Monday, February 28, 2011

Sometimes when we screw up it's up to family to set us straight.

So let me do this favor for my cousin Chris Brown:

Your new dye job is horrible. Please wash it out.

Apparently C Breezy posted this pic on Twitter, and my boy @thefamouseric alerted me. I hope he ditches the look before the next family cookout - I don't think my grandmother's poor heart can take it.
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Hailing from London, Nate James has been called one of the most successful independent recording artists around the world. In only three years,  he has won many awards all over Europe and Asia and hopes to have the same success here in the U.S. Some of his influences are Jamiroquai, Stevie Wonder and Musiq Soulchild.  He has released three albums on his own FroFunk label. Enjoy!

"High Times"


Progressive Soul Mondays: Opening Minds and Erradicating Foolery, Coonery, & Buffoonery one Monday at a time®

-- Desiree
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Earlier this week, I saw a commercial for a love advice hotline - $5 to let a complete stranger tell you how to live your life.

Why pay $5 when I can butt into your personal business for free?

And before someone asks, I'm not the guy wearing the suit in the picture.

Ladies, send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter at @etbowser. Dudes, you can get in touch with Javacia at Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question:

Why do men cheat? And why is it that when women cheat on them in return they can't handle it?

Getting Even, k.e.

Oh lord.

So let me get this straight.You wanna know why these evil, no-good men break the hearts of the ones they love to chase after their sinful, carnal desires and DARE to get mad when women break the hearts of the ones they love to chase after their sinful, carnal desires?

Playa, please.

OK, let's start with the easy part. Why do men cheat? We've covered this before: Depends on the situation. It doesn't always mean that the guy is a poorly groomed, shoeless sex addict (word to Eric Benet). Sometimes a man falls out of love, sometimes he's too cowardly to admit his current relationship is over, sometimes he feels the grass is greener in his neighbor's lawn (so to speak) and sometimes it truly is a one-time mistake. And yeah, sometimes he's just Eric Benet.

The reasons vary and they're not always malicious - not that that's an excuse. Cheating is wrong, period.

And speaking of excuses...

Nothing fires me up more than the old adage "if he cheats, that means I can cheat." Just to refresh your memory: Cheating is wrong, period. Ladies, if you're so eager to jump in some other guy's sheets, or couch, or backseat of his '74 Pinto, clearly you weren't very attatched to Mr. Cheater in the first place. And what exactly does this endless cycle of cheating accomplish? That a woman can beat a man-whore at his own game? What does that make the woman?

Stooping to your cheating man's level proves nothing, and solves nothing. Here's a novel idea - if your man won't get his act together, break up with him.

You wanna know why men can't handle it when women cheat? Because cheating is a painful destruction of trust. The SAME PAIN women feel when men cheat. Passing that pain around doesn't do anyone any favors.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anna North of reported yesterday that in order to qualify for certain jobs at Weight Watchers you have to first shed a few pounds. 

If you want to be a meetings leader for the company's Meeting Room, for example, you must be a Lifetime Member and within 2 pounds of your weight loss goal. If you plan to seek a receptionist position you must be within 10 pounds of your weight goal range upon hire. 

Is this a problem? 
Most of us would be ready to sue (and slap) a potential employer if he or she told us we needed a smaller waistline before we could be hired. But if your job is all about helping people lose weight, is it wrong to ask that you have a weight loss success story of your own? 
As North writes: "This requirement makes a certain amount of sense from the company's perspective — they're all about losing weight, and so you should be good at losing weight before you help other people do so."
But North goes on to say that having this slim and trim workforce can be false advertising for the Weight Watchers brand: "The result may be a skewed view for prospective members — all the Meeting Room staff have reached (or nearly reached) their goals, so it may seem like everybody does. But in reality, only those close to their goal are allowed to staff the Meeting Room."
So what do you think? Is this a classic case of weight discrimination or is this no different from Express asking its employees to sport the store's cute clothes while working?

