Thursday, June 28, 2007

I feel like my last few posts have been kind of intense so I'm going to lighten the mood …

Sex and an Oh So Fabulous City!

WOW! I'm very surprised it's taken me so long to write about the most amazing show in the history of television ... ever!

I was doing my A-levels when Sex and the City began and a friend of mine; Michelle was obsessed with it but nothing she said managed to convince me it was any good, and the one embarrassing episode (embarrassing because I watched in with my mum and spent the whole 25 or so minutes squirming) I caught did nothing to change my mind.

Fast forward three years, I was in my second year of university, and had just moved into a house with three girls. One of them was given the first two series' on video as well as a load of 'Friends' videos and believe me when I say that for the next two years, whenever one of us was in the lounge, 'SATC' or 'Friends' would be on the TV. And when the new series started and they moved the day it showed to Wednesday, we stopped going out on Wednesday nights even though that was our favourite night of the week to go out! I think it's fair to say I've watched every single episode at least 20 times and yet, I still find them just as funny and as interesting as ever! At least once a year, I get out my SATC DVDs and start from the very first episode, and watch them all through till the very end.

Why do I love SATC so much? Hmmm, Carrie's fabulous outfits are just one of the reasons. Her outfits were very often amazing and sometimes downright cringe-worthy but every single thing that woman wore was a conversation piece! I haven't even got the time to go into my love affair with most of the dresses she wore in the final season but let us just say there are very few things I wouldn't do for a lot of her clothes and I think it's fair to say there is nothing Noni wouldn't do for her shoes! I also loved Charlotte's wardrobe and she's definitely been an influence on my fascination with 50s style dresses.

Ultimately though, it's not the great outfits that made this show the hit that it was; it was the fabulous characters. Funnily enough, despite my fascination with her style, Carrie was actually my least favourite character. She was way too 'me, me, me'. My absolute favourite character has to be Samantha. I just adore her chutzpah. Samantha knew who she was, what she liked and didn't give a flying frick what anybody thought about her. In fact, I think she's the only person I've ever known of, real or fictional, that has managed to achieve this feat. While I love Samantha though, I'm probably a mix of Miranda and Charlotte. Deduce from that what you want.

And though part of the reason I love the show so much is for its highly entertaining content, I think I have learned a lot from the show and I genuinely feel that I'm a better person for having watched it ... Really! Before SATC, it was unthinkable that women would choose to be single in their thirties (and forties, in Samantha's case) and have such a fabulously fun time doing it. And Berger telling Miranda (about a guy that she went on a date with and who never called her) that 'he's just not that into you' transformed the way I think about guys and I love the fact that all the girls end up with the good guy in the end. Who can forget Charlotte's husband Harry who is nothing like the guy she envisioned she'd end up marrying and the way he turns out to be the most loving, supportive husband a girl could wish for. And Steve; Miranda's long suffering boyfriend turned husband who manages to take the girl out of the city (to Brooklyn) and puts up with her become while she becomes an amazing mother, wife and person in general. And gorgeous Smith, the man who manages to get Samantha to finally settle down with one man! The only person who I wasn't happy with was Big. As far as I'm concerned, he messed Carrie about way too much; she should never have ended up with him. Plus, I loved Aidan and think he's the one she should have ended up with!

I challenge you to find someone who was more ecstatic than me when the movie finally got the go ahead! It might be a couple of years till it hits the big screen but Noni and I have already made a date to dress up to the nines and go and watch it on the very first day of release. Then go for dinner after and spend the next several hours (probably days, if we're being honest) dissecting every outfit and storyline! Till then, please keep me entertained and tell me your favourite SATC character is? Or who are you are most like ... and why?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Confessions of a man who has cheated on his wife

Someone sent me an e-mail reply to my post on Emotional Infidelity vs. Actual Cheating. I thought it was interesting …

Hi Vickii,

I am responding via email to this blog because it is late and I want you to read it. I was asked the same question when I was having an affair with L. L knew I was married and we fooled around a couple of times. L being very thoughtful as usual said she would rather have actual cheating because there is no depth to it. I totally agree with her. I have been with other women and it was purely physical, for all I care she could have been a Barbie doll. No questions asked, no conversation, came into my apartment, bent over, I was done and she left (3 mins tops). Pardon me if this is graphic or offensive. I am trying to convey how detached I was, I just simply wanted to unload one.

