women. Take those away and groupies would be less attracted to him.

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

              Yeah, Rewind, just think Lil Wayne and you’ll rethink that statement. Lol.

              • AfroPetite

                Gucci Mane came to the forefront of my mind. Nothing attractive about that potbellied travesty but I know girls who would suck his dack from the back if given the opportunity.

                • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

                  Lol!

                • Oshun

                  Gucci Mane and those crusted cracked lips of his that look like they shed during winter is just urrrrrgh! His name is Gucci, can’t he afford Vaseline?

              • Rewind

                You say that, and I’ve heard scores of women say how good looking Wayne is.

                :|

                Yall aint gonna win this one, there are too many open ass p*ssies out there to defunct what yall are saying. I don’t care why women want to sleep with these dudes, I just know they will slit throats to do it, and nobody I know has that kind of pull.

                • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

                  Really? I have never, I mean never, heard any person, man or woman, say they think Gremlin is attractive.

        • missritac

          Drake is facially challenged. What BW do you know who are trying to get at Drake?

          • Keith

            The same ones who sleep with wayne, rick ross, gucci mane, etc. Just pick a random groupie. We really cant apply this logic to rappers they are expection to any of these rules. Still wondering Laura london popping out wayne’s kid?? I think champ said it about chris rock’s standup. That bald spot looks like a part..

            • Keith

              when you are successful

            • missritac

              Groupies shouldn’t count, they make questionable decisions everyday lol. Money can make the most unattractive look good to some, personality is a strong factor too, but in general, these rappers are not that pleasing to the eye and they stay with women…but the quality of those women is very questionable.

              Lauren London shall forever receive the o_0 from me for having Lil Wayne’s spawn. Ewwww, he looks like a walking STD, I could NEVER!!!!!!!!! Money couldn’t make anyone you named up there look good enough to make anything in me want to get with any of them. GROSS! Need a bath just thinking of it lol.

            • Brother Mouzone

              That was me..

              • Brother Mouzone

                meant for Keith.

    • Brother Mouzone

      “Our mere existence makes life more difficult than any other demographic in the country, with the exception of Black women of course.”

      You were being sarcastic right?

    • AnGe

      “Drake’s entire existence, especially the largely unfair and mostly illogical scrutiny he gets, says otherwise.”

      But Drake gets the most grief from other black men. women for the most part arent complaining. to me it seems like the requirement for this hyper-masculinity is coming from within your own circles. guys put pressure on guys to be more manly.

      • That Ugly Kid

        Now, knowing the history of the African-American man and America, how do you think this pressure to be hyper-masculine came to be?

        • AnGe

          I think originally from parents not wanting their boys to die young. Black men have bigger predators out there than other races of men. So many parents taught and teach their sons to be men…fast. because the world isn’t going to bother with your childhood innocence. So when raising a black man, a lot of parents want to raise them to be assertive, defend themselves, defend family honor, don’t take any disrespect. Survive. If you do all this, you will live, you will also attract women, and bring healthy babies into the world ensuring genetic relevance in the future.

          • That Ugly Kid

            Survive.

            I think this is the key here. Being an Alpha Male and masculinity in general always seemed to be tied to survival. “Survival of the fittest” as they say. The problem is, society is drastically different from the way it was 150 years ago. Which is why I find holding on to hyper-masculine ideals to be silly. Because in this day and age, they do more harm than good.

            So much so that a lot of men never emotionally mature.

  • http://www.blacklatinafabulous.com Maris

    I do think a lot of it is within our community as opposed to society as a whole. For example, we have been much harsher on Kanye for his fashion risks than, say, the average fashion blogger/news outlet.

    • Latonya

      Same goes for Kerry Rhodes. I feel sorry for him, it has to be hard for him to say that he is bisexual or gay black man (those pic don’t lie) that play for NFL.

    • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

      @Ms. Maris:
      “I do think a lot of it is within our community as opposed to society as a whole.”

      O: Yes – but the question is WHY??? I say it’s because of the desires of a plurality of Black Women. And Black Men try to meet that demand.

      It really is as simple as that.

      O.

      • BriA

        O:

        One minute you’re saying BW don’t have the advantage of demanding certain characteristics in a man because of our low desirability. Now you’re saying BM are the way they are because that’s what BW want and BM try to fit that mold. Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but which one is it?

        • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

          @Ms. Bria:
          “One minute you’re saying BW don’t have the advantage of demanding certain characteristics in a man because of our low desirability. Now you’re saying BM are the way they are because that’s what BW want and BM try to fit that mold. Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but which one is it?”

          O: Both/and. I think one really big drawback/holdover from the 60s/70s is this lingering notion of Black America being part and parcel of the Borg Hive Mind. We pay lip service to the notion that the socalled Black community is not “monolithic” but in truth we are much, much more monolithic than we’d like to think.

          Anyway, to answer your question: the problem is that there is no “one” Black community in this sense; it very much breaksdown along desirability lines, just like any other community does. \

          So, the Black 8s get with the Black 8s and the Black 1s get with the Black 1s – usually, and especially moreso back in the day, this is how it basically, roughly, crudely, worked out.

          But today, not so much. The Black 4 can try all she wants for the Black 8 and get limited success/access (Pump & Dump/FWB, et al), because of the things that have freed her up over the past half century.

          Meanwhile, Black Women send out signals to Black Men all the time as to who and what they find desirable, and NO, for the umpteenth time, it is NOT always the prototypical thug type. But whatever that signal is, Brothas will try to offer that. Thus the way of the s8xual interplay between the genders – each has to offer something the other wants, otherwise, no deal.

          Hope that helps…

          O.

  • The Other Jerome

    I wrote a comment but i think the blog ate it when i tried to post. So in summery:

    Champ is right, but i think it’s getting better.

    • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

      @TOJ:
      “Champ is right, but i think it’s getting better.”

      O: Oh? How so? Please elaborate?

      O.

  • nillalatte

    I’m not a Louie CK fan every since you wrote that other post about that date rape piece of him being raped. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Louie CK in action and for some reason I just said, “Thank God!” in my mind. LOL

    I suppose there are certain expectations audiences place on performers/comedians based on their race, but I also think barriers can be tested. Just like the FCC for example. Back in the day a person being broadcast on Network television couldn’t use any type of profanity. Now, everything except fck can be said, except if it’s live, you win the Superbowl, and there is no 5 second delay. ;)

    With that said, I think it depends on reputation and testing. Do certain black comedians just think they can’t push the envelop or maybe they don’t want to achieve the reputation that Louie CK has developed? Maybe black comedians rise to a different level of entertainment than what Louie CK can develop. Maybe I’m just touchy because I don’t like raunchy, low class jokes. Comedy is supposed to be funny, not make one gag. And, I can’t find the least bit of humor in telling an audience member he wants to s*ck their dyck. Sorry. Not funny.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    I’ve thought similar things when people complained there were no Black people on “Girls,” despite being set in Brooklyn. I’m like, a bunch a broke white chicks being h0es are feminist heroes, there’s no way Black women can get away with that

    • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

      True. There would be petitions to get it off the air if Girls had an all Black woman cast.

      • AfroPetite

        Btw, Alicia and Maxwell……Oh My Gawd

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          Yep, that should have been the first single off her new album. That kind of song is why I love AK.

          • http://vagabondaesthetics.tumblr.com Malik

            I think you like the video FAR more than the song.

            • AfroPetite

              Listen, If AK and Maxwell want to serve the world old French Quarter chexual angst, then dammit let them make this world a better place!!!!

            • dtafakari

              there’s a video?!??! —->to the YouTubes!

              • Kema

                I’ll meet you there!

            • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

              Nope, Malik, I like the song. It’s real R&B.

    • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

      *can’t

    • AfroPetite

      LMAO *cannot breathe*

    • mena

      I haven’t watched the show but I do have a problem with people complaining that the cast of the show have no black friends on the show. That is the reality of life. I know MANY social circles (black and white) who DO NOT mix racially. I don’t care if you are in NYC, DC, LA, etc, it is not uncommon AT ALL to find racially segregated groups of friends. So why in the world are we complaining that the show Girls doesn’t have any black people?

      • Sahel

        True,black people dont have to be included in every show on tv. Reminds me on the noise about no blacks on friends

        • mena

          Yes. Friends and SITC were two of my favorite shows. I don’t want a token black person on the show just to have one.

