My Thoughts on “The Plastics”

 

Former Morehouse Student Diamond Martin Poulin (Photo credit: Vibe.com)

I’m sure you all have read the article “The Mean Girls of Morehouse“.  If not, let me give you a little background, if you don’t want to read it for yourselves.   The author, Aliya S. King, interviewed current and former Morehouse students who felt ostracized because they dressed as women (on campus).  And if you’re even more unfamiliar with the story, Morehouse College, the private HBCU institution for men, inacted a dress code last year that prohibited their students from dressing in women’s clothing.   I’m going to share my thoughts with you on this article.  And I must admit some of my thoughts are shared with one of my linesisters, who shall remain nameless, but whom I will work for when she becomes a university president! 😉

1.  For those of us in the African-American community, we all know what the phrase “Morehouse Man” means.  I have been known to say that I would like to marry a Morehouse Man a time or two in my life.  My question is, how can you want to be a Morehouse Man but dress as a woman?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?  I understand some of the points made in the article that these gentlemen wanted to attend based on the prestige and history of the university.  But if you have hopes to one day become a woman and take female hormones, why attend this college?  There are plenty of other HBCUs that you could have attended, and even other schools in the AUC.   

2.  Until I read it on Very Smart Brothas, I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that the author pointed out that each man was eating (and even went on to describe how said man was eating) when she began discussing each new interviewee.  Was that really relevant to the story?  I don’t think so.   So if you know Ms. King, or are Ms. King herself, maybe you know why this information was pertinent to the article…because I’m lost.

3.  As my linesister eloquently put on Twitter (I LIVE for her commentary), while not allowing these men to dress as they wish doesn’t sweep homosexuality (in the black community) under the rug, Morehouse does have the right to enact a dress code and certain other rules that may not be able to fly at other institutions of higher learning.  Why?  Because they’re private and do not accept any state funds. 

4.  It’s amazing that 5 or 6 students from a student body of 3,000 can elicit such an uproar from the national media.  Apparently, “The Plastics”, a nickname given to the group by a heterosexual Morehouse student, have garnered some unwanted attention to the college.   Morehouse President Robert Franklin even issued a statement to alumni regarding the article days BEFORE the article was published…and admittedly didn’t read it. 

5.  Why didn’t the author talk to the other 2,900 + students at Morehouse and ask how these men dressing as women distracted them during class?  This article was very one-sided.  I believe great journalism begins with hearing from both sides.  Maybe Ms. King intentionally left them out because she wanted to create this picture of “The Plastics” as the victims.  While I do not agree with the ridiculing of anyone based on their sexual preference, dress, etc. I would have liked to hear what other students thought of the dress code.  And it was pointed out that the other factions of the dress code (no hats, do-rags, saggy pants, etc.) were not enforced.  I do believe all rules should be enforced equally. 

Should Morehouse have instituted this dress code in the first place?  Why is Vibe just now discussing this topic; are they opening an old wound or is this issue on-going?  What do you think of the article?  Are there topics/people that Ms. King should have addressed?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.