GQ has a fascinating article on NBA groupies. Fascinating on several levels, not the least of which is the rather shocking point that the women interviewed are all lower middle class/blue collar Black women with “respectable” jobs and their preference is not so much for NBA players but Rap hanger-on thugs. But far more shocking is the matching death of a “possible dream” of slightly better upward mobility. The women profiled, don’t even have any vague plans to better themselves or their children even slightly.
A few things are predictable.
There are the fights at the front desk—”no, we ain’t payin’ no $400 a night; no, that ain’t what you said on the telephone!”—between large pissed-off women and the cowering staff bearing nametags, chocolate-chip cookies, and a list of special additions to the in-room dining menu (buffalo wings and jalapeño poppers). On All-Star weekend, guests of the Doubletree are asked to sign a “no-party policy” form (“If we learn that a party is in progress…we will reserve the right…to IMMEDIATELY evict the occupants”). At the lobby bar, an enormous sign has been erected: welcome nba all-star fans. A few feet beside it, a plaque: firearms are prohibited on these premises.
The women are Black blue-collar/lower middle class:
Renee, the bubbly, vivacious one, used to patrol housing projects in Queens but just got promoted. Now she works with kids as a youth officer. She’s also the single mother of a 9-year-old girl. Danielle—the “proud to be extra-large” girl whose penchant for talking has earned her the nickname Diesel (“for the diesel heavy gas,” says Renee, “because when she starts running she never stops”)—is a New York City subway conductor. Vellesha, another extra-large woman, drives a bus. And has the don’t-fuck-with-me-or-I’ll-smack-your-white-ass attitude we’ve come to appreciate in New York City bus drivers. They call her Snacks, for obvious reasons. Then there’s Chermaine, the baby of the litter at 23, pretty, slender, and terribly shy (until she puts on a bustier). She works as a 911 operator.
They have their rules:
If one of them should deign to bring a man (“or a nice thug,” says Renee) back to the room, the others cool their heels in the hotel-lobby bar until she’s finished. And if it takes all night? “It never takes all night,” says Danielle. “We’re from New York City. We’re not here to cuddle.”
And if they go to his hotel room? “Doesn’t happen,” says Vellesha. “Unless we see his driver’s license first and get his license-plate number. We ain’t stupid.”
Renee, the cop, imposed the license-plate rule. No one goes off with just any old dude unless the other three have seen his credentials.
There are rules as well for being on the road and interacting with NBA people:
1. Pony up. “You gotta pay to play,” says one Fly Girl I meet over drinks at Dave & Buster’s in Houston who does not wish to be identified. Paying to play means spending a small fortune on the appropriate accoutrements: designer clothes, shoes, bags, and hair extensions from the right salon. You want a look that says, “I’m available, but I ain’t cheap.” Even if you are.
2. Be good-looking (but not too skinny). “You can’t cross over to Fly Girl unless you got it goin’ on,” says Brenda. “But a lot of black men like them fat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard guys say, ‘I don’t want to be hittin’ no bone.'”
3. Travel in pairs. “One girl is not a big deal now,” Brenda says. “But two women working them over?” Much preferred.
4. Reserve a table at the Four Seasons, unofficial crib of the NBA. “Dear God,” one high-level Four Seasons employee told me, “you can’t imagine what it’s like when the lobby is filled with these…hooker-looking women.” But to really have a chance at an encounter there, you can’t arrive en masse. “Spring for dinner in the main dining room,” Brenda says. “Be there waiting with a girlfriend who is equally fine, for when the players walk in.” (Memo to wannabe Groupies: It’s always the visiting team that’s looking to get laid. The home team often has wives or children lurking around, cramping their style. Also: Players rarely use the front entrance of the hotel; to make contact, wait by the side door.)
Curiously, the women profiled are not there primarily for the NBA players, but the hangers on and the Rap stars and would-be stars. The preference for thugs is very, very strong:
In fact, they’re not even here for the players!
On the ride back to the hotel, I ask them if they’re interested in the game this weekend. The game? They don’t go to the games. Their favorite team? Who cares! It’s not like they’d throw Allen Iverson out of the rack, but they’re really here for the rappers. Or the rappers’ assistants. Or the rappers’ bodyguards. Or the rappers’ bodyguards’ assistants. Real thugs. Good thugs.
