Tag Archives: gender

Force of Nature: Beyonce as a Feminist BEAST

17 Dec

You may have heard that Beyonce mysteriously dropped an iTunes-only album, complete with artsy, dreamscape music videos accompanying EVERY song. It’s at its worst an egotistical experiment, but I imagine that’s the nature of every daring artistic endeavor. At its best, this album is a feminist musical revolution. Some have argued over the concept of Beyonce being a feminist, but this album is a deep exploration of her maternal instincts as her social consciousness has been raised by having a female black child in America. Clearly, this has forever changed her, and she presents a deeply developed cultural and spiritual perspective through a gendered lens.

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Perhaps most importantly, this is her guerilla musical endeavor. She has broken rule and convention, and gone against every music label and institutional convention. That’s radical; that’s powerful. Her forceful push through these barriers could help usher in a new era of musical creation and changes in the institutions that have hindered musical brilliance. She’s owning her incredible power as a force of nature, from every possible perspective. As a black woman, she is reclaiming each and every particle of agency that is traditionally taken from women of color, especially as entertainers. That’s fucking BADass.

The controversy of Beyonce’s right to claim herself a feminist stems from the pettiness that grounds every social movement, least of all women’s rights. So she dyes her natural African American hair blonde and uses her sexuality as an entertainer. Well, that’s her choice and prerogative. It’s even more profound given that women of color in music and pop culture are often the most sexually objectified without consultation.

But before you might criticize her for claiming feminist agency, check yourself. Look in the mirror. I don’t just call myself a feminist – I AM a feminist. But yes, I shave my arms and underarms, wear makeup, high heels to work, and fake eyelashes for photo shoots. Why? Because I’ve been socialized to carry some shame otherwise. Just like her – though even more so because as a woman of color she enjoys even less privilege than I do. I imagine that you and every other feminist has some contradictions as well. But that’s what makes us human – and our fight to exist merely as human is exactly what defines us as feminists.

This album is at once high feminist art, even musical haute couture, and it is obviously ignited and inspired by her motherhood. But furthermore, she is deconstructing her own flaws, contradictions, and humanity. Thats’s the ultimate artistic endeavor – to bare one’s soul as we simply exist – as imperfect, simple, complex, confused, enduring human beings. Through soundscapes that evoke a glimpse of the music of tomorrow, Beyonce explores her existential demons as she exists- as just another human. That is the ultimate feminist statement.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beyonce/id780330041

Change Comes From Within

9 Mar

I had the distinct pleasure and privilege to attend a DC event put together by an international non-governmental organization, that featured notable speakers and panelists on global women’s issues.

Hundreds of professionals and scholars gathered to learn more about the pandemic of violence against women and the barriers to universal education for girls. We swapped stories and traded perspectives; we bonded and tweeted; we texted our friends to let them know how much they were missing.

As I settled in to my seat with my glass of wine and a few chicken cordon bleu hors d’ouevres, I chatted with a neighbor.

Afterwards, I overheard women (the event was 95% female) talking as well. Everywhere, women were chatting, networking, bonding.

But I noticed something else – something beyond the expected. Something disturbing.

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AWESOME IWD Infographic

8 Mar

UNF-infographic-V3

The Girl Effect: How Girls Can Save the World

6 Mar

The Girl Effect: How Girls Can Save the World

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Learn more about what you can do to help women and girls in the world, and the issues facing them globally.

View & share! Hope you enjoy my presentation…

Feminism and Valentine’s Day: A Holiday for Consciousness-Raising and Romantic Rebellion

13 Feb

The colliding of two worlds, you suggest? Mutually exclusive perspectives from different sides of society?

I disagree. But we’ll get to that.

The Commercials

There’s a flooding of sappy jewelry commercials every early February. No doubt – Valentine’s Day is the other Christmas for the shiny-metal and gems industry, and a multi-billion-dollar industry it is. Big business and big opportunity! A marketing field day. Fourteen of them in a row, to be sure.

Some of the commercials are downright disturbing – I won’t share publicity with them by naming names, but one phrase went, The “Let’s Skip Dessert Store” or something sexualized like that. Message: buy me something expensive that everyone thinks is pretty, that I can adorn myself with as women have throughout history to show their social status, and I will fuck you.

No thanks, sweetheart!

Messages like these are rife within the industry, and they only get worse around a day loaded with romantic, expensive expectations.

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