Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Golden Vagina

Some of y'all are going to be pissed at this post, but eff it, sometimes you gotta let your nuts hang. (Shout out to old school CMR.)

I'm cruising through a celebrity website the other day indulging my guilty pleasure of watching the rich dress badly, when I stumbled across something that just wasn't right. No, it wasn't that pic of Reverend Run in a swimsuit with Bigfoot's armpit hair, it was the item on the proposed child support payments the Reverend's brother may have to pay to his estranged wife.

Uncle Russy is looking at spending nearly $1 million annually for the two bundles of joy he produced with Ms. Kimora. If you think I'm playing read this. I'm just going to get it out the way before I continue:

What the fuck?

Now, I know many of y'all ladies and even some fellas are cracking your knuckles and preparing to write me a scathing message about how Kimora deserves everything she's getting for popping out Russell's big-headed babies. That's pretty much the standard response any time a man expresses surprise at a child support or alimony settlement.

But, I don't care what y'all write, none of y'all are going to convince me that the CEO of Baby Phat, cause that's what Kimora is, needs an extra $1 million just to take care of her kids. Unless she wipes their asses with Monets, there is no way she needs that kind of money to raise two children.

See, we hear a lot about deadbeat dads, and I really don't mind because those losers need to be exposed. But, what we don't discuss are these crazy ass settlements women get when they convince a rich cat to settle down with them and then divorce him. I'm not saying these cats don't deserve to get dropped, most of them are serial philanders, but the cash these women are drawing is just off the chain.

Right now I'm raising a child, and it does not take $20,000 a month to take care of him. If it did his little ass would already be working in a sweatshop. I know Russell is paid, but does that mean he needs to be ponying up a cool mil for the care of his children? Even though his wife is a frickin' CEO?

See, for a long time I've thought there is a serious problem with a court system that determines child support payments solely by salary. I think we need to come up with the specific amounts that it costs raise children in certain income brackets and then charge fathers based on that.

There would be a low income child-rearing rate, a wealthy child-rearing rate and several others in-between. It would be a flat-fee based on the calculations of experts taking into account the income of the non-custodial parent. That way there is a sliding scale that considers income, and is not some outrageous figure pulled out of somebody's ass.

I've found that people who make similar amounts of money often lead simliar lives. They eat at the same places, shop at the same stores, take the same vacations. Consequently, their children also have somewhat similar lives. Therefore, if we can establish the average cost of raising a child within a certain income bracket, we could establish a fair rate for these men to pay. Now, if that rate is still $20,000 a month I will shut up and deal with it, but I think we need to at least try to establish a baseline.

It's not healthy to have these ridiculous child support payments. I'm not even going to discuss the idea of having to pay alimony to someone when they decide they no longer want to live with you because y'all just don't get along. I would be here all day.

The current system encourages irresponsible behavior and creates unnecessary tension between men and women. Do y'all remember the nationwide debate that the Michael Jordan settlement sparked in the black community? Brothers and sisters were at each others throats debating whether Juanita deserved to get paid when she never hit a game winner, but had popped out two kids while dealing with Mike's infidelity. What about all the women who angle to get impregnated by a rich man, and are only left with lower self-esteem and a groupie t-shirt?

Anyway, I have no idea why Kimora and Russell couldn't make things work. And I'm pleased that they have managed to remain fairly cordial. But, if this new settlement goes through it will just be one more example of irresponsible behavior by America's judicial system. The Golden Vagina will have triumphed over good sense once again.

(Addendum: Russell Simmons does not agree with me. I don't care.)

19 comments:

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

How can I say this without someone coming after me for slander. ha I would normally agree with you but not in this case.

I think he is paying too little give how long she played a certain role in his public life and how much he is worth.

I can't really feel sorry for a guy who started "dating" his wife when he was 34 and and she was 14. Whatever.

des said...

BM,

The problem with the courts is that there is no separation of the fathers who take care of their children and those who do not, they're all assumed to be deadbeats.