I have asked my self why men cheat. Consider Halley berry’s ex; you can have the crown jewels at home but still go out for junk. There are so many reasons. Believe me when I say I really love my wife and family and will give any thing to guarantee their happiness. I just feel my extra stuff does not come in the way, or hope the wife turns a blind eye. I am not one of those guys that would flaunt it in her face. It is done with total discretion. However I know it is still wrong.

There is no excuse for it, but Bill Clinton, JFK, Bill Cosby, Frank Sinatra, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt all cheated and the list goes on and on. I have heard statements like ‘Men can separate love from sex’, ‘Men cuddle to have sex and women have sex because they want to cuddle’, it just seems as if the act is merely a physical release sometimes, and that is why we can look the wife straight in the eye and say "But I did not love her".

When you combine Emotional Infidelity with actual cheating, that is a dangerous cocktail because you now have both the physical and emotional attachment to that person. You talk about every little thing with her, which type of detergent does she recommend, mundane stuff that is worthy of a G8 summit. You don’t just get up and go, and you hold her, try out every possible position you can imagine, phone sex becomes a regular thing when you can’t see her and when you miss her call, you dial like a mad man.

Why can’t sex with the wife be like this? Is it because you are both inundated with balancing family life and somewhere between ballet and swimming lessons for the kids and your careers, you just take her for granted? You only have sex when you want to sleep quickly, it become your valium. I don’t know.

Anyway I hope this does not ruin your opinion about men in general, I believe there is such a thing as dignity even when it comes to having an affair.

Hello anonymous,

Thanks a lot for your email; it was interesting to read your perspective on things.I would normally be quick to criticise your behaviour because quite honestly, I feel very strongly about men that cheat but I think the fact that you've written in such a matter of fact manner and admitted that you know it is wrong, renders whatever I would say redundant.

Can I ask you a couple of questions? First of all, I feel that you kind of copped out in the end when you say you don't know why men cheat. Why do you cheat?I assume you've cheated a few times over the course of your marriage. You say you hope it doesn't get in the way of your relationship or that your wife turns a blind eye. So what would happen if a time came when it did get in the way of your relationship or your wife stopped turning a blind eye? Would that make you stop?

I think my view of men has become quite realistic in that I believe most men cheat, however this will not stop me believing that the person I end up with never cheat on me, and it won't change the fact that the way I feel at the moment, I would end my marriage if he did.

Would you mind if I put your e-mail and your response (if you respond) on my blog? If you do mind, I won't ... just let me know.


Go ahead, by the way what's the URL to your blog again? I would like to read more.

Men will cheat for a variety of reasons; from sexual incompatibility, lack of communication, lack of oral sex hmm ... I don’t know, maybe just because we can do it? Please note that this has nothing to do with beauty or finesse. In a man's physique we are able to compartmentalize stuff; we can separate sex, love and beauty. Whereas for most women it’s a package, the whole thing is bundled into one. "I can't sleep with him if I don't love him"; "He's not fine". These are statements you hear from women. The perfect wife for most men is a good cook, a good hostess and a whore in bed. Sometimes you just feel like you want something different. After making love to the wife for so long, it’s almost like masturbating (doing it your self). And again I repeat it has nothing to do with love, it’s just a hit. I don't know about women but I have met someone for the first time and fantasise about them. Men think about this every 3 minutes. With me, I truly enjoy the company of women (Bill Clinton's excuse in 1998), and that might be another reason. If you have met anyone and you enjoy spending time with them, it is very easy to end up in bed with the person. Flip to genetics and I am sure there is a gene responsible for this male behavior because that is one distinctive factor between the sexes.

It’s unlikely that what I do will get in the way because firstly I am not out there looking for women. I am pretty busy and focused on spending quality time with my family. Talk about Soccer dad for someone who does not play any sports.I make sure we eat dinner together every night so we can talk about what going on in our lives. So if I would be cheating the woman has to understand that I don't have a lot of time. However if am ever caught I might deny it just like Bill Clinton and see how far I can get away with it.

I don't want to sound sexiest, but let’s flip the script on you. Let us say your man cheated (just a little bit), say a one night stand. Would you leave him? I would advise you not to. Why? When you leave, are you going into the convent or will you be out there dating again? You were once settled with a home and children, a safe haven. Now you have to go back to the dating scene. How many men will you sleep with before you find someone you will marry again? Note that this new guy you are about to marry will also have his own baggage. If you re-marry, are you prepared to be a step mum to the 15 year old girl who constantly yells ‘You are not my Mummy; you’re just sleeping with my Dad’? Or is it the 14 year boy who keeps harassing your little 5 year old? Oh by the way I forgot all the baby mama drama from your step-kid’s mother when she calls your house and says, "Give the phone to x".

