February 27th, 2007

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04:29 am - on poetry and perviness...

How Do You Make Love to a Black Woman?
I wonder if this painting has a real name
Haven't been writing much here lately. I've been preocuppied with my 365 Days project (available through the feed at 365mav). But I saw something on the news today that made me want to rant a little.

So, apparently a local Pittsburgh teacher has been suspended with pay after a mother complained when her 14 year old daughter brought home a poem that the teacher had given her entitled How Do You Make Love to a Black Woman". The daughter claims that the teacher called her into his office after class and gave her the poem. It upset her, so she took it home and showed her mother who went with her to the principal and demanded that the teacher be fired.

The poem is printed below for your easy perusal:

How do you make love, to a Black Woman?

How do you make love to a Black Woman,

Romantically and Patiently;

Take the time to make love to her mind.

Fulfill all of her midnight wishes.

Cover her entire body with soft wet kisses.

Tell her, so that she will know!

There's no place on her body

your tongue won't go.

And, when you love a Black Woman,

you love her real slow.

How do you make love, to a Black Woman?

How do you make love to a Black Woman,

Passionately and Sincerely;

Let her Sweetness become your Weakness.

Do not use just the Penis, But include your ear.

Listen to the sweet sound of her moans

and see what you hear.

Feel the warmth and care of her loving embrace.

Place your mouth on hers and savor the taste.

How do you make love, to a Black Woman?

How do you make love to a Black Woman,

Sensually and Honestly;

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Tell her that you love her,

more and more with each passing day.

Let all of the fantasies that dance in her head.

Become her moonlight reality

when it's time to go to bed.

Kiss and lick all over her body

until you find all her right spots.

Touch and caress her soft skin

and make her real hot.

Mutual satisfaction is a lover's plan.

Love her, cause you are in love with her.

She's your Woman and your her Man.

How do you make love, to a Black Woman?

How do you make love to a Black Woman,

Lovingly and completely;

Love her until her "Screams of Passion"

are all you that hear.

Suck on her neck and stick

your tongue in her ear.

Hold her soft round ass

in the palm of your hands.

Let her sexual wishes

become your loving commands.

Love your Black Woman with

your Mind, Body and Soul.

She's the most precious gift on this Earth.

She's worth her weight in gold.

How do you make love to a Black Woman?

There's only one true way to start.

To make love to a Black Woman,

just give her your Heart.

Now, I'm not going to go so far as to claim that what the teacher did was appropriate. But I do have a bit of a problem with how the media handled it. The story was sensationalized to sound like this was the biggest tragedy of all time. There are wars going on. There's global warming. Anna Nicole is dead and Britney is insane. We have real problems here, people.

The news only printed two lines from the poem, claiming that the rest of it was too scandalous. But I knew I vaguely remembered hearing it before, and a simple google search found it for me. Is it really THAT scandalous? I guess the word penis is in it. I'll grant that the guy probably was up to shenannigans when he called the girl into his office alone, but they were saying they felt it was inappropriate for the poem to be distributed (and to really drive the point home, the mother photocopied it a bunch of times and gave them out to all the parents in the neighborhood... I am not making this up). What would people have thought if he had assigned the poem to the entire class? They claimed that the poem was and I quote "graphic language even for adults, and especially for children." Is it any more sexually deviant than Romeo and Juliet (which I'm pretty sure i had to read by 7th grade)? Or is it that the woman in the poem is black? Do
black women not make love?

Also, did anyone actually read the poem? It's not even about fucking. It's about being sensitve and listening to the woman. The only reason they even mention penis is to say that its not the most important part of lovemaking.

So, I'm curious as to how people feel about this issue. Is the news overstating it, or am I just too jaded to realize how awful that poem really is? How would you feel if your daughter was given this to read by a teacher? What if the whole class was? How young is too young to discuss sexual literature in an English class? Is it more acceptable if the literature is a "classic?" Like I said, I certainly read Romeo and Juliet that young, and there's tons of sexual overtones in that. And I know we were assigned books with explicit sex in 9th grade when I was 14 (the same age as this girl). So how young is too young?

Of course, this is all just silly. Everyone knows that kids are already fucking their teachers by the time they're 13.

