There was a great post recently by Tami Winfrey Harris which appeared on her blog "Tami Says" and cross posted on racialicious entitled:
Double standards: What’s the difference between Russell Brand and ‘Superhead’?"
In her fantastic piece she brings up the double standards that woman of colour face in dealing with sexuality from a societal and media perspective and how a former porn actress like Karrine Steffans is held to hypocritical and racist standards while a proud sleep around Brand sails onwards and upwards to multimillion dollar fame and feting. And yes, it is true; there would be a media frenzy and hate campaign if a couple of colour acted the way Brand and Perry do-unmarried or married.
Firstly, Katy Perry without equivocation, sells sex to children with her gumball, candycane clothing, Candyland softcore and walking around near naked at Kid’s and teen choice award shows. She has 13 year old Rebecca Black of Friday song viral fame in her latest video where she pretends she too is a tween. Solange Knowles slammed her for it and did not mince words yet all the press did was slam Solange for speaking in slang on Twitter. (Gotta protect that nice white Katy who can’t put on a shirt even for Sesame Street from that Ebonics tweeting meanie…) Lil Kim walks around near naked with Easter egg coloured wigs and she’s “ghetto” and “street,” Katy Perry does it and she’s “ah, quirky and about having fun, ah!” Perry can’t sing either but everyone knows that. She’s 26 and yet is associated with pre-teen demographic acts like Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez in a dual attempt to sell her to both children and college age kids. She claims she’s built like Pam Grier or Bettie Page but a closer look shows she’s not remotely packing the same bod and that’s so parents will not be put off. A true buxom/apple bottom mama like Pam, Sofia Vergara or Tocarro Jones in pvc playsuits with cupcakes and teddy bears on it singing those pre-fab apolitical teenybopper songs? It would not be allowed as it would threaten the hell out of white America.
As for Brand, his messiah complex ramblings of his “past hatred” for women and his treatment of Andrew Sachs was gross without being funny but because he’s white it falls into the “cute Brit comedy guy” free pass bin. If a black male comedian had called up say DickVan Dyke, Jerry Lewis or Ed Asner and left messages about having sex with his granddaughter on a publicly funded radio show, including references to her having her period, as Brand did? Well they’d never work in the US again outside of dive clubs. Even Eddie Murphy.
Brand did leave the UK afterwords and yes, Fawlty Towers is only an obscure cult show to many under 40 in the USA, so his ego-maniacal reputation was white washed there. No one knew who he was until the Sarah Marshall films. Suddenly finding “monogamy” with Perry sealed his new squeaky clean, reformed image. Though he seems to post pics of his wife with no makeup whilst talking incessantly (and merrily) about all the “birds he used to pull” and how he had it “down to a right science,” that he seems to have left “respect” out of relationship vows. Bizarrely enough, I read somewhere that he claims "Mtv producers warned him not to seduce Perry?" WTF? She's 26 years old, not 14! More of an attempt to paint this regressive adolescent image that she wallows in and that makes him look "decent."
Karrine Steffans is brave as hell as is any woman coming out of the porn industry-an industry I fully support when it is ethical. She's talked about how childhood abuse led her into a **** porn life and to more abuse. And while blond Traci Lords is now as apple pie to soccer mom’s as buying a rampant rabbit and talking about it over Starbucks, Steffans is on her own in this new world of women controlling and making sense of their own sexuality in the media. I feel her writing and honesty-no matter how uncomfortable it makes feminists AND non-feminists- should be supported. Steffans certainly has an authenticity that has more to say about where women (especially women of colour) and their sexuality stand in society and the media then Russell Brand EVER will.