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The byline gender gap.
Even in 2010 women are still grossly underrepresented in the literary arts. As VIDA writes, "We know women write. We know women read. It’s time to begin asking why the 2010 numbers don’t reflect those facts with any equity." Click here for the numbers that reveal this disparity.  

The idea of a uterus police.
State Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia introduced a bill in his state last week that, if made into law, would require women who suffer miscarriages to provide proof that the loss of the baby occurred naturally and without intervention. If she can't prove this she could face felony charges. So a woman devastated by the loss of her child would now have to be "investigated" while she's grieving. Good job, Bob. Daily Kos has more and a link to the bill. 

Rush Limbaugh calling my first lady fat. 
On a recent segment of his radio show Limbaugh called Michelle Obama a hypocrite saying that, while she advocates healthy eating, she "doesn't look like [she] follows her own...dietary advice" because she was once caught eating ribs (gasp!) and because she "does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you." The Huffington Post has more. I would like Michelle to release a statement telling him to kiss her fat ass. 

The House voting to cut funding for Planned Parenthood

Last week the House of Representatives voted to eliminate Title X funding, which supports clinics and programs that provide contraception and basic gynecological care to low-income women. The bill includes an amendment that specifically targets Planned Parenthood, denying the organization all federal funding. But why? The argument that this is about ending abortion is simply not true. Federal funding of abortion was banned long ago. The only thing this move would do is deny millions of women access to routine gynecological examinations such as cervical cancer tests, tests that can save lives.  Many women, including yours truly, have used Planned Parenthood for health services that have nothing to do with abortion, and as Ann Friedman says in the interview below, all women should feel personally attacked by 
this vote. 

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I, like most of you, was shocked, sickened and saddened by the news of the sexual assault against CBS correspondent Lara Logan. 

A native of South Africa who has covered war zones for 18 years, Logan was in Cairo to cover the aftermath of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarek's resignation. According to reports,  Logan, her crew, and security team found themselves surrounded by a hysterical mob of more than 200 people. Soon the journalist lost her crew in the frenzy and was then attacked by the crowd. She suffered a brutal beating and was sexually assaulted before being rescued by about 20 soldiers and a group of heroic women. 

I was then further disgusted by the response from people like conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel:

So sad, too bad, Lara. No one told her to go there. She knew the risks. And she should have known what Islam is all about. Now she knows. Or so we’d hope. But in the case of the media vis-a-vis Islam, that’s a hope that’s generally unanswered.
This never happened to her or any other mainstream media reporter when Mubarak was allowed to treat his country of savages in the only way they can be controlled.
Now that’s all gone. How fitting that Lara Logan was “liberated” by Muslims in Liberation Square while she was gushing over the other part of the “liberation.”
Hope you’re enjoying the revolution, Lara! Alhamdilllullah [praise allah].

So a woman is raped while doing her job, while trying to report history in the making, and instead of rallying to support her in any way we can, we use this as an opportunity to not only blame the victim, but to attack Islam as well. Good job, Debbie.

If thoughts such as "She was stupid to be over there" or "Well, that's how those Muslim men are" have crossed your mind while reading of Logan's assault, please check yourself. No one completely understands why rapists rape, but I doubt it's because Islam told them to. Furthermore, one in six women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Most, if not all, of those victims will have to endure being interrogated and sometimes even accused of lying, making that assault even harder to cope with. Instead of blaming the victim and saying ridiculous things like "She shouldn't have been there in the first place," how about we celebrate Logan's dedication to her work and the courage of the men and women who helped rescue her.
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I long thought that hip hop's worst fashion trend would forever be Kris Kross' backward attire. Those two had scores of impressionable (read: dumb) kids wearing their clothes in the wrong direction. At my middle school, any child who was Totally Krossed Out was threatened with suspension.

Where are the school administrators now that I need them?

Nowadays, there's a much stupider trend on the rise. Remember Gucci Mane's stupid electric ice cream face tattoo? Yung LA has raised the stakes.

