Game’s Sex Abuse Scandal Reawakens the Issue of Discrimination Against Assault Victims

I usually avoid sharing my opinions via social media. But as a journalist of related subjects, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on Amber Rose’s bitter dispute with the Game.

In my opinion, Amber Rose continues to climb the media’s ladder for feminist advocacy because of her approach to gender violence. She rallies against the very ‘shame’ perpetrators FORCE on their victims, which is clearly no easy feat in the light of backlash she normally receives.

So when rapper the Game was recently accused of sexually assaulting Priscilla Rainey, a contestant on his new show, “She’s Got Game”, Amber Rose publicly came to her defense.

“This is why rape victims and women who get assaulted sit in silence. If he did it then he did it. If she’s lying then God will handle that.”

It’s not for sure who did what. Nor is Amber, and she makes this VERY clear in her defense. But I am sure Game’s message back to Amber is a COMPLETE ASSAULT in itself.

“Leave it to you (Amber) to defend a slut whom I’ve never touched inappropriately in my life. This was the thirstiest broad on the show. She threw her nasty twat at me for like three weeks straight.”

He continues, “she signed up for the show like all the other girls knowing damn well what she was getting herself into. A show not one girl was disrespected by myself or anyone else…yet this nut job of a chicken says I touched her vagina ? Hoe please. If I did her thirty ass would’ve loved it.”

So here’s the thing. Maybe Priscilla is crazy. Maybe he was on drugs as she states. Maybe she saw an opportunity to manipulate the situation and took it. This remains speculation.

His response is the only thing that should be publicly scrutinized at this point because it is a true testament to his own warped sense of entitlement. And that is…to verbally degrade women, one of which publicly acknowledges the victim could be lying.

Hmmm for an innocent man, game seems quick to objectify these women as the ‘thirsty’ ‘wanting it’ hoes, who would’ve ‘loved it’ if he’d given it to them.

And what exactly did she know she was ‘getting herself into?”

I think the question here is not for Priscilla, but more for Game and why his defense is riddled with these implications if nothing happened.

As palpable or not convincing Priscilla’s argument may seem to any one person, the fact remains Game made a verbal attack against these women, when he could’ve just asserted innocence.

And it’s execution is eerily similar to the very blame games Amber rallies against in her slut walks across America. An issue of violence we often avert, but is so clock work in its pattern of blame and entitlement as we see here.

So thanks Amber for taking the punches once again to bring another punk ass down to earth.

4 Ways to be Empowered in the Dating World

A few months ago, my friend Veronica and I were dating the same ‘type’ of men. Middle aged, highly sophisticated business owners. They were highly communicative at first, then for reasons unbeknownst to us, stopped answering our calls a few months into the relationship.

When we went skiing one afternoon, we vented our frustration to almost everyone in our path — including Bill, the front desk guy at the ski-rental shop. It was oddly comforting to reveal these feelings to someone who knew little of our lives.

My friend Vera began telling him our dilemma, “Both these guys just stopped talking. Like bam!” Vera said. “Can I get a heads up or something?” Bill just looked at her blankly, as she toyed with the bracelets on her wrist.

“What did he say to you before he stopped answering your calls?” Bill asked.

“I apologized for answering his text one day late. I was too busy to respond right away so I apologized.”

“That’s the problem,”he answered. “You apologized. Men hate that. If I had a girlfriend, I would lose interest in her if she apologized.”

“So you can speak for all men out there? You’re 24 with no girlfriend.”

“I know more than you. And I don’t have a girlfriend because my ex-girlfriend was a whore who cheated on me with some guy in college.”

“Well, I know you don’t like apologies.” I answered, “but I imagine even the most apology-hating guy in the world would want a sorry after his beloved girlfriend had sex with another guy. Don’t you think?”

Our conversation ended shortly after.

This brings me to a point of frustration because worth is not comparative. Yet people like Bill imply that desirability is contingent on certain factors that must be adhered to if we want to be loved.

“Guys don’t like this” or “Girls hate this”, are opinions made fact. Judgements. Sure, some traits are ‘overall’ unattractive in the opposite sex, but I imagine the most seemingly grotesque trait is found appealing to another person somewhere in the world.

And the judgements can also be contradictory. Askmen.com, a reputable online men’s forum, states that men consider apologies to be over-appeasing, but also claims that men want respect from women in relationships. While ‘sorry’ maybe unattractive to some people…like Bill, why not personalize the feeling to the individuals as opposed to making the opinion…fact?

I think we must change our mindset to experience more success in the dating world. Check out these tips here!

1. Prioritize Your Needs: When we are preoccupied with meeting our partners’ needs, we use the relationship for self-validation. We want to be assured that we are loved by our partners. When we prioritize our own needs, we value give and take in a relationship, and naturally attract people who also value this dynamic.

2. Regard Judgments as Opinions:  It is hard to invalidate others’ judgments, especially when we struggle with our self-esteem. But judgments are essentially opinions. While there are aspects of a person’s character that are objective, those traits are still perceived different by different people. An overly apologetic woman may seem neurotic to one man and respectful to another man.So if negative connotation is attached to someone’s judgment of you (which is usually the connotation in our judgments of others), regard this as his/her opinion.

