In our attempt to bridge the “gender gap,” and explore sexuality in contemporary media, we have solicited assistance from the Twerk Team. This is a group of three young women, out of Atlanta, GA, who have become quite famous through posting their dance videos on YouTube.
For those who don’t know, “twerking” is a particular dance style in which young ladies will move their bodies, in erotic splendor, to the rhythm of bass-intensive rap audio. Generally, the “twerkers” body movements are isolated to the “gluteus maximus” region, creating visual euphoria for witnesses. Twerking, done well, instantly captures the attention of young male onlookers; I can attest to this personally.
If memory serves me correctly, I was trying to find some UGK late last year…and that’s when I found the stumbled across the Twerk Team. My introduction to them was through their video “Let Me See It.” Let’s just say, after that first viewing, I knew I would return.
Anyhow, their publicity seems to be consistently increasing. They seem to have an organized production team behind them; they have a number of videos posted and producing more on a regular basis; they have “imitation groups” copying their brand; and they have recently been mentioned by Ludacris on the George Lopez show. As their popularity has increased it seems they have found themselves embroiled in a battle with Karine Steffans, a.k.a. SuperHead. Steffans allegedly made an off-hand comment about them in an interview, and being keen business opportunist, they produced the following video as a response to the slight:
[vsw id=”Vd3DLFwQcQM” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]
Now, though there is plenty to discuss within these 3-4 minutes. I would like to focus my commentary on the way in which they use SuperHead’s notoriety as a sexually “loose” woman to degrade her while simultaneously using their sexuality to build a “career” platform as well.
Ms. Twerk: “Suck a dick and write a book? Bitch you scarred for life!”
“…and your little blog sucks. Suck at something you like.”
This rhetoric is, of course, meant to suggest that SuperHead is less than virtuous. She is loose. She is nothing short of a prostitute. But, then, in somewhat contradictory fashion, Ms. Twerk boast of her own sexuality and ends her rap by stating:
Ms. Twerk: “Let me move my PoppaStoppa—-Suck my mic!”
Though I must admit, she moves her PoppaStoppa quite well—I’m left ever so slighty confused. If SuperHead is “less than” for building a life on promiscuity and the subsequent power of her sexuality, then how is Ms. Twerk doing anything different from that? I think they answer this question later.
Lady L: “…on Media Take Out, we killin’ on YouTube.
No Suckin’. No Fuckin’.–all the shit that you been through.”
Betty Butt: “OK, let’s see, how should I start this?
You got your career from suckin’ off Mr. Marcus.
You will suck a carcass to get to Neiman Marcus.”
It seems that I (and others) should understand they are validated in referring to SuperHead as a “bitch” and a “hoe” because she has repeatedly “sold” herself for actual sexual intercourse. Her behavior is unlike that of the TwerkTeam, because, alas, they just DANCE—no suckin’…no fuckin’. Consequently, they are of higher quality than their rival as they only “suggest” sex through dance. Here’s the thing though, ladies, to all the young men traversing the internet at night, there is not much difference. We remain the same PHYSICAL distance from both the TwerkTeam and SuperHead–very far away. But, the PSYCHOLOGICAL distance, or better yet PSYCHO-SEXUAL distance, between you is very MINIMAL.
…and for all the young ladies reading this blog and watching these videos, who are pondering on the THIN LINE between DANCING sexually for money and HAVING SEX for money: IT’S A SLIPPERY SLOPE, LADIES! Just ask all the young strippers who slide down this slope every year…
What is even more disturbing is the nature of the sample they use throughout the audio track. Throughout the track you hear a little girl cussing someone out. The Twerk Team producers have sampled this girl’s voice, and used these profanities and vulgarities to attack SuperHead. The following video is of the young girl used in the track:
[vsw id=”QXDSs1inPOI” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]
So, here we witness a much deeper problem. This is NOT a mass media production; though unfortunately, with today’s technology it is “media that has reached the masses.” It is NOT a fabrication of a production studio. It is NOT an artifical media battle between some young erotic dancers [driven by money and notoriety] and a young woman [driven by money and notoriety] who led a very solacious lifestyle with countless celebrity men.
This is a Little Girl. This is a Little Girl. This is a Litte Girl—who exists in a Real World. She is learning how to cuss, intimidate, and degrade other Little Girls, who most likely, look just like her. Even more disturbing, she is learning these lessons from her caretakers. She is learning how to play a role that many people feel is all she is worth playing anyway. And let’s not be mistaken, she is not as RARE as we would like to think. There are thousand Little Girl’s growing up just like her. It’s not new, either. This Little Girl has existed way before the Twerk Team, NWA, Snoop Doggy Dogg, YouTube, and any form of mass media motherfuckers wanna lay blame. This Little Girl has existed just as long as the Ghetto has existed–and it is going to take “we the people” to correct the problem.
It is our fault. It is not Lil’ Wayne’s fault. It is not 50 Cent’s fault. It is not SuperHead’s fault. It is not the fault of the TwerkTeam. It is OUR FAULT. Take some responsibility. Let’s take care of our daughters.
The effect these images, words, and thoughts have on Children is what really matters. Adults can not afford to be negligent with the responsiblity of mananging, producing, critiquing, and articulating the differences between reality and fiction. We must come to some type of healthy consensus on what this material means and the power it has to influence the minds of our youth. Adults must understand these materials first, and then be careful to manage it accordingly. We can enjoy it as we deem fit. But, we must enjoy it responsibility. We CAN NOT afford for our daughters to actually feel as though this language, aggressive posturing, or sexuality is the true and correct way to live.
Happy Women’s History Month.