Author’s Note: This article originally appeared on The Obsidian Files, on Mar 14, 2013. It is in regards to controversy over a film called Frustrated that upset some black feminists.
“They drew first blood.”
During the recent conversation taking place over the popular teledrama “Scandal” one of my regular reader/commenters –Hollenhund – alerted me to the fact that apparently, there was a fierce discussion taking place over at the blog Hooking Up Smart about a rash of Black American Men heading off to Brazil for the express purpose of availing themselves of the local ladies, as an alternative to what’s on offer back home. Using the link Hollenhund provided, I hopped over to HUS, read what was being said, and then checked out the YouTube link provided, which leads you to an under one hour-long documentary called “Frustrated: Black American Men In Brazil.” I had intended to take up the matter but forgot all about it in the the crush of my daily activities – until I saw the following link in my Twitter feed by one Ms. Demetria Lucas, the self-proclaimed “Belle in Brooklyn.” Ms. Lucas has saw it fit to weigh in on the whole “Frustrated” kerfuffle at The Root, and it was her dipping her toe into these controversial waters, that reignited my interested in the matter – largely because of the twisted and disingenuous manner in which she chose to cover the issue. Grab coffee, this is gonna be good.
First, let’s begin with the fact that Ms. Lucas gets off on the wrong foot, by suggesting that the film “Frustrated” just dropped out of the sky – assisted by World Star Hip Hop – made by a bunch of Brotha Losers crying into their beer and wanting to throw the American Sistahood under the proverbial bus. Alas, much to the chagrin of Ms. Lucas I’m afraid, nothing could be further from the truth, for we find out in the very film “Frustrated” itself, its origins and the reason for its existence -it was made, as a response to a drive-by hitpiece written in Essence magazine – the premiere magazine for Black Womenwith issues – on how Black Men were flocking to Brazil for less-than-savory, “sex tourist” purposes. “Frustrated” attempts to offer the Black male perspective on why at least some Brothas are voting with their feet when it comes to looking for love, and yes, sex. Among other things (because, it couldn’t be possible that any Man, especially Black, could have any other motives, desires, interests or aspirations in life, that doesn’t go farther than the tip of his dick – right?).
That’s Strike One, Madam Lucas.
Next, while “the Belle” acknowledges that quite a few of the Brothas featured in “Frustrated” were at least passably attractive, what she doesn’t mention – and not by accident in the view of this writer – is that the single biggest detractor of Brothas in the film, is a grossly overweight, facially unattractive, loudmouthed, “sassy” American Sista, talking loud and saying absolutely nothing. It is clear that she is hoppin’ mad about the fact that American Brothas would rather take their chances in a foreign land, rather than to put up with her. As the great NFL running back, former Eagle Ricky Watters once famoulsly said: “For who? For what?”
Lucas’ lie of omission is completely understandable, one, because it allows her deluded self to sidestep the painful reality of the fact that one of the many problems that beset American Sistas is one of the scale – they be damn-near breaking it, and this is coming from a friend of the Zaftig Woman. But Sistas have pushed passed being “zaftig”, “thick”, “curvy”, or heck, even what they used to call “pleasingly plump” – no, they are fat. Fat Albert, Eddie Murphy playing the Clumps, Nutty Professor & the Big Pun-looking chick from Norbit, Wilson Fisk the Kingpin, King Robert of Baretheon from Game of Thrones, Jabba the Hutt, fat. It’s gotten so bad, that even the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has had to step in. It’s gotten so outta control that outfits, like Boston U’s Black Women’s Health Study, has had to step in. Everyone who has at least one good eye, knows that Black Women in the USA, have an inordinate obesity problem. That’s the fact, Jack. And it’s gotten so bad that, for at least a not insignificant number of Brothas, going down south – way, way south – of the border, is a much better option, than having to put up with a chick who’s looking like a cobra-headed manatee with an attitude. Don’t take my word for it, see the film for yourself.
And then, compare and contrast with the ladies from Brazil featured in “Frustrated” – and you tell me who you would choose if you could do so. Yea, that’s what I thought.
That’s Strike Two, Demetria.