3. Regard Rejection as Incompatibility: It is easy to feel inadequate when we are rejected. But rejection signals a lack of compatibility in relationships. If Veronica’s date disapproved of her apology, then he is not the man for her. If we take these “rejections” too personal, we lose sight of how these experiences can help us find a more compatible mate. After being “rejected,” Veronica now knows she is best suited for someone who is accepting of her apologetic nature. Her partner may like or dislike these apologies, but if he does not love and accept her with this trait, she will always feel a sense of rejection in the relationship.

4.Give it Time: We can never know the quality of a relationship without giving it time. If a guy or girl doesn’t answer the phone or text back, there are many reasons why. We cannot assume she is uninterested nor can we assume he is playing hard to get. We can only discern if this person will be a compatible mate if we give the relationship time and patience.

So envision a dating experience that is peaceful. That is successful. That does not allow judgment and rejection to ruin our hopes of finding the perfect mate. A dating experience that is only possible if we change our mindset in this game we call love.

You can also read this post on Huff Post Women here.

[Facebook_Comments_Widget title=”” appId=”” href=”” numPosts=”5″ width=”470″ color=”light” code=”html5″ ]

Channeling Sexual Energy into Productive Energy

Sex. One of the greatest motivational forces in life. Our sexual impulses control so much of what we do, how we act, and the choices we make. But if not properly harnessed, can lead to great destruction.

Sexual energy is what drives this urge. It is a life-energy. The vibe we give off when we interact with others. The way a woman speaks or the way a man glares. A mode of communication that transcends even the intellectual and emotional realms of human interactions.

It is a force that we feel…

Yet oftentimes, we channel this energy into…sex. This is important; without sex our species would’ve died out long ago. But if not controlled, this action can create gender imbalances in society. I would argue some of the world’s greatest social, political & economic issues are somewhat rooted in male & female inequality.

Sexual dilemma is arguably the most significant human conflict. It is the way we question the gender roles in any given society: male & female expectations.

Advertisements, TV shows, movies all imply that a woman’s greatest significance is in her sexual allure. Standards of attractiveness may vary by region, but whatever is considered ‘sexy’ is arguably the greatest measure of female desirability throughout the world.

Women are susceptible to these standards. They understand the value of being attractive, and use their sexuality to their advantage. To an extent, this is validating. Flirting with a cop to get out of a ticket. Dressing provocatively to get into exclusive parties.  But in the quest to be truly gratified, this rather one-dimensional persona is paradoxically dis-empowering to women. Any hooker or stripper can attest to this.

Men’s own sexual struggle would render them clueless in this matter. Their intense sexual desires drive them to penetrate as many attractive females as possible, even while they are committed to one. It is a near impossible feat for a man to humanize a woman who has sexualized herself for his validation. He will only use her for sex.

So in the quest to be socially accepted, women are paradoxically self-sabotaging their own empowerment. Men neurologically struggle to multi-facet women who are sexualized, and women fear social rejection if they multi-facet themselves.  In the process, qualities that would otherwise yield to women’s full empowerment—intellect, assertion, independence—may not fully develop.

This is actually dis-empowering for men as well. If a man constantly sexualizes a woman, he is not prompted to develop feelings for her. Unless he is in touch with his femininity.

This is not the fault of any one gender: it is merely the imbalance of the two.

So in the process of attracting sex (women) and pursuing sex (men), nothing too significant gets accomplished. What is typically depicted as the most gratifying means of sexual release actually perpetuates ‘use’ and ‘abuse’ in male & female relationships. Women use their sexuality to get what they want, and men abuse that authority.

This is not to imply that sex is wrong or bad. It is a great mode of communication, creating some of the most mind-blowing physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences. It has just been misconstrued as the only satisfying method of sexual release. If not for those culturally imposed standards of ‘sexual’ acceptability (aka gender roles), both men and women would be able to embrace a much wider range of their sexuality.

The cycle can only be broken if we consider other outlets of sexual release. We can then transduce our sexual energy into productive energy. The process is all very specific to the individual—it usually occurs once the current system in one’s life crumbles.

In my own sexual dilemma, I found myself deficient in many areas of life: relationships, jobs, money. I repressed masculine traits that would’ve otherwise empowered me if I hadn’t sacrificed them for social acceptance. Up against the world, I seemed contented—but inside I was dying with the one-dimensional female role I assumed.

So I made a vow that I would change. I channeled energy that was once expended on sexual allure into duty. A purpose. A responsibility. I started writing, created a business, and advocated human rights. All of which allowed me to reveal those masculine qualities I suppressed for years.

Perhaps this makes me less ‘sexy’. I’m fully aware that assertion, intellect, and independence are not the stereotypical energies that men embrace in women. And women embrace in themselves. Yet I believe we resist traits that we judge in ourselves. And any similar resistance is perhaps the greatest signal of what energies in ourselves we have not yet fully developed.