This is the deep, dark secret of the NBA. The first sport to embrace hip-hop has essentially been hijacked by hip-hop. What keeps the girls coming back is not the sport, for Lord’s sake. It’s the proximity to their guys, their peeps. NBA All-Star weekend is like the Hip-Hop Summit, with a lot more cocktails.
The players the women love the most are the thugs. The ones who have a thuggish attitude, and penchant for out-of-control behavior. Interestingly, the women assert that NBA players (nearly all Black) are now less likely to marry White women, due to social pressure from their mothers/family back home. Though they acknowledge that the players generally prefer the “superbabe” types such as Eva Longoria.
But what is interesting is how tough and brutal the women’s lives are, and yet they express a continued preference for thugs and dangerous bad boys. The cop has to deal with depressing crime among children when she returns, the 911 Operator a man who murdered his own infant, the subway driver with suicides. One would expect a preference for “softer” more supportive men, and one who could contribute their own income to family formation.
Yet, the woman show a great deal of pride on being independent, on paying their own way, and pursuing the sexy, “thug” bad boy. Who they find exciting and compelling. Sex is very public, with not much privacy or discretion. For some of the women, in their thirties, the spending on sex-related items (clothes, expensive trips, expensive lodging and meals and club attendance, with valet parking alone running often to over $200) seems almost designed to prevent accumulation of capital and moving up to a higher social status/earnings rung. Money is not invested in children, or property, or anything else that might generate wealth or power or status. It is spent in a hook-up environment that seems to last well into the thirties.
And mind you, these are all respectable women with blue collar to lower middle class jobs. Police officers earn respectable amounts of money in New York City. So too do bus drivers, subway operators, and the like. Yet culturally, the women remain mired in a ghetto mindset. Low future time orientation, little effort to save money, little time spent on moving upwards. The daydreams that do exist about moving upwards all center around a baby by an NBA player and child support. Something the women themselves acknowledge is unlikely in the extreme.
What is depressing about this profile, which is fairly interesting reading, is the death of the possible. It is certainly possible for a police officer to move upwards. So too, a NYC subway operator. There is no studying for exams, no desire to march upwards in civil service, or side operations like buying distressed property, that might be fixed up and provide an income. It seems an arrival in the blue collar lower middle class is an effort that proved exhausting, and no further attempt to move upward is made.
Hypergamy, unrestrained tends to stratify upward mobility. By killing the “possible dream” in favor of sex as long as possible with thug bad boys. As exciting and dangerous as it might be for the women, they would be better off by investing time and money for advancement, given that they have a short shelf life of attractiveness.
This article is of interest, not the least of which is the reality that White British Chavs have followed the same cultural path, and that White middle class women are (more slowly) on the same path. Currently, the upper middle class and middle class puts more emphasis on credentialism and education, than the Blue Collar Black (and White and Hispanic) sections of America. But the same thing, an unlimited expression of hypergamy and desire for fairly brutal dominance, has its own cultural way among White and Hispanic girls. Every bit of Gossip Girl, or Twilight, or other such desire for dominance and hierarchy leads inevitably towards a preference for thuggery. Simply because thuggery is the only way most men can compete. Only a few men can be ungodly good looking, famous, and powerful, but any man can pack a Glock in a night club and threaten to start shooting. This is generally why most societies that are successful limit the expression of hypergamy and push women into “respectable” choices of men who are not bad boy thugs, no matter how exciting the latter may be.
It certainly will take a good deal longer for the White population to arrive to where the Black Blue Collar population has arrived (arguably the Hispanic population by measure of illegitimacy and crime rates has already arrived, at least in part), but Whites will get there eventually. The payoff in mating success by men to appeal to women’s hypergamy pretty much guarantees it in the end.
After all, what is holding back White women from embracing thugs? The fear of looking bad, mostly, among their peer group. Not much else. That’s a thin reed to base civilization on, since it depends on an utter ruthlessness and power among White female peer groups to exclude and punish women who prefer thugs. Particularly since thuggery is a way for Joe Average to finally, become attractive to Jane Average, and compete with Alpha males. This sort of mating pattern had become habitual in the British borders, and much of Northern (and even Southern) Ireland. Violence and chaos tends to produce very, very short-term mating habits, based on sexual attraction and nothing else, with little long term investment.
A shift in the ability of White female peer groups to enforce anti-thug views can easily lead to rapid (and catastrophic) social declines for Whites to the level of the Blue Collar Black community. The Death of the Possible Dream may come soon enough to the White population, with catastrophic results.