As confusion as to which century we’re in continues to mount, DJ Khaled’s recent comments on a radio interview about not feeling obliged to give the mother of his child head because he pays the bills harkens back to The Sopranos. Because everything always does. With DJ Khaled blissfully oblivious to the fact that he’s about to overtake Kanye West’s “slavery was a choice” headlines, he comments without even the slightest impression of a second thought, “I believe a woman should praise the man, you know. The king. If you holdin’ it down for your woman, I feel like the woman should praise…and the man should praise the queen–but you know, my way of praising…hahaha…it’s called ‘How was dinner? You like the house you livin’ in? You like all the clothes you gettin’? I’m takin’ care of your family, takin’ care of my family–you know, puttin’ in the work.” One of the hosts of The Breakfast Club on NYC’s Power 105 then summed up, “So you’re sayin’ you don’t go down.” DJ Khaled flatly returns, “Naaaaa. Never.”
For those of you who have still somehow never seen The Sopranos (go start watching it now because it remains forever relevant), this mentality is directly helmed from mafia dons and members in general and Tony Soprano in particular. As the capo of the DiMeo crime family, Tony still technically cedes the best title to his uncle, Corrado Soprano, a man who actually calls very few of the shots. The lack of respect Tony feels for him is further augmented when he hears rumors about Corrado’s current girlfriend, who has talked up his generous oral sex abilities in the bedroom to other women. And, of course, when Corrado finds out that people are talking, he scolds his girlfriend for telling others, explaining to her that it’s a sign of weakness for a man to give a woman pleasure in this way. DJ Khaled, who also apparently sees himself as a mafia don despite the fact that the only way in which he resembles one is in girth (not of the penis kind, mind you), adds to his grave-digging interview, “You gotta understand I’m the don, I’m the king… It’s different rules for men. You gotta understand you know, like, we the king. There’s some things that y’all might not wanna do–it gotta get done. I just can’t do what you want me to do.” Shit, even Tony gave Carmela head once a year for her birthday (an occasion Angela Yee also brings up to Khaled as an important time to make a concession about one’s usual misogyny). And even Ricky Ricardo probably had more evolved views about how to treat his wife (especially considering Lucy held the key to his secured American citizenship. No one was gonna give him a work visa for “Babalu.”). In any case, one supposes Khaled’s “queen,” Nicole Tuck, might be getting some terrible head pretty soon as a result of this backlash. Meanwhile, Rihanna male alliances continue to prove fatal. Because diamonds are nothin’ when you’re not getting head from the person bestowing them upon you.
There are some “men” who simply can’t get “it” (it being their painted cherub of the Renaissance-sized dick) up without a girl spinning him some yarn about how she’s bad…naughty. These two vocab words in particular, which saw their emergence around the time of the Mae West era, when bad girls as a concept first became a source of mainstream titillation, have always been staples in assuring a “man’s” arousal. Particularly because so many of them continue to suffer from the Madonna/whore complex, even in these times touted as those of feminism. The inability to separate bad from good–that the two must be compartmentalized–is, indeed, often what prompts “men” to cheat with the so-called bad girls who can get them off more easily than their “virtuous” girlfriends. But as Mae West said, “There are no good girls gone wrong, just bad girls found out.”
And with “men” being so predictable as they are about what trigger sentences and words will prompt them to get what is becoming that evermore elusive thing called an erection, the faux good girls know just what to say to unravel the layers seductively to their “badness,” which of course was already there considering “men” think any woman who admits to having a period is bad–but if she rehashes a lesbian camp story from junior high, well, that kind of bad is acceptable. What it all amounts to is that “men” are, if nothing else, at least useful in their manipulability. That’s why Mata Hari, former exotic dancer extraordinaire was so successful before being painted as a conniving seductress of a spy, though proof of her crimes in carrying out espionage for the Germans was largely unsubstantiated. But that didn’t matter. Any woman who would take her clothes off in public had to be a bad girl–and that’s when manipulation of “men” can backfire, for they can always wield their ultimate no frills power when they’ve been “wronged” (a.k.a. shamed and exposed for the fools they are), whereas a bad girl only has her subtle and undercutting control until it’s ripped from her with the single wave of a hand and sanction of an execution. The most modern example, perhaps, being Pussy Riot’s near two year jail sentence for speaking negatively about Putin while singing a punk prayer in front of Moscow’s main cathedral. Or, one could argue, even Stormy Daniels, another bad girl who was at first enjoyed for her “badness” and is now being defamed by a deranged white “man” who still somehow has more clout despite being objectively unhinged.
