A Walk Of Life, In Glass Slippers And Broken Shoes

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[On Sexuality]


It pisses me off when I read about how Black and Hispanic women “disrespect themselves” by sleeping with numerous men, but when I watch reruns of the hit TV show “Sex in the City”, it is openly admired for white women to be adventurous with their sexuality.

And I wholeheartedly agree, that as women in general, we are always evolving with each new experience yet regardless of our different races or economic backgrounds, we are all either sexually curious or sexually frustrated. It’s only natural.

Therefore, my question and debate is: Why should one type of female feel pressured into repressing her desires yet another type is encouraged to explore them?

When J.Lo divorced her second husband, Chris Judd, and then moved on with Ben Affleck, countless Latina’s were furious with Jennifer Lopez’s personal life. Some even referred to her as J.Ho, commenting that as a Hispanic role model, she was “making us” look bad due to her multiple relationships.

I question: does one person actually have that much power to represent an entire culture? Or, as women, are we ashamed of how men perceive us? I’m also Puerto Rican myself.

But then I thought about Elizabeth Taylor, and how she’s been married at least seven or eight times, which is double than J.Lo, yet till this day the public refers to Elizabeth Taylor as a legend and yet a good portion of Hispanic women trash Lopez.

I don’t see men trashing Jay-Z for coming out with tracks such as “Big Pimpin” or R. Kelly for singing lyrics about stealing away a man’s girl in his hit single “Flirt”. Although, when Marc Anthony left his ex-wife Dayanara Torres, former Miss Universe, for Jennifer Lopez, she was called a “home wrecker”.

I suppose it’s a sign of high regard for a man to steal another man’s woman but for a woman to nab a man, it’s shameful. However, the rules changed when Angelina Jolie stole Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston. People said, “Oh, but Brad Pitt wanted kids and so did Angelina; Jennifer didn’t, and besides, Angelina’s so beautiful! All she had to do was say, ‘Come to me’”.

I hardly heard any excuses for Lopez. It was just “Oh, she did it again. Another victim. I wonder how long this one will last?” Although, now that Jennifer Lopez is pregnant with twins by Marc Anthony, the public seems to have softened up a bit.

In addition to Latina’s, Oprah had a show on the topic of racism, and they touched on the issue of “Video Hoes” in 2007, where Russell Simmons said that the real problem is deeper than just how rappers refer to women as bitches and hoes in the hip hop community. That

it also had to do with the conditions of living in which they come from and where they collect their information; they tell true stories through their rap lyrics.

And Oprah’s reply was, “Well do we have to fix the problem of poverty before we can fix the problem of how we treat each other?” Now let’s take this even further into history, back when slaves were beaten and given names such as “nigger” to replace their actual birth name.

It seems that the physical and mental abuse has been passed down from generation to generation and has even entered the new millennium. Will it continue? That instead of calling a woman by her name, she is called a “hoe” or a “bitch” and that it is justified by her so called “un-lady like” behavior? It seems women have a lot to live up to. A lot is expected of them and if they don’t meet those standards than they fall into the negative category of an outcast, which is frowned upon.

Everyone knows the difference between “A Wifey” and “A Hoe”, or in other terms, “The Wife” and “The Mistress”, but then again, do we really?

To be married is every ladies fantasy embedded in their heads since childhood. Therefore, the majority of women will anticipate this day. So many will play the “Good Girl” role because no man wants to wife up a hoe!  Although, many educated men know that females experiment in their early College years up into their mid-twenties or even mid-thirties, so many won’t hold it against them.

They understand that sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t, therefore a woman’s past is just her past. But within the poorer class, many females have children before they even make it to College, which pushes them into that “Wifey/Good Girl” role a lot sooner because of that enormous responsibility.

And if they don’t have kids by the time they reach 25, then she’s considered rare, although chances are she should still be in a seriously committed relationship.

However, if she’s been single for a few years – dating and mingling – she may be criticized for being promiscuous. Father’s, uncles and brother’s warn their female relatives of getting a bad reputation—such as a mistress to someone who might already be involved but not being honest about it—because they know how men think and act, causing minority women to choose between settling down at an early age or risk being a free spirit who sleeps around and gets called a hoe.

