December 7, 2010

Category: Real Talk

Felt Up, But Not Fed-up?!

Last Monday morning Nicki Minaj was on “Live! With Regis & Kelly” promoting her new CD “Pink Friday.” Nicki performed “Right Thru Me” and was doing her post-talk Q&A with Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa when Reg seemingly mesmerized by Naj’s badunka-dunk exclaimed, “I love the way you dress. This looks like you’ve got a little strap around you there.” Then outta no where he touches her dress and then slapped Nicki on her backside. Even for the random ramblin 79-year old, this was friggin crazy. Kells in shock herself screamed, “Regis! What just happened?”

What had happened was Regis stepped way over the line and touched America’s self-proclaimed “Black Barbie” in a very inappropriate manner. It was sexual, it was crass and it was totally effed up! Too bad that in 2010 women can get felt up, but don’t really get that fed up. The Young Money ingénue should have beat Regis with that strap. She should have shouted, “WTH”! But instead she smiled. Later on Twitter Nicki revealed that she was “in shock,” but then an hour later she was tweeting “xoxo’s” and promoting her next gig. Business as usual. A real shame because Regis’ manhandling was disgusting. As many of you know, I’m not a Nicki Minaj fan, but this isn’t about her lyrical content or flow… or maybe it was. There seems to be a feeling in the air according to some blogs I’ve read that if Nicki’s freaky enough to rhyme, “I guess it’s my turn/ Maybe it’s time to put this p*ssy on your sideburns,” and to pose spread eagle in a swimsuit, then she shouldn’t be shocked when her derriere gets tapped. Kinda like how wearing a short skirt is asking to be raped, I guess. Do you think folks would have been (more) upset if Regis had slapped Alicia Keys on her bum? Or what if it was Taylor Swift’s booty in question? And haven’t we seen this before? Remember when Adrien Brody felt that tonguing-down Halle Berry was the perfect way to begin his Oscar acceptance speech when he won for Best Actor? Is this a case of male privilege? White patriarchy? A ridiculous sense of self-entitlement? Yes, yes, and yes.

It’s nauseating that Black women’s bodies are still seen as this superhighway of objectification where men can get on and get off as they please. What’s worse is that Black women are shaken, but not stirred enough to act and speak out. How is it that Halle didn’t slap the piss outta Brody is beyond me! Instead it’s easier for us to blame it on rap, on Monster’s Ball, and on Nicki’s tight dress. Thing is even if she had performed in a string bikini while sucking on a BlowPop as she straddled Lil Wayne this still would NOT have been an invitation for Regis or any man to sexually harass her. Yeah, sexual harassment, you heard me correctly. When you touch someone else’s body, whether it’s a child, a man or a woman and they have not given you permission, it’s harassment. Society rarely sees the sexual harassment of people of color, especially Black people, as a violation of our rights and freedoms.

And you know something, I had a problem when Rihanna palmed Nicki’s booty at the AMA’s this year and even when Diana Ross notoriously jiggled Lil’ Kim’s left boob at the MTV VMA’s in ’99. I think all of that groping is inappropriate too, but I don’t feel like it was sexual in nature. Ms. Ross and Rihanna weren’t deriving any pleasure from their acts. I think Lady Di was just in shock at Kim’s peek-a-boo boob and was trying to make a point about discretion and Rihanna was in her own way showing Nicki some love. My thing is, and call me a prude if you want, just keep your hands to yourself in public settings. Do we lack that much self-control? All of this tapping, patting and feeling-up strikes me as ridiculous in a country where men cannot even hold hands or hug without being teased and snapped on (in Africa it’s a sign of manhood and real kinship). Again maybe I’m overreacting. I’ll put on my nun’s habit now and shut-up. Please check Regis’s bootygate in the video below and tell me what you think?

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20 Responses to “Felt Up, But Not Fed-up?!Comment RSS feed

  • naj
    December 7th, 2010 8:23 pm

    Unreal. And I can’t believe she was even on this show-this shit is a conspiracy and super fucked…tks for keeping it real-alll the time girlie

  • sharon
    December 7th, 2010 8:58 pm

    CRAZY! I saw it too, but you know, they’re gonna try to give him a senility pass. SMH

  • Nae
    December 7th, 2010 9:16 pm

    I had to look a few times, it looked like he touched the back of her upper thigh not actually her butt nonetheless I have to admit I have a little trouble defending someone that is in the business of selling sex with a stage name of Minaj.

    Once we respect ourselves collectively others will follow suit.

