Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yo mama

Yo mama so fat she goes to a restaurant, looks at the menu and says "okay!"

I think people have put "yo daddy" jokes out there, but I have never heard a single one used. I'd like to say that they use "yo mama" because it gets people riled up because they honor their momma but I don't think so.  Usually, "yo mama" jokes are for fun and all parties laugh-it's a joke.

I don't like to blow innocent things out of proportion, yet I think that 'yo mama' jokes are a part of and stem from disrespect in general of women. I have a big problem with the fact that most 'yo mama' jokes begin with "yo mama is so fat..." because women have been socialized to think that if they cannot have attributes that make them 'like a man' and able to survive in that world then the only option they have left or their only asset is their body. Therefore, their body is where they put all of their effort and the assessment others make of their body is where they receive their worth.

This week at camp, we had quite a few twelve and thirteen year old girls and at least a handful were overly concerned with their body and appearance. I began to cringe at every 'yo mama' joke and heard a lot of stuff that I hope I would have noticed whether they were there or not. These girls made comments about their weight and getting too fat. Most did not want to be seen without foundation on. A girl made comments like "when my mom was my age she was skinny like me and then she got fat." It sounds like this girl was a parrot of her mom and the phrase had been said more than once. The same mom reprimanded her daughter when she saw her eat two sno cones and cotton candy at camp. She asked her "do you KNOW how many CALORIES you just ate?" One girl had purposely not brought her swimsuit and only one pair of shorts. I was so happy and proud of her when she started wearing her shorts and even when she wore her jeans she rolled them up. I told her that God thought she was absolutely beautiful and that the staff at camp did too. I hope one day she notices the absolutely stunning smile she has. The one I started to see more of as camp progressed.

In Timothy there is a passage that tells women not to be overly concerned with braiding their hair or what they wear and I don't think it is necessarily because women are overly vain but rather because doing so will take your focus off of God and also because God knows that we need to know that there is more to us than just our appearance no matter what the world throws at us or what men say without thought (and with plenty of thought as well).

I hate when a woman is broken down by her looks-piece by piece. I hate that when a women gets up to speak she is looked at first and then, perhaps, listened to. Most likely, the crowd that heard her will talk as much about the way she looks as the way she speaks. Not so with a male speaker. The same with a female athlete, her physical ability is not so interesting as her physical appearance. If she is slim then you would think that is enough, however, she could be "too muscular." If she isn't slim, and didn't perform well, it's probably because she's "a cow." I've heard it, I've heard it from guys I know really well too. It is so prevalent and so accepted. If you have a problem with it then you are too sensitive and you are laughed off. If you are a guy and don't participate, you are looked at sideways-that is, if you are already cool. If you aren't cool and don't participate, you are a nerd or effeminate. At the least you are just left out which nobody in their right mind wants.

I even remember some girls in my youth group asking some of the guys what their favorite part of a girls body was. I had never ever thought that way and I felt like a whole chicken prepared, cut up, and ready to be barbecued. This one liked legs the best, breast was the best meat, thighs were his taste. I had never noticed each part of my body so acutely before then.

I'm sorry but I don't believe that 'men are just made that way.' I think that excuse is meted out too often, from mens mouths, from the pulpit and, often, with a sigh or laugh, from women's mouths. I believe that we were all born with a sin nature and that people may tend toward certain sins than others (because of genetics, gender, nuture, or decisions). But I believe there is not excuse for men to act this way, for women to act this way, or for daughters and sons to be raised where this is acceptable.

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