This is what people ask me all the time.
Before I get to that, here is an interaction I had with a guy who messaged me today. We had 5 mutual friends, so I responded. Here’s how the convo with strange interweb guy went.
Him: “whoever that film is about, he must have hurt you really badly.”
Me: What film?
Him: all of them.
He said he found my vimeo off the searchmytrash interview I did on Mt. Washington. These are the risks involved when you tag your friends in your posts. Now, he couldn’t have been talking about Mt. Washington cause that is based on a song, and he knows this from the interview. It couldn’t have been about Sometime Around January cause I have never had a friend take my man. He must’ve been talking about Monae’s Room. And the Bill Winer film. And Last Words lmao.
Him: “you’re too beautiful to constantly be hurt”
Luckily I’m attractive or I would’ve deserved that shit.
Me: “Those films are old”.
Him: “last words was uploaded in 2015.”
Him: why a beautiful woman like you keep getting hurt by all these guys.
Me: they were all about one person.
Him: what happened?
This was around 1pm. I was like I just woke up, I don’t have time for this mess.
When I get into work at 345pm with the whole thing having been forgotten, I log into FB and see the red “1” in my messages.
Him: are you single
After no response.
Him: I’d ask you your number but i’m scared you’ll cut my throat off, ha ha ha.
Wait, whet? Never mind. *Block*
It’s interesting when you think about how careful women are expected to be when it comes to the songs they write or the films they make, and I think it’s interesting that men don’t have to worry about the topics in their stuff the same way. It’s funny when men make assumptions about you based off the work but they don’t hold themselves to the same when they do it themselves.
If you’re an “attractive” single woman, you crazy. If you’re an attractive woman and you have a long-term relationship with a person and they hurt you in the end, you crazy then too. You don’t even have to make films about throwing your ex in a box and dragging him out of your house. You just have to be single AND/OR be in a relationship and be left in the end. If you’re “attractive” and a female and this happens to you, you crazy.
Let’s talk about music for a minute. Every time I read a headline about Taylor Swift it’s about a new guy she’s dating or breaking up with. Every time reporters interview her on the red carpet it’s about a guy or something. The media doesn’t seem to respect or take Taylor Swift seriously as an artist because she writes about love and heartbreak or whatever. They take it as whining. “Oh, what is she whining about this time?” They think she is crazy. When they talk to her or about her it’s about the stuff she writes about because they think she shouldn’t be talking about it to begin with, for whatever reason. I notice the way the media treats her and it is unfair. Despite the fact that her typically hypocritical/leaveouttheblackwomen-type Feminism annoys me to no end, I still like her as a person, and even though her music is not my personal taste, I can recognize and acknowledge that she is indeed talented and smart. I love the topics she writes about even if I am not a “pop” music kinda girl. I love that she is true to herself and her feelings in her music. It’s the best kind of music when it’s about love, hurt, and true feelings. It’s the best kinda film when it’s about those same things. I guess that’s why I love biopics because they have drama and stuff and it’s based on REAL experiences. Which reminds me. This coming Sunday the 12th, on tvone there is a biopic coming on, on Miki Howard’s life story. She is a musician and the trailer looks awesome. No, I am not getting money to endorse her. But it’s a great story and it’s about her trials and tribulations with music (and her success with music) and with love, and it’s a biopic. I LOVE that stuff.
That’s why Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album is probably my favorite album of all time. It’s funny how when men make songs about love and heartbreak, they are not treated negatively like if a woman does it. If Taylor does it, she is a bitch or a nag. If the Eagles sing Best of My Love, or Sting sings Every Breath You Take (awesome songs btw), they are brilliant. k.
I hope one day I can accomplish big things like Taylor Swift. One thing I do relate to her with though, is that same double standard. Can’t go too long without a man judging based on the topic of the art and making assumptions. Can’t go too long without a person asking why you make art about it. It’s awkward and you don’t know what to answer with. You can’t go too long without that one dude you agreed to go on dates with back a couple years ago, who you weren’t interested in the more you got to know him; you know, that guy who you learned has a crush on every black woman he meets, and is clingy and perverted. Every time you make a film he thinks it’s about him cause he’s also narcissistic. No, the film wasn’t about you. If she didn’t seem to be into it, best believe she won’t be writing songs or films about you after.
It’s an interesting question though. Kinda shows you where we are in a society when a woman is asked why she makes art about women and coping.
Monae’s Room and His Interlude:
When people talk to me about my films they always talk about Monae’s Room, even though it’s been years since I made it and I’ve made other films since, they always ask me about that one and remember that one. It’s good though. They always say they really liked “that film”. I really love that film too. And I wanna make my next film to be like that one: about how unhealthy, possessive and obsessive one can get when in a state of coping after losing a once passionate love. People don’t wanna admit they have been in this mental and emotional state, but I know y’all have been this way while coping cause I read y’all anonymous letters you submit to newspapers and internet advice columns so don’t even front.
This is why people say they liked the film. Years later. Because they know damn well they be doing that stuff. The human psyche is very interesting to me. Which is why I love Drake’s music. There is a song on his latest album called You With Me? I love that song, go listen to it. I love it because (not only does it sound amazing in every way) he seems so emotional. I am just fascinated by people like Drake, who have yet to cope with past loves. In the song he says “I group text my exes. I tell them ‘You belong to me’, that goes on for forever.” Lol it’s like, I grab my head and I’m like……..That shit is crazy, I need to make a film about this! I have made 2 films based on Drake’s songs. The dude needs therapy LOL. But I love it. And listen, like I said….we all have been there. I don’t judge Drake. The difference is, he never moves on lmao. Don’t judge someone else’s way of coping. Tell me you haven’t sat in a room after a breakup with a person you were madly in love with, with a person you had a passionate long-term relationship with, and didn’t sit in your room the first year without them thinking “You belong to me.” No? You a damn lie.
I love making films about people’s inner demons. Addictions, you know? It’s an addiction. People can get addictions to one another. I see it all the time. The experiences we go through are learning experiences. People can be addicted to another’s presence, their smell, their touch, their voice, and their intimacy. You can be addicted to a person. And we should make films about it. And music about it. People will come up to you and be like “I went through this.” We should make art about this stuff not only because it makes for a damn good song or film, but because it’s true and we need to call attention to the problem so that we can heal ourselves and others. And we do eventually heal. BELIEEEEEEVE meeee……
Ok so my next film will hopefully be His Interlude. Mt. Washington was about a woman during normal coping. I want to go back to Monae’s Room on the next one though. Not because I need to this time around (thank god). But because I simply want to. It’s fun. Sometimes you need to. But then other times you just want to because it interests you.
And that’s why I make films about coping.
Now don’t ask me again.