(Serena Williams at the 2011 ESPY awards...killing em!)
I was having a conversation with a guy once. A guy I found to be smart, attractive, funny and accomplished. A guy I thought as this model of a man....he was and is a good friend.
We were having a good conversation so...I decided to pick his brain about what kind of woman he liked. In the past I knew he dated sort of a "type" of woman: models, actresses, airline stewardesses, singers/entertainers. I think there may have even been a stripper or something thrown in there. At any rate, I knew he had a type. But I also knew he seemed to have some sort of "interest" in me. Not sure what...but I'd like to know how I even fit this strange mix.
So I asked him.."So what's your type?" He goes.."I dont have a type. I mean..everyone says I date the VH1 Model types..but I don't have a type. I just like p**y".
Ok. Is this the part where I should be flattered or concerned?? My inner "Michele Wallace/bell hooks" raised its point antennas to make me aware somehow. I felt numbed. I wasn't sure if he meant that in a non-descript way or in a generic way. I wasn't sure if he meant to say it as to say "Oh no worries...you have what it takes...you have a pu**y".
I instantly felt compartmentalized. Like I was the sum of my vagina or something: what it can do, what it can provide. That the rest of a woman. The Intellect? Humor? Kindness? was something that was put on the back burner.
What happened to simply saying "I like all types of women". That I would have been ok with. I also understand that we are a visual creature. I understand that too. But to say "I like p**sy" is to strip a woman of the very essence of who she is and to say she is just the sum of her parts.
I instantly felt all of my limited Marxist theory reading come to the foreground of my brain: "A woman is not a woman. She is just what she can produce. She is her vagina. And what her vagina can produce is orgasms. That is all that is important in the male "consumer" sexual economy. My vagina has more value than the worker whose vagina it is. My vagina has become Marx's coat"
So here I was...just hearing this man say "I like p**y". I was able to internalize and recognize my feelings. I was both stunned and appalled. I was thinking "Here's a guy with intellect...sensibilities.." when in fact he is just a guy...a guy whose animalistic base...his primal brain...had taken over with regards to women. Was the value in my "work" and worth my p**y?
What woman wants to be the sum of her vagina? I am thinking none. Not even a prostitute. Even they, too, want to be valued as human beings. And their vagina at least has a pricetag. And I most certainly didn't want to be "someone's p**y". Or "just some new p**y" or just that "good p**y". I want to be "someone's woman"...someone's "new good woman"....someone's "new girlfriend". I don't want to be part of the old adage "What's better than old p**y? New p**y". I don't wanna be "new p**y". or "old p***y" I don't wanna be " p**y" at all. I want to be more than that.
Where do we go from here?
I don't think anywhere....not until the language surrounding women changes. If it's not "that p**y" then a woman becomes "That b*TCH"....if not "That b*tch..." then she is "That hoe"....and on and on until she is simply less and less valued....less and less a woman...and more and more the "sum of her parts".. or simply the "parts of her parts"
Dude can keep on liking ""p**sy". He can call me when he starts liking "women"