Really Regis?!

Dear Regis Philbin,

Please watch this video of YOU, Regis Philbin, co-host of Regis and Kelly, SMACKING NICKI MINAJ’S ASS! I’ll wait…

No I won’t, min 3:40

Other Crunk women of color have waxed poetic about this so I won’t belabour the point.

It doesn’t matter that her last name is Minaj or that she’s black and a “she” so you thought it would be ok, that her ass is awesome, rumored to be fake, that she talks about sex explicity in her music. That’s not an invitation to sexual harassment on national television.

You don’t get a pass because you’re an elder and white and like Lil Wayne.

You don’t put your hands on people!!!

And Kelly, I see you with your not at all innocuous ”How BIG is your…waist?”

My friend Cee-Lo Green has some choice words for both of you.

Sincerely,

MB

moyazb

moyabailey.com

46 thoughts on “Really Regis?!

  1. And his assertion that he wishes he could still “go hard” only made it worse. It was the worst kind of white male pornographic imagination projected onto a Black woman. Given his willingness to sexually assault her, one only imagines what he might do if he could indeed “go hard.” That discourse of non-threatening white male impotence in the face of powerful black female hypersexuality (and Black male hypersexuality too since the reference is from Wayne) all of which obscures his status as predator and hers as prey is a classic example of old school racism being made new.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Really Regis?! « The Crunk Feminist Collective -- Topsy.com

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Really Regis?! « The Crunk Feminist Collective -- Topsy.com

  4. Yes what he did was over the line and embarrassing to her I’m sure and he deserves to be tweaked for it…

    …but at what point does she ask, “what image am I portraying, that someone feels that they can do this?”

    …sure if she had an image of Angela Davis someone may still feel that they might be able to do that to her … but that would seem ridiculous for anyone to try it if she had an Angela Davis type of image…

    ….I guess my overall problem is that Nicki Minaj should not be the shining example of injustices of white male patriarchy … it’s not to say with a name like “Minaj” she is asking for it … or to say that she shouldn’t be allowed to express herself in way that she is comfortable with (and based on recent interviews she doesn’t seem too happy with that image) … but it is to say or ask, “at what point are you responsible for the bullshit that you deal with?” a la Foucault….

    • I agree 100%. Women should always consider what they think, do, wear, speak, portray so as not to be harassed by dudes. Especially women of color. Don’t they know it’s their duty to not get harassed? Men, white men for SURE, they just can’t help themselves, ya know?

      Shorter reply, Steve? You have got to be fucking kidding me. When are we going to be done with the perfect victim bullshit?

    • @Steve,

      I know you said you aren’t victim blaming, but you are! Has anyone seen any white older women or women period touch someone like Trey SOngz in a demeaning way such as that?? NO !! Why because masculinity grants men the privilege of being sexual without being sexually harassed ! Her image has nothing to do with why he as a male felt comfortable with touching her on national TV . IT was his privilege and an extension of patriarchy that has made this NOT an outrage ! Imagine someone touching Britney Spears or Hannah Montana in that manner, society would go ballistic.

  5. Hmmm @Steve. Her performance on that stage was a song called “You see right through me.” I am not familiar with her catalog, but she did not represent herself on this evening as someone who should be sized up on television by a rich white man and tapped on the ass. Furthermore, the camera was right there with his hands so I get the impression that it was a premeditated act, not some caught up in the moment. So here this black woman is singing you see right through me and this MF decides that all he sees is her body, and his ridiculous co-host co-signs with a ridiculous comment about her waist, and then the audience responds not with a hush of amazement that this shit is happening to this black woman, but a ohhhh Regis umh umh umh.

    Where was the…how did you come up with those lyrics? when you say “you see right through me” what do you mean? Who are you talking about? No focus on the content of her craft, just her body. If she slapped the shit out of him for doing it, would they still be laughing it up, would the co-host co-sign that sister moment with a high five, and would the audience be saying “that’s what you get for that bullshit you just pulled.” No. So this ain’t about Angela Davis, it’s about white male privilege unchecked.

  6. @Steve I cannot believe that this statement hasn’t received more push back yet. Sexual assault (whether physical or verbal) has become accepted, standard practice in patriarchal society.

    Nicki Minaj, as an adult woman with full volition, does not waive her right to body autonomy simply because she chooses to express herself in a sexual way that you may not agree with.

