Sunday, 28 October 2007

RamPANT Homophobia

"Sagging" is becoming increasingly contentious in the US. The fashion trend of wearing jeans sagging low displaying the underwear, favoured mostly by young black men was popularised some years ago by hip hop artists. It is said to originate in American Jails with their ill-fitted uniforms and the lack of belts (for security reasons).

Several communities and schools in the US have recently been trying to ban this way of dressing and black organisations have been quick to point out possible racist undertones to these moves.

Now the attacks against sagging are coming from a different angle. Texan rapper, Dwayne Brown aka Dooney the Prince, has released a single titled "Put Your Pants Up". When interviewed last week on BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight, Brown explained that sagging is another example of "moral decay". Despite the title of his song, Brown claims not to be trying to tell young people how to dress but simply to educate them on what is for him the real meaning of wearing their jeans low-slung.

It seemed a strange item for the BBC's newsteam to include to the programme. There is no mention whatsoever of Brown and his song on the internet and this is hardly a topic that would interest the regular BBC Radio4 listener, although the item was also included to Pick of the Week...

Brown is not campaigning against the possible glorification of criminals as one might have thought. No, according to Brown, sagging indeed originates in jails but rather than being the result of practical circumstances, it is a signal used by certain men that they are making themselves available to other inmates.

The word was never pronounced aloud but what is disturbing Brown is what he perceives as the homosexual undertones of the trend. While there is an undeniable sexiness linked to someone showing their underwear like this, it is highly unlikely that the majority of the young men who adopt the fashion have an interest in men. Why Brown should have decide to highlight this facet of hip-hop culture, is not clear.

Of course, any black Same Gender Loving or LGBT person can discuss at length the many occurrences of homophobia they experience at the hands of their own community. Many black men also seem to have issues around masculinity and how it should be expressed. And it seems that the reasons of Brown's stand can be found these two traits of the black community.

His "crusade", however futile, while only serve to raise the levels of prejudice even further. I should be used by now to the apparent lack of logic and true relevance, some people (mostly religious right-wingers) apply to the definition of their priorities but it seems to me that Brown's energies would have been much better employed in the production of a song titled: "Put Your Guns Down"

Sagging - Wikipedia
Are Your Jeans Sagging? Go Directly to Jail. - New York Times


  1. Maybe we should all start taking their sartorial codes at face value and start grabbing at the arses that are put on offer?

    Imagine the rape trial: "He was asking for it, wearing those low jeans..."

  2. Shush! Am tempted enough as it is...

  3. Was led here by your post in the Noah's Arc group. Wow. Also love you Flickr pages. Glad I found you.

    As for saggers ... I so LOVE the style. As a matter of fact, on those really hot summer days, it can make the inner city view most interesting. i've always planned a series of shots of the most extreme saggers, however my nerves always get the best of me -- because the most extreme also seem the most likely to kill me. (lol)

    btw -- would LOVE to see shots of London's hot saggers. ** grins lasciviously **

  4. Yes, I like saggin too (on the right bum, I mean, guy but you are not likely too see too many shots of the London ones on my flickr account, sadly.

    First of all not that many people do it over here. And like in your case, the ones who do it and do it well, look a bit too rough to try anything...

    I can't even muster the courage to shoot "normal" cute guys, most of the time...

    Here is the only sagger I got.


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