Hoes stay winning” is a phrase that’s been around for a few years now, but it has been all up and through my feed this past week because Evelyn Lozada is pregnant by and has a HUMUNGOUS engagement ring from professional baseball player Carl Crawford.

Let’s be clear, “hoes” don’t win. Ever.

They already lost from the gate, being called “hoes” and all. Plus, what is the criteria for being a “hoe?” Is Evelyn Lozada a hoe because she’s been engaged to an NBA player, married an NFL player and is now engaged to a professional baseball player? Gabrielle Union was married to an NFL player and is now engaged to an NBA player. Erykah Badu has three children by three different rappers and never married any of them.  (Most) folks don’t call those latter two women hoes and none of those three women should be called one.

Allegedly, being called a hoe has something to do with the number of guys a woman has been with, but that’s not really what it is.  After all, certain famous women get the hoe label even if they have only been romantically linked to a handful of guys or are serial monogamists. Being a hoe is about a perception of that particular woman’s “ladyhood.” Cue up some Steve Harvey. Ladies are supposed to be refined, elegant, pretty, chaste (but FREAKS in the bedroom), loyal, forgiving, submissive, nurturing little creatures whose primary goal is pleasing their chest-thumping mates.

People are a-okay with giving Lozada the hoe label because she has shown her behind more than a few times on Basketball Wives. She doesn’t seem “worthy” of a guy with lots of zeroes on his bank statement. Incidentally, a man who has money is the epitome of manhood regardless (and maybe because) of how many notches are on his bedpost or how he treats the women in his life.  It’s all part of a very skewed, sexist, patriarchal framework of gender roles. It is a framework that never works in favor of women and we feed into it by assigning women like Lozada the hoe label.

Also, what is “winning?” Is acquiring an expensive bauble from a dude the definition of winning? That’s a low bar. If that’s your definition of winning then just go to All-Star weekend, stalk the players’ hotels, put on your best freakum dress and be willing to do anything to make him loosen his grip on that black card. You could “win” all weekend and then some.

Is it a win specifically because of the marriage proposal? So many women yearn for that moment when a man gets down on one knee and pledges an eternity of love. It is a beautiful thing, but there is no reason to put a negative spin on another woman’s happiness. Only the people involved in a relationship truly understand it and the complexities that go along with it. Speculating about intentions, worthiness or ulterior motives does nothing to move our own lives forward.  If you want to get married, put your energy towards positive personal goals instead of negative gossip about what some other woman has.  Sometimes those baubles come at a very high price that has nothing to do with money. Focus on you and attaining your true happiness.

Alas, “hoes” don’t win. Women win when we work together to build each other up and be our best possible selves. 

Follow Demetria Irwin on Twitter at @Love_Is_Dope and connect with her on Facebook.

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