Art & Culture

To cookies that just won’t crumble

Gayatri Jayaraman
Gayatri JayaramanJan 11, 2016 | 18:54

To cookies that just won’t crumble

Cookie be loud, Cookie be brash, Cookie be her own gospel. Cookie be the whole damn cake. Cookie be the epitome of how just not to give a f**k. You can throw her in poverty, she will drug deal. You can throw her in prison, she will go down for your secrets.

Not because you’re worth it, you scum bag, but because she’s so damn better than you. A better mother, a better wife, a better businessperson. Because she knows the value of bargaining chips, and should you by chance give her an inch of one, she is the devil who will take your Empire. And should you be no less a devil, she will raise her own hell and reign over it.

There once was a certain kind of woman, the kind you didn’t mess with, before the Indra Nooyis of the world came along and made success look like the burden that required the kind of compromise that involved women having to go out and buy the milk. Cookie doesn’t buy the milk. Cookie goes out and gets the whole damn cow and leaves it in the middle of the kitchen for the man to milk if he wants milk so badly. He gets the message.

Cookie doesn’t know what gratitude is because Cookie didn’t ask you to hand her nothing.

There are two kinds of women today: those who want success so badly they have to compromise their entire lives to achieve it. And those who choose not to want it, compromising achievement for a life. Both are taught not to make a virtue of overwhelming ambition. If you do, you will end up like Indrani Mukerjea.

The good-looking woman who got the media mogul, his money, his connections and see what happens to women who think they can have it all. See how their heads work. Women in general are taught to read morals in everything bad that happens to a single woman.

Men in general are taught to make a virtue of everything that happens to one single man. So all men can be Bill Gates, but all women might possibly end up as a murderous Indrani Mukerjea. Put your head down and work and be grateful for the good that comes for you. Except Cookie doesn’t know what gratitude is because Cookie didn’t ask you to hand her nothing. Or as Cookie puts it: "God please do not withhold your blessings even from hoes that hire skanks to spy on me."

The heart on the sleeve is never a virtue, because women who have no control over their emotions are not only bound to get hurt, but will spiral out of control. You’ll know if she likes you and you’ll know if she doesn’t. “Is there a bathroom around here?” Cookie: “Straight down the hall. Then jump out of the window. It’s straight down.”

Her enemies are her enemies (they’re the ones with targets painted on their backs) and her friends, even asshole ex-husbands, and jealous holier-than-thou and messed-up-to-hell sisters and confused sons who cost her everything she’s ever worked to build are still family. Lovers who betray trust are shot to hell. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually not. It’s simple. It’s straightforward. It’s easy. Pick a side and fall in line, she has a shot gun.

It is a far better world than one the unruffled woman must inhabit. The one in which she must always smooth everything over. In which she must be as calm as the sea, wise, matriarchal, irrespective of the storms raging around her. The woman who "has it together". More of a relief than the woman who has it together is the woman who knows nobody does. By cutting through the crap, she makes it easier for others to drop the pretence and crack the facade.

"You can fool this country you legit, but I know you ain't nothing but a punk-ass gangsta." Cookie keeps it real and in doing so she makes the world a more practical place to negotiate than those who insist on keeping up facades.

Cookie wins by making us more acceptable to ourselves. In releasing her inner shrew she becomes the collective sigh. The respect Cookie earns is real respect, hard earned with blood and tears, like the bull that gored the matador against the odds. You’ve got to stand up and applaud despite the messy body.

And yet to let go isn’t to let go. She wears her furs, her diamonds, her heels, shakes her booty, flicks her platinum mane and pouts those lips. She is hurt in love and lust, she seeks but does not always attain, and sometimes she must seek the help of those she rails against, from mistress to lover.

Here’s the secret every woman knows: no woman is an island, and all fortresses need an army to defend. And unlike men, women know that winning the war is not about building that bicep, but playing your team to their strengths and batting against their weaknesses.

It makes Cookie a far better captain than Lucious Lyons, for all his talents. Cookie, more than Lucious, knows weakness, knows defeat, and knows human failings. And because of this she knows her people. “Lucious Lyon is a musical god, and he's also a crazy son of a bitch that had a dream — still has a dream — and nobody better ever try to get in between Lucious and his dreams.”

Cookie is not just an ambitious woman. She isn’t just a woman with muscle. She is the genesis of the hood. She is the spirit in Lucious Lyons’ hip hop. She is the spirit that just won’t die. Cookie is la familia. Cookie is the goddamn Godfather of womanhood.

Enough of the polished, the petite, the perfect. Enough of the emotionless, the overeager, the energetic. Make women real, earthy, sweat, blood and tears. Someone throw out the dressed up frosted cakes floating around with polished fingernails building up cold, clinical industries running without an ounce of warm-blooded passion in them and pass around the cookie. "Yeah, that's my name. Take a bite."

Last updated: January 11, 2016 | 18:54
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