Beyonce will always be a polarizing figure in terms of race, gender, and sex. Is she in? Is she out? Does she critique? Does she reaffirm? It is really hard to pin Beyonce down as she straddles so many social positions. Her songs ARE feminist, but also patriarchal. She does represent Black beauty, but she also benefits heavily from light skin privilege. She definitely gives you a lot to think about and consider though. Destiny’s Child “Independent Women” is as feminist as The Feminine Mystique. Neither are perfect, but they do bring attention to sexism. When I was a sixth grader with a feminist consciousness but no word for it, no knowledge of ‘academic’ feminism, that song resonated. I think some people forget that feminism is a journey not a destination.
This is from a few of his tweets this afternoon, and he’s a great person to follow on Twitter. Brilliant. Daily.
Anyway, I answered the first part of his tweet by saying “She’s like Obama. They challenge and reaffirm patriarchy. Most Black people do. And then, some ONLY reaffirm, which sucks.”
He then went on to mention that she “fence straddles” which is a term I’ve used myself at home when discussing this with one of my sisters. I think many Black celebrities are somewhere in the middle, moving away and challenging certain damaging things and affirming others…figuring themselves out. (Of course some Black celebrities refuse to challenge anything, and some of their fans are the same way, so there’s that…)
I think there are many Black people, in general, who are aware of the damage caused by internalized White supremacist thinking, patriarchy, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, colourism and more, and challenge it in many ways, but affirm it in others. Feminism is a continuum. No one wakes up as bell hooks, including bell hooks. She was Gloria Watkins before too, figuring this feminism thing out. She herself writes in each subsequent book how she evolves.
What really struck me, looking at the images, is what they reveal about the state not just of sexism in the comic book industry, but of the laziness that sexism has bred in costume design. In artists’ eagerness to show off superheroines’ breasts, legs, and buttocks, they’ve become duplicitous and dull, utterly failing to think about what costumes might aid their characters in their jobs, much less reflect their personalities. Tony Stark’s tinkering with his costume is an essential element of his character, but the most creativity the people who draw her can bring to Power Girl is a cleavage window? I can imagine some very talented Hollywood costume designers working in film and television who would have a thing or two to say about the utter embarrassment to their profession represented by this dereliction of duty
Make him feel like a piece of meat: “It’s a huge turn-on to hear a woman objectify me,” 30-year-old Christopher says. “It seems simple, but it’s so powerful.” Take his words to heart and don’t be afraid to tell your guy everything you like about his body or what he does that drives you crazy. He’ll be obsessed.
That’s not what objectification means. That’s not making him feel like a piece of meat. That’s just sexual compliments. Yeah, sure, it’s easy to say “I don’t know what those ladies are complaining about, you can objectify me anytime” if you think it means your girlfriend tells you you have sexy abs.
Objectification is focusing on a person’s usefulness to you with total disregard for their desires. In the context of compliments, it’s not saying “You turn me on.” It’s saying “You turn me on, and whether you want to turn me on is utterly irrelevant.”
Saying “nice ass” to a person who’s deliberately wiggling their ass at you is a compliment; saying “nice ass” to a person who’s just walking by is objectification. “I want to sleep with her” is expressing desire; “I’d hit it” is objectification. “You’re sexy” is nice to say on a date because it’s a compliment; “you’re sexy” is hideously undermining to say at a business meeting because it’s objectification.
People are uncomfortable with sexuality that is not made for male consumption.
Erykah Badu (via lezziemcguire)
So, there’s the Bechdel test.
I’ve got another test that works just as well. The Sexy Lamp test. If you can take out a female character and replace her with a sexy lamp, YOU’RE A FUCKING HACK.
— Kelly Sue DeConnick, at ECCC’s ‘From Victim to Hero’ panel. (via brokenblumenkind)
So, because some men have managed to sexualize stretchy yoga pants, that means stretchy yoga pants are now inappropriate/slutty/cause for “alarm.” Because the standards for what it’s okay for women to wear should be dictated by men’s libidos. Nearly every woman I have talked to about this — in the office, on Facebook, on Twitter — has echoed the sentiments of the women commenting on the GMP piece: we wear yoga pants because they are comfortable. Period. The suggestion that we A) wear them because we want sexual attention from men and B) that therefore they shouldn’t be worn in scenarios in which that attention would be “inappropriate” takes all the responsibility for controlling male lust off men and places it on women. And that is some bullshit.