The Bust down revisited

By Gus Bode

“Bust down”, “hood rat” and “runner.” All of these words have one thing in common. They are cultural epithets used to describe a promiscuous woman.

So, what makes a woman a bust down? Why do some women sell their bodies, souls and reputations for a couple of minutes (and oh yes fellas, I do mean minutes in the literal sense) of pleasure?

For the last two weeks we have been enlightened with perceptions on why and how women become bust downs and the behaviors and characteristics a so-called “bust down” exhibits.


It has been asserted that such women are created as a result of bad relationships and/or the constant dogging of women by men and vice versa.

Not that I totally disagree with this, but I think there are deeper cultural, social and psychological issues playing the field. The “bust down” mentality is not created overnight; it is developed with time. It is one that has become deeply engrained in our culture and psyches.

For centuries, the black woman in particular, has been depicted as an insatiable, sexually free being. These images and stereotypes are then perpetuated through popular culture:songs, music videos, clothing, television, magazines and advertising.

When you see a sex scene in a movie or on T.V., whose body is on display more, the man or the woman’s?

Society encourages women to be aware of their sexualities and use their bodies to their advantage. In one breath it says it is okay to engage in multiple, casual sexual relationships void of emotion, attachment and commitment without second thought, and in another it condemns the woman who does so.

And even though, on the surface, sex is not as taboo as it was say 30 or 40 years ago, has anything really changed? No. Men still hold that “conquest and conquer” mentality. They are applauded and congratulated for adding another faceless name to the roster, while women on the other hand are frowned down upon.

Moreover, there is an element of character and self-esteem missing. Bust downs don’t love themselves on the inside, and it shows on the outside.


Do these women really feel good about themselves deep down after they have allowed different men to use and defile their bodies? Do they enjoy being the subjects of the latest “locker room” conversations where their names and reputations are further marred and destroyed, diminishing as fast as their already incapacitated self-images?

But how does a woman who has never been taught the true meaning and essence of self-respect then have respect for herself? The same is true for men. A man who does not respect his mother or has never been taught how to treat a woman will have difficulties respecting women in general.

It is a vicious cycle. Some men disrespect women because they have not been taught to show respect and some women allow this because they don’t respect themselves.

Mr. Ploss was right. Men do need to have respect for all women, even the ones socially deemed as “bust downs.” And women need to have respect for themselves.

Stop referring to women in denigrating ways. No matter how much the words “bust down,” “runner,” “hood rat,” etc. are dressed up in the lingo of slang, they still carry the same hurtful, degrading negative connotations. They help further destroy character and self-esteem. You can’t build someone up when you are constantly tearing them down.

Bust downs are the products of a culture and society filled with mixed messages. They are products everyone has played a role in manufacturing.

Ashley is a senior in journalism. Just Call Me Miss Right appears every Thursday. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the DAILY EGYPTIAN.