Yes, the man has a tat of a pink duck on his face. So that's what's hot in the streets? Pink duckie tattoos? Even though the duck looks like some sort of pink grim reaper, it's still A PINK DUCKIE TATTOO. Until now, Yung L.A.'s greatest claim to fame (ahem) was that "Ain't I" song from a couple of years back. Now he's gonna be known as the pink Ducktales dude. And he's OK with that?
Young readers, I beg of you - please explain to me what rappers have to gain from tattooing ice cream and ducks on their faces. Maybe it's a generational thing because I'm totally at a loss. I just don't get it.

But I never got that Kris Kross thing either.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

While attending an outing dubbed "Jacob's Ladder: A Taste of Christian Nightlife", I discovered a genre of music that I didn't even know existed -- neo-soul gospel.  This made me VERY excited because in the quest to filter what I listen to and watch, I found that some of the artists that I enjoyed listening to have lyrics that are very carnal in nature. This also got the wheels turning as far as Progressive Soul Mondays and inspired me to share some of these artists with you guys! This week's artist is Adrianne Archie. 

Based in Louisville, Ky, Archie started singing at conventions and in churches, plays and talent shows as early as age 6. After college she began working with the independent label Soul LinQ Productions. Drawing from genre influences such as gospel, hip-hop, R&B and neo-soul, Archie reaches a wide range of listeners. She has released three albums. 

I hope you enjoy her music as much as I do. 

Progressive Soul Mondays: Opening Minds and Erradicating foolery, coonery, and buffoonery one Monday at a time­­®

-- Desiree
(Javacia Harris Bowser contributed to this story.)

"What a Fellowship"

"Push Myself" 
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Hey, Love Letters fans, once again we're running low on submissions.  If you have a burning question about the opposite sex, here's your chance for a quick response. You know what to do:

Ladies, send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter at @etbowser. Dudes, you can get in touch with Javacia at Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question:

How can some men waste so much time dating and ultimately marrying the wrong woman?

I Saw It Coming

Well, it's probably because they don't read Love Letters!

I guess it's pretty pointless to drop a cheap plug into a column that you're already reading, but I have no shame.

But back to the question. How often do we shake our heads, saying "how can he/she put up with that loser?" It's really easy to say that when you're on the outside looking in. When a guy is blinded by love or lust, or is just ignoring gigantic neon signs that clearly say "run for your life," they don't see the oncoming disaster.

And although it's tough, sometimes it takes a strong close friend to pull a guy aside and inform the him that his relationship is headed for the rocks.

Notice I said "strong close friend." Ladies, if you have your eyes on a guy and you know his relationship is in trouble, in most cases it's not your place to tell him to dump his current girl. Why? Because even if you mean well, it'll make you look like an underhanded, scheming hater. If you know without a shadow of a doubt that his girlfriend is truly doing something evil (and I mean, "poke holes in the condom and turn the baby over to the devil" evil) maybe then you can speak up - and perhaps have one of the guy's "strong close friends" to relay the information. But just because you think something might be going on - or simply because you don't like his girlfriend - doesn't give you clearance to run up in the guy's business.

 Life is about learning from our mistakes. We've all had bad relationships and what we take from those experiences make us better people. But hopefully lessons are learned before children and wedding rings are involved. If a guy is mature enough to be in a relationship, he should be mature enough to handle any unfortunate consequences.

And, after all, the guy should have been reading Love Letters anyway.
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Justin Bieber On set
photo by jake.auzzie

When I told Edd I wanted to write a blog about the comments teen pop star Justin Bieber made about abortion in his recent Rolling Stone interview, he was sure I was angry with little Justin. Here's want the Bieb had to say, according to MSNBC:
"I really don't believe in abortion," Bieber says. "It's like killing a baby?" How about in cases of rape? "Um. Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that."
Despite saying something as trite as "everything happens for a reason" in response to a question about rape, I'm not angry at Bieber at all. Why? Because he's 16! And this is exactly why it is completely ridiculous for a reporter to ask him about such issues. Yes, I know that pregnant teen girls and their partners are faced with making decisions about abortion, but to ask a 16-year-old boy that is, to quote Jezebel's Anna North, "primarily known for his brush cut and pop stylings" simply makes no sense. How is this relevant to his music career and why exactly is he qualified to speak on reproductive rights? Because millions of teenage girls want to have his baby? I don't think so.
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The funniest thing about getting older is realizing that we become exactly like our parents.

