Can You Explain to Me What a “Ho Tape” Is?

I think that one of the reasons why some Black women have a hard time talking about Black women’s sexuality within academic settings is because of the emotional dexterity and vulnerability that comes along with doing so.

For instance, there is a line of feedback in my paper that says “Can you explain what a ho tape is”? Now it makes sense that the professor reading my paper asked this question because it is legitimate.

You have to think about the context. She has several statements asking me to clarify my methodology, to get to my analysis, suggestions on verb usage, suggestions on how to be a more precise writer. All of which I am hella grateful for.

But it is also a bugged out thing to read first, because I came up with the idea of “ho tapes” three years ago, and so it is also audacious for me to put my own kinda blog theorizing in my academic work.

FYI, for me “ho tapes” are the internal voice that Black women hear when they are debating whether or not to engage in a sexual act. Often times, the politics of respectability play a role, and I theorize that frequently our “ho tapes” stop us from experiencing pleasure, or they allow us to center the pleasure of another while making our own secondary. #buggedout?

But there is also something very surreal about Black women’s sexuality being taken seriously in this context. It reminds me that it I am very fortunate to be able to study Black women’s sexuality, to put my own ideas out there and for them to be taken seriously. This process also forces me to clarify what I mean when I come up with new terms, which is a good practice.

So, Josephine, I know you miss our discussions, I miss them to, but please believe you are with me because i have put you and so many of my friends in my work.

Maybe I am on to something here. Maybe writing is less lonely when you have your friends in it, ho tapes and all.


What do you think of the idea of a Ho Tape?

Isn’t it awkward to have to justify something like this in an academic setting?

The irony is that Black women are called “ho’s” in Black communities and in some pop culture spaces…all the time.

A Thin Line Between Protection and Domination: Thoughts About that Cleveland Bus Video

Last week, I reached out to @sassycrass and @dopegirlfresh because I wanted to write about the thin line between protection and domination for Black women. Lo and behold, it appears that the opportunity to write about the issue has made itself known sooner than I expected.

When I talk about the thin line between protection and domination I am thinking about many things including gender roles, race and street harassment.

Ultimately, the thin line between protection and domination rests on the reasoning that if a person states that you deserve to be protected because of the body that you come in, then it stands to reason that that same reasoning assumes that you can expect to be dominated because of the body that you come in. This kind of thinking has to be taken to its logical end.

As a Black woman who doesn’t take shit off of anyone I deal with a whole of street harassment in DC. For me street harassment is a kind of racial profiling because when I am in a White area of DC (Du Pont Circle in particular) and I see how Black men fuck with me in ways that they do not attempt to do so towards White women who are nearby, it is so clear to me that this is a racialized and gendered act.

I cringed when I saw how the bus driver hit the woman in the video largely because I am reminded of how Black women are, in the streets and in pop culture are often times hyper masculinized, rendered as men and dominated by default if they step out of acceptable gender roles.

Full stop. If she was talking shit to him, and she hit him, she should have been taken off the bus and handed over to the authorities. Bus drivers already have enough bullshit to deal with.

Hitting her was wrong not because she was a woman, it was wrong because you do not have a right to put your hands on anyone. Nor did she. As the person of authority in the situation it was his job to descalate and contain the situation and continue to get the folks on the bus from point A to point B.

In choosing to hit her the way that he did, the image read as “I will teach this Bitch a lesson.” And he did. Based on the way that he hit her, I am led to think that if he had a gun, he would have shot her.


Do you ever think about the thin line between protection and domination?

Why does it matter what size she was?