Will.I.Am Gives the Wrong Message on Safe Sex

28 Apr

The slew of famous people that have come out with statements about American sexuality of late, has been annoying, to say the least. The slew of men that have recently come out with statements about women’s sexuality has been infuriating. But that’s not really anything new, is it?

Will.I.Am- producer, actor, singer, songwriter, Black Eyed Peas member, among other things- sat down with Andrew Goldman of Elle magazine and spoke about several random topics, thrown together by Goldman to create the portrait of a complex, philosophical, highly intriguing man that seems to be at the forefront of pop culture (He’s not really any of those things, but that’s the crux of Goldman’s article).

Naturally, because Will.I.Am is a rock star and rock stars are pegged as sexy sex-machines, the topic of sex does arise during the interview, and boy oh boy (should I say, “girl oh girl?”) does Will.I.Am really tell us women how it is.

“If she had condoms in her house, that would just fuckin’ throw me off. That’s just tacky.”

Okay, Will.I.Am, thanks for letting us know. But before we get into what this type of comment even means, let’s go back to the beginning of the piece, shall we. Create some context, as it were.

Prior to that little gem, Will.I.Am spoke about waiting until 19 to masturbate and insinuated that he didn’t lose his virginity until some time after that point. When asked why that was, Will.I.Am’s response was to place his mother on a pedestal and solemnly intone that, “we never talked about [sex] growing up.”

And then he takes it one step further, making a comment, which I think really encapsulates and in part, explains, the conservative piety that comes through in the condom remark:

“To me, sex isn’t like an extracurricular activity that you do because you’re [feeling amorous]. Because I was raised around girls, I think I’ve adopted that perspective on sex. When you’re with somebody and you love them, then you’re going to do it and you’re going to do it a lot. On tour, the band started calling me G. S., for the Good Samaritan.”

In this one comment, Will.I.Am makes two really stereotypical assumptions about what he thinks is “normal” female sexual behavior. One: since he’s been raised around girls, he insinuates that he has a “female” perspective on sex, meaning he has sex with only women that he loves, because, you know, women just sleep with a person they are in love with. Two: he says that he is considered a Good Samaritan because he’s presumably not promiscuous when on tour, meaning of course, that morality and sexuality are inextricably linked; a suggestion I am not going to try to defend or explain and neither should he–it’s above our pay grade.

So, back to the remark about the condoms. With the above context, sure, someone that considers them self to be so “morally good,” is going to consider the responsible act of a woman keeping condoms to use during sexual encounters “tacky.” Because, to mister G.S., such a display of wanton disregard for feminine sexual ideals and American puritanical society’s disinclination toward acceptance of female sexual responsibility, is tacky. I mean really! She’s sexual active, and keeping condoms to prevent pregnancy and STI’s! What is this madness?

Okay, enough with the snark. Will.I.Am’s comment is not only dripping with pious condescension, it’s also very dangerous. As I remarked above, Will.I.Am has been at the forefront of mainstream pop culture for upwards of 5 years, he’s campaigned with President Obama, performed at the super bowl, and remarked on many political topics throughout the past decade. Suffice it to say, people pay attention to this silly man, and what is more, they listen to what he says.

Remarking about condoms in a way other than, “wear a condom to protect yourself and your partner” is just plain irresponsible.

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