Last week, I published an article in defense of Amber Rose, that was *mostly* met with positivity. But chief among the criticisms were two prevailing thoughts: (1) that she wasn’t even Black, and/or (2), she’s unarguably a ho.
To the first point: I don’t want to get into the delicacy of identity politics, especially in relation to Amber. There’s already a wealth of dope analysis about her Blackness and how it’s perceived. Also, notice how I said “Black” and not African American. She’s acknowledged that she is part Cape Verdean; that her heritage stems from that small island off the coast of West Africa where the Portuguese brought African slaves for hundreds of years. But whatevs.
To the second point: I received a number of emails about how she’s still a ho, no matter how concrete my analysis was. I sensed anger in these remarks; how dare I, a Black feminist, fail to acknowledge a ho when I saw one.
But I don’t consider her, or any woman, a ho. That’s not where my mind goes when I see a woman, especially a Black woman, ensconced in some form of sexual imagery or activity. Perhaps its my commitment to female empowerment over degradation, or my personal disgust with patriarchal policing. But ho doesn’t enter my vocabulary when I see a woman expressing herself sexually.
This isn’t to say I’m not aware or disheartened by female sexual exploitation masking under the guise of female sexual liberation. In my piece about Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” photo, I was critical of people who considered her actions a hallmark of feminism. I disagreed passionately — that photo was less about promoting feminist ideals than it was explicit corporate puppeteering. But I didn’t call her a “ho,” and was (and still am) solidly against the ruthless slut shaming that followed.
But since some of ya’ll insist on calling women — especially Black women — who exhibit sexual inclinations “hoes,” I decided to write an authoritative list of the different forms ya’ll seem to think hoes take. You’re welcome.
Born in an environment lacking privilege, the “Ghetto Ho” learned quickly that her sexual identity is the one thing she has control and ownership over. Lacking adequate access to health care, education, nutrition, and housing, she uses her body as a means of survival. And society stigmatizes her because of it.
Considered ugly by those around her, the Ugly Ho begins to embrace the patriarchal standard of judging women solely on their looks and not their merit. Her looks do not conform to the Eurocentric standard of beauty, and those around her — trapped in mental slavery — think this a bad thing.Desperate for respect and acceptance and ravaged by low self esteem, she begins to act out sexually. And those around her punish her for their actions that led her to such a lifestyle to begin with.
The “Tell-All Ho” has a decorated history of sleeping with powerful men. Seeing how these men make obscene profit off their flagrant sexual indiscretions, the Tell-All Ho does the same. And the world punishes her, despite the ironic double standard.
The Come-Up Ho
Desperately craving the fiction of fame, the Come-Up Ho sells her sexual soul for 15 minutes of fame. You can usually find her on reality television. She is mercilessly slut-shamed. The public no longer sees her as a human being or a victim of a suffocating society that relies on consumerism. To the public, she is a fictionalized myth divorced from a personal identity and unworthy of consideration.
The “I-Don’t-Give-A-Fucks-Ho” doesn’t care what you think about her sexuality and what she chooses to do with it. Usually protected by class privilege, she profits off her her sexual identity. Her public sexual quality is up for debate, but regardless, she doesn’t care what you think about her sexual proclivities no way.
The Turn-Up Ho
She’s in the club. Maybe she’s scantily-clad. But when her song comes on, she’s twerking. She’s grinding. She’s having a GREAT time. And she ain’t thinking about you at all. You know nothing about her; maybe she works 9 to 5, and her weekend turn-up is her release. But you create her life story in order to fulfull your need to judge a woman that’s doing her. To you, she’s a ho because you’re uncomfortable with a woman who’s turnt up in public.
She’s the type to judge others for doing the same things she’s doing. Marred in self-hate, she projects her personal disappointment unto other woman, while playing into the patriarchal society that leaves her trapped in oppression. She needs love. Real, nonjudgmental love.
You don’t know her. But she’s a ho because you said she is. Maybe it’s because of how she’s dressed, or that she hangs out with the very men you want to sleep with. Perhaps her supreme confidence causes you envy. But with whatever flawed reasoning you maintain, she’s a ho. Plain and simple.
There — I served your patriarchal need to qualify the complex sexuality of woman. Replete with contextual comprehension of socioeconomic markers, you can at least sound intelligent while you devalue woman.
*Feature Image Credit: www.icelebritieshub.com