  • Cavaleer
    December 7th, 2010 11:03 pm

    First of all, he tapped her thigh. Regis might be an old fart but he’s not ridiculous. And he insulted himself at the end of the interview, to complete the picture. But you’re overreacting as usual.

    The point you’re missing is that women often make men LOSE CONTROL when they dress a certain way or even by their facial beauty. It is instinct for women to ATTRACT LIFE. Just as it is instinct for men to PURSUE LIFE. You see this fundamental relationship in EVERY FORM OF LIFE on this planet.

    It’s called NATURE..Not patriarchy, white male whatever, objectification or any of this other nonsense you’ve been taught since undergrad. It’s called LIFE. With humans, sometimes it’s inappropriate, sometimes it’s crass, sometimes it’s vulgar and disgusting, sometimes it needs to be punished by very extreme punishments, but the basic impulse is LIFE.

    And as far as your apology for Diana Ross and Rihanna’s exact same behavior it merely illustrates the fundamental fact and truth that women touch and hug and play with each other all the time. It means NOTHING.

    This is because WOMEN ARE FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT FROM MEN. In almost every way that really matters. It is only in the last 30 years of American mental warping that people have tried to literally and theoretically argue and oppose this most basic of all facts of LIFE.

    That is why American men, whatever their skin-tone, don’t give a damn WHAT men do in Africa, as if you can generalize about an entire continent. Whatever was happening 400 years ago MEANS NOTHING today.

    We are SOMETHING NEW. But this is too advanced a concept for today’s mentality, despite the fact that the REALITY is abundantly clear, and has been for a few centuries.

    Besides, Minaj is just a puppet like Rihanna, Gaga and all these other comical, talent-less hustlers, I mean, entertainers. She and these others are like a new version of vaudeville.

    If it bothers you so much just teach your daughers “THIS IS NOT THE WAY YOU DRESS AND IF A MAN EVEN ACTS LIKE HE’S GOING TO TOUCH YOU SLAP HIS HAND.”

    It’s only relevant to people who let the TV teach their children.

  • dantresomi
    December 7th, 2010 11:23 pm

    all i can say is
    “even my conditioning has been conditioned”

  • Carlyle
    December 7th, 2010 11:27 pm

    I saw this on youtube the next day. Was NOT feeling it – no pun intended- this was way over the top. I’m not a Nicki fan either but this was totally inappropriate behavior.

  • Anita Bryant
    December 8th, 2010 1:22 pm

    I llike Nicki and happy for success. But Regis was in rare form that day. His animal side came out. And for a change we are not the ones acting out of order.

  • ~
    December 8th, 2010 1:25 pm

    Right on and co-sign.

    And Cavaleer, you are very aptly named. Your surname must be pig-related somehow.

  • Jessica
    December 8th, 2010 2:43 pm

    Right on, Nae. Agreed.

  • theHotness
    December 8th, 2010 5:46 pm
    Author's Reply

    @Nae: If someone is rhyming about sex and even being gutter about it doesn’t mean they should expect to be fondled and groped and that I should be ok with that. I felt the same way you did but I had to step out of that mind-set and look at the behavior of men. Where’s the self-control nowadays?

  • theHotness
    December 8th, 2010 6:00 pm
    Author's Reply

    @Cavaleer: Whether he tapped her butt or her thigh is irrelevant! Either way it was out of line. If I was at work and my boss “touched the back of my upper thigh” as Nae suggested, believe me I’m going to be just as upset as if he touched my as$! “Women make men lose control”? The natural instinct of men is to “pursue life”? You believe the instincts and behavior of men are exactly the same as those of a wild boar roaming around the jungle with a woody humping everything in sight. Now maybe that’s you and how you “pursue life” but most men I know are way more evolved and can actually have a conversation, sit next to a pretty woman and even interview a woman with a big booty without have to poke her with his “instinct,” without having to grope or fondle her breast and slap her thigh. Gimme a break! Just when I thought I was overreacting I read your comment and know for sure that I was right on point! And BTW– my grrrls and I do NOT touch and hug and play with each other all the time! Only in your dreams!:) Thanks for reading theHotness and believe it or not, I do appreciate your comments!

  • RT
    December 9th, 2010 8:05 pm

    Ok, so no Regis did not pat her on the rear, it was on the back of her thigh. That being said, no it wasn’t appropriate for Regis to do so. On the other hand, I am not going to fly my feminist flag for this one. Nicki Minaj isn’t some wide-eyed innocent. Everything about her is calculated and pre-packaged. Either she and/or her managers are very astute business people who are selling a product. Minaj has objectified herself–and has made gobs of money doing so. While people are boo-hooing whether she is a victim, she’s already on to the next business conquest. If this were Drake, and Kelly Ripa did the same thing no one would care. Perhaps we need to discuss the double standard in that–women objectify men too.

