I’ve got groupies on my mind, y’all. And I want to talk about them without dipping into that anti-female territory that a lot of folks that have opinions about them tend to occupy. Of course it’s worth noting that people of both genders can be groupies for stars and powerful people (real, perceived and/or potentially). There are plenty of men who seek out the perks and status of being around men and women who are “on” and it’s unfair that they get left out of the conversation.
However, I do want to focus on the women this time. One more disclaimer: every girl that’s seen cavorting with popular or powerful men (or attempting to) isn’t a groupie. Men who can toss a ball, rock a mic or motivate a movement are still men, and it doesn’t make sense to suggest that we demure from being attracted to them because of their status. But, alas, what of those women who only go there because of what somebody has?
As someone who goes to Hip-Hop shows, I feel like I’m often times treated like I’m a groupie until I prove otherwise. I don’t wear sneakers or jeans anywhere, and that includes Rap shows. While I’m not gonna don club gear to go see a Lupe show, I’m not looking like a break dancer either. I’ve had folks misinterpret my presence at concerts and some artists who I may have only wanted to greet have assumed that I was trying to flirt simply because of how I like to dress. Hip-Hop is so much of a boys club that it still–even post-Latifah and Lauryn–doesn’t seem to know how to process women who are present for the culture and not for sexual gratification.
For all the devoted female fans of the music, there are still women’s who’s primary interest in Rap has to do with getting close to a rapper (and there’s also some women who toe a curious line between the two). I understand that many women are seeking men who demonstrate protector/provider capabilities and that someone who has reached a certain level of attainment may seem capable of bringing that to the table. But when I see a sister who is obviously fishing for a famous dude for no other reason aside from his fame, it troubles me.
Power is sexy, as is passion. Artists, activists and other highly sought after men of note tend to have exuberance for their work that is alluring. Talent can also be quite the temptation. There’s just something about someone who’s good at what they do. So is it possible that these men are perhaps more desirable than some of their peers for a number of reasons? Of course. Does it give you a pass to want to date their status? Survey says ‘no go’.
Full Disclosure: I’m dating a rapper. I’m optimistic for him and I’m supportive of his journey, though you probably haven’t heard of him. Despite that, he’s had some experiences with women who offered him lodging, food and companionship only because he raps. Women who’ve came up to him after shows, told him that what he did on stage made them want to do things, er, in the bedroom. My selfish first thought: “Bitch, stay away from what’s mine.” My more compassionate second thought: “That’s sad. Maybe she’s missing something. ” Trying to be groupie for someone who may or may not “make it” (and most rappers don’t, by the way) is about as low an aspiration as a young woman can have.
It seems like the relationship between star chasers and stars or possible might could-make-it-stars would be a symbiotic one. Because for all of the awful things we hear these cats say about groupies, some surely spend A LOT of time with them. Alas, there seems to be a lot of resentment there; that isn’t hard to understand either–who wants to feel used? Or like they are being valued for the wrong reasons? Better question: why keep someone like that around you?
Sadly, women tend to bear the blunt of the responsibility for their encounters with men. In this case, men will tell you that they can’t resist feminine wiles and shouldn’t be expected to pass on the opportunity to get path-of-least-resistance punany. They say that they wouldn’t go for groupies if women didn’t play that role, but you could say the same for the girls. If the men ain’t bite, there’d be no need for them to try.
For all the ‘maybe this’, ‘maybe that’, its still hard for me to imagine chasing a man simply because of what he has or who he is. While I know that groupies make up a small percentage of the overall female population, I find them to be a highly troubling group. Groupie-like behavior or perception essentially renders women objects to be attained by men based on their achievements. That’s no way to function in this world, with little more value than a watch or a set of rims. It allows men to view us as things to be had, not people to be respected as equals. As a woman who is glad to carve her own way, find her own things and/or work alongside my partner to bring dreams to life, the concept offends my sensibilities.
If you want attention, get it on your own. If it’s money you seek, sister, find a way to earn some. Don’t hedge your bets on someone else’s success…and for damn sure don’t be silly enough to do it on potential success. It seems like common sense, but we all know common sense is anything but common. But alas, as long as men love groupies, groupies will love men. And/or vice versa. It’s a disgusting cycle, but don’t look for it to end anytime soon.