Take music, for example. It's easy for longtime music fans to criticize today's artists for raunchy content and oversexed lyrics. Ever see a 10-year-old girl doing nasty booty dances at a church outing? I have. Many, many times.

It's easy for us to yell about Ciara slinging her gluteus minimus around, corrupting the minds of today's youth. News flash - our minds were just as corrupted, just as our parents' minds were. Your momma n' dem had Clarence Carter and Marvin Sease.

And we had ol' nasty H-Town. Remember them?

(disclaimer - some of the following videos might not be very safe for work, unless your job doesn't mind guys thrusting their pelvises and women with bad weaves in bikinis.)

Kevin "Dino" Conner and his twin brother Solomon "Shazam" Conner teamed with their friend Darryl "G.I." Jackson to form H-Town in 1992. The group, of course, is named after hometown of Houston, Texas. I'm still waiting for a group to emerge from my hometown of Portsmouth, Va., so it can be named P-Town. Anyway, the trio's demo wound up in the hands of the infamous Uncle Luke, who gleefully led them on the path of freakiness.

Immediately, H-Town hit hard and fast (ahem, so to speak) with 1993's "Knockin' Da Boots." I was always annoyed by the euphamism - how exactly does one knock boots? Bumpin' uglies, I get that, but not boot knockin'. Maybe you readers with foot apparel fetishes can help us out in the comments.

Or, maybe not.

"Knockin' Da Boots" bumped uglies all the way up to No. 3 on the charts and propelled H-Town's debut, Fever For Da Flavor, to platinum sales. The follow-ups "Lick U Up" and "Baby I Wanna" were just as raunchy - and the ladies loved every minute. But just when parents started to scold girls for eyeballing shirtless men with high-top fades, H-Town would tone it down (slightly) with tracks like "Keepin' My Composure."

H-Town's success landed them a spot on the Above the Rim Soundtrack in 1994. "Part Time Lover" was typical H-Town - grown men begging for sex. Sheesh. And y'all give me grief about Keith Sweat.

At the end of 1994, H-Town returned with their second album, the gold-selling Beggin' After Dark (see what I mean!). The most memorable track from this set was "Emotions." The video featured Dino being seriously hurt in a car accident. About 10 years later, life would tragically imitate art.

In 1996, the trio released, in my opinion, their best song - a cover of The Persuaders' "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate," for the Martin Lawrence movie of the same name. Just a few years ago my brother told me that Lynn Whitfield's psychotic character terrified him at the time. I'm glad someone was convinced by the "acting" in that movie.

By the time their third album, Ladies Edition: Woman's World, rolled around, the guys had dumped Uncle Luke and, not surprisingly, the raunchiness was greatly toned down. The kinder, gentler H-Town retained their fans and solid tracks like "They Like It Slow" and "Natural Woman" helped them strike gold once again.

From about 2000-2004, it seemed like every six months the music industry lost a star. Tragedy struck in 2003 when Dino was killed in an automobile accident, eerily similar to H-Town's "Emotions" video. The following year, Shazam and G.I. reunited for Imitations of Life.

In recent years, there have been murmurings of a new album. There's a video for "Knocking Your Heels" that featured the corpses of Jodeci. And then there's the bizarre "Call Me Mr. Pacman." Uh huh.