    Women get physically and verbally assaulted daily no matter what they are wearing or what image they choose to portray. And when those women are harassed there will always be a voice like yours ready to defend the perpetrator because she “had it coming.”

  7. Oh my, thats so embarassing! Ive been slapped on the butt by curious white dudes… but to have it done on national television is mortifying! Its like, u cant slap him or curse him out on national TV, I would feel so powerless!

    Kelly tried to make a big deal about it! OMG! I feel for ya, Nicki! That was unacceptable… I dont care what she was wearing, she was actually pretty conservative!

  8. Hey ladies.

    I appreciate the thoughts but I feel you have misconstrued the intent of my words.

    I repeat, Regis needs to be tweaked for his actions. If it was my daughter, wife, mother, friend on stage and he did that I would be pissed. His actions are not excusable. And I am not saying because Nicki Minaj is dressed a certain way or portrays a certain image (more on that later) is THE justification for that treatment.

    I agree that the use of blaming the victim to justify why a person “gets what they deserve” is wrapped up hegemonic ideology. But if we are throwing away blaming the victim as a reason for justifying ones position in society we are essentially agreeing that the larger problem rest with society on the whole and the individuals who have control or power (agency) in a given society.

    That being said, do we then say that Regis is only a product of his society (his socialization) or do we hold Regis accountable for his actions. I am guessing by some of the replies that we are holding him accountable for actions, first and his socialization, a far second. And I agree, this is the way it should be for him.

    What do we say of Nicki Minaj then? She may not have the same societal agency as Regis but she does have some and, at very least, some over the image she portrays. If we understand, as human beings, we judge and act based on appearances is Nicki Minaj not responsible for her image (atleast partly so)? And if she is, wouldn’t she be responsible for some (not all, probably not even most) of the response that she gets from others?

    Before you answer that first look at these images of her:

    http://addicted-2-retail.com/wp-content/uploads/HLIC/c2b66dfe04a597dc39330a1c78ba4f2c.jpg

    http://www.mp3oxygen.com/content/images/Nicki-Minaj-Dear-Old-Nicki.jpg

    http://www.thesermonsdomain.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Nicki-Minaj-2.jpg

    http://thirstyroots.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Nicki+Minaj+minaj.jpg

    http://newnickiminaj.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/nicki-minaj-two-faced-suit.jpg

    (didn’t have look hard for these … a simple Google image search of Nicki Minaj brought this up)

    If you didn’t know who she was. You didn’t see the performance. What would your judgment of her be based on those images?

    Now again, this does NOT mean she should have someone put his hands on her. And what Regis did was just plain disrespectful (done in public or in private). But with someone who has the image that she does (again see above) she has lent herself to a certain judgment. As opposed to say someone like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, MC Lyte, Queen Latifa, Lauryn Hill (pre crazy), who have very different images as opposed to Nicki Minaj.

    If Regis did that to either of them their agency in that situation would have been accounted for (there would be no more that they can do on their part towards an opposite image of Nicki Minaj) because they have not lent themselves to be viewed in a certain way. And any action on Regis’ part would be a MORE of an injustice.

    So again simply put “at what point are you responsible for the bullshit that you deal with?”

    • @Steve That entire comment is made of victim blaming bullshit. Just…I don’t even know what to say.

      Wander into any forum that discusses harassment and make the case that if women just took more responsibility{agency, you say?} for their appearance and how it incites men to act a certain way, harassment wouldn’t be such a problem. Wait for a response. Which will probably be, “What the Hell?”

      Women get harassed on the street. In their homes. At work. On public transportation. They get harassed while wearing sweats and dresses and short shorts and burkas. There is a LONG history of black women’s bodies being treated like commodities esp. by white dudes. Regis Philbin slapping Minaj on the ass didn’t just happen. He felt he had the right to do it, because of what the world tells him is his to take. Without repercussions.

      Seriously, the rape culture lives and breathes by the kind of victim-blaming nonsense that you’re peddling.