  • Shamim
    December 9th, 2010 8:28 pm

    I didn’t quite view Regis’ conduct through the lens of the author, but I understand where the author is coming from, and it has made me re-think how he carried himself. That being said, I wanted to leave a brief comment regarding the following statement: “in Africa it’s a sign of manhood and real kinship” … as someone from Kenya (a country on the continent of Africa), I’m not sure what “hand holding” the author is referring to, but more importantly, Africa is a continent and customs that may take place in a particular village/town/city/state/country, should not be misunderstood to apply to the entire CONTINENT. Otherwise, great article.

  • Nae
    December 9th, 2010 8:37 pm

    @theHotness, it doesn’t matter WHAT she raps about her stage name is minaj which is a derivative of menage-a-trois meaning an arrangement in which three people having sexual relations which as attractive some famous people make it sound is a deviation from societal standards in America. So yeah with a name like that and dressed the way she does, she is inviting improper behavior!

    You can’t sugar coat it hotness if your advertising not rapping about it but ADVERTISING SEX because that is her brand name, well then prepare for the consequences of that–further I don’t think that you should go lightly on women that touch other women there is something called personal space and a violation is a violation.

    Lastly, review the video you posted because he touched her thigh and she didn’t seem to mind, not every woman is a lady–I don’t know Nicki Minaj’s real name she may be a lady BUT everyone knows Nicki Minaj the character is not a lady.

  • Nae
    December 9th, 2010 8:59 pm

    @Hotness..Now that I look at it again…first of all she touched his chest initially, she also flirts with him, “I think your so cute”. So this whole topic is irrelevant really, she didn’t seem to be mad at Regis. The whole thing is really inappropriate since Kelly Ripa says, “I don’t even know which way to go” as in man I got to get around that butt! She also mentions Nicki’s waste…I think Nicki Minaj is a success at her product of selling sex, her skills or lack thereof are not even mentioned or relevant. Cavalier is right on this one and I stand by my statement, Not every woman is a lady and while the person that plays Nicki may very well be a lady, the character Nicki MINAJ is what it is, some people are gonna squeeze the charmin’ before making that purchase if that’s what your advertising!

  • Nae
    December 9th, 2010 8:59 pm

    I meant waist (oops)

  • theHotness
    December 10th, 2010 3:21 pm
    Author's Reply

    Love y’all for being so opinionated and bold. I created theHotness for discussions like this so thank you for contributing your comments!!!

    @Shamim: You are absolutely right. I should not blanket all Africans with the actions of a specific region in Africa. I was specifically referring to the social relations of West African men– Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Giunea Bissau.

    @RT & Nae: Wow! Just because she’s named Minaj does not mean she should expect to get fondled at every turn and that we should think that’s okay. Saying a menage a trois is sexually deviant behavior is a personal judgement. Shid… there are certain groups of people who think having sex before marriage is sexually deviant so I’m not going to go there. Those are semantics that I think are irrelevant because deviant or not, a menage-a-trois is consensual sex. It is not rape. To be groped, hit on the backside, tapped on the thigh or squeezed at your nipples in a non-consensual way is dead wrong. I do not think that tapping a man on a chest is invitation to being sexually harassed or raped. And I don’t care if her stage name was Cootchie, Sweet Nana or Ana Anal; that doesn’t mean she should be sexually tapped by every man or woman that she is being interviewed by. And I am pissed that Minaj wasn’t more vocal. It gives the wrong message to young girls who may think it’s okay to get slapped on the booty just because they are wearing a short skirt. Nah, I still feel Regis was outta line!

  • Nae
    December 11th, 2010 10:59 am

    @Hotness – menage a trois = deviant behavior is NOT a personal judgement because I don’t judge people who engage in it. The context of the word deviant is not normal behavior in our society. If it were normal behavior it would not be news on shows like Tyra, Oprah (back in the day) etc. it would be standard.

    I don’t get why Regis is being judged but Nicki Minaj who objectifies herself is being referred as though she is a rape victim. Going from a touch on the back of the thigh that Nicki did not seem to have a problem with is a serious EXAGGERATION to make news out of something that is not.

  • Nae
    December 11th, 2010 11:09 am

    Its okay for you to touch a man but its sexual harrassement and rape when the touch is reciprocated???? NAH..accusations like that keep many women alone and put a lot of men in prison for no reason at all! KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF, periood the end.

  • carmen grau
    December 17th, 2010 12:14 pm

    You are NOT overreacting Regis, Totally crossed a boundary.