I love Bessie Smith’s “Kitchen Man”! It discusses a relationship that Bessie has with a man who presumably works in the kitchen at the same place that she does; using this information, she makes overt sexual innuendos throughout the song such as “His frankfurters are oh so sweet, How I like his sausage meat” and “Oh, his jelly roll is so nice and hot, Never fails to touch the spot”. These innuendos which are present throughout the entirety of the song never fail to make me giggle a little just because they are so overt. This kind of sexual dominance was unheard of at the time that this song was released which makes it even more groundbreaking. I find it so empowering to own your sexuality and be completely unapologetic about it as Bessie does in this song.
Another song that I thought of while listening to this song was Nicki Minaj’s “Boss Ass Bitch“. In this song she completely owns her sexuality, destroys male dominance and patriarchy, and leaves room for question that she may not be completely heterosexual (“pussy like girls, damn is my pussy gay”), but she also makes sure to note that it doesn’t really matter what her sexuality is because it’s HERS and no one else’s. Some of my favorite lines are “you could eat it with a pussy reservation, pussy ’bout to get a standin’ ovation” and “you the same clown n*gga that was runnin’ me down, now you all up in the sauce cuz you wanna be down”. But my ALL TIME FAVORITE verse is “I said, rule #1 to be a boss ass bitch: Never let a clown n*gga try to play you. If he play you, then rule #2: Fuck his best friends, then make ’em yes-men, And get a dick pic, and then you press send, And send a red heart and send a kissy face, And tell him that his friends love how your pussy tastes”. Nicki wants to make sure that everyone knows that she is in charge and if any stupid boy tries to mess with her, she will screw him over so she doesn’t have to remind him again. Nicki owns her sexuality and with this song she makes sure that everyone knows that.