    • Steve, it seems to me that your underlying assumption is that certain sartorial choices inherently encoded certain behavioral responses. Based upon your logic, Latifah, Lauren, and Lyte, for instance, dress a particular way so that others will interact with them in a particular way. I think this is secondary. Primarily, I would argue that women dress based upon the self they want to express. So if Nicki chooses to dress in a way that expresses a sexy or sexual self, this does not mean that she has also conceded any level of legitimacy whatsoever to those who want to coopt her sexuality for their own benefit. Regis felt he had the right to do this because of age-old scripts which suggest that Black women’s sexuality is always for white male pleasure and never for their own. Moreover, even if Nicki also wants to project a sexual self to the world, again this still does not encode with it any inherent permission for others to take liberties with her physical person. So no, her dress does not become the “point” where she is responsible for the bullshit she deals with.

      Your comparison of her to these other supposedly “more respectable” female emcees also bespeaks a troubling allegiance to a politics of respectability, which is a problematic standard that Minaj should not be asked to uphold in order to move through the world without fear of harassment.

      Moreover, while the critique offered was of Regis and his actions, I think most of us here understand that Regis is very much a product of his environment. But as a person with privilege, he bears a level of accountability and responsibility to keep that privilege in check, even if he isn’t out right dismantling it. Whatever effed things he said to her, he absolutely could keep his damn hands to himself, however much a product of society he might be.

      And you use other images of Nicki as sexualized to prove your point that she invites (even if she doesn’t like or condone) this sexual attention. That I would argue is definitiely b.s. and victim-blaming. But even if you did have it point, it wouldn’t stand in the immediate context of this interaction, in which Nicki was clothed fairly conservatively, by her own standards. Her dress was cute. If I had the figure and the inclination, I would rock it. So she in no way communicated at any level that she wanted the kind of attention Regis offered. He simply assumed the prerogative to let his hands roam.

  9. Outrage should be the response, instead of shock. White Male Privilege at its finest on display.

    What are WE gonna do about it????
    WTH? That just happened in 2010 almost 2011? My jaw was dropped for at least a full two minutes, as I sat in stunned silence, and had a flash of every violation and unwanted physical contact ever encountered. The audience response isn’t surprising considering how many Black Women see getting unwanted and unsolicited smacks on the rear as the norm, and as something you just have to deal with.

    That attitude costs me several sister friends, because I was the one who had no issue punching, slapping, or blowing the hell up whenever someone put his hands on me while we were out. The feeling of powerlessness, when in moments you can’t do that very thing to defend your honor and your person, all too common!

  10. White male privilege and rape culture on display by Regis Philbin. As Cee Lo Green would say: Fuck you!

    @Steve: Stop victim blaming. Philbin was dead wrong.

  11. I believe this is where I should stop trying to go back and forth.

    Most have you have your opinions (of which, most of it I agree) and I have mine.

    But in regards to my specific opinion, I guess the problem here is that either, I am not explaining myself well enough or many of you are misunderstanding.

    I’ll say it again, Regis was wrong and all of the blame is on him in regards to controlling himself. He had no valid right or justification to put his hands on her.

    But to ignore Nicki Minaj’s role in how she is viewed is not taking in the entire issue.
    To say she has no role and she holds no agency in how she is viewed is even more short sighted.

    When you actively perpetuate a stereotype (of which she has alluded to many times in various interviews) where does the fault on society end on personal responsibility begin?

    • @Steve
      But in regards to my specific opinion, I guess the problem here is that either, I am not explaining myself well enough or many of you are misunderstanding.

      Or you could allow for the possibility that what you’re saying is wrong. And worse, it’s victim blaming and disingenuous victim blaming at that. @LaToya has it totally right. Regis put his hands on her. That is on him. Full stop. A discussion of how she represents herself or what stereotypes or paradigms she’s playing into or not? It’s irrelevant to this conversation. I will say it again. Attitudes like yours are why the rape culture thrives and why black women’s bodies are still seen as available. That’s not your fault. Except for when it is.

    • I think what Steve might be heading towards is trying to elucidate that area where theory meets practice, which might go something like:

      “while I understand the white, patriarchal, heteronormative system that I am a part of, and the need to question, problematize, and renegotiate the terms in which I exist in that system, I have to concede with the realities of the system and know that my actions have conclusive outcomes, that making available for consumption my hyper-sexualized anatomy might invite unwelcome attention and I should proceed accordingly if I do not want untoward advances.”

      So while we don’t want to blame the victim, we’re also going into assertions that not all victims are blameless.

      And then it becomes a battle of one’s agency vs. The Hegemony.