Should They Come Back?: Allegedly they will - eventually. Judging from the weird Pac-Man song, the new album Child Support will be a return to their freaky roots. All the young girls who idolized these guys are now in the work force and likely will shell out money to relieve their fantasies - ironically while yelling at their daughters to turn off Ciara's latest video.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Late last year Keri Hilson's "Pretty Girl Rock" became nearly every woman's anthem as Hilson told us ladies to get it together, to never be jealous of others, and to be confident enough to shake the haters off. In the video for the song Hilson pays tribute to female icons such as Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Janet Jackson and TLC. And as raunchy as "The Way You Love Me" may be, it is nonetheless an example of a woman being sexually assertive. 

But despite her girl power jams, when asked in a recent interview if she's a feminist, Hilson said she wasn't quite sure. 

Your album aims to be very empowering to all women. Would you call yourself a feminist?
I don’t know. That word has been tossed around a few times. I absolutely stand for women’s rights – I do. I also believe in empowerment and just owning and controlling your situation - be it your relationships, sexuality or confidence -and then not allowing anyone to take that. If any of that puts me into the feminist box, then I’m proudly there.
But I’m not a Nazi with it. I just feel strongly that women lack the confidence that we need in this day and time. Everyone is seeking validation from expensive things like heels and handbags and hair weaves, or other women and other men. I just feel that I would like to see that over. I do it because it’s my job. I don’t do it because I believe that it makes me who I am. I know that comes from within.

As's Dodai Stewart writes, "It's obvious that she has a feminist outlook on life, and it's also obvious she is rather reluctant to be called (or call herself) a 'feminist.'"

And with Hilson's statement of "I'm not a Nazi with it" it's obvious why she's so reluctant. Even in 2011 many people still believe that feminism is all about hating or dominating men and Hilson seems aware of this perception. 

It's time to get with it, people. Feminism is about the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. The end. It's not about emasculating men or women taking over the world. 

Fortunately, Hilson does say that if her support of women's rights and empowerment put her in "the feminist box, then I'm proudly there." 

Miss Keri, you are a feminist, even if you don't know it yet. Until then, we'll be here waiting patiently and doing the Pretty Girl Rock.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In a recent interview with MsDramaTV, TV One Founder Cathy Hughes expressed absolute disgust with movies such as Precious and Monster’s Ball and their portrayal of black women.
Check it out:

I understand her point, but is it right to dismiss a movie such as Precious, a movie that though heart wrenching has a great message about perseverance, simply because one of the black female characters in the film is a horrific mother? Guess what, some black women are awful moms; just as some white, Latina, Asian, Indian, Arab (or insert any race) women can be awful mothers too. Poor parenthood comes in all shades. I would argue that the purpose of Precious was not to portray black women as awful human beings, but to instead offer a portrait of a young woman who faced unthinkably dark circumstances, the worst of all possible scenarios, and still held on to hope.

Surprisingly, when Hughes was asked about the movies of Tyler Perry (who, by the way, helped produce and promote Precious) she seemed to have no problem with the ridiculous, pistol toting Madea:

There’s always a need to laugh. Laughter is healing. And Tyler Perry balances that. Tyler Perry has done a miraculous job of portraying Black folks.


In April, Perry’s “Madea’s Big Happy Family” hits theaters and Martin Lawrence’s “Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son” opens next week.

But if Hughes is worried about Mo’Nique’s role in Precious and Berry’s role in Monster’s Ball perpetuating negative stereotypes of women, why isn’t there a concern that Madea and Big Momma are doing the same?

As Bene Viera says, writing for Clutch Magazine:

Stereotypes about Black women are reinforced through the Big Momma and Madea characters. Both Madea and Big Momma are loud and obese. The feisty, attitude having Black woman trope is beyond played out.  Only it isn’t to the audiences supporting them with the almighty dollar. “Big Momma’s House 2” raked in nearly $28 million opening weekend in 2006. “Madea Goes to Jail” topped that pulling $41.1 million opening weekend in 2009. Hollywood will continue to serve those types of movies on a platter with earnings like that.

Sure you could argue that Perry’s movies are less about the representation of black women and more about faith and family, but do you really go to these movies for the moral lessons or do you just go to see Madea beat up unruly children and say “Heller!”

