Why I’m Not Here for Juicy J’s “Twerk Hard” Scholarship Stunt

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Would you run across the street butt naked for 10 dollars?

No?

Okay, how about for $100? $10,000? $1,000,000?

Chances are, the more I hike up that figure, the more you’ll consider it because a vast sum of money is very persuasive. (Why else would anyone marry Donald Trump?)

With that in mind, you can imagine that back in August when Memphis rapper Juicy J took to twitter with news of a $50,000 scholarship to “the best chick who can twerk”,  droves of women started practicing their pelvic thrusts in the mirror. Many of these women may have never twerked in a party or against a wall before, but for 50 grand, and chance to give Sallie Mae the finger, why not?

There was one small catch, of course. The videos of  college women twerking had to be posted on World Star Hip Hop (aka the hood of the internet)  so that their booties could be subject to the sexual perversions of millions of anonymous on- lookers.

It was announced today that  Zaire Holmes, a 19 year old mother and full time student at the State College of Florida, won the scholarship and she didn’t twerk at all.  Instead, she read the fine print which said that twerking was not a requirement.

The press release emphatically stated Holmes “did not twerk her way to the money”.  So in the grand scheme of things, Juicy J was out to prove a point. Twerking is bad. Right?

But wait, isn’t  Juicy J the same artist behind Bandz Will Make Her Dance,  the unofficial twerk/strip club anthem? And didn’t he and Project Pat create the song Twerk, for which the low-budget video features extreme close-ups of bouncing booties?

Juicy J has profited immensely from the sexualized Black female body. Many of his videos go so far as to recreate the strip club atmosphere where he and his cohorts wave large stacks of money at the camera with the implicit purpose of ‘making it rain’ on some pliant woman in a compromised position.

Having said that, it takes gall to turn around and pass judgement on women who twerk when one, they’ve been watching your videos, and two, they’ve been lead to do so under misleading pretenses.

Furthermore, Juicy J’s moralizing advances a “twerk” vs. “scholarship” binary, another form of the virgin/whore binary, which reduces women to two man-made social constructs, two sides of the same patriarchal coin.

That’s not to mention that in the process of proving some elusive piont, Juicy J and World Star Hip Hop lured hundreds of  Black coeds to objectify themselves in viral videos that may very well come  back to haunt them after graduation. So much for trying to uplift women.

Ummm…. Juicy J, the next time you want to support Black female scholarship can you base it on merit, rather than making a mockery of Black women? The rest of the world does enough of that. Thanks.

 


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