      @Steve
      “When you actively perpetuate a stereotype (of which she has alluded to many times in various interviews) where does the fault on society end on personal responsibility begin?”

      Owing to the fact that stereotypes are wholly a societal construct I believe the onus is on the society to reevaluate their held beliefs and conceptions of those stereotypes and to act appropriately. Stereotypes inform both in-group and out-group values and experiences, which further inform personal perceptions of who one is or is supposed to be, and those of other groups in society. And in the case where it has often been The Hegemony to cultivate and perpetuate those stereotypes, I find it troubling to appropriate blame on the individual, specifically those who are in the minority of decision-making. Because they are the victims of this systemic oppression, but then are held responsible for being a part of the system (of which there is no real escape), hence blaming the victim.

      In the same vain, we can blame society for injecting Regis with some screwed up beliefs and values but once his hand made contact, that was all Regis.

      In contrast, even if Nicki wants all the media coverage and wants to show off herself as a hyper/sexual being, she is not going out and pressing her vag on every passerby.

      To find scandal in how Nicki portrays herself in the spotlight is fantastic. Have discourse over how much of her legs showing is too much for the general public before they are whipped into a frenzy.
      But to blame her when she is assaulted is a completely different matter. No matter how you view it, she did not commit the crime nor was she complicit.

      Back to the beginning of the reply, concerning one’s agency vs. The Hegemony, what you’re often left with is to know when to “choose your battles”.
      When your safety is concerned, I believe there’s a case for discretion. But you then also have to understand your complicity in the system, for better or for worse, even knowing that violence and fear are unyielding tools of The Hegemony. So for many people, it becomes a lose-lose situation.
      It is then often left to those individuals who are either not afraid or oblivious to oppose/subvert the system by exerting their own identity in hopes of trying to dismantle biases/prejudices/stereotypes. I.e the oppressed educating the oppressors.

      • “…my actions have conclusive outcomes”

        I’m not sure if you agree with this statement or just stating what you think Steve believes. But, in my lived experience, this is a fallacy.

        What I know to be true is that my “actions” (I hesitate to call self-presentation an “action” in the same way that committing assault or harassment is an action) DO NOT EVER have “conclusive outcomes.” As others have said on this thread, it does not matter. I have not experienced a sliding scale of street harassment whereby the violence increases the more “slutty” I present myself. I’ve gotten harassed while visibly ill in a doctor’s office, before I hit puberty, when I wore short skirts&heels, and when I wore sweatsuits. THE ONLY predictable factor in my victimization is being in the presence of people who feel they have power over me. ie. I get harassed and assaulted in settings where I have less social privilege and/or power.
        And as a Black woman, you can imagine that there are very many places&situations where I have less power. How I present myself doesn’t matter– the only thing that matters is that a perpetrator feels ze has more social value, as a person, than I do.

      • Just want to add that within my racial, gender, etc identities I have privilege as well. My class, cis, color/hue, hair*, privilege all give me some advantages and protection from violence.

        *is hair privilege a thing? Cuz I feel like it should be for the Black community. Or would “good hair” fall under non-black privilege?

      • @ShelbyGoodwin

        Just to respond, I was trying to outline a train of thought within the context of Oppression that might conclude one to believe [that you need to cover up to avoid attention]. It’s the common sense argument; whether it’s [how you present yourself (which I used as an example) or the social context] we have an understanding of our actions and possible reactions.

        What hasn’t been said but implied is the use of power and the dynamic role of privilege so thank you for putting that out there.

  12. This is outrageous. Stereotype or not. @Steve – does she have to take responsibility for people perceiving her as the stereotype she embodies voluntarily? Sure. People will probably THINK she’s a hoe, THINK she’s promiscuous, THINK whatever. That’s human nature, and we cannot escape that, as much as it would be better and fairer to everyone if we could, if we could look past whatever is on the outside and not judge. But what you wear is an expression of you.

    But what part of the stereotype says that such a woman agrees with the following: “you may say anything sexual you want to me as I walk down the street”? “you may smack me on the ass as you please”? on national television? NO MATTER WHAT, the question here is whether Regis was right or wrong in smacking her ass. He put his hands on her, based on her appearance, her rep, whatever. That’s where he crossed the line from thoughts to assault and battery.

