In an interview with NBC’s The Grio, rapper Killer Mike had a message for black women celebrating the coming out of rising R&B star Frank Ocean. Ocean, who revealed he fell in love with a man through a public letter, received an outpour of support from celebrities and fans, applauding him for his honesty and display of vulnerability. Mike felt the compassion for the singer was overblown, and went as far to interpret black women’s positive response to Ocean as an indicator that they’re jeopardizing their sexual health.
"Black women tend to be overly celebratory about things that directly or could directly affect them in a harmful way,” said Killer Mike. "I watch black women on Twitter malign heterosexual black men who they view as promiscuous. I watch them malign them every day, yet it’s harder for a woman to give HIV to a man than it is for a man to give it to a woman. I watch the same women celebrate bisexuality in a black man."
The rapper's assumptions about HIV transmission suggest that it's less likely for heterosexual men only engaging in sex with women to spread the virus to other women because they'd be less likely to contract it from women. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaginal sex "is the most common way the virus is transmitted in much of the world."
The lining of the vagina is more susceptible to tearing, allowing HIV to enter the body. Additionally, for men engaging in sex with an infected partner, the virus can enter the body through the urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis) or through small cuts or open sores on the penis. In terms of anal sex, whether it’s men or women participating, the CDC states, “in general, the person receiving the semen is at greater risk for getting HIV,” as the lining of the anus is even more likely to tear than the vagina.
"That being said we have to admit that when engaging in anal sex; it carries a higher risk for something. So I am just amazed when I see black women who just castigate their heterosexual partners to dirt level, celebrate gay and bisexual in a way that is almost exclusive of how their distrustful [black women] are of [other] black women," continued the ATL hip hop star.
"They look down on black women and say that ‘I’m not a whore,’ but all these other whores are. In how they look down on heterosexual men who are traditionally their partners, but they celebrate somehow another group of man that supposedly will never betray them and seek their heterosexual partner."
Black women might celebrate Frank Ocean’s bravery, but they’ve also been leading voices in publicizing the "down low" phenomenon, which has suggested that bisexual men are responsible for HIV transmission rates to black women. The CDC states:
"The phenomenon of men on the down low has gained much attention in recent years; however, there are no data to confirm or refute publicized accounts of HIV risk behavior associated with these men. What is clear is that women, men, and children of minority races and ethnicities are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS and that all persons need to protect themselves and others from getting or transmitting HIV."
Do you agree with Killer Mike? Or do you think celebrating Frank Ocean's coming out is a separate issue?
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