TIP DRILLS, SPELMANITES, ETC...OR, E'RYBODY GOTTA PRICE, SOME ARE JUST LOWER THAN OTHERS
(i really like parentheses. they rock... but before i bitch about something else i saw on tv, i just wanna give a shout out to anne's friend who reads my blog. honestly, i didn't think anyone read it, but now that i know that i have at least one reader, i'll try to blog more frequently. perhaps i'll even make the writing better. but what's important here, i suppose, is that i'll have to start watching tv again.)
before my abstinence from television began, i happened to catch BET uncut, a show i used to watch back during my insomniac days. basically, it's a video show that airs all the nasty, raunchy videos that they don't show during the day. while watching it, candace (she wrote her b.a. on this video girl issue) and i would talk over the phone to each other, analyzing the music videos while making snides ass remarks and other comments we called "cultural criticism." the show compelled us to consider possibly getting a cable access show where we recorded segments of shows from television, and supplied a voice over of our thoughts. anyway, it was the only show on BET i allowed myself to watch. i suppose i enjoyed being appalled.
anyway, a couple of months ago, i caught the show for the first time in a while. and i saw the now infamous nelly video, "tip drill."
now i'm from indiana, the basketball and corn state. my understanding of the term tip drill is completely affiliated with basketball. there are no basketballs in this particular video. (apparently, the term "tip drill" is one that describes a female who has a nice body, but unattractive face. i don't get it. maybe i should think harder.) there is, however, a scene where nelly, or another one of those thug rapper guys (i got that line from a cee-lo song; i'm not really calling them thug rapper guys), takes a credit card and slides it up the crack of a woman's ass. (i thought in a later scene that this same woman had given him a receipt, but i found out it was just toilet paper... j/k)
altough there are other things to complain about and protest (women dancing on women for the pleasure of men,thongs, etc.), this whole credit card garbage was most appalling.
in the spirit of having some damn respect for themselves and others, the women of spelman college (atlanta, ga.) recently protested a scheduled visit to the campus by nelly. apparently the emcee intended on coming in order to fundraise for his organization that helps kids get bone marrow transplants (4sho4kids) that he started because his sister (yeah, he has a sister) needed one. nelly, upon hearing about potential acrimonious interactions with the student body (no pun intended...well, maybe it is), decided not to show.
as a result, there was a meeting held on spelman's campus in response to this clip, as well as the overall denigration of women in music videos. responses ranged from 'it's not like they forced her to do it,' from a morehouse student (is anyone surprised?), to these rappers need to be more responsible. BET, of course, refuses to not air the video, or cancel the show. a rep from the company implied that the show was just a little too popular to do that. not like i expected anything different from the channel that brought us cita.
i applaud the women of spelman for deciding to protest nelly's visit despite the fact that this particular visit was inspired by good. further, they gave me an opportunity to reflect:
1) what the hell makes you agree to have a credit card swiped down your ass?
2) what the hell makes you think to swipe a credit card down somebody else's ass?
3) sure, they didn't make her do it, but that argument is so old. that doesn't abdicate nelly, or the producers, or the directors, or BET, or anyone else even remotely involved for objectifying women. when she was younger, my little sister probably would've let me push her down the laundry chute, and i wouldn't even have had to pay her. that doesn't mean i should've done it.
4) ladies in these videos: having a credit card swiped down your ass is not going to lead you into acting. sure, they call you video models on mtv, but in reality, most of us call you, ahem, video hoes. i'm not saying calling you this is okay, but don't give mofos reasons to denigrate you.
5) just because we didn't see your face (did we?) doesn't mean it's okay to do things one wouldn't normally do. hell, i don't think my mama could pick my ass out of a line-up, but you best believe i'm not going to do something so embarrassing that my only available excuse is, 'it's not like they knew it was me.'
6) sure, if you didn't somebody else probably woulda. but did you ever consider the idea that if all of you didn't, these rappers and video directors would have to try something different, like say um, being creative? don't help perpetrators perpetrate.
7) how much did you get paid? objectifying yourself for less than 10K is stupid. have you no shame?
8) number 7 was a joke.
that is all.
language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison