I am sure that the first dance of the Obamas at the ball is the most watched youtube video in recent history. I myself have seen it a few times and smiled each time. What is immediately obvious when you watch it is the love that they share for one another. Barack has repeatedly referred to Michelle as the love of his life and the expression on his face confirms his statements.
As I watched them dance time and time again last night, the one thing that I did notice was the sexual connection and or tension between them. When Obama moved in for a kiss, it became clear that they would much rather be alone. And no it was not just my dirty little mind that went there.
Matt: I think the white house master bedroom is gonna get inaugurated tonight.
Justice58: You know it's true! :) Hubba Hubba!
Sepia: Bow chicka wow wow! Chicka wow wow!
The tension was even alluded to today on CNN. The reporter quipped that the nation needed a cold shower, after watching the Obamas. I realized as I watching this, that this was an image of healthy sexuality between a black woman and a black man. What made it all the more compelling is that there was no artifice involved as it was based on a reciprocal love.
Often times when black women are seen in the media as sexual, they are in the role of a prostitute. Our bodies are desired for the sake of conquest and then discarded shortly afterward like refuse. We are the women you fuck and not the women you bring home to momma. To see Michelle on stage so obviously desired by her husband and to know that this came from a recognition of her value as an intelligent and beautiful woman, rather than being a fuckable wet hole, gave new understanding to black womanhood.
We can be all things and that is what that dance said more than anything else. While the eyes were on the new president, mine were on Michelle as she revelled in the majesty of the moment and claimed a space for all of us. As a black woman I am no stranger to the assumptions commonly made about my body based on the colour of my skin.
The ugliness of these assaults used to even cause me to deny the sexual part of my life to escape. Asexuality was a defence mechanism I employed to rid myself of the negative connotations that often were married to sexuality and my black body. When even men of colour refer to us as bitches and ho's, it makes it hard to believe that you are worth more.
From the moment we leave the womb little black girls are under a continual assault. It becomes challenging to find a safe space where we can express all aspects of our being without facing discipline. Whether it is the be a good girl and keep your legs closed mantra, preached by the church, or the equally limiting have sex for the pleasure of others, that the media sells, finding a place where you can come to a healthy validation of your sexuality outside of the bodies that seek to construct you, can be extremely difficult.
Part of what makes Michelle so attractive to black women is that she is whole. In her we do not see many of the scars that we walk around with but seldom discuss. Though we are not naive enough to imagine that she, like all other black women have not been assaulted by the constricting roles that we are asked to play, what is resoundingly clear is that she has found a way to negotiate the limitations placed upon her.
As we smiled and watched her dance with the full knowledge of the wonderful night ahead for the Obamas, how many people realized that this was about more than the dress, the first African American first lady, and the first African American president? How many consciously realized that they had the good fortune of seeing a black woman as a whole being rather than the compartmentalized menial roles that have historically been assigned us?