Last week, a YouTube video of a father whipping his daughters for twerking went viral in a matter of hours. Reactions varied. Those who focused on the beatings and/or the father’s use of an extension cord decried the disciplinary actions as wantonly abusive. Contrasting views reflected a once common use of extension cords and commended the father for “beating the sense back into his daughters”.
Only a few days after the twerking-related extension cord beating, another video is now making its way across the Internet. This video features a competition of dance teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities [HBCUs]. The video captures the audience seal-clapping the hoochie instilled in dancers who themselves are not long removed from grade school.
What these and similar videos demonstrate is a sort of cultural hypocrisy that has taken root in America. One that demonizes a father for attempting to whipping the hoochie out of two daughters, but one that rewards the hoochies with cheers and competition winnings.
The sample dance team video in this article is one of many circulating through social media. These videos share common themes. Young ladies at HBCUs — either by instruction, peer pressure, or unwritten codes — prancing around with fake hair designed to flow in the wind like the prototypical “Barbie” image of American beauty. Our Conversations on these topics revealed interesting insights. One source indicated that weave was required for shorter-hair women on her dance team. Another source talked about weave from a perspective that all her teammates were doing it. If there is a place where the essential (or natural) beauty that is African can be elevated, one would think it would be on display in these teams.
A second common theme is the sheer excitement African Americans get from HBCU dance teams and, for that matter, marching bands. This is very understandable in a sense that, unlike predominantly white institutions, HBCUs provide an outlet for African American cultural expressions.
A third theme in HBCU dance team performances is the exaggerated sexual nature of their routines; just one of many examples of the hoochification of America.
Routines feature erotic and/or hard-pounding music that works on the psyche as the audience is drawn into the world of imagination. Pelvic thrusts are common. Squatting and what is known as “booty clapping” is common. Rolling on the floor as if to imitate a seductive interlude is common. Indeed, twerking has become a popular component of dance routines. All on-display while cheering fans push the performers to be more sexual. More suggestive. More titillating.
For purposes of dance competitions, it does not appear to matter that out-of-wedlock births are still problematic in the black community. It does not appear to matter that the gyrations promoted by these HBCU teams are similar to the gyrations that enslaved young girls were instructed to do in order to excite slavemasters who would in-turn engage in sex with vulnerable children; sometimes before the arrival of their menstrual cycle. And it does not appear to matter that such seductions play upon the spiritual foundations invested in these young woman and entrusted by their parents to be fostered in the HBCU setting known for holistic development.
These dance teams subscribe to the same playbook used by a garden variety pole-dancing in a strip club. They bear close resemblance to promiscuous depictions of women that is commonplace in arts and entertainment today. In-fact, one could argue that while the general employment picture is tenuous, the hoochie conomy is thriving as well-endowed women are in high demand for everything from party flyers to music videos. Strip club dancing to the burgeoning porn industry.
Sexually-suggestive HBCU dance team performances, minors twerking in their bedroom unbeknownst to nearby parents, and content in today’s movies and music industries are extensions of a fundamental cultural transformation underway in our nation that is reminiscent of the Greco-Roman Empire era.
Changing ideas about women’s sexuality are fostered by cultural icons who assume the role of walking and talking billboards for hoochie-ism.
No one more illustrates this more than Madonna. In 2007, the artist who popularized lace parlayed on-stage eroticism into a $120 million recording, touring, and merchandise deal with LiveNation. Reported sexual appetites and exploits with male and female partners serve the mythology that enlarges her celebrity.
Madonna has made hoochie-ism acceptable in the mainstream circles of commercial entertainment. During the 1990 Blond Ambition tour, Madonna appeared on stage, wearing Jean-Paul Gaultier conical bra costume. And the tour captured worldwide attention by featuring Madonna simulating masturbation during the performance of Like a Virgin. During the 1993 tour, entitled The Girlie Show, the sultry singer rubbed the official flag of Puerto Rico between her legs while performing. The action caused outrage and a public relations crisis. Madonna’s lyrics and behavior, while celebrated in popular culture, have led to protests by groups as varied as The Vatican to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, a stream of Madonna disciples have successfully followed the sexual blueprint for success.
Beyonce Knowles, for all her popularity and wealth, has pushed hoochie-ism, largely by replicating a dual persona that is at-times Dorothy Dandridge elegant and at-times Linda Lovelace hoochie. And as with her predecessors, the in-your-face sexual presence is rewarded — even with one of the nation’s highest musical honors. To sing at a presidential inauguration. Commercial appeal has garnered yearly income that exceeds $40 million. Forbes ranked Beyonce first on its list of the “100 Most Powerful and Influential Musicians in the World”.
And yet, Beyonce like Madonna, has mastered the art of the hoochie. A beautiful woman in her own right, gracing the stage. Popping her pelvic area. Gyrating. Costumed so that butt cheeks are revealed at every turn. Tightly-fitted garments that form her vaginal walls, which innocently appears as she takes a chair or move in rapid motions before adoring fans. The hoochie can crowd out the sounds, making a sometimes less impressive voice a stellar performance. And more recently, Beyonce’s cut Bow Down repeatedly invokes a word that once used in a time not so long ago would have resulted in a woman’s backhand to the chops. But now, the term not only palatable but also sought-out as a badge of honor. The more raw, the better. The new norm, indeed.
DREAMS OF GOING VIRAL…
Hoochie-ism is now popularized in cyberspace.
It is not uncommon to have Facebook advertisements appear, featuring a woman whose breasts, vaginal area, and buttocks are partially revealed. Equally intriguing is the number of men who follow these pages and routinely post comments as if there is some connection between them and the seductive object of their infatuations.
Simply placing terms such as “twerking”, “booty clap”, or “a** clapping” in the YoutTube search area will open the reader to a world of complete societal breakdown in the respect for women — including disrespect women have for themselves. Hoochie-ism is not a black or brown thing; white women are just as prone to this type of behavior. And sadly — as the father of the extension cord beating found — it is not just an adult thing. Learning the hoochie cuts across age groups. And likewise, the culture is spread to both suburb and inner-city, alike.
To some, the internet and particularly sites such as Facebook and YouTube offer otherwise unknown personalities opportunities to make pay-per-click income, secure a role in a music video, or otherwise enhance one’s marketability. Young girls can dream of their evolving sensuality that might one day turn them into a Paris Hilton.
The idea might seem delusional to some. But to those who can type-in their YouTube of Facebook URL and see themselves on display before gawking men, the idea seems very much within reach.
REAL LIFE HOOCHIE-ISM…
And that is what I am asking you, the reader, by discussing this issue, “You see what I mean?”
What are the implications?
Who is right, the father for beating his daughters or HBCUs for promoting the evolving culture in dance teams?
Should we reward in-your-face breast/vaginal displays and sexual gyrations as artistry?
What are your thoughts…
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