Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Know Why Zane Sells


Zane sells because her fiction allows Black women to be sexual in a
that refuses to acknowledge that we are sexual, a culture
that calls us ho's if are so inclined to be sexual, talk about sex, or
even look like we are human and have a sexual appetite.

When was the last time you saw a Black woman have a love interest
and sex
in a movie? Or a tv show? Yesterday, I was doing all this
reading of Hortense Spillers, Tricia Rose and
Hegel (whom I struggle
with tremendously), as I am developing an outline for a writing sample.
When instantly, Zane's popularity clicked for me.

Professor Spillers essay titled, Intercises: A Small Drama of Words discusses,
the position of Black women's sexuality in American culture. She writes,

Our sexuality remains an unarticulated nuance in various forms of public discourse as though we are figments of the great invisible empire of womankind.
If I attempted to lay hold to any fictional text-discursively rendered experience
of Black women, by themselves- I encounter a disturbing silence that acquires
paradox, the status of contradiction.
Granted, the essay was published in 1984, so there has been some work
published on Black women and sexuality such as Naked, Traps,
Black Sexual Politics and Longing to Tell: Black women talk about Sex
and Intimacy and I would imagine many others.

However, this profound silence still rings out loud in light of the presence
of aspiring video vixens in rap videos, the desire of our little girls to be
video vixens and our cultures obsession with pimps and strip club culture
in general.

This silence is deafeningly loud in the light of the fact that Black women
were brought to the United States specifically to perform
as laborers and to produce, via sex, more laborers.

As enslaved Africans residing in America, we held a very particular
status, We were the Capital that Produced Capital
, with capital being
productive property.

This brings be back to why Zane sells. Zane sells because the women

have sex in those books. They have affairs, they have sex with their
some are lesbians, and dare I say it, some have sex with
other women.

Speaking of sex with other women, I was very intrigued when I learned
while researching this post th
that Zanes latest title, Purple Panties was being
boycotted because it is about lesbian erotic fiction and it features
two clearly Black women on the cover.

Welcome to the world of heterosexism. Think about it like this. If
Black women aren't allowed to have sex, then TWO most definitely are
forbidden from doing so.

Even in the face of this boycott, Zanes work stands a testament to the
fact that Erotic fiction, written by Black women, and arguably
Black men, is the place where we have found that we can have sex

and not just simply produce capital or be called ho's.


Mike Turner said...

Zane sells because America is addicted to sex, niggas especially. Why do you think so many teens are having babies at early ages? Because sex is glorified throughout television, radio, etc.

M.Dot. said...

Why do you think so many teens are having babies at early ages?

Teens have babies because humans reproduce. Its a fact of life.

How you gonna take sex back to an addiction
after I took it back to slavery and capital and labor.

Blood, did you read the post?

the prisoner's wife said...

i can appreciate your analysis...


i don't know why that shit sells. IT IS THE WORST!!

i am a fan of GOOD black erotica (i have the Brown Sugar books), and Zane is just the literary equivalent of the full-length Tip Drill video. excessive. it's easy, it doesn't involve much thinking, and it provides an escape.

i TRIED to read one of her books, i nearly gouged my own eyes out...

M.Dot. said...

I was wondering where you and Aunt Jackie were.

i was like...this is out sh-t. Feel me....

Man. If i don't see you on ya next trip here...Imma just stop by on my way to the SD zoo...For trills....

the prisoner's wife said...

LOL...that my work, hell, we might even do with you. the kid loves animals.

M.Dot. said...

Say word.

Two words.



They are suppose to have one of the most WORLD class tiger exhibs in the country.

Vee (Scratch) said...

There's no mistery as to why Zane books sells. It's a quick simple straight release - pun intended. I read one of her books, and I concluded that she is not trying to create a literary work of art. Her material is universal and easy to grasp.

While I do recognize that many women of color do not have a sexual identity in mass media or their own voice, I don't think that really applies to Zane's success. She came at a time when there were not too many popular black erotica, specifically written by women. She's just filling a niche.

M.Dot. said...

Vee...I responded to you.

The Blogger ate it.

So I wrote a post and responded to you in there.


Anonymous said...

I think Zane is successful not just because she writes about sex, but because she writes about it in a voice that many people can relate to.

And the reason America is so "obsessed" with sex is because we exist in a repressive culture. Just think about the Madonna/Whore complex that we perpetuate. There's no room for a sexually aware woman with class. You're either a virgin or a slut. And we wonder why young girls are so screwed up about their sexuality? Until we get to the root of our collective sexual repression, we will continue to be fascinated by overtly sexual images. Some people express that fascination through appreciation, while others express it in disgust. But either way, sex ALWAYS grabs our attention.

Zane is not an artist. She writes porn. And it's damn good porn, too. That's why she's paid.

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