The Lady Is a Tramp: She Who Must Be Silenced
This is how the celebrity press is describing Kat Stacks (pictured above) and her assault at a bar recently (The first video may be triggering; both videos are NSFW):
Celebrity groupie Kat Stacks was slapped and dragged by her hair after she called Bow Wow small. Who is Kat Stacks? Well, she is one of the more interesting groupies around. She uses her twitter account to contact celebrities she wants to bang. They bang her and she recounts her sordid sexual escapades online! Way to make a living Stacks.
According to another celeb-press item:
Reports say that an associate of Bow Wow was not happy with the things that Kat Stacks said about him, and so he went up to her in a bar and slapped her.
The man has been identified as Fabolous’s Brother and in a video taken at the bar, it shows him walking up to Stacks, slapping her twice, hitting her cell phone out of her hand and repeatedly demanding that she apologize to Bow Wow.
Kat Stacks is allegedly working on a lawsuit against the men who assaulted her.
The men slapped and otherwise humiliated Kat Stacks for the exactly same thing that video vixen Karrine Steffans made a mini-career out of and several mistresses and former sex workers have claimed their Warholian fame with lately: naming or admitting to the famous men they’ve sexed. Many of the numerous “other women” who’ve been in the news lately have been white and have suffered relatively few, if any, repercussions.
Steffans suffered some backlash from her tell-all; perhaps what kept her from the physical violation that Stacks suffered is the fact that 1) she framed her tell-all in terms of what my homie Latoya would call a “Mary Magdalene moment,” that of the repentant sexual woman of Biblical lore, 2) she could frame her story on Oprah, no less, 3) the age of and the position of the men she messed with in Hollywood’s pecking-order (one of her exes is Bill Maher) and the PR they used to deflect their relationships/liaisons with Steffans, 4) as a sister-blogger said, it’s also about who Steffans didn’t name in her memoir, which may speak to “the power that man [still] has over her”—and maybe some respect accorded to Steffans for not revealing who he is. She has also made certain business alliances with men: according to her wiki, she now works as the resident sexpert for the Hustler stores and her books will be published by Larry Flynt Publications.
But Steffans may be the exception. As my sister-blogger said to me when we discussed why these men may have targeted Stacks, black women simply do not benefit from talking about their sexual lives and partners in the same way non-black women do. And she wasn’t speaking just about white women; my friend wondered if, say, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Ramirez, Lucy Liu, or Ziyi Zhang, or other non-black women of color would suffer the same consequences if they wrote books about their sexual exploits. Black women are still supposed to stay silent, present a semblance of sexual propriety (if not downright sexlessness) unless framed otherwise (and, even framed as such, are supposed to be voiceless)—and the consequences for talking about “it” and with whom (complete with sexual critique of said whom) can be, as seen with what the men did to Stacks, downright violent. Even Lil Kim and Foxy Brown have some sexually explicit raps and videos, my homie said, but they are still spoken of in relatively non-sexual terms of talent (or the lack thereof). And, with much of women in rap nowadays, men and their desires are still defining a woman’s worth as an emcee and as a sexual being.
The men who physically debased Stacks saw her as a “ho” who had to be “put in her place”: assaulting her into apologizing for her honesty is viewed as a "proper action" because, according to how society views and treats women who are forthrightly sexual (even when they’re honest about getting paid for sex), that’s how such women are supposed to be treated. In fact, goes the idea, they deserve such violence. Slut-shaming in extremis.
Now, what does all that have to do with this part of the internet?
When I read about the assault on Twitter, I found only one group who passionately spoke out against the men who perpetrated the violence against Stacks and those (men and women) who defended the assailants: mostly black feminist-minded people—and it was mostly black women at that. (To paraphrase one woman’s tweet, people thought they’d choose someone that they guesstimated women and feminists wouldn’t defend due to the prevailing opinion of Stacks—and those people thought very, very wrong.) Everyone else was deafeningly silent. Perhaps because the story first broke in that part of the internet last Friday evening and the press and folks wanted to “gather the facts,” but I also know Twitter is good and fast when it comes to disseminating information and organizing people. Kat Stacks’ assault evoked no reaction from any other group of people. If all the feminist rhetoric about violence against women—that we should stand up and speak out wherever we see it—is true, then the violence committed against Kat Stacks is indeed a feminist issue and, honestly, I’d half-expected a bigger outcry from other people down with ending such violence.
However, it is such selective victim-choosing that cements the cynicism of feminism really being about and for certain people.
Thanks to Latoya and my other sister-blogger for brainstorming with me about this post!
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