One 26 year-old Latin American woman who will remain nameless has three children by her boyfriend of 10 years and she’s said, “I’m tired of people asking me, ‘Is he really the father of all three of your kids? And you’re still with him?’ If I was a white woman, that question wouldn’t come up half as much.”

In T.V. shows such as “Sex in the City” (which represent the American dream) the main characters are career women who don’t face the same kinds of troubles that most minorities do or have in the recent “past”, like from the 1960’s until the 1990’s when many minorities were just arriving here from their native islands and learning English as a second language or just getting used to their equal rights after the Black and White racial segregation laws.

Those issues didn’t get resolved over night, and so many women of this generation are still feeling the social pressures from their families who still believe that they should marry before they’re 25 or stick within their own culture, or even remain a “virgin” before marriage because of their religious faith that intertwines with their heritage.

Although poverty, culture and religion is a universal issue, the ladies who are encouraged to explore their sexual independence usually have financial security, an open and supportive family, and don’t have the responsibility of children.

Some of these women even study abroad, leaving the country for months and even years. Their families support their willingness to fly without fear, in making their own choices in love and career, even if they make a few mistakes, they bail them out and love them despite any hardships; if anything, they love them even more.

It is almost like we are talking about women from two separate worlds. And perhaps we are. And maybe one world has more room for play, yet the other world is still struggling to catch up, where their curiosity and sense of adventure is limited and suppressed - last on the priority list.

However, regardless of whether or not a woman has leisure time to date and get to know someone or not, she’s still going to want to cuddle, kiss and feel the warmth of a man’s embrace. How can one deny that feeling when it is at the very essence and core of us all? Can we control it, or does it control us? I did hear once, that sex is power.


Okay, so who cares about race, class, religion or culture? The real issue here is WOMEN! I am simply suggesting, that females should not feel bad, guilty or less of a human being for going with the flow. There’s no reason why a woman should have to stop an action that feels right to her just because of some social standard. And if for some reason, she did make a few mistakes, such as choosing the wrong men, her past shouldn’t repeatedly haunt her by other people’s criticisms.

“Confessions of a Video Vixen” written by Karrine Steffans, (HarperCollins Publishers) is an autobiography about an aspiring interracial actress who slept around in the music entertainment industry.

She described her numerous affairs with celebrity rappers such as Ja Rule, P.Diddy and Jay-Z, and in the midst of her book signings, many people degraded her for promoting her intimate affairs in public. Yet an elderly white author named Gael Greene read excerpts from her latest memoir entitled “Insatiable: Tales from A Life of Delicious Excess” (Warner Books) at a popular book reading event called “In The Flesh Reading Series” held every 3rd Thursday of every month at The Happy Ending Lounge in Manhattan, where she described one evening in particular where she was with the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, on the 24th floor of a hotel stripping naked together.

The crowd applauded this spunky lady for sharing her hot n’ steamy youthful years without an ounce of shame or embarrassment. In the same scene, she expressed how she could hear women shouting, “We want Elvis! We want Elvis!” from behind the door, and of course she was the lucky girl to have him, in addition to later having the famous actor, Clint Eastwood, too.

This is when the crowd really encouraged her to continue kissing and telling, and while I admired her bold confidence and aura of excitement, I couldn’t help but compare the similar journeys that both authors Karrine Steffans and Gael Greene had to travel in a male-dominated industry, and yet it’s as if one of them walked in broken shoes and the other in glass slipper’s.

And never mind the transition of decades, because even as we flourish into the millennium, one woman is perceived as a daring diva, the other as a gold digging hoe, and yet they both slept with prestigious men and flaunted it. So where’s the real difference?

Could this possibly be then, an issue of class instead of race? Where as, if a rich woman sleeps with a rich man, it’s viewed upon as her having a healthy sexual appetite but if a poor woman sleeps with a rich man, than the suspicion heightens for other hidden motives?

Like in the Latin American movie entitled “I Like It Like That” directed by Darnell Martin (Columbia Pictures 1994), the main character, Lisette, was sleeping with a white man while her husband was serving prison time, not because she didn’t love her man, but because she was fed up with their struggling lifestyle, so for a moment, she wanted an easy way out. I’ve always noticed how most men, not all, feel insignificant around women who are the bread winners in their relationships, as if a piece of their manhood has shrunken.

