Sexy Feminist Smackdown: Eric Benet

We start this post by reminding you who Eric Benet is, something we were forced to do when engaging our partner in a discussion about his latest round of douchebaggery. He’s the guy who married Halle Berry and cheated on her. A lot. Because of “sex addiction,” something we know Dr. Drew is very serious about but oftentimes sounds to us like the infidelity equivalent of “irreconcilable differences.”

Anyway, this guy we all forgot about wants us to remember him. So how does he do it? By exploiting women’s insecurities. To promote his new R&B album, “The One,” he’s selling t-shirts that divide women along colorlines. Not just black, white, Asian and Hispanic, which could actually be empowering, but specifically degrees of blackness among African-American women. For about $20, women can order “BRAND NEW” tank tops that read “Red Bone Girl” or “Chocolate Legs.” There are a lot of reasons why this is annoying and offensive. Here are our top three:

1. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a woman’s uniqueness, even her skin tone. But when put into terms such as “coffee and cream, thick and lean,” as Benet does in the song, and, “I like ‘em light skinned/lighter than a feather… I’m high and my girl is high yella,” as Lil Wayne does on his cameo, it promotes comparison and competition. Intra-racial racism is a deeply damaging force rooted in rape and slavery. Let’s not pick on that scab.
2. This is not the equivalent of the “I’m a Carrie,” “I’m a Samantha,” t-shirts that were everywhere during the Sex and the City era. Black women aren’t going to buy these, dude.
3. Looking at the whole song/album, rife with adjectives for women such as “honeys” and “devilis,” we’re reminded that so many male artists resort to these lazy, insulting terms in their lyrics. Is it so hard to buy a dictionary and talk to some real women about how they like to be wooed?



  1. Jane says:

    Separating yourself from other feminists on the basis of your “sexiness” (on the basis that men find you f**kable) is not feminist. Sorry. This website is wack.

    • The Sexy Feminist says:

      Jane, thanks for reading and writing. We fear you miss the point of our website and mission. Dig a little deeper and read a bit more and you’ll see that we’re calling feminism itself sexy. And sexy is something women are allowed to be—and feel good about being!

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