My child's mother and I had a payment plan set without ever seting foot in court. A year after I got married, she takes me to court with the intention of taking half of my monthly pay, even though she makes THREE TIMES my salary. I was lucky the judge didn't go along with that. Your suggestion makes too much sense for anyone in the legal profession to even consider.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

why be upset at the truth
thats our problem

did u read this i wrote Blinded by the lights

Ms. Iman said...

For real...I agree. $500,000 per kid? That's too much. I could see if some of that were going to, say, a college fund or even a trust, but it's going to the regular care and feeding of a child. And even though my four year old can out-eat the entire defensive line for the Dallas Cowboys, she still doesn't run us $20k a month. I can't imagine *anything* that would cause you to spend that much, per month, on a child short of chemo therapy or some sort of physical therapy or specialised care.

Imhotep said...

Big Man, I've never been in that multi-million $$ income bracket, so it's hard for me to comment on that level.

Now on my level, I've been a single parent and have paid child support (for the same child)and I easily got by with $20K per YEAR in expenses for that child. My son is now a junior at UNLV. My daughter is on her way to Spelman, and again we got by on less that $20K per year.

OTOH, If I had more money then I could have invested more with them, maybe a few round the world trips, etc. I still don't think that it would average out to $20k per month, but again I'm not on that level.

If the judge wanted do something meaningful, he could have Russ set up a college fund for children from single parent homes, and fund it to the tune of $20K per month for the next 18 years. And assign the other $20K to Russ"s daughters, after all Kimora is running a corporation, she can supply the difference to make the kids happy.

You speak of golden pussy, I don't think God has made the pussy yet, that is valued at $20K per month.

WNG said...

I can't get worked up either way because I don't know these people personally so thier marriage and divorce is not any of my business just because I bought clothes for my niece from her, you know?

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I have to agree with WNG getting worked up is a bit much, but I do think it’s fairly little and even you said they live the same lifestyle. And those are his kids! 1 million to Russell is like 1000 a year to middle class cat. However, on the philosophical level here are my thoughts.

I do find it quite amusing that men get so mad at child support. It’s for your child and if you think the mother is going to spend it, well you should have thought about that before you signed the divorce papers or went raw dog in the hot chick of the night. Men can get custody of children today much easier than the old days. My aunt paid my uncle child support even though HE was in arrears to her for their oldest daughter when their youngest daughter, so I can’t get worked up with you and sing in the Amen chorus.

Like WNG said there are LOTS of other factors to consider about the individuals situation before I get crazy. Are their women out there making a come up because they chose the right baby daddy or ambitious husband, sure there are. But on a whole the system is still broken; there are still very unfair standards for woman in America, although I wouldn’t want to be a woman ANYWHERE else. When it comes to combining motherhood and career, it’s extremely hard balance. It’s one of the reasons I’m sans child. Men don’t ever really have to think about the impact of fatherhood on their career.

I actually like your ideas on setting standards, not a bad one. However Kimora is getting less than what Will Smith was shelling out for Trey years ago and he has joint custody of that kid. When it comes to our kids I don’t think there should be a price and if you’re worried about shady parental units then exactly what kind of person were you married to, look at your judgment of character. Who knows KiKi could be putting that money in a trust for her girls.

-OG

Big Man said...

WNG and OG

I respect both of y'all's point of view. Before I wrote the blog I debated the issue with one of my homegirls and she actually kicked my ass with her points. However, since she doesn't have a blog, I get to win the argument in the end.

I know y'all are saying that the money ain't shit to Russell and you're right. He obviously doesn't care about spending that much money. But, I just think the system seems skewed when we solely decide what the child support payment is going to be based on the man's salary. I need some other factors need to be considered.

But, I welcome different perspectives on an issue. I'm actually going to have somethign up on the blog tomorrow about what a difference perspective makes.

Deacon Blue said...

Good points all around, but for me the issue in these celebrity child support stories isn't about whether the spouse who gets the kids earned a certain share of the other spouse's profits; whether the vagina or penis was really worth that much; whether there should be a more intelligent system as Big Man suggests (and for the common person, there probably should be...this is some complex stuff); nor even whether awards should be high enough to "hurt" the non-custodial spouse so that he/she really *feels* it.

