Feminists Attack Juicy J For Twerk Scholarship
Yesterday, Juicy J announced the winner of the $50,000 twerking scholarship that he began advertising earlier this year. The winner, 19-year-old Biology major Zaire Holmes won the scholarship by actually reading the fine print of the contest and NOT twerking.
It turns out twerking was not required. Congratulations are in order for Ms. Holmes. She is not only a student, but also a full time single mom, with a clear cut set of goals for becoming a doctor and achieving her dreams. That’s awesome and I am peacock proud of the sister for doing the damn thing!
But I’m absolutely incensed at Juicy J for even daring to invoke respectability politics when announcing his choice of winner.
In the opening scene of the video, Juicy J says, “Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money and I don’t want to waste it on just some girl twerking her ass. You don’t deserve it.”
I mean look, perhaps it was wrong of us not to recognize the master mind behind “Bands A Make Her Dance,” was incapable of noble intentions toward sisters hustling trying to make it. Who knew that he would use this scholarship as a sick experiment to add credibility to his premise, (i.e. girls will dance for money.)?
But that is the thing we should be clear about. Juicy J wanted girls to twerk, framed it as a twerking competition, and then had the nerve to try to make a ratchet project respectable not by simply taking responsibility for his choice but rather by shaming the sisters who participated.
Yes, many of these women twerked, but they twerked on their own terms, they twerked while reading Dorothy Roberts, they twerked with friends, they twerked for enjoyment.
So while Juicy J might have capitulated to calls to make his process more “respectable” by not requiring a girl to shake her ass for money, he also undercut that by shaming the women who did exactly what he asked them to do.
He seems to have some sick, twisted Captain Save a Ho complex, wherein he wants to be a Sugar Daddy for some girl from the hood, a la E-40. But since he doesn’t fundamentally respect the girls who dance in the club for money, he deems them all unworthy of being saved through his $50 thousand dollar gift.
Sexism warps the mind and the dulls the thinking. Clearly.
Some part of me thinks that we feminists got what we deserved: our willingness to keep on trying to resist and subvert patriarchy often only ends up showing us how much we don’t control the terms of the conversation. And maybe our goal should not just be resistance any longer, but fullscale revolt, because in this instance, Black women got played. But we’re still figuring out what revolution looks like, and unfortunately we still believe these sexist assholes are redeemable and mean us some good.
Sexism doesn’t work that way though. Or rather it works exactly this way. He gives out a few crumbs to Zaire, and transforms her life. She is exceptional and he gets to be the Patron Saint of Hustlin Hood Chicks. All the while, his contempt for women in general and sex workers in particular remains in check and thinly veiled.
In the end, Juicy J switched things up, invoked respectability, invited a kind of derisiveness towards twerkers, and thought he would come out looking like a stand up guy.
What do you think of the feminist’s point of view? Is Juicy wrong for awarding the $50k to a woman who didn’t twerk??