And, of course, you could also say it’s not a big deal because it’s just comedy, but for me constantly creating and celebrating caricatures of black women just isn’t funny.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

For the first time in a very long time, I was actually excited to check out this year's installment of the Grammys. The reason?  A performance from my girl Janelle Monae - she never disappoints and I couldn't wait for her to shine on the big stage. Unfortunately, I had to endure THREE AND A HALF hours of boredom as well.

So while you were watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta (and for that, you should be ashamed), here's what you missed.

1.  Nice to see LL Cool J for the first time in awhile. Too bad he was wearing his little brother's suit. And why were his lips so dark? Maybe he stopped licking them so much.

2. Will you guys finally forgive Christina Aguilera for her Super Bowl boo-boo after a great performance of "Ain't No Way?" Never mind the fact that she fell down afterward...

3. And speaking of the Aretha Franklin tribute, didn't Yolanda Adams nearly shatter your TV screen with her vocals? Guess it's easy to do that when you have a mouth the size of Ms. Pac Man's.

4. Can we stop calling Lady Gaga a fashionista? She came out of an eggshell wearing a fried egg hat. I don't consider that high fashion.

5. At Georgia Mae Headquarters:

Wifey: I wonder if Lenny Kravitz still stinks?

Me: Huh?

Wifey: Every reporter I know says he stinks.

Me: Looks like he stapled cat skins to his vest - that's probably the culprit.

6. After Muse's angry performance, is England planning to get their Cairo on and revolt?

7. Finally, Janelle hit the stage - and initially I was one angry black man. Was she just gonna sing backup for
b.o.b and Bruno "nose candy" Mars?

8. Thankfully, Janelle had her moment in the spotlight and delivered the performance of the night! Simply amazing. But does she own any clothes besides Steve Urkel's old slacks and a tuxedo shirt?

9. On the subject of attire, why was b.o.b. wearing a monocle, like he went shopping with Mr. Peanut and Scrooge McDuck?

10. I really don't understand the Justin Bieber hate. Sure, the guy has a horrible haircut but he can sing. And how can you possibly hate a man who has an army of Mortal Kombat ninjas at his beck and call?

11. His mentor Usher, however, needs to a) get a haircut, b) stop smoking or whatever he's doing to destroy his voice and c) find the nearest cliff and leap off. Who thought it was a good idea to steal Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation while wearing Star Trek uniforms?

12. Lady Gaga had a built in booty on her costume. Awww, just like Nicki Minaj.

13. Conversation at Georgia Mae headquarters:

Wifey: Bob Dylan is still alive?

Me: Ugh, doesn't sound like it...

14. Was my boy Cee-Lo Green really dressed like the NBC peacock - on CBS? I must say, I was skeptical, but Ms. Paltrow impressed me during the set.

15. How much you wanna bet John Mayer was scheming to hook up with Norah Jones?

16. Were you one of the dozens of people who tweeted "who is that?" when Esperanza won Best New Artist? If so, google before you tweet - the woman deserved it.

17. I heard Rihanna had the flu - why didn't she stay home and recover? Trust me, no one would have complained if she took a sick day.

18.  Did Guru really get snubbed during the posthumous shout-outs? The Grammys should be ASHAMED.

19. So, has Nicki Minaj gone from copying Lil Kim to imitating Lady Gaga's hideous outfits? That woman steals from everyone. And y'all wonder why I dislike her.

20. Why do these shows ruin the suspense by having the artists perform right before announcing them as winners? Of course The Arcade Fire won album of the year after their set - Eminem and the others had no chance.

Well, I'm gonna go crawl in my egg, Gaga-style. See you next year.
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Today we celebrated with Egypt as President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, following weeks of protests by anti-government demonstrators in Cairo and other cities. The historic moment was a testament to the scores of protesters who stood their ground in their fight for democracy.

It amazes me how a revolution that gained ground on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter literally changed the world.