(37 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]From: atraxen Date: February 27th, 2007 - 12:56 pm (Link)
I think the entire thing is just a stew containing equal parts "To Catch A Predator" and "Accountability and No Child Left Behind", then seasoned with a touch of "Oh Noes This Sounds Interracial". Serves 4 (Nielson points). Then again, I'm sucking on antibiotics and trying to wake enough to go to my public school myself, so it could just be my mood...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:01 pm (Link)
yeah... I'm ok with the to Catch a predator side. Fine. He shouldn't have been propositioning the little girl (assuming that's what he was doing, we only have the one-sided view of the story). I just don't like them making this out to be really really scandalous. I mean, they honestly claimed that the poem was graphic for adults.
From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:03 pm (Link)
From: atraxen Date: February 28th, 2007 - 12:10 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: March 3rd, 2007 - 05:30 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: duckmonster Date: February 27th, 2007 - 01:19 pm (Link)
I'd say the poem is half sexual/sensual and half not. Its point is probably more in the not... maybe... Either way, I think it's something a high school literature class should be able to handle... maybe more like seniors and less like freshmen, but, you know, whatever. I'm pretty sure I read it in English, at some point. Maybe I was reading ahead in our textbook and it was never presented--who knows--but you're right, high school kids can basically handle sex in literature.

It was absolutely inappropriate of the teacher to give this to a student, though, unless it was in the context of the entire class reading it. What an awkward position to put her into, though I think it's a damn shame she didn't feel like she could tell him, directly, "This is inappropriate and makes me uncomfortable, please stop." (I'm sure by now she wishes she'd handled it, rather than telling her overbearing mother. So maybe she learned her lesson in asserting oneself, belatedly.)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:10 pm (Link)
well, the news presented it as though the daughter went straight to the mother and they were working together to get rid of the guy and what a hero the daughter is. So I don't know that there's a problem of embarassment for the girl. But of course, the news also said the poem was full of language they couldn't repeat, so i'm kinda taking what they say with a grain of salt.
[User Picture]From: limpingpigeon Date: February 27th, 2007 - 02:49 pm (Link)
"Like I said, I certainly read Romeo and Juliet that young, and there's tons of sexual overtones in that."

I could attribute that to one of two factors: 1.) That people have become more paranoid about exposing middle-school/high-school students to that kind of stuff. It's part of the whole political-correctness epidemic. 2.) While most people have read Romeo & Juliet at some point, only a handful actually understood any of what they were reading. The sexual overtones were not as overt. A lot of people in this world just don't get subtlety.

As for this case, I think the problem is that she was called into his office alone and given this poem. That's uncomfortable. I think the inappropriate actions of the teacher should be what is under scrutiny here, not the poem. I'm willing to bet it was those circumstances that upset the girl, not the poem itself. It's as if they think if they get rid of anything sexually suggestive, it will stop teachers from trying to seduce their children. Or maybe they just don't care about how the girl felt and hate sexual literature.

Or maybe they're just against black women having satisfying sex. I really don't know. People are insane so it could be just about anything.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:14 pm (Link)
true... I'm actually amazed by how many people don't get that Romeo married Juliet because she wouldn't fuck him otherwise. I mean, its right there in the play.

And as I was saying before, I will agree that he behaved inappropriately in the manner of presenting the poem, and maybe even that he had ulterior motives, but that wasn't the point of the story. It was that 14 year olds are too young to be reading this smut.

Why the hell is a 14 year old in the 7th grade anyway? :-)
From: limpingpigeon Date: February 28th, 2007 - 05:02 am (Link)
From: dgr Date: February 28th, 2007 - 10:50 pm (Link)
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 3rd, 2007 - 05:04 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: qiika Date: February 27th, 2007 - 02:50 pm (Link)
I'd need to know more about the circumstances surrounding the teacher giving the poem to the student to read. It might have been appropriate (maybe she had written something similar, or in similar style), but with no further information, I'll agree with duckmonster above. If it was presented to the entire class, that would have been okay. By the time you're 14, you'd better know about penises and what they're for. And I agree with you, it's a very positive view of lovemaking.

Romeo and Juliet was 9th grade, and I remember other stories about "touching private bits" that were mandatory reading in high school. This is, if anything, a more positive and sensitive piece to expose high schoolers to.

Also, why should only black women get all the good stuff? Discrimination!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:18 pm (Link)
It might have been appropriate (maybe she had written something similar, or in similar style),

Glad you mentioned that. That was actually my first thought. And given the rest of the misinformation, we can't know what's really going on here.