  13. Thanks for the link love! It feels soooo good to read an appropriately angry post like this! Especially after catching all types of “you’re reverse racist!” comments from my facebook friends =/

    @Erika: “That attitude costs me several sister friends, because I was the one who had no issue punching, slapping, or blowing the hell up whenever someone put his hands on me while we were out. The feeling of powerlessness, when in moments you can’t do that very thing to defend your honor and your person, all too common!”
    –This is so me! I respect women who survive by not making a scene, I just physically can’t hold that rage in.

  14. Thanks for all the replies y’all.

    One thing I’d like to add is that there are communities in the world where women walk around naked and men don’t assume that they can touch them. In other words, clothes or no clothes, don’t touch me.

    I always find it interesting that male desire constructs these sexist images and then punishes women for living in to them.

    Men create the uniform and then get mad and blame women for putting it on.

    Men get upset about gold digging women when all they talk about is how much money they have and what they got, not to mention the ways that patriarchy prevents women from making equal pay for equal work.

    That’s my extra two cents :)

    • @ Moyazb: I agree. In addition, Regis behavior on stage is displayed by men in street harassment of women.

  15. Pingback: Donnell » Blog Archive » Just Focus on Football

  16. Why is it not possible that Nicki Minaj, who place her sexuality on the marketplace, agreed to have or even requested that Regis touch her? This isn’t the only time that she’s been touched on television (see Rihanna).

    I don’t get it.

    • Why are some people so desperate to give Regis a pass on this. She didn’t look like someone who had requested it or agreed to it. She looked thoroughly surprised.

      After the show, Nicki took to Twitter to answer a question from a follower who asked, “What went thru your mind when Regis had slapped ya? That was epic!”

      Minaj wrote back, “LOL. I was in shock!”

      I’m sure there are people who will see the LOL and parse that to mean she’s given approval after the fact. Which would be bullshit. Shock is not a word I associate with good feelings or empowerment.

      • yep, the fact she said “Lol” clues me in to how lightly she’s taking this situation. “I was in shock” is another throwaway line. You all care much more than she does. Regis touching her butt gained her a few more fans, which is her ultimate goal.

    • As far as we know, Nicki did not say or leave a note for Regis to grab/slap her ass on public television. And that is the assumption on which this is all based in.

      Why is it not possible that Regis, a prominent media host, is a dirty old white man who played out all the stereotypes in his head and acted on them?

      This time, *he* touched *her*.

  17. I don’t know–that ass is definitely worth spanking! And she does like to lay it out there for everyone to appreciate. Sometimes a hand has a will of its own, and this time it was heat-seeking. Yum!

  18. Really?? Y’all don’t see a difference between Rihanna, probably Nicki’s homegirl, touching her behind, and Regis, an old white man, someone Nicki doesn’t know from Joe Blow, smacking her ass? Even if they aren’t friends, someone she knows, someone she’s probably talked to before, someone she had some familiarity with? Really?? You don’t see the difference between a friend touching your body and a stranger doing it?

    Well, damn. I do.

    Really?

    • speaking from my standpoint as a victim of sexual violence, as an artist, as a woman of color, my main concern is this: in what way Nicki Minaj is going to choose to respond to Regis’ behavior? She has a major platform from which to publicly speak out and take a stand against sexual harassment, patriarchy, violence, etc. She’s in a position with access and resources to get her voice heard, particularly by young women in America, in a way that most of us that have been violated are not. Many of you have posted about your own immediate visceral reactions when men touch you inappropriately. What will Nicki do? Will she find the courage to write a hot 16 about that inappropriate shit, call Regis out to be accountable for his actions, give some substance to her work? Will she respond in a way besides “LOL”-ing? Has Nicki cared enough to sign a petition or start one herself demanding an apology? Or have her “monster bucks” paid for a golden silence?

  19. People arent sympathetic to Nicki b/c she is walking around with fake buttocks mocking the Hottentot Venus

  20. Moya, did you really send this to him or the network? i want to join you and write an open letter.

  21. Pingback: New Model Minority

  22. Pingback: Links: December 7, 2010 « Against All Evidence

Support the CFC! Donate Today!

Thank you to our Generous Supporters!

Email us at crunkfeminists@gmail.com to find out how you can become a supporter.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,690 other subscribers

Follow me on Twitter

Blog Topics