It also saddens me that we take our freedoms for granted over on our soil. Check out this video from poet laureate Waka Flocka Flame, on the "importance of voting."

Yes, this dude basically said so-called "low class" people don't vote because nothing changes. Waka says, if things change first, THEN maybe they'll consider voting.

So, he expects ailing, struggling people who are hungry for change to NOT speak their minds and wait for change to magically come - then they'll start voting.

 Can you imagine if this idiot was a protest leader in Egypt?

While it's easy to ignore anything this guy says - he's a grown man named after one of the Muppet Babies! - it troubles me that even hip hop's more revered lyricists send out very dangerous messages to our kids.

I anxiously await Lupe Fiasco's new album next month, and I was eager to hear his new single,  "Words I Never Said," which was released a couple of weeks ago. But I was appalled by the time I got through the first verse:

Limbaugh was a racist, Glen Beck is a racist
Gaza strip was gettin bombed but Obama didn't say s***
That's why I didn't vote for him, next one either
I'm a part of the problem, my problem is I'm peaceful
And I believe in the people! Yeah!

On the surface, these lyrics don't seem problematic. Lupe doesn't trust war-mongering leaders, he trusts the peaceful hearts of the people. Awww. But Lupe has often preached about the futility of voting, a message he restates in the verse above. And that, Mr. Fiasco, is absolutely stupid.

The foundation of democracy is giving the people a voice. And that voice is projected through voting. No vote, no voice. African Americans, of ALL people in this country, should never take those rights for granted. We struggled for decades for the right to be heard alongside our countrymen. And now that we have that right, celebrities who have the ears of our children treat it like a disposable luxury.

Happy Black History Month, Lupe.

I hope America's youth learn from the events of the past two weeks. We saw scores of people willing to lay down their lives in their quest for freedom. I don't care what your favorite rapper says, democracy is a right that can never be taken for granted. Egypt's youth have learned that lesson well; I fear for our youth if they haven't.
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Another day, another chance to spread love. Who has questions?

Ladies, send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter at @etbowser. Dudes, you can get in touch with Javacia at Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here's today's question:

Why are men so superficial?

Fed Up With the Fake, bj

Why are men so superficial? I have a question of my own: Why are women so superficial?

Back in college, I dated about a half dozen women who said "you would be perfect if you were a few inches taller." Yes, I'm 5'6, but the women who were saying this were 5'3 -wearing high heels and standing on Justin Bieber's head!

Superficial tendencies aren't just characteristics of neanderthal men. Being superficial is so easy, even a cavewoman could do it.

The reason we're so superficial is because we're swayed by the standards of beauty dictated to us by the media. Whether we're told that a beautiful woman is rail thin or has a butt the size of a Buick or that a desirable man has a bottomless wallet or P90X abs, we're constantly being bombarded with images of what is supposed to be sexy.

I can understand kids and teens being swayed by those images but as adults we should know better. Just like rational adults realize that they can't eat jellybeans and ice cream for dinner, they should be able to look through media's smokescreen of an "ideal" mate. We all have our personal preferences but ladies (and guys too) don't miss out on a good thing by being stuck on the superficial.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

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Originally, the following question was submitted by a guy to Javacia for our Love Letters column. But the issue sparked such a debate at Georgia Mae Headquarters that we decided to share both our views:

Can men and women just be friends? e.h.

He Said

The reader's question stemmed from an interview by relationship expert (COUGH) Steve Harvey. Apparently, Harvey said there is no way on earth a man and woman could be friends and remain platonic.

Stick to the gaudy suits, Steve. Leave the relationship advice to the pros.

I'm blessed to have many female friends. In fact, I probably have just as many female friends as male friends - maybe even a couple more. I grew up with most of these women and a couple know me better than anyone on the planet, besides the wifey herself.

I've never dated any of these women and never will. I'm not saying they're disgusting sludge monsters. No, they're very attractive women but I see them solely as cousins and sisters. They truly feel like family. And dating them would be icky.