And nope, white women don't get any good stuff. Its a new rule. Sorry, luv.
[User Picture]From: akiramich Date: February 27th, 2007 - 02:58 pm (Link)
im just wondering why you havent weighed in on the whole zombies who run really fast vs vampires with machine guns debate????
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:21 pm (Link)
hook me up with the relevant info and I'll consider it. My gut tells me to go with the vampires.
From: akiramich Date: February 27th, 2007 - 07:19 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: suicideking Date: February 27th, 2007 - 03:10 pm (Link)
Ok, I am not even going to cover the circumstances with which the poem was delivered, because I think everyone sees the "ewwww" factor in that.

I can understand a parent getting upset about this poem. It is a tad racy and while it is about being sensitive, it is framed within the context of fucking. I would say it is more graphic than Romeo and Juliet. There wasn't any oral in R&J that I remember. Also, the poem in question is in modern language, whereas R&J is in an outdated form of english that you need to translate to find anything sexual.

If you wanted to do a discussion of sexuality in poems, that would be fine. I would say you would want to get some permission slips first to cover your ass and give the parents the choice to opt their kids out of it. I would say the average parent would not be expecting a poem like this within their child's curriculum, and i think they have a say in what the school decides to expose them to.
[User Picture]From: sonbanon Date: February 27th, 2007 - 05:53 pm (Link)
I agree with everything in your reply, suicideking. (OMG! Imagine that!)

Something else to throw into the mix: most modern (and even not so modern) music is more explicit.
From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:26 pm (Link)
From: suicideking Date: February 27th, 2007 - 07:30 pm (Link)
From: sonbanon Date: February 28th, 2007 - 02:30 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 28th, 2007 - 04:16 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 27th, 2007 - 06:25 pm (Link)
From: suicideking Date: February 27th, 2007 - 07:25 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 28th, 2007 - 04:27 am (Link)
From: mamarayne Date: February 28th, 2007 - 06:05 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: March 3rd, 2007 - 05:32 am (Link)
From: mamarayne Date: March 3rd, 2007 - 05:47 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: cyaneyed Date: February 28th, 2007 - 12:01 am (Link)

its a difficult case, we're not in a position to judge on the poem alone.

interestingly.. i don't think its too graphic for a 14 yr old to read on their own and investigate their sexual/love curiosity... (she could be sexually active already and not know what self esteem is like in sex-who the heck knows) it is too graphic for an adult in public education to give to a 14 yr old without discussion/approval of motivation by the parents beforehand.

if he pulls her aside and says, i think you'd really love this poem, i want you to take notes on what you feel when you read it, wink wink... then, yes, it was inappropriate.

if this kid's a poetic genius and was looking for something new and shocking to write about and needed an example of let's say, love that isn't described with hearts and flowers... yes, that would qualify, but you know, i don't think she'd be going to her mom saying her teacher made her uncomfortable.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 28th, 2007 - 04:31 am (Link)

Re: its a difficult case, we're not in a position to judge on the poem alone.

well, what makes me think it was inappropriate is mostly that the kid was so shocked by it that she immediately took it home and showed her mother. At the risk of being... well me... someone that sheltered and prissy simply isn't a poetic genius and didn't write something that warranted a sexual awakening kick in the ass from the teacher.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: February 28th, 2007 - 01:09 am (Link)
As someone who majored in Creative Writing, this poem offends me because it's gawd-awful. It doesn't even deserve to be called a poem. It's barely acceptable as creative writing by someone with a fifth-grade education. It's boring. The language is pedestrian. "Penis" and "ass" seem to be there because the author doesn't know any other words and was too lazy to think of creative ways of describing the same parts.

As a non-Black person, this poem offends me. Are Black women the only ones who need love, tenderness, patience and understanding? What about the Heebs and honkies and...gasp...men?

Is the subject matter inappropriate? For a teacher to give privately to a student, definitely. But teachers, by and large, have better taste in poetry than this. This is the kind of crap I see tweens printing off websites and saying "oh this is my favorite poem" and then I just sign and get out the Langston Hughes.
[User Picture]From: stephtoth Date: February 28th, 2007 - 01:16 am (Link)
Ok good, I was hoping it wasn't just me who thought this poem was terrible.

I would want the teacher fired just for having bad taste.
From: chrismaverick Date: February 28th, 2007 - 04:36 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: February 28th, 2007 - 04:35 am (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: February 28th, 2007 - 10:16 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: March 3rd, 2007 - 05:33 am (Link)

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