No, my problem is on the values end...the supposition that these kids need so much money. Celebrities and the rich, in so many cases, spend money with the same sort of casual air that I use a Kleenex. It's not that I begrudge them the ability to spend their money how they will...but then they get older and less popular (in most cases) and start crying "woe is me" when they end up with an amount of money that forces them to merely be high-upper-middle-class instead of mega wealthy...and they claim they "need" millions each year to care for a child when millions of children each year go without a proper number of used clothes or basic nutrition.

Makes me sick.

Big Man said...

Damn Deac, you killed it.

WNG said...

And another thing: Why do we even KNOW this? I don't know this much about my cousins divorce settlement! This is why I don't buy celebrity mags and try not to pay attention - it's a little rude on our part and REALLY shady for them to be answering press questions about their personal lives. When did any of this become our business? When did their LIVES become something to be sold?

Anonymous said...

If your criteria truly is "establish the average cost of raising a child within a certain income bracket," then you better believe that Russell in is the zone.

The bottom line here, Russell can easily afford it. The million dollar tab isn't even making him sweat. So, why are you complaining? Here is a brother with unlimited income taking the responsibility to see that his kids live as they would if he were still in the home AND she didn't have to chase him down with a court order. He deserves praise.

Now, Raving, I expect a racist white media to paint all Sisters as ho's and/or goldiggers. They been doing it for hundreds of years. But what do we do with brothers like you and Bob Johnson who continue to victimize us with these stereotypes? You waste time defending men to stupid to take control of their own reproductive life! This ain't no hit and run. Nobody put a gun to their heads to have sex. This is the 21st century. It is no longer just the "woman's job" to see that pregnancy does not occur. And if they wanted to have the children, then step up and stop whining.

As for the concern here over values, it all seems a bit self-serving. The values you communicate to your children have nothing to do with how much or how little money you have, or how much or little you spend on them. It has much more to do with the life you live in front of your children. Children do as you DO, not as you say. If your example is selfish and resentful materialism, that is what you will get from your kids.

Big Man said...

Anon

I didn't paint all sisters as golddiggers or hoes. Where did I do that? I pointed out that the current system rewards people for having children with someone who is rich. It rewarded Kimora, it will likely reward K-Fed.

Deacon Blue said...

WNG, part of it is our own insatiable appetite (not mine personally; there are only a handful of celebrities I could care less about really) and the ability and willingness of the entertainment press to dig.

But we cannot discount the fact that a lot of celebrities, particularly B, C and D-list ones, put their stuff out there specifically to keep themselves in the news. It's sick, but it's true.

Talk about some serious co-dependency, enablement and other stuff when it comes to celebrities and the general public.
;-)

MODI said...

"Unless she wipes their asses with Monets, there is no way she needs that kind of money to raise two children."

LOL!

Listen the real issue with the dysfunctional deadbeat dad laws are the ones that don't differentiate a "deadbeat dad" from a "deadbroke dad. If you are making something like $8 an hour, the laws do not take this into account. being a youth services worker, I factually know of too many cases where a young father who is selling drugs AND providing for his kid feels there is no possible way to pay child support. For many the laws work as a disincentive... having "deadbeat dads" held accountable in theory sounds nice... but in practice it often has the exact opposite effect if you have a meager salary...

Anonymous said...

"Men don’t ever really have to think about the impact of fatherhood on their career."

This is crazy;

A man's career is entirely motivated by woman + child.

I'm about to go to my best friend's wedding. Last word from him? "I need to figure out how to get a job that makes more money." That is, a career.

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Anonymous said...

Before the feds got involved in child support enforcement in an effort to reduce the cost of welfare, child support was a shared responsibility.

It takes two people to make the baby, and both should share the responsibility for providing for that childs needs instead of having the government dictate what lifestyle the non-custodial parent will provide for the child (and by inference, the custodial parent).

The states abuse the child support collection system in the interest of profit.

I suggest that everyone read the report listed below and then write your legislators requiring paternity tests before child support is ordered, and changing the reimbursements to states for collecting child support from a percentage of child support collected to a per case payment.

Repealing the Bradley amendment also wouldn't hurt.

http://fathersunite.org/Child%20Support%20Incentive%20Abuse%20Report.pdf

Raving Black Lunatic