MadameNoire Featured Video

Claire Lower at XOXO Jane gives a great list on How to be a D*ck, Because Sometimes You Have to Be:

By “d*ck,” I don’t mean “evil” or “cruel.” I mean “not so nice all the time.” Being nice is my preferred method of operating, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes you have to push and shove to get anything done. Sometimes you have to be a little rude. Sometimes you offend people, but you can’t go through life worrying about offending everyone. If I did that, I couldn’t go home for Thanksgiving (because I am the most offensive person in my family, you see.”

The list is pretty standard: Be one when someone is rude and abrasive, while checking folks at concerts, standing up for yourself at work when you’re right about something, etc… It’s a shame that women have to be told that it is okay to be a d*ck as it is pretty standard modus operandi with the opposite sex. I know. You probably think being a little arrogant or straighforward is a horrible thing regardless of gender. However, some men can be crude, arrogant, rude, abrasive, pushy, loud, assertive, and basically just a**holes, but yet and still be looked upon as a good and decent human being. Charlie Sheen is an extremely arrogant individual, and a former drug addict, who once chased a female escort into the closet and called his ex-wife a N-Word, but you know, he stayed winning.

We love our rappers and their machismo boasting – except when they are women, then we think they need to stop trying to be men, act like ladies, and get some morals. When Michael Jackson abandoned his boy next door image to play tough guy opposite Wesley Snipes in the video for “Bad,” we all cheered – and some of us laughed– but for the most part, we were cool with the bad boy Jackson. Yet when Beyoncé tries to push that same sort of playful assertiveness, folks start questioning her feminism. Of course, this reaction probably wouldn’t happen if she would have a seat, but that’s another story for another day.

I can’t wait to see how folks will spin the Michelle Obama heckler situation, in which a 56-year-old gay rights activist interrupted a fundraiser dinner to confront the First Lady about her husband’s job and the First Lady basically put that situation in check. Politics aside, having someone scream something in your face, especially about things that you probably have no pertinent information about, is an infuriating experience. Yet and still, feeling like your grievances are not being addressed by your government is also infuriating. Therefore, it was a d*ckbomb waiting to explode. It just so happens that Michelle “South Side Chi-City, Baby!” Obama had rocked the other lady d*ck better. In the words of her BFF,“This my s**t, bow down…”

Recently, my father and I were talking. The topic was me. He thought I was too abrasive when debating. “I think you are incredibly smart, I just think you might want to humble yourself a little bit there.” I realize that my dad thought he was trying to help me. I also realize though the double standard that the very attribute he finds off-putting on me is the very attribute that I got from him. My dad is not is not a generous debater: he is snarky, well-read and brutally honest. And yet, pointing out the hypocrisy of his words only yields a, “Well, that’s different.” Yeah, at times, he is pretty arrogant too.

Unbeknownst to my dad, there were times in my life where I second guessed, and ultimately dismissed, the value of my voice. In short, I didn’t want people to think I was being too mean or too pushy. Many women grow up feeling that they should be tempered and always reserved, and I definitely felt that pressure. Even in the face of situations where being a bit of a d*ck needed to happen. Like when people would talk over you or completely disregard what you have to say. Like when pushy sales people wouldn’t take no for an answer. Like those times when I apologized just to keep the peace. Like those other times when I didn’t want to take a compliment because I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad or left out. Like when the guy trying to holler at me down the street just wouldn’t take a pleasant smile and ever-so-thoughtful, “Thanks but no thanks” seriously. I was that person who told her friends, family, and boyfriends that, “Sure, it’s okay,” and “Don’t worry about it” when they missed birthdays, events and other milestones, or generally were not concerned about my feelings. There were things in my life that bothered me, and yet I refused to speak on them because I didn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression. That was until I really started to ponder on what kind of impression of myself I was trying to avoid sharing…

That I was a woman – no, wait, a human being – with a full range of emotions?

Unfortunately, we live in a society where it is more important for a woman to be inviting and likable than it is to be actually righteous. Sure, there is strength and humility, but there is also a need for the 49 percent of the world population (and about 46 percent of the U.S. workforce), to share their spectrum of experiences, ideas, and critiques as well. And if you have to be a rude, abrasive, self-righteous a-hole to do it, then who’s gonna check you boo? As far as I am concerned, the d*ck-meter has been pretty lop-sided for far too long.


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