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The “Hoe Phase” Has Taken Center Stage, What Can We Expect?

HBO’s hit TV show Insecure has taken the small screen by storm.

At this point I think this show has exceeded most folks’ expectations. It’s always a catch twenty-two when you take a commodity that has a cult following and bring it to the mainstream. In recent history we have seen success in some of these cases in the world of entertainment. J. Cole, Chance The Rapper and Nicki Minaj come to mind as success stories that were formed from cult fan bases.

Well, there is just no doubt that Insecure is ours. It is ours in every sense of the word. It speaks the millennial language and thus far hasn’t shied away from the issues we all deal with in every day life.

The “hoe phase” is a term coined by black culture that once solely carried a negative connotation. As of late, with many more progressive thoughts out there, this seems to be changing.

Part of what Insecure represents is independence.

The show spotlights three women in Molly, Tasha and Issa that are all self sufficient. None of them necessarily “need” a man. Insecure also showcases black women taking ownership of their sexuality. This isn’t new as this has been the case with past shows like Living Single, and Girlfriends. But perhaps  this time around, we are seeing a much more visceral depiction of black sexuality on a weekly basis.

Insecure showcases these three women on their separate paths figuring out their love lives. Now the show isn’t solely about these narratives but they do play a prime role. In each of these story-lines, the ladies do certain things that are frowned upon in most contemporary black circles. It could be Tasha “throwing herself” at Lawrence by some folks’ account. Or it could also be Issa cheating on Lawrence in the wake of him just not being a fully committed partner. Whichever way you decide to look at it, women on this show are doing and thinking for themselves.

On a recent episode, Issa is having the worst time trying to move on from Lawrence. Eventually she decides that it is time for her to experience a hoe phase. A period of time in which a woman can be free to explore sexually, seemingly without judgment (in her mind). Molly agrees to show Issa her ways. Now everything that Issa does from this moment forward is not really necessary to discuss in this piece. I really wanted to discuss the mere recognition of a hoe phase on cable television.

The discussions of promiscuity and body counts are still prevalent on social media.

From where I’m sitting I feel like Insecure will begin to spark a more divisive discussion on this issue. I’ve always been fascinated with the sort of energy this subject breeds. There’s essentially three schools of thought when it comes to this topic. Men usually hate the idea of a woman having a hoe phase. Some women also shame other women for having a hoe phase. Then there’s the group of people that couldn’t care less.

What I think we can continue to expect from this point forward are these three schools of thought clashing. These perspectives exist obviously because everyone feels differently when it comes to promiscuity. That’s the result of a standard that has been set and perpetuated by men. How folks have decided to shape families and society has everything to do with the precedence set by male ideology.

What we can continue to expect from these discussions are constant impassioned remarks. People who are against promiscuity seemingly can never wrap their mind around  women being in control of their sexuality. They would much rather they adhere to societal norms. They come across as the chaperones or the party poopers to the folks that “just want to have a good time.” I think it’s in their subconscious to believe they are doing the right thing by shaming people who don’t share their idea. After all, it’s the lifestyle that they have been taught is right. They’ve been taught this by society and perhaps also by their families.

Folks who aren’t put off by hoe phases I believe are just a different breed. They at times may find themselves having to defend the ways other people try to live; or themselves. I also think that people believe that if you don’t judge folks for wanting to explore sexually that you somehow are one of those people as well. I’m not sure why it has to be that way.

My hope is that folks will begin to allow people to just do them.

I don’t think it holds much significance to constantly go out of your way to impose your ideals on someone else. Casting aspersions puts no money in your pockets or jump starts your path to success. The energy used is a waste. It shouldn’t be expected that you necessarily be comfortable with women and sexual liberation. But you should recognize that people deserve to simply do what they want.

Any other type of rhetoric I think will lead us to beating the same dead horse.

I think Insecure exists so that we can have new conversations on familiar topics. The show strives to push these discussions forward and challenge old ideas. Highlighting the hoe phase in black culture is just one example of that. I’m hoping the  show continues to open everyone’s minds and have us all start harping on things that really matter.

These are my words and I make no apologies.

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About DamnPOPS

Pops is a staff writer currently at Brooklyn Buttah that's hoping to bring material that people can connect with. If it's a touchy subject, expect him to speak on it. You may have seen him featured on sites such as Single Black Male and Madame Noire. This Brooklynite has a passion to captivate people with words. Roll with him on this trip.

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