What’s the Difference between Slapping Kat Stacks and the Grim Sleeper Murders? Nothing, Absolutely Nothing
When the first video of Kat Stacks being slapped by Bow Wow’s male fans became viral on YouTube back in June, I was immediately angered by the physical act of violence and then equally angered by the misogynistic rhetorical of male honor and female “sexual” dishonor that legitimized the beating of Kat Stacks. However, when another video became viral depicting the same tragic events only this time it was with a different black male perpetrator slapping Kat Stacks, publicly, into submission, I was left speechless. How could this happen again? What in the air as my grandmother would say makes random black men think they have the right to beat a woman because she publicly touts her heterosexuality and the insufficient smallness of several male rappers’ penises—Bow Wow, Nelly, and Fabulous? What in the air allows people both women and men in the videos to stand by and cheer for her demise?
And the answer to this question is somewhat hinted in a former blog I wrote about the mother in Precious, Mary, and it is also hinted at in Zettler Clay’s blog, Kat Stacks Exposes Hypermasculine Culture.
Hyper-masculinity is a long-term phenomenon in the hip-hop culture. It’s 20 years strong and to the point where “beat that p—y up like it’s some cake mix” goes in a song and doesn’t raise an eyebrow. But this latest video episode isn’t about misogyny in hip-hop, per se. This is about a culture that was here long before hip-hop. This is about men beating their wives unabashedly. This is about not enough men taking a stand against overt male supremacy.
Yes, it is hyper-masculinity, but, I think it is also about the ability to abuse culturally “soiled” black women publicly . . . women who by choice or by circumstance do not abide by patriarchal heterosexist behaviors and beliefs—“Yeah, I smashed (i.e. fucked) you and your homies and all y’all had small dicks” . . . black women who prefer to love and sleep with women only—the New Jersey 7. . . black women who sell their bodies for profit . . . black women who struggle with drug addiction . . . single black women who take handouts from the federal government . . . black women who are single mothers and poor. These are all deviant categories which have different forms of stigma and abuse attached to them.
And let me just say, this does not mean that black women who are good little girls, good little wives, and good little mothers are immune to violence because they are not. But, it does say something about the level of publicly shaming—violence—black women when they decide or are forced to decide to walk outside the lines of worshiping and paying legal tribute to the black man’s penis.
Because all the male rappers loved Kat Stacks before she publically dissed their penises and their fake Hip Hop life styles. They loved her because she would happily have sex with them when and how they wanted to have sex. But, when she decided to air the dirty laundry she became a liability and had to be marked as Scarlett was marked with an “A” upon her chest where fans of male Hip Hop rappers have license to beat, slap, and stump the “hoe” at will.
Furthermore, Kat Stacks’ story of violence reveals, yet again, that no woman is ever totally safe in a patriarchal society because the line of proving your loyalty to heterosexual men is a thin line on its most good day. You can decide you don’t want to date him any longer and he comes into Verizon while you are working and sets you on fire. You can decide you do not want to cook to night he can beat you senseless. You can decide not to sleep with his homies even though you slept with him and they gang rape you. You can say their penises are the sizes of toothpicks and male rappers will sit by and allow their fans to beat you. And, often, not always, but often the responsibility is on the woman to prove she was victimized . . . hurt . . . raped . . . abused . . . exploited. And, of course she must not be a deviant black woman like Kat Stacks because her personhood automatically makes her guilty.
Mind you, this isn’t new, black feminist have been writing and mobilizing about these issues for a very long time. It just never fails to anger me and cause me to see how various acts of violence against black women are interrelated. For instance, the Grim Sleeper’s murders which span a 20 year period show the same characteristics of Kat Stacks’ story of public gender violence and what happens to culturally soiled black women. Each of the 10 women murdered were allegedly women who were sex workers or black women who struggled with drugs . . . women who in the eyes of the Grim Sleeper were easily missed. So, he could rape them, kill them, or do as another black man did in Cleveland bury them in the walls of his house for 20 years because no one would miss them or believe they could be victimized.
But, before I end my blog, I must say I have a bone to pick with Bossip. I understand the blog is dedicated to exposing black celebrities’ gossip, but I think there is a fine line between reporting gossip about Kat Stacks and inciting violence against her. There are numerous negative posts about Kat Stacks’ ownership of her sexuality calling her the “Jizzernator.” This is unacceptable even if it is gossip.
All in all, there is no difference between what Kat Stacks experienced and why 10 black women could be murdered over a 20 year period by a black man. It all makes me sad and angry.