On an episode of the aptly named show It’s Not You, It’s Men, Amber Rose had the painstaking job of once again explaining the concept of consent to two men. Amber explained to Tyreese and Rev. Run why it’s never, ever okay to grope women. Ever. Amber opened up about her experience of being sexually assaulted by men and women when she walks down the street, “I get sexually assaulted constantly. […] Girls do that to me all the time […] And guys, too. […] This is my privacy, no.” In response, Rev. Run commented that this was because of the types of images that Amber posted online.
Of course, the typical banter back and forth between two tone deaf men and a woke woman followed. Tyreese then brought up an example of someone looking at a basketball player and knowing that they are a basketball player by the way they dress. He then proceeds to compare the hypothetical basketball player to the way women dress saying, “The comfortability that some people find in wanting touch or grope you, it’s the energy that’s being sent out there that creates this sort of response.” (Side note; I just want to point out the definition of comfortable so that no one is confused by what Tyreese meant: Comfortable: (of a person, situation, etc.) producing mental comfort or ease; easy to accommodate oneself to or associate with. Additionally, groping someone without consent is sexual assault, people. The end.)
After hearing this foolishness, Amber Rose, who must be a master of patience because she can read and school men on their entitled mindsets with ease and grace, responds, “No it doesn’t. If I’m laying down with a man–butt-naked–and his condom is on, and I say, ‘You know what? No, I don’t want to do this. I changed my mind,’ that means no. That means fucking no. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how far I take it or what I have on, when I say no, it means no.”
Rev. Run, seeming to still agree with Tyreese and having heard none of what Amber had just said follows up with the cliche and sexist advice of “Dress how you want to be addressed and there is some validity to that.”
This antiquated idea that women need to cater their lives to the male gaze should not be confusing. Black men clearly understand autonomy. They understand that wearing a hoody and walking down the street does not mean that one is up to illegal activities and should be harassed, beaten or killed by neighborhood watchmen or the police, so why is it that two supposedly “smart” men can’t get that if someone walked up to them and groped their bodies without consent that this would be a problem. That question is ridiculously rhetorical. Actually, they do get that. What’s lazy about their thought process on male sexual callousness and hyper masculinity is that they refuse to see the problem for what it fully is and other themselves as “good guys” when in reality their thought process is just as dangerous as the men who think it’s okay to force women to have sex with them.
Imagine if there had been three men on the stage talking with the same entitled mindset. And imagine if the specifics of the conversation at hand were much clearer.
Tyresse: If you see a basketball player and he’s known as a basketball player and you see him, you’ll be like ‘Yo let’s go play ball’.”
Guy Guest: That’s the same thing Tyreese, ya’ll know that!
Tyreese: I’m just saying. The mental ease that some people find in wanting to touch or sexually assault you, it’s the energy that’s being sent out there that creates this sort of response.
Guy: Yes, it does. If I’m laying down with a woman–butt-naked–and the condom is on, and I say, ‘You know what? Yes, I want to do this. I haven’t changed my mind,’ that means yes. That means fucking yes. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how far I take it or what I have on, when I say yes, it means yes.”
Rev Run: I’ve heard a quote dress how you want to be addressed and there is some validity to that.
Guy: That’s very realistic!
Just clarifying what Tyreese was really saying should send chills down your spine. Consent is a very simple, basic-minded concept that even small children are able to master as soon as they pass their toddler stage. We, as in all human beings everywhere, have no entitlement to any other person’s body at any point in our lives–not at the club and not even in marriage. It’s tired having to watch Amber break down these very rudimentary ideas to two men, especially when our world is flooded daily with horror stories of women being assaulted, raped and killed because they said no and became victims of male violence against women.
Of course, we’re not at all saying that Rev. Run and Tyreese believe that women should be raped and murdered. However, it’s very clear that their misplaced thought process is no different than racist white people saying that black people should just comply with the police and they won’t get shot or insist that all lives matter–ignoring and detracting from the root of the problem, which is the same root that feeds their ideas on consent.
As a self-described former slut-shamer, Rose was having none of what Tyreese and Rev. Run were serving. She also made it clear that she’s mad at society for helping to encourage their poisoned thought process and not them individually. She goes on to ask them to stop and think about what they are saying and how damaging their thoughts are to both men and women.
Both Rev. Run and Tyreese have daughters and wives. But we should not beg them or any men to see women as fragile dolls and the “lesser sex” that needs to be protected (coincidentally from other men). When we approach the idea of autonomy and sexual consent that way we strip ourselves of humanity and give validity to the idea that women are generally inferior. We are human beings that deserve to be respected and viewed through the same lens that men view themselves–as humans. We are not walking “energy” that deserve to be treated a certain way because of how we dress and act.
It’s time for men to join this conversation from the other side of the couch. The fact that two men just seemingly refused to get it is not funny or entertaining, it’s sad. It’s sad because for every nod they gave to each other, they gave nods to misplaced, male ego driven validation t millions of other hyper-masculine men eagerly waiting to go accost, grope, and possibly rape and murder energy that they feel entitled too. Like we said, imagine if that had been a third guy on the stage with their same mindset. This has got to stop.