So I encourage men & women to openly embrace their gender conflicts! To explore the full range of their sexuality and consider other outlets of sexual release.  Transducing sexual energy into productive energy…

In the process, perhaps we can also redefine our notion of human desirability. Sex will always define us to an extent—we cannot help but to measure people based on their sexual allure. But as we expand our sexuality, we may also broaden the range of traits we consider desirable in others. Creating altogether, a more gender balanced society…

Check out this article on Huff Post Style

[Facebook_Comments_Widget title=”” appId=”” href=”” numPosts=”5″ width=”470″ color=”light” code=”html5″ ]

Why Our Obsession with Perfection Makes Us So Imperfect

After about two years outside the workplace, I was expecting some craziness with my new job. But within the first, I was nearly drained. It wasn’t so much the workload that tired me; compared to my previous jobs, the work responsibilities were quite elementary. It was instead the interactions with both employees and customers that left me numb at the end of the day.

Being in a call center, I was the receiving end of angry customers, who demanded info about their wellness program, and then answerable to even angrier supervisors, who gave dirty looks and mocking emails when their assistance was needed. Looking back, it was like a catch 22. In spite of my efforts, I couldn’t seem to please anyone, just listened to bitching and moaning for eight hours a day. But I think the greater challenge was dealing with their standard of perfection — the idea that work should never be flawed.

In many of these interactions, it was minimally important if I did something right. Rather, it seemed my level of competency relied mainly how much I faltered… even if it rarely happened. I could do everything right, but once I sent the email, asked for the wrong info, used the wrong tone, it was like I was all bad. Yelled at, chastised, even belittled at times if I couldn’t uphold this standard of perfection. And I found that even when I did repent, it was like they wanted something more. Perhaps a more deeply satisfying expression of remorse or embarrassment? But in these times, all I could say was, “Yes I fucked up. I’m just not… perfect.”

This idea of perfection — no flaws, no issues, no problems — seems to infiltrate all our lives at one time or another. And like the yearning for perfection in the workplace, we also yearn for perfection in other aspects of our lives, whether it is  a perfect family, perfect spouse, perfect job, or some other kind of perfect life situation. And living in a society that embraces achievement, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel compelled to meet such high standards in their lives. The constant bombardment of media images showcasing huge estates, plastic beauty, or celebrity extravagance plagues us with a rather rigid notion of a picture perfect existence.

However, living in reality usually poses quite a threat to this ideal, as even the most seemingly-perfect couple, family, job, etc. begins to show flaws over time. And unfortunately for us, once these flaws surface and the image of perfection shatters, our society does an excellent job of socially humiliating the victim. Once someone lies, cheats, steals, or does something so against the image they’ve upheld, in others, approval shifts to judgment and love turns to hate. It didn’t take long for a once supportive media to shame Tiger Woods for engaging in sexual relations outside his marriage. Nor did it take long for the highly-esteemed president Bill Clinton to be ostracized once allegations of his sexual rendezvous surfaced.

Yet in spite of its elusiveness, we remain fixated on perfection. Often enough, even when we know the flaws, we still defend an image of flawlessness. And I think this derives from our identification with these images, the unconscious linkage of our jobs, spouses, or skills to the very essence of who we are. Which explains our unwillingness to observe the cracks in a mirror that’s visibly broken. As a threat to these ideals can instigate a tremendous shift in our personal realities, to the people we think we are: “I can’t be wrong, because I’m smart,” “They can’t be flawed, because they’re my parents,” “He can’t cheat, because he my loving husband.” Or how supervisors like to think, “You can’t be smarter because I’m your boss.”

But herein great dilemma arises, as our fear of relinquishing these identities may prevent us from looking at the troubles and complications that will inevitably plague our lives. Flaws that will cripple us in pain if left ignored. A fear so great that I too have engaged in this exact resistance. For when a flaw most profoundly threatens my personal reality, my concept of right and wrong, the woman I think I am, I too become tempted to just pretend everything is… perfect. And perhaps this resistance underlies society’s judgment of others, the fear they too may have to confront those same realities in their own lives. As my supervisor’s intense belittlement of a minuscule work defect can only derive in her own fear of making that same mistake.

Does this ever work though? Does ignoring the child’s cry ever stop the heavy hand of her abuser? Does mocking the alcoholic’s binges ever get him sober? I think not. Ignoring the problem or judging it in others can only mask underlying troubles, troubles that will only worsen as we continue fixating on what society deems as a “suitable life.” In a bittersweet paradox, I think it’s the acknowledgement of our flaws, not our obsession with perfection, that intrinsically makes us better, more understanding, more human. And even if this means relinquishing our identities, sometimes looking at the cracks gives us the chance of a better life. We may want to be perfect workers, but we can only be better if we admit our petty mistakes. We may want a perfect family, but we can only be better parents if we admit our own parents’ shortcomings. And so, strange as it seems, I think just accepting imperfection is the necessary ingredient to live a more peaceful, closer to perfect life.

Check out this article on Huffington Post Healthy Living