There is no easier way to infiltrate a woman’s mind and heart than through the words a “man” says. Words. So pretty and meaningless, evidently. Yet, it seems, we will never learn our lesson. That a “man’s” verbal prose style is, more often than not, just that: stylized. A means to the end called one or several of your orifices. He has a knack for the passion requisite of all Italians all the time at the outset, saying such things as, “I can’t imagine being with anyone else” or “You’re not like anyone else I’ve ever met.” He’ll talk about the future as though it were so secure, like he isn’t going to drop you at the first sign of something better, chasing the butterfly called other people’s pussies whenever the mood should strike him. And the mood will strike him, for it strikes them all at some point or another, while the going is still good, as it were. While he’s not just another gross old “man” with no money to offer as a tantalization to a younger woman.
The bathetic spoutings, however, will soon start to taper off in favor of a more marked aloofness. One that you’ll try to penetrate and de-layer so as to find that core that once so freely cascaded words characterized by Shakespearean ardor. Where did that “man” go? Did he ever exist at all? For all the words that you thought once comprised him and his feelings toward you have vanished. No longer correlating in any way, shape or form with his actions, which, as usual, always speak more loudly than any heavy-handed proclamations. The ones that falsely assured you of your place in the heart that he doesn’t actually have.
While the art of leering is at its most finely tuned in Southern Italy, there are still plenty of masterful leerers in the town of North Brooklyn. Though, these days, it’s more South BK, as all sexuality has been stamped out of most of the thin, pale, computer worker types that can afford to live in the former locale. Despite some arguing that leering can’t be helped, is merely an inescapable part of that natural and uncontrollable thing called the male pituitary gland, there is always the option for self-control. Lest one prefers to risk having his eyes plucked out (in the manner of Beatrix Kiddo to Elle Driver) for gawking a little too obviously at the wrong woman. Crazier things have happened, after all. Just look at the U.S.’ current “president.”
One can perhaps understand a quick glance as a show of appreciation for the superiority and magnificence of the female form, sure–maybe. One supposes that’s fine. He can’t help it that he still has a healthy imagination regarding how to mentally undress a woman in spite of having enough stock footage of porn in his head to cause even the most robust in bandwidth of databases to short circuit. But after a certain number of seconds, it gets really fucking creepy. More to the point, rapey. Like, how hard is it to remember your mother’s presumable cautioning about how it’s impolite to stare? For she, too, was probably a victim of the eerie and disgusting practice of being ogled by a “man” in her day. Little did she know she was also going to create one, add another perv to an already googly eye-filled planet. The problem of leering is so rampant, in fact, that “men” had to come up with an actual religion that forces women to cover themselves with burkas as a chief tenet of its practice. The real reason, of course? To keep from leering so intently that it leads to losing all control and simply whipping out one’s “penis” and attacking. Because no good can from a “man” who is allowed to leer for too long, which is why women must practically run past a group of them as she walks down the street, be it in East Harlem or Napoli. Just like staring at the sun too long, a woman who allows herself to be looked at for too lengthy a period will get burned in some way or another. This, again, just makes Beatrix Kiddo’s eye-plucking method seem all the more viable.
Picasso, Gaugin, Matisse. “Men” are so good at painting. False portraits. One of their favorites on the list of greatest hits called Duping a Woman is creating the illusion of a magical first (and maybe even second and third) outing together that is pretty much a replica of Javier Bardem’s sauverie in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Depictions of eating decadent food (though not so much so as to be too full to fuck), drinking “expensive” wine (though what he views as expensive might not align with your perspective) and talking about “life and love”–whatever the fuck that means–will take the average woman for a ride. Even if she’s already been through the wringer of being made a fool of once or countless times before, she can’t help herself. Believing “men’s” lies is, in part, how women survive, persist in helping the patriarchy perpetuate the false notion that there is such a thing as happily ever after.