Now, I'm sure some insecure women would say "you're married now, you need to cut them off." Why? I had most of these friends LONG before I knew someone named Javacia Harris roamed the streets of Birmigham (uh, I didn't mean to make it sound like she was homeless...). It's not fair to cut them off.

I must make clear that Javacia has met and spent time with ALL of my female friends - those I've known since grade school and those I met after my marriage. I'm not disrespecting Javacia by sneaking out in the middle of the night to hang with them or have secret conversations at 4 a.m.

The danger is when people establish relationships with people they're attracted to and then try to classify them as "friendships." That's when the problems start, and is probably what Harvey is alluding to. I had a female friend years ago who was hung up on me - even though I knew this, I didn't end the friendship. Eventually, she started talking recklessly about Javacia (we were just dating at the time and she was preparing to move to Louisville) and I told ol' girl "respect my girlfriend, or we can't be friends." That was the last time I talked to her. I regret losing a friend, but my relationship came first.

If you follow that mindset, men and women easily can just friends.

She Said

Eduardo, I must admit that initially I did have a problem with the fact that you had so many female friends. And yes, you assured me that they were like sisters to you, but still they were not really your sisters and they're all hot. But once I started to hang out with them my uneasiness quickly faded. 

So I would say that it's important for opposite gender friends, and any friends really, to meet and spend time with your significant other. 

As for me and my male friends, I set rules for myself. I won't be friends with a guy unless he's gay, someone I'd never be attracted to (either because he's not my type or I see him like a brother), or my ex. Now, I know the last one seems counterintuitive if not completely insane, but let me explain. With only one exception, my romantic relationships have always blossomed from a deep friendship. I'd meet a guy, we'd be the best of homies and inevitably I would start wondering "What if?" I was curious and just had to know what it would be like to be more than friends. Therefore, for me, being pals with ex-boyfriends is perfectly safe because that "What if?" question that got me into trouble in the past isn't there to tempt me. It's been answered. And even though nearly each of the guys I've dated in the past is a great man, he's clearly not the man for me. And I'm not the woman for him. He's my ex for a reason!

And as Edd said, it's all about respect. You shouldn't be having some secret late night rendezvous with these friends nor should you constantly put your significant other on the back burner, but again this is something you should follow whether we're talking about friends of the opposite or same sex. 
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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Today is the big day. My 30th birthday is finally here and I plan to celebrate for the next four days. As most of you know I love lists, especially lists of goals and cool things I want to do. As a prelude to the partying, this week I decided to compile a list of 30 things I've never done before that I’d like to do while I’m 30. So I present to you 30 firsts before my 31st.

1. Go on a fabulous girls' trip (Essence Music Festival, anyone?)
2. Attend Fro Fashion Week in the fall. 
3. Lead a Church of the Highlands small group. 
4. Relaunch
5. Host a natural hair meet up.
6. Host a vision board party (ladies, you're all invited!). 
7. Go to a fun Halloween party. (I've been to plenty of Halloween parties as an adult, but none of them have been fun. Will someone help me change that please?)
8. Reach my happy weight.
9. Become a Feministing contributor.
10. Organize a family fun day at Spring Valley Beach.
11. Post a blog entry every day for a month.
12. Revamp my wardrobe.
13. Write a book. 
14. Start a Georgia Mae newsletter.
15. Make my own hair product.
16. Get a tattoo.
17. Figure out my life mission, or as my hero Holly Wagner calls it, my God assignment.
18. Pretend to be a real adult and send Christmas letters.
19. Go the the Crawfish Boil. 
20. Have a picnic at Railroad Park with the hubster.
21. Buy something cool from Naked Art Gallery.
22. Attempt the Six Items or Less Challenge. 
23. Get published in Skirt.
24. Get published at Clutch.
25. Write for Hairpin.
26. Get published on Jezebel.
27. Read How Did You Get This Number.
28. Compose a video blog post.
29. Try Dance Trance.
30. Try PYT (That stands for Pole Yourself Thin, and yes, it's a pole dancing class.) 

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