Monday, April 03, 2006

Think the Alleged Rapists at Duke Bought into the “Oversexed Black Woman” Image?

Thanks AREA25 for sending me this and the preceding article.

Commentary: Think the Alleged Rapists at Duke Bought
into the “Oversexed Black Woman” Image?
By: Gregory Kane, Date: Thursday,
March 30, 2006

Were these a bunch of white guys looking for a
real-life ‘make me feel good’ moment from a black

Consider this Part Two of last week’s column, in which
I suggested that it’s high time black folks pull
Hollywood filmmakers up for their persistence in
perpetuating the oversexed black woman stereotype. I
suspected when I wrote the piece that such
stereotyping might have some extremely bad real-life

Now, courtesy of Duke University’s lacrosse team, we
all know how bad.

At least three members of Duke’s lacrosse team have
been accused of raping, beating and attempting to
strangle a black dancer at a party on March 13. The
woman is also a student at North Carolina Central

According to several news stories, the players invited
two women to dance at the party, in which underage
drinking figured prominently (Booze isn’t called
“ignorant oil” for nothing.). The alleged victim and
another black woman went to dance at what they thought
was a bachelor party for five men. The two left after
they saw “dozens” of men and the party took a rowdy
turn, but one player apologized and convinced them to

It was after the women returned that the victim
alleges three players dragged her into a bathroom and
raped and sodomized her. Forty-six of the 47 members
of Duke’s lacrosse team submitted DNA samples to
police. The 47th player is the lone black member of
the team, who didn’t fit the description of the

Joe Alleva, the athletic director at Duke, said the
players deny all the charges. Even if that’s true,
this incident presents all sorts of disturbing

Why did a bunch of white guys feel it was necessary to
hire two black exotic dancers for their booze-a-thon?
I’m sure there are white exotic dancers in Durham,
N.C. Did these guys watch “Monster’s Ball” and
overdose on Halle Berry’s “make me feel good” moment
once too often?

Let’s assume they simply hired two female exotic
dancers and didn’t know the race of either until they
arrived at the party. How, then, do we account for
the women being subjected to racial slurs, as one told
the Raleigh News and Observer last week?

This was clearly a case in which, at best, a bunch of
white guys deliberately set out to degrade and demean
two black women. And black folks should be justifiably

Now here’s the hardest question of all: Don’t some
black men degrade and demean black women just as much
as those Duke lacrosse players allegedly did?

You know the ones I’m talking about. Some rappers and
their endless stream of videos depicting black women
doing exactly what the exotic dancers at that party
near the campus of Duke University were doing: Shaking
it fast and dropping it like it was hot. And the irony
is we¹re usually seeing a bunch of rappers who look
like they got beat down with both ends of the ugly
stick surrounded by gorgeous women.

Perhaps the most notorious of those videos is Nelly’s
“Tip Drill.” When Nelly was invited to Spelman College
a while back, some sisters there felt compelled to
uninvite him. They didn’t appreciate that “Tip Drill”
video. Change the race of the guys in Nelly’s “Tip
Drill” video from black to white, and you’d probably
have a scene similar to what went on at that party,
given the best-case scenario in which no rape

Nelly’s defense of “Tip Drill” is that the video was
entertainment. The sisters at Spelman would probably
tell him that’s not the point. What is the point is
that the nearly butt-naked, scandalous hoochies
depicted in “Tip Drill” aren’t who most black women

Black women are the ones graduating from college more
frequently than black men. If those black women happen
to be enrolled at Vanderbilt University in Nashville,
Tenn., then they’re also the group on that campus with
the highest grade point average.

Black women are the ones earning, on average, more
than their white female counterparts with comparable
educations. In Baltimore, black women are the ones who
hold three of the city’s top four elective offices.

Black women are doctors, lawyers, engineers, judges,
entrepreneurs, journalists, editors, legislators and
administrators. It’s time Hollywood got that. It’s
time those horny booze hounds otherwise known as Duke
University’s lacrosse team got that.

And it’s time black men got that.


At 11:17 PM, Blogger Naro% said...

Where is the "Drop Squad" when you need it most?

At 9:39 PM, Blogger hysterical blackness said...

Ah, the drop squad. I've often wished for them.

At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you !!! mainstream Hip Hop is at at fault for always showing black women as oversexed. Funny thing is that is exactly how black men are viewed in this country. I guess they fell they must do the same to black women

At 5:15 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I went to see "Massa's Balls" - uh, I mean "Monster's Ball" when it was in the theaters (what can I say? I was proud of Halle...then), and the comments that were being made during that (long and dull) scene were enough to turn me off the thought of dating white men for the rest of my life. Crappy thing to say, I know, but it's true. I'm not talking about a couple of college frat boys in the front row, either. When I say a LOT of comments being yelled out by a LOT of men, that's what I mean. Don't be fooled into blaming it on hip-hop. It's been this way for at least 400 years by my count. It's not fair to ask "don't black men thus and so", because truth be told, no one respects black women, including other black women. White men started it, and black men hopped aboard.

And if you're expecting Hollywood to start representing us right, don't hold your breath. As long as Halle Berry is still alive and Mo'Nique keeps getting work, we've got at LEAST ten more years of crappy representation to go.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

i don't agree that mainstream hip hop is solely at fault for this image of black women (as the anonymous poster stated). i think it is a collection of things that can be traced back to (shhh) slavery. black women have always been viewed in boxes: tragic mulatto, mammy, oversexed, or asexual (we all knows these). i think rap music is an easy target because it is now pop music & the misogyny that exists within it is blatant, but it is mere a product of the larger view of how America & other patriarchal racists societies view colored women.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Dkelsmith said...

If this does indeed turn out to be a false accusation, what will you all say then?

At 4:53 AM, Blogger Little Mama Dukes said...

Let's put the blame where the blame should be put in the hands of the prepetrators - The White Boys. I am tired of the African American Community slaughtering themselves. Now rappers and Nellie put the images out there and made the white boys rape black women. Poppycock! White men have raping and busting down cabin doors for how long.

And, the brother that wrote the article isn't any better than the white boys or the rappers or nellie at this time. In print and in media insult Halle Berry for the artistic choice which she made.

As an African American sometimes I just want to say merci about the things in which we say regarding our people and community.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger Black Ambition said...

Excellent post. Thanks for posting this!

At 1:21 AM, Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

if it's false that doesn't negate the fact that they specifically asked for a black stripper because they would feel more comfortable calling her names, etc..because that's what they feel black women are used to.

the fact that we are STILL seen as hyper-sexual women has remains. you can turn on any TV for that.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous didi said...

I think we're going to have to look to other forms of media to find positive or at least balanced representation of black women. We're not finding it on the big screen or the little screen but we can find interesting representation in books. Hurston, Walker, Butler, Morrison et al., have created varied and multi-faceted black women characters that we can identify with and look up to. Until we can afford to build a network that's devoted to representing black men and women in a more balanced way, we need to look to other media (blogs, podcasts, vidcasts, etc.) and create new forms of expression and representation


Post a Comment

<< Home