So she wavers, lets the falsely painted portrait appeal to her apparently dull senses. For, in truth, there is no imagination to the skeevy date agendas of “men,” the last of the “straight” ones of which will only get creative in how they can make a splash with their “penis” for the purposes of spending as little time and money on the endeavor as possible–ergo the thickness with which they will slather on the ephemeral charm. But, even Vicky (Rebecca Hall)–fortress-like pragmatist that she is–can fall victim to the full-on Monet (oops, mixing movie analogies here) that is a “man’s” presentation of how things will be, with the asterisk’d caveat that it can only be so for a maximum of no more than three to five fucks’ worth of “romance sessions.”
“Men” aren’t very agile, least of all in the emotional realm. The only thing they’ve really (theoretically) got going for them is some physical prowess. The kind that would enable them to do a backflip with the same zeal and amorous-inspired gusto of Andy Bell in the video for “Always” (which you should really watch in its entirety below so as to perhaps one day be able to simulate a feeling for another). And yet, you never see “men” doing backflips for women, do you? Neither metaphorically nor literally.
As Bell at first descends upon the Kill Bill Vol 1.-like Japanese snow garden, the object of his affection is frozen in more ways than one, impervious to the charms of his ardor. That all changes when, just as Bell sings, “Always, I want to be with you/To make believe with you, and live in harmony, harmony,” he miraculously brings forth the spring weather that will unlock the heart of this naturally Asian woman (you know how white “guys” are). While petals fall from the sky and at the sight of her very slight movement, Bell is suddenly overcome with joy, feeling inclined to do cartwheels and flips that express just how elated he is that she exists. All at once, he’s bringing her flowers, levitating and brushing her hair gingerly. It truly is a series of scenes so unbelievable that we can only process it as camp of a bygone period that can never be re-created again.
But wait, what would a love story of a bygone period be without a villainous knave coming to interrupt the peaceful love nest built by the enbubbled couple? Which is precisely why a dark force enters the garden and tries to bring back the winter. But no, Andy Bell won’t have that. He will protect his love at all costs. He doesn’t do anymore backflips, but he does conclude with another hair brushing session. In real life, this would either be creepy or meant that you had a latently gay “boy”friend (somewhat hypocritically, Bell once commented, “I won’t portray a heterosexual in videos and we’re consciously doing lyrics that could apply to either sex.” That rule definitely didn’t apply here–maybe that’s why he had to flee the scene in the end, acknowledging that he had to take his love elsewhere, possibly to another “man”). Somehow when Andy Bell engages in this over the top behavior though, it makes you see how lacking all your past relationships have been. As the narrative draws to a close, however, it does appear that he’s levitating away from the garden, likely having gotten his fill of the same woman and opting to do backflips in someone else’s garden, if you catch my meaning.
So many “men” can’t help but possess a congenital and unshakeable Peter Pan Syndrome–one that they tend only to cling to all the more as they get older. For the further away they get from youth, the further away they get from having a viable excuse to be such a fuck-up. An “average” if you will. In this fashion, anytime the discovery of a “vintage” photo (vintage, meaning, in this case of “male,” 1990s) comes along–usually by the subject’s over fawning mother, largely responsible for this hollow excuse of a being–a “boy” seizes upon it as an opportunity to show his fake friends throughout various channels demanding a profile picture that, yes, he was once a pure spirit. Not the diabolical knave you see before you today–or rather “see before you” on the internet.
In general, the sort of “man” that gives us a childhood profile photo will keep it there for quite some time (unless, of course, a novelty photo materializes from Vegas to up the appearance of his so-called game–for some reason, every “man” seems to actually want to look like a fuck”boy”). So that we may always understand the exact proportions of his dick–for it has never expanded its dimensions beyond preadolescence. But isn’t he just so fucking cute and forgivable in zygote form?