          • Kema

            I do! I want a token black female and I want two of the men to fight over her to increase our MV. Gabrielle Union was a start but I wont be happy until every show has one!

            • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

              Lmao @ Kema! You’re killin me Smallz lol

      • Rewind

        yet no one said sh*t when Sex & the City was on.

        I love how stupid the world is.

        • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

          naw people said ish. that’s why Blair Underwood joined the show as a love interest one season.

      • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

        Here’s the deal with the black people gripe. Nobody was saying that there had to be a black “girl”. But you’re in brooklyn and there’s not one black person to be seen? Not even an extra? Yeah that’s cause for pause. At least Friends and SITC were based in the Lower East Side. (Even though if they’d be set in present day NYC that’d be a different story). I felt that way until I watched the show, which, while a good show is the most self-absorbed project I’ve seen in a long time, and I just realized that the lack of blacks in season 1 is almost a reflection of how big of imbeciles those characters really are. Like, not only are they so clueless about themselves and their entitlements, but they’re so wrapped up in their BS life that they just dont SEE anyone else outside of their circle, in both the literal and metaphorical sense. I’m still up in the air about whether or not that’s dude to Lena Dunham’s self awareness or her ignorance – as you may already be able to tell, I think that she’s a bit overrated.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          +1 on the whole comment.

          And, Dunham more than a bit overrated. She’s way overrated.

          • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

            yeah, people keep trying to make me feel obligated to like her because she’s a feminist…white feminists can be annoyingly entitled. like she keeps discussing her gratuitous nudity as a statement to her desire for society to accept the “average woman body” but the fact is a black woman wouldnt be able to do that without being immediately secksualized, so she can kick rocks on that. she’s just vain and likes to cast hot guys to hook up with and impractical places.

        • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

          white women live in a bubble. these particular white women .. i dont even have the words. clueless would be a euphemism. ignorance would be kind. i cant/wont get close enough to determine the pathology but let’s just say privilege can be detrimental in ways that can blow your mind ..

          • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

            Yeah, like that White woman who didn’t get into the college of her choice and then wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about it.

            And, she didn’t even get the irony of her complaint juxtaposed to her being an 18 year old being able to get her op-ed published in the WSJ because her sister has connections there.

            • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

              or that supreme court case?! Mannnnnn….dont even get me started.

              • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

                Yep, her too.

    • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

      You make a point but Girls goes deeper than that; its about failure, immaturity, gross overestimation of one’s abilities and potential and that’s just for starters. Girls is a heck of a lot more brave a show than many would like to think – which is why Sistas would give the Black Girls variant the All My Babies Mamas treatment – because Black Women don’t like to see too much reality.

      There’s a deep and profound reason why Scandal is such a huge hit among Black Women – and it ain’t for its gritty realism, that’s for sure…

      O.

      • Todd

        True, but I think it’s of a piece with hypermasculinity. Women don’t want to put out a front of weakness, which a show like Girls clearly does. They’re so afraid of being the Baby Mama ™ that they’ll do anything to project that hyperfeminine image. Hence, the popularity of Scandal, in that the protagonist is the Ultimate Woman.

        • http://obsidianraw.bravejournal.com Obsidian

          @Todd:
          Excellent point! Hadn’t thought of Scandal, et al in that way but it makes perfect sense.

          Having said that though, I think there IS a very important difference: Scandal represents an in-born/drive/desire on the part of Black Women to view themselves a certain way; whereas today’s topic, I posit, has more to do with what Black Men are attempting to respond to what Black Women desire – huge difference.

          What do you think?

          O.

        • AfroPetite

          Fact: I’m absolutely terrified of becoming anyone’s “Baby Mama”. However, regardless of how fake and poorly scripted Love & Hip Hop is, I actually parallel one of it’s more brazen characters to what Girls represents. Joseline is the shows proverbial “whipping girl” but she is the character many black women say they would never be but secretly love and envy.

          She’s loud, uninhibited, socially inept at times, and capable of making utterly foolish decisions which are easily avoidable. She let’s Stevie J pimp her, she reads Mimi for FILTH, and she generally has zero fcuks available to distribute for her nay sayers. If this isn’t a mirror of Jessa’s chexually insatiable, uninhibited, fcuk the world and it’s standards character idk what is.

          I sometimes think people don’t give black women enough credit when it comes to being accepting of the many facets that make up who we are (even if they don’t necessarily reflect our personal selves).

          • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

            I’m a Joseline fan. She has embraced her situation and decided to get every second of her 15 minutes.

            • Kema

              She’s my favorite as well!

              • Sweet GA Brown

                Same here. I like that she seems to be the only one awake in the situation. She sees everything for what it is and makes moves to support her own goals. I always respect a person that is first honest with themselves.

          • Rewind

            That’s because rare is the Black woman who could be all the things you described while NOT looking like a complete idiot. It can be done, but her resolve has not be tacky, it has to be rooted in knowing her experiences far trump anything hateful comment from a random internet person or TV host.

          • AnGe

            @AfroPetite

            she generally has zero fcuks available to distribute for her nay sayers

            Currently lining up scenarios and sentence structures in which i can reuse this sentence. i thank you.

            • AfroPetite

              Spread the wealth

              • Oshun

                Today I have non distributable low market value phakks to give. AP, you rock!!

                • Kema

                  *Takes what little MV Oshun has to add to my little* Guess you dont need this then.

                  • Oshun

                    Our market value combined is ‘powerful’It’s currently at 0.0002%.

                    The struggle is real, but we can’t be ungrateful little ishes. We have a head start, at least.

                    • Kema

                      Every little bit helps!

  • jennifer

    The character of Pootie Tang was the brainchild of Louis ck, and I will love him for that until the end of time.

    • The Other Jerome

      I did not know that! :-)

      • jennifer

        It’s true! I love Pootie Tang so much, that I actually went to a special screening of the movie at the 92nd St. Y in Tribeca with a discussion and Q&A with Lance (Pootie) Crouther afterwards. He said the whole thing is thanks to Louis ck… The crazy words and everything.

        • Jay

          I’m a looooooong time Louis C.K. fan. Pootie Tang was his brainchild. It was his first foray into directing too, but his version of Pootie Tang got scrapped and they pulled in a new director.

    • Cali

      LOL!

    • Kema

      OMG!!! I did not know this! He now will always have a place in my heart. I love Pootie Tang!

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      Word?!! The more you know… *shooting star with X-List celeb*

  • http://theblackgirloncampus.blogspot.com Peace

    I’ve been lurking for a few years, but I thought I’d throw in my two sense. I think your analysis is spot on, but reflects a broader strange relationship between blacks and masculinity. Both black men and women live under expectations of hypermasculinity which limits what can be said and done.

  • minxbrie

    I actually had a discussion similar to this with one of my male friends.

    He was telling me and a girlfriend how he didn’t understand how white boys could walk around in just their boxers around their boys and feel comfortable with it. I was trying to explain to him that it’s because the black male body is coded as hyper masculine and as such, hyper heterosexual, there’s no way for him to feel comfortable being half nude around his boys because it would question several parts of identities. Black men have historically been negatively stereotyped as aggressive and overtly sexual and it stays damning them. You can’t change history in a minute when this has been something ingrained in us for years.

    Not quite sure he got the point though…

    • oh ok..

      Yup & Bravo…
      Totally my guy…
      He is such a blerd, and he tries sooooo hard to be hyper masculine at times.
      It just isn’t him.
      But he’s gotta be the stereotype.
      Its like sure of course we’re black, but we are also individuals…right?
      whatever…good post

    • Todd

      Very true. And I say this as someone who has leveraged the stereotype for fun when I was…less conscious. :)

    • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

      The “DL” cluture and prision movies has victimized Black men because it has setup a mindset that you don’t know who’s is gay unless they are overt. So being in a area half dressed can make you paranoid about the other men around you.

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      Didn’t your friend never have gym class? I wasn’t aware many men felt uncomfortable around each other in that regard. (Can we get a poll of white guys who hang around their friends in boxers though?)

      • minxbrie

        In context he meant, he would never feel comfortable in his apartment hanging out with his roommates and being half nekkid :)

        Like I said, not quite sure he got what i was saying because on the outside he’s my age and on the inside he’s Papa Cosby.