They seem to equate their financial gains with power and self esteem. Therefore, if a poor or middle class woman sleeps with a richer man, she is called a Gold Digger to make her feel guilty for turning her back on men who have lesser fortunes.

However, middle class or rich women are “expected” to date men in their class and NO LESS. Hardly ever, would they date a man who has a criminal record, has dropped out of school or is an employee but not a CEO, Vice President or some big shot in the so called “Real World”.

So could it be, that many of our own kind, ethnic people of culture, put one another down out of frustration and an attitude that “We must stick together” to strive ahead, getting jealous if someone moves a little faster, especially a woman getting ahead quicker than the man, be it husband, brother, or neighbor?

At times, that situation hurts the male ego. Is that why they call us “sluts,” “hoes,” “bitches” and “gold diggers,” but teach their young sons that the more girls they bag at school, the more of a man they’ll become? Forget race, can they blame women for wanting men who treat us respectfully?

I’m in my late twenties, so should I feel ashamed for admitting that when the mood strikes me, I enjoy having casual sex with an attractive man that pleases my body and my mind? But a young freshman kid can walk around the hallways of his high school bragging about how many girls he had? Let me get this straight, as a woman, I should feel guilty, but as a child, he should feel proud?

So here’s a question. Whether a woman is Caucasian, Latin, Black, Asian, Indian, or whatever, is there a certain behavior that a woman should carry out to be “respected”? And, who should that ethical behavior get determined by: Society or the individual?

It seems simple enough. The answer should be inside of the individual, although the problem persists when we raise our daughters. What do we tell them, how do we guide them and what will they pick up when they follow our examples?

My conclusion is that, sex is a healthy part of life, and a desirable one at that! And like anything else, we need to experiment with it to grow. I also know that too much of anything is no good, like the phrase that says, “Too much sun will burn”, yet it’s OK to catch a tan, although we should be aware that too much exposure can cause skin cancer.

So women, sex is normal, like nature; it feeds us stimuli. It’s fun, exciting and is a part of life. However - yes, we can catch and spread diseases, break happy homes and form addictive habits if we ABUSE IT. But does that mean that we should become “afraid” of experimenting with sex, or become self-conscious, even put one another down?

So we love Sarah Jessica Parker from “Sex in the City”, admire Elizabeth Taylor as a Hollywood legend, even the beautiful Angelina Jolie after attracting Brad Pitt when he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, and we become amused by a confident elderly lady named Gael Greene who’s alive today to tell juicy tales of her much long lived energetic life.

And what about Jennifer Lopez, Karrine Steffans and all of the other women of color who get called degrading names for living a life without fear and judgment?

I say, instead of gossiping, joining the name calling when women strip for money or even prostitute themselves, why not empower each other by appreciating our feministic qualities?

Understand when it seems like a woman might be out there too much because she’s in need of attention or filling a lonely void? Maybe she’s confused, in love, curious or just having fun. Perhaps, she’s even in despair or as I mentioned earlier from an example of a movie, looking for an easy way out.

Whether or not what she’s doing is right or wrong, no one really has the right to judge another human being unless they have malicious intent to harm another person, such as spreading A.I.D.S. or other STD’s when you know you have it. But the point is, that it’s becoming more and more unrealistic that women will marry their High School sweetheart’s like they did in the 1950’s.

Not that it’s extinct. But with all of the opportunities, education and independence, why hold each other back by placing a limit to how many partners a woman should have, or how adventurous she should be with her sexuality?

And if she is hurting herself, then spreading gossip won’t cure her behavior. Obviously, something bad had to have happened if she feels the need to give up her temple so easily to just anyone, especially if she’s not even the least bit interested in the gentleman.

Imagine sleeping with a man that you don’t even want to see or smell but you forcefully do it anyway? But if his touch sends electricity underneath the waves of your skin, then why not invite him into your center, where your bodies can melt into one in the eye of the storm? Emotional, chaotic and wet.

So ladies – Madonna sang lyrics in a song that went, “And I’m not sorry. It’s human nature (It’s human nature) oops, I didn’t know I couldn’t talk about sex. What was I thinking? It’s human nature (It’s human nature) I must’ve been crazy.”

And NO – you don’t have to be white, rich and famous to be expressive with your sexuality, you simply just have to be confident and strong and like Lil Kim says, that is “The Naked Truth”.



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