The Love/Hate relationship with Twerkers

By now we’ve all heard about twerkers and seen the rise of several Twerk teams performing at shows, parties and concerts. We even have our own here in the Vaal and they’ve cause quite a stir I must say. Some people love em, some judge them, some even feel sorry for them, assuming that they have daddy issues and some outright hate them. The hate I’ve seen directed at them has reminded me of something I once read about called the Madonna/Whore complex which is defined by the Urban dictionary as a condition where a man will lust for a beautiful and sexual woman but would never respect her as wife material as he sees her as tainted, impure and may posses passionate but contradictory feelings for her. I realised that it is being manifested here. A very good friend of mine even said he’d date a twerker but never marry her. He dislikes that their job entails men ogling them and seeing them as sex objects. My defence was that it’s just a job. Just like a woman might decide not to date HIM because he’s a rapper and there’s always going to be the issue of groupies, some women would judge him to be a manwhore who does sleep with these groupies. Now that wouldn’t be fair to him because HE wants a woman to love HIM, the regular guy who works hard, provides for his family and is good to his friends, not the glamorous rising superstar that will find his woman having to fish him out of pile of bras thrown on stage by admirers. Then surely the twerkers should be given the same credit. In retrospect, I was a bit mistaken. I was disconnecting their jobs from THEM in a way to make them look good, which would mean that their job is “bad/dirty”. That’s not true.

In a argument with a local DJ, I said I love the twerkers, not just because I’ve come to know some of these women personally and learnt that they’re just regular girls who live with their parents, worry about exams, guy problems and their future. They just happen to have a very unique skill that finds that finds them holding the attention of many, has me screaming louder than I’ve ever screamed for any rapper and leaves the very same rappers losing their minds to a point where they’re unable to control themselves to the point that they flood the stage trying to get closer to the girls so much that they disturb their routine. Like we saw this past weekend at Streetbeat in zone 14. I’ve come to love and respect these women BECAUSE they twerk. Not despite of it. I’ve found that I shouldn’t cut the link between who they are and their job because their job is considered low or dirty. It is not dirty just cos they shake their asses to the admiration of men and some ladies too. It’s not dirty because they wear short shorts(in the coldest conditions sometimes, Lord!) and express themselves in a sexually provocative way that men find themselves conflicted as to how they can love them so much yet not respect them enough to marry them.

I’ve seen people insult them online, some have even under handedly sabotaged them by not giving them their promised platform to perform. I’ve seen these ladies pushed around to the back of the line-up at shows only to be disregarded anyway in the end. We’ve had to beg for them to be given space to perform even from people who know how talented they are. There’ve even been times where they didn’t have space to change into their outfits and they’ve had to improvise. These are hard-working, dedicated, talented women that brave even the harshest conditions in a man’s world that loves but degrades them at the same time. Yet they stick it out.

For a world so obsessed with controlling women’s bodies from how we dress, who we have sex with, whether we have babies or not, I find that these women are powerful because they do what THEY want. They stick a big “fuck you” to the system that tells them that they are less worthy just because they make a living dancing provocatively. THAT to me is power, that is control, confidence, beauty and strength. These are the kinds of women that should be celebrated, respected, protected and admired not used in examples of women who don’t respect themselves. We at least owe them that much for how hard they work to entertain us.


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