And finally, there’s Ms. Lucas’ contention – which is the same faux-argument put forth in both of Essence’s hitpieces (as Lucas rightfully – for once – points out, Essence did a followup piece on its original 2006 article, this time focusing on the Dominican Republic) and the Sista She-Walrus in “Frustrated,” that the Brothas featured in the film were somehow being “delusional”, because all they were doing (and could do, since none of them were married – female projection, strikes again) was buying sex from Women who were somehow using them for their cash -despite the fact that the Brothas in the film said something completely different. Sure, they don’t deny the fact that Brazil has a thriving sex trade, and that at least some Brothas partake of it – but they also point out the fact that many romantic attachments and the like are not of a fiduciary nature at all, and even the more common everyday interactions with Women in Brazil are of the kind rarely if ever seen in Black American life (they don’t call it “Mean Muggin‘” for nothing). On top of that – as the retired Brotha Ms. Lucas refers to in her article – makes clear, there is more to life, and Brazil, than merely Women. Lots of Brothas get the chance to experience life outside of that which they know in the USA, which, let’s face it, can be and usually is stifling, from a racial standpoint. Being in a country that has more peoples of African descent than any other outside of the African continent itself, can give a Brotha a whole another perspective on life. For all the grousing on the part of the Sistahood about how Brothas never want to travel and broaden their horizons, one would think that the Sistas could be happy for Brothas finally taking their first steps out into a new world. But that would sound too much like right. Besides, the butthurt is too much to bear.
And it is this, that many Brothas who visit – or even remain – in Brazil – have made explicitly clear in “Frustrated”. For Ms. Lucas, and others of her ilk, to suggest otherwise, is tantamount to her calling all these Brothas bald-faced liars – or dimwitted dupes, easily swayed by the swaying hips of a Brazilian chica walking by. I mean, could you imagine if the genders were reversed yet retaining the same argument – “Terry McMillan was just being duped by Winston Shakespeare, she really didn’t go the Carribbean to get away and relax”, and so forth? Why, Ms. Lucas would be leading the charge in calling every Brotha under heaven that dreaded “M-word”; we’d never hear the end of it. Speaking of which, where was Ms. Lucas on the issue of Sistas doing a bit of sex tourism of their own? It ain’t like it’s a closely guarded state secret, dontcha know. Indeed, like Ms. McMillan clearly showed the rest of us many years back, it’s often seen as a triumph of the Sistahood that they can go to a faraway place and enjoy the goods of the young stuff. Why begrudge the Brothas the same pleasure? I guess Ms. Lucas and Co. never heard of the right to freedom of association, huh? At least not when it comes to Brothas, anyway. Hmm.
As for the idea that all of the Brothas featured in “Frustrated” are single and that this somehow is a telling sign that there’s something wrong with them rather than with any Woman, American or Brazilian – I almost fell out of my chairing laughing at Ms. Lucas’ desparate grasping of straws. Only a Woman (in this case, a Black American one) would put marriage as the sine qua non goal of Male-Female romantic interaction, and it couldn’t occur to Ms. Lucas that maybe – just perhaps – these Brothas weren’t necessarily looking for wives in the first place. That maybe they were just looking for casual companionship. Or just a series of flings. Or maybe a live-in girlfriend. Or maybe a combination of all the above. In any event, as you clearly see in “Frustrated” yourself, none of the Brothas there look to be the least bit, well, frustrated – indeed, if anything, it’s the American Sistas back stateside who look flustered. They have every reason to be.
And that’s because, quiet as its kept and long before it became fashionable among our White Brothers in the Manosphere, Black Men have been silently voting with their feet in a myriad of ways from “Black relationships” for decades now – and one of those ways involves leaving the country altogether, in search of feminine delights and company that is getting increasingly hard to find here. What the Sistarati didn’t anticipate, didn’t think through, got the calculations wrong, was the prospect of Brothas deciding to seek other options – options, I might add, that don’t have a blessed thing to do with Becky. So we can finally put that old canard to bed. “Frustrated” makes clear, that the vast majority of Brothas, when they can choose, choose Black Women – just not necessarily the ones on offer here. The reasons why should, at this juncture, really go without saying.
Strike Three, Ms. Lucas.