In Defense of V. Stiviano: Your Misogynoir Is Showing

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This will be short.

Today, anyone paying attention is expressing their contempt for Donald Sterling. For example, Snoop Dogg posted this particularly eloquent video which sums up my feelings on the matter pretty accurately. In general, everybody hates Donald. From his blatant expression of ownership over Stiviano—dictating who she spends time with, what she does with her social networking sites, etc.—to his disgusting overt racism, he is currently public enemy #1. When he said this of the Clippers:

“I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have-Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game?”

he made it clear that when it comes to black bodies, he claims absolute ownership. David West’s tweet on Saturday is extremely accurate:

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In general the trends on Twitter indicated almost zero support for Sterling, with the exception of a few trolls. I did, however, notice one troubling trend on multiple social networks, repeated by men and women alike: the idea that somehow V. Stiviano is to blame in all this, and that it’s really her status as a “gold digger” that we should be talking about.

Let me spend two seconds telling you why blaming V. Stiviano is a mistake. Really, just two seconds.

  • V. Stiviano is not the one on tape spewing horribly racist garbage, parading around like a glorified Calvin Candy and exhibiting all the traits of a narcissistic, abusive white supremacist.

That’s all. Just one bullet. There’s no list. That’s it. It’s that simple, because focusing on V.Stiviano and whatever relationship she might have with Donald Sterling is irrelevant, misogynist, and relieves him of accountability. The fact that people would rather delve into her work as a model, whether or not she’s actually dating Sterling or “using him” for his money, and whether or not she’s had plastic surgery, rather than spending the time giving critical thought to a man whose idea of black bodies is no different than a rancher’s idea of cattle—the ongoing story about Cliven Bundy is particularly well-timed in all this—indicates the hatred for women (particularly black women) that is so prevalent in Americans of all races.

It is easier to hate V. Stiviano, isn’t it? To turn the rifle on a beautiful brown woman comes naturally to Americans who have been carefully groomed to never blame white men for anything, ever. But when we focus on V. Stiviano, we demonstrate our deep-seated hatred of black women. She is not the villain here: in fact, she is the agent of change. She is the hero in this little story. How can we, on one hand, hate Donald Sterling for what he says on that tape, and on the other hand criticize the agent who did the exposing? You’re confused. You know racism is horrible, but the racism you (we) have been fed our entire lives says we also must hate Stiviano: a woman. A beautiful woman. A beautiful woman of color. Each of these things have bigoted attachments that we’re choking on when we try to be proud of her. And we should be proud of her. Why wouldn’t we be? She exposed a racist for what he is, and simultaneously liberated herself from a relationship in which her womanhood and her blackness were being torn down and controlled.

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Think long and hard about where your blame is coming from. When we blame Stiviano, when we imply that the emotional abuse she clearly suffered in her dealings with Sterling, that she “let herself” be “enslaved,” it implies that Sterling and racist, abusive scumbags like Sterling, are not responsible for their racism and abuse. Sterling is rich, white, and male: he has all the power he needs to ensure that a woman like Stiviano—young, brown, and female—lacks the agency and power she needs to be autonomous. Others imply that Stiviano’s beauty gives her power over Sterling, which illustrates a profound lack of understanding about the way patriarchy, misogyny, and misogynoir operate and the ways in which women who are seen as beautiful are just as susceptible to abuse and coercion as anyone.

What it comes down to, and the only thing it comes down to, is the fact that Donald Sterling is a racist, misogynist, narcissistic, abusive piece of human garbage. Period. That’s it. When you turn your sights on V. Stiviano, you expose not only your misogynoir, but your intellectual laziness. Keep your eye on the ball, America. Sterling and only Sterling is to blame here. Soon there will be media campaigns dedicated to discrediting Stiviano based on her previous sexual partners, her tattoos, her clothes, other rich men who she supposedly “used:” all the weapons a misogynistic and misogynoiristic culture employ to protect men like Sterling. Do not be distracted. Do not be deceived. Eye on the ball.

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20 thoughts on “In Defense of V. Stiviano: Your Misogynoir Is Showing

  1. You had me at “…intellectual laziness”…

    YAS! You are a master with words…and again, spot on. My surprise is that so many people are “surprised” at what Donald Sterling said… if I hear one more time “but it’s 2014…and we have a Black President”… I’m going to scream.

    You covered everything — racism, sexism, misogy… and let’s put self hate in there too because Sterling has GOT to dislike himself….he’s very ugly inside!

    Back during slavery when Stud Slaves got the highest bid because these ‘bucks’ could in fact replenish the ‘Black stock” I see it today in the way Sterling thought about his “black stock…who just happen to dribble basketballs”…

    And guess what — he ‘ain’t’ alone in how he thinks… he just got recorded.