There’s a lot of “freaks” out there. It was the basis of an entire Sex and the City episode, for fuck’s sake (season two, episode three–“The Freak Show”–you should watch it, even though it’s really hard to be reminded of New York when it wasn’t so flaccid). But most of them are freaks not because they would have served well as extras in Tod Browning’s film of the same name, but because they actually have the gumption to sell themselves in this manner, parading themselves as “open,” “progressive” and hippy dippy or what have you when, in actuality, at the end of the day all they want is a muhfukkin basique. A non-Katie (a.k.a. complicato), like all the rest.
Yet possibly due to a typically youthful desire to seem rebellious and/or original (unfortunately youth extends interminably in most “men’s” “minds” these days), the faux freak “male” likes to feign that he’s as kooky and creepy as any sideshow attraction. This often translates into making a lot of random sounds, pretending to take an interest in off-brand bedroom behavior (when really, missionary is always his go-to in between the usual lackadaisical request for up the ass) and, for a time, seeking to pair with a girl who is as equitably 1950s queer as he is. However, every faux freak of a “man” grows tired of the charade with the girl who is genuinely a weirdo, ultimately taking his circus tent to a new metaphorical town (read: vagina) to perform another private show (as Britney Spears would call it), one that will enrapture a more basique element in the end, for that is what he truly wants–to be the so-called “special” one of the relationship.
As the “feminist” “movement” increasingly becomes the sort of fad that prompts Urban Outfitters to sell t-shirts with the three syllable word on it, “men’s” commonly held notions about what one should look like (chiefly a short-coiffed, homely, ill-dressed, long armpit-haired being) ought to evolve quickly if they don’t want to further incriminate themselves to the world about just what narrow-minded pieces of shit they are.
This false perception “men” have of only “ugly” women being capable of rage and contempt for the centuries-long acceptance of female oppression probably wasn’t helped by our Lord and Savior, Valerie Solanas. Then again, most “straight” “men” have nary a clue who that is unless they happened to catch a certain episode of American Horror Story: Cult. What’s more, when the type of dickless “men” I’m referring to think “ugly,” it is in the manner that has so often prompted the Hollywood trope of a woman getting a makeover by the simple removal of her glasses and the addition of a form-fitting dress to her wardrobe.
And yet, it’s actually easier for “men” to position a feminist to themselves in this manner–the manner that assumes she wouldn’t be a feminist if she was pretty enough to finagle herself a “man.” Comforts them in the belief that it’s merely a “trend” that will pass more attractive women by after enough time has lapsed and some more liberal celebrity takes the presidential office.
John Michael McDonagh’s 2016 film, War on Everyone, oft memed, rarely watched, paints this issue most succinctly when Alexander Skarsgård in the role of Terry Monroe daftly asks, “Can you be a feminist and still wear hot pants?” The guilelessness of this question gives a genuine insight into how most “men” think, persisting in truly believing that to be hideous is to be a feminist–in their minds, still a synonym for harpy. That is, if such an age-old insult is even in their Newspeak vernacular. So to break down the answer to that query very simply: you can be a feminist and wear whatever the fuck you want. Even the polar opposite wardrobe piece, a burka–which packs even more power because it hides the only thing “men” care about in a woman: her body.
Because a “man” cannot get away with the expression of such blatant disapproval–least of all for women–these days, he must be more undercutting in the ways he chooses to connote derision or malcontentment. Thank god or whoever, then, that he has sometime ago now been bequeathed with the option to use the “gentle” term “Smh” as a means to let a girl know that she’s nothing more than a little dodo bird. To make her aware of, frankly, how much condescension she deserves while also maintaining the illusion of not being totally undermining in his utterance of criticism.
Yet the most upsetting part about the use of “Smh” isn’t that a “man” can’t just be straightforward with his ire, but that he also can’t even be bothered to show the woman he’s “s-ing his h” at the amount of care it would take to actually move his head from side to side. Like the girl he disapproves of isn’t even worth that much physical exhaustion. So not only has “Smh” allowed “men” to maintain their thinly veiled contempt for most and all things pertaining to female behavior, it’s also afforded them the luxury of being even lazier pieces of shit.