At one time in your life the boundaries were clearly drawn and everything was simple; there was one daddy and one mummy which was very easy for the kids to digest and now you have 2 new dads and 2 mums. Think about this very well.

There are ways to keep your man in check, but if he's going to stray, he will as long as it’s done with discretion. Most men just like to feel we are in control; we really don't have to be at the wheel, so think twice.

Oh by the way I have to go and read ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to my daughter for the 3rd time this week, its bed time here.

I am sorry for lack of punctuation.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Am I a Bad Feminist because I like Hip Hop?

I am a feminist. An all out, through and through, card-carrying feminist. I'll do a post sometime about what being a feminist means to me but I think most people that know me would definitely agree that I'm quick to adopt a feminist stance in conversations. I also love hip hop music, or at least some hip hop. Sometimes though, I find myself singing along to some song, when slowly the lyrics sink in and I realise that what I'm singing goes against everything I believe in, and often, it's songs I really love. Why does hip hop have to be so ... so ... I'm leaning towards using the word ‘misogynistic’ but I don't think that's accurate. Most rappers don't hate women, it's more that they tend to put them in a tiny box; basically, in hip hop, women are hos, possessions, sex objects, gold diggers; basically a whole lot of unfavourable nouns. You'd think Snoop and Biggy never came across smart, intelligent, independent women. In fact, speaking of Snoop, listen to these words straight from the horse's (so to speak) mouth:

“[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We’re talking about ho’s that’s in the ‘hood that ain’t doing sh–, that’s trying to get a n—a for his money. These are two separate things."

Let's say Snoop has a point - he doesn't, but for the sake of being fair, let's just say he does - If he dislikes those kinds of girls so much, why doesn't he stop rapping about them or at the very least stop sleeping with them and surrounding himself with girls just like them? And has he never met a female lawyer, entrepreneur manager, publicist? Has he never met a non ho-ey woman? Unless he lives in a box, the answer to those questions is yes. So why doesn't he rap about them instead?

To be fair though, if I don't like it, I don't have to listen to it. But you see, therein lies my dilemma. I love a lot of songs that the feminist in me is very opposed to. Let's take 'Nasty Girl' by Biggy and 112. There are few songs guaranteed to get me on the dance floor more than this song but when I first heard it, I couldn't help cringing every time I heard the words 'All my ladies if you feel me grab your titties for B.I.G'. Seriously. Why? And the rest of the lyrics of the song aren't much better either. I'm not saying don't rap about sex, a lot of R&B is about sex, they've just mastered the art of making it ... tasteful, for want of a better word. It's less crude, slightly more subtle and a whole lot less insulting.

There are way too many songs which I personally take offence to but the one that really gets to me at the moment, the song that was the inspiration for this post and (unfortunately) a song I quite like is the 'I'm a Flirt' remix by R.Kelly, T.I and T-Pain. For anyone who hasn't heard it, it's basically R.Kelly saying he is a flirt and warning guys everywhere that if he meets/sees their girlfriends, he's going to flirt with them, and the R.Kelly chat up lines are obviously so persuasive that the guy is probably going to leave without his girlfriend. In his own words, the 'moral of the story is cuff yo bitch, cuz hey I'm black, handsome, I sing plus I'm rich (and I'm a flirt).

This I take huge offence to. He's not even differentiating between different kinds of women, he's basically assuming that if I was in a club with my boyfriend and he was there, I'd be like 'oooh, oooh, baby, it's R.Kelly, it's R.Kelly. Let's go over and talk to him pleeaaassse' and then if he decided to make my night by sleazing on me, I'd go all giggly, toss my hair, turn to boyfriend and say 'don't wait around for me hunny bun, Robert here is going to give me a ride home'. Puhleeze! Even just writing that, I've had to revert to some bimbo stereotype because I honestly can't imagine that he's talking about any of the sort of women I know.

So to recap, I like hip hop but I find a lot of the lyrics insulting. I'm admitting that I'm aware of the double standard so please if I happen to bump into any of you out one fine night/morning, and I happen to be dancing to 'Smack that', please don't tap me on the shoulder and say 'oh, didn't you say in that post....' I'm not saying there aren't women out there who even I have occasionally used the words 'bitch' or 'gold digger' to refer to, I'm simply saying they're not the only women in the world and I'm pretty they aren't the only women most hip hop artists come in contact with so why are they the only ones we hear about?

I want to point out that my hip hop taste is pretty commercial and also not the most extensive, so if this doesn't apply to all hip hop artists, I'm more than happy to hear about the exceptions!