    So the …[intellectual lazy] will go left field and point fingers, use social media to castigate this black woman…because why hate Donald? He’s rich and “obviously” it’s her fault right? SMH… and i bet many of the ones pointing fingers at her are brown too. Sad…

    Bravo Oliva… again!

  2. Ambar says:

    Reblogged this on ambar.

  3. Arianna Editrix says:

    What gripes me, aside from all the phony outrage about this idiot and the blaming the lady crap, is that almost NO ONE Is outraged by the fact that 40 people were shot last weekend in Chicago, 8 were shot dead! Who’s pointing at that? Who’s doing anything? NO ONE, or almost no one. We are Not “post” anything in this country and if women think they are safe from this because we’re “post feminist”, all I have to do it point at the misogyny directed toward this woman who dares to point out racism in our “post racist” country.

  4. Yah i agree shes totally innocent , lol she goes out with the most hated man in america and forget the fact hes almost 60 years older than her and you say she shouldnt get blamed lol women need to call a gold digger a gold digger ! I have a different word its called hooker, Ive got way more respect for a prostitute that stands on the street corner than her but maybe when shes sleeping with your rich husband for his money youll be ok with it lol
    Im a man and i find his racism disgusting but i find her more disgusting because shes a weasal preying on people for there money nothing right about either and if you say shes just getting hers than , then look into the mirror and call yourself a money grubbing slut

  5. M.B. Culver says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, Shawn and Torch Corpses making Olivia’s point for her most beautifully. Nice job, guys, thanks for playing along.

  6. Already there’s talk of all being forgiven with Sterling if he pays the fine and sells the team to Magic Johnson. That’s exactly the double-standard: Sterling’s put in the penalty box and allowed to do his time and get out. I mean, Michael Vick, come on the guy tortured dogs. Or Josh Lueke of the Tampa Bay Rays. V. Stiviano doesn’t have that option because, well, she hasn’t done anything wrong, and even if there was something to pin on her, there would be NO talk of forgiveness. TMZ released the recording that took down Sterling but TMZ will be there for the newsworthy occurrences in V.’s life, like being seen eating lunch with someone in broad daylight or wearing a bikini on the beach!

  7. jimster89 says:

    How can you defend this woman? She slept with an 80 year old married man for 4 years while he was stilled married. Please tell what morals does she have? What makes her a hero? A hero is a selfless person who does things for the good of society. This woman only did this for the good of her wallet. She is the type of woman I would hate for my daughter to be if I had one. She is a slimeball just like Don Sterling. Everything she did was for the money she’s later going to earn. She dated him four years. She had to have known about his previous lawsuits and racial allegations but
    she didn’t care because he was giving her money. Calling her a hero is an insult to women like Rosa Parks who actually stood up racism for credible reasons. As they say in siutations like this “There is no honor among thieves”

    • Art Vandelay says:

      You are just angry that she was disloyal to a man and took him down. Talk about no honor among thieves. If that doesn’t apply to straight men, in general, then I don’t know what does. His fellow owners knew about this behavior for years, but did nothing. I don’t hear you complaining about that.

      99.9% of all the problems in the world are because of straight men. But you’re angry because one woman decided to be disloyal to a bro and take him down? Too bad. I hope more women start selling men of power out in droves. It’s time to let the world know what you assholes are really like instead of all the blind loyalty you get from women.

      • jimster89 says:

        Listen here Sister soulja, you need work on your reading comprehension skills instead on trying to make me seems like some sexist pig. I don’t give a crap that she outed Don Sterling, for him it was going to happen sooner or later. What I’m upset about is Olivia or anybody defending this woman like she is some sort of saint who did this for the good society. If this women had a decent bone in her body she wouldn’t have gotten into a relationship with an 80 year old. man knowing that he was married and knowing his history. Her motivation to out Don Sterling was for fame and money but Olivia is over here calling her a Hero. Please tell me what is heroic about young woman sleeping with an 80 year old man for money while he’s still married?

  8. Actually, I agree with Kareem:
    “What bothers me about this whole Donald Sterling affair isn’t just his racism. I’m bothered that everyone acts as if it’s a huge surprise. Now there’s all this dramatic and very public rending of clothing about whether they should keep their expensive Clippers season tickets. Really? All this other stuff I listed above has been going on for years and this ridiculous conversation with his girlfriend is what puts you over the edge? That’s the smoking gun?

    He was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn’t want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn’t we have all called for his resignation back then?

    Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime.”

  9. Peter Berry says:

    @dallasstx3434
    Exactly, any reasonable person would see that.

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