Poetry :: Twerk, Baby

Tonight I performed (quite unexpectedly) at Bad Language, an awesome night of new and established writers.

I didn’t feel like I had the right material to take with me to read, so this morning I sat down to write something. As I mentioned in my set tonight, I’ve stopped reading the news for the last six months or so, because I read in the news that reading it makes you depressed (that got a laugh, perhaps a pity laugh, but I’ll take it). This meant that, until today, I’d managed not to hear anything about either the Syria debacle, or the Miley Cyrus debacle.

I read a lot of opinion articles about the whole twerking, slut-shaming mess, followed by the whole #solidarityisforwhitewomen mess, and just found myself rather sad.

I did read a very excellent article discussing the white appropriation and commodification of black culture, but I disagree with the author’s insistence that Miley Cyrus fully knows what she’s doing and is therefore a huge racist. Sure, she could have displayed some level of sensitivity, but on the other hand, I think that accusing her of deliberately presenting a racially-charged performance is the same as the slut-shaming that’s been going on. She’s a product of her upbringing, trapped by a tightly-controlling misogynist, racist institution, and if you think she’s free from all that, I think you’re deluded.

We blame the rape culture, not the girl who dresses provocatively. Therefore we blame the racist culture, not the girl who, without thinking, objectifies a black woman and black culture in her set.

No, it isn’t okay, but neither is this fire and brimstone attack on a young woman who maybe just made some bad choices there.

Anyway.

Here’s a poem I wrote about it, and which I’m sharing because tonight was probably the first and last time I’ll ever perform it. Because, you know, topical.

 

Twerk, Baby

Twerk, baby, twerk.

Shrug off the sweating palm

of Uncle Disney.

Strip down to the real you.

Shed hair, fat,

modesty:

grease your face and perform.

Show us your vision, latex and fur;

spank a bootylicious teddy bear.

Simulate sex

sadly

with faceless women for cynical slut-shamers.

Did you find it? Your black sound?

We reinvented rock and jazz, r ‘n b and hip hop.

W.hy stop

there: culture is shared.

So twerk, baby girl.

You’re on top of the world.

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About sarahgracelogan

Sarah Grace is an itinerant scribbler and general layabout. She runs a writing group called CAKE.shortandsweet, because any form of procrastination from actual writing is always attractive to the serious author of refined taste. When not distracted by laser pens, Sarah Grace writes novels, short stories and flash fiction, poetry, stage scripts and screenplays. She has performed her work at Stirred Poetry, Bad Language and Tongue in Cheek Manchester. Her first publication, Humping the Boonies is a self-published chapbook available directly from the author, or from Travelling Man, Manchester. You can find more details about her ongoing projects, not to mention a selection of free stories up for grabs right here on her blog. https://sarahgracelogan.wordpress.com/about/ She also likes to talk about theatre, film, books, photography, and especially games and other things that involve collaborative storytelling. Sarah Grace likes feedback, in whatever form it comes.

2 comments

  1. Elaine Peters

    Ha ha – I’m glad I saw you perform it at Forming Words!

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