Michelle / Melbourne, Australia. Writer, medical student, cruciverbalist and cat aficionado. Creative subeditor at Lot's Wife and fiction editor at Voiceworks Magazine.
I am pro-choice, anti-bullshit and proudly feminist.
This blog features politics, gender equality, racial issues, pop culture and some daily shenanigans. All opinions my own. Join the conversation and drop me an ask. x
But women can never be careful enough, can we? If we take naked pictures of ourselves, we’re asking for it. If someone can manage to hack into our accounts, we’re asking for it. If we’re not wearing anti-rape nail polish, we’re asking for it. If we don’t take self-defence classes, we’re asking for it. If we get drunk, we’re asking for it. If our skirts are too short, we’re asking for it. If we pass out at a party, we’re asking for it. If we are not hyper-vigilant every single fucking second of every single fucking day, we are asking for it. Even when we are hyper-vigilant, we’re still asking for it. The fact that we exist is asking for it.
Everything Beyonce does is careful and thought out. Her entire image is perfection crafted from planning ahead. She does not ‘wing it’ or throw things into her performances and public appearances ‘just because’.
What she did at this award show was amazing, especially because of how intentional and thought out it clearly was.
Feminism is a scary word for a lot of people. Many women are afraid of calling themselves feminist because they think it implies anger, hatred of men, or a rejection of traditional femininity.
Beyonce presented everyone watching with two distinct images of what many viewers viewed as two very different women. There is the strong, independent FEMINIST. She is the woman who likes being in control and being in the spotlight. Then there is the WIFE and MOTHER. She is soft, sweet, smiling at the husband and child you can tell she loves and values so much.
For every girl watching who was afraid to be a feminist, afraid to be powerful, because of what she thought she would lose, this is an incredible message. You can be all the things you want to be. You can be both. Feminists can have amazing happy, full lives full of both traditional and modern womanhood.
Feminism means gender should not be a source of persecution or a restriction of your choices. Feminism mean the type of person you should be is based on what you value, not what outside forces pressure you to value because of your gender or biological sex. Shout at the top of your lungs that you are a feminist and proud. Then go and be the exact person that you want to be.
It’s time to flush your stereotypes down the drain.
Congratulations, gamer girls—you’re officially at the top of the food chain when it comes to games. A new study released by the Entertainment Software Association has revealed that adult women now occupy the largest demographic in the gaming industry. Women over 18 made up a whopping 36 percent of the gaming population, followed by adult men at 35 percent.
Let’s see if these solid statistics will finally stop the cries of, “but are they real gamers?”
So when Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry bring black girls on stage, dance with them, acknowledge their figures- it’s offensive and appropriating. But, when Nicki Minaj makes an entire video focusing around black girl’s asses and asserts her power, reduces these women to objects and flaunts her authority it’s YAAASSSSS NICKI SERVE IT. Is that because she’s black? So it’s okay for people of the same race to dance with each other but someone who does not share the same levels of melanin enters the picture, they’re doing something wrong? …idgi
You’re completely ignoring context. In Lily Allen’s Hard out Here video, she literally says, “I don’t shake my ass cause I have a brain” as Black women shake their asses in her video. She is literally degrading the Black women who shake their asses in the media. The song also uses references to Black rappers (i.e. the title of the song referencing the rap song “Hard out Here for a Pimp” and her lyric “bragging ‘bout my cars or talking ‘bout my chains”), suggesting that Black rappers are more sexist than white male musicians (which isn’t true, there’s lots of sexism in all music genres) and also suggest the source of sexism in the music industry is Black people (Black male rappers and twerking Black female dancers).
In contrast, Nicki Minaj is reclaiming a song (Baby Got Back) that was made by a Black male rapper who celebrated (but also objectified) Black female bodies. Throughout her song, Nicki raps like a man would, talking about her sexual conquests with men and the size of their dicks, almost as a way of doing to men what they have done to women (objectifying their dicks as Sir Mix A Lot objectified Black women’s asses and many other men objectify women’s vaginas). She also brags about her sexual prowess and stays in control and aggressive in the video (she goes as far as cutting a banana representing a dick and slapping Drake’s hand away—the video critiques the male gaze). The target of mockery and disparagement in Nicki’s video is men and the male gaze, and the video works to reclaim agency from it.
In what way is Nicki asserting power over her dancers? In her video, she twerks along side her back up dancers and dances with them and interacts with them on the same level. She is just as scantily clad as they are. Lily Allen, however, stays fully covered in her video, does not dance provocatively, and thus contrasts her own pure and respectable femininity with the Black women, using their twerking and scantily clad bodies as an example of “bad” female sexuality and femininity—of women “objectifying themselves.” This is racist because it frames Black female sexuality as lesser than white femininity and antithetical to feminism.
In summary: Nicki’s video is very much a celebration of female Black beauty and sexuality coming from a Black woman. Conversely, Lilly Allen’s is using Black women as props to frame them as a vile or bad form of sexuality or being too sexual to prop up her own feminism.
So you might say, “what about Miley Cyrus? she twerks along side her Black background dancers too!” But here’s the problem: Miley Cyrus continually appropriates Black culture and also uses Black women as props. It does matter that these artists are white because in these cases the point of including the Black women is either to, in Lily Allen’s case, offset Black sexuality/femininity as too sexual or bad in comparison with her white femininity/feminism, or, in the case of Miley Cyrus, to get “street cred” and exotify her own sexuality by appropriating Black culture and using Black people as props to do so. See this analysis of Lily Allen’s Hard Out Here video and this analysis of Miley Cyrus by Black people who know a lot more about this than I do.
I haven’t seen anything about Katy Perry using Black dancers. I’ve just seen criticisms of her appropriating AAVE and other PoC cultures. So I’m not sure why you brought her up, but maybe I just haven’t seen the videos in question.
Either way, it’s not like white artists having a diverse cast of back up dancers is a bad thing automatically. Here is an example of a white artist using back up dancers of other races without objectifying them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ilh1ewceco (notice this artist tackles the same issue as Lily Allen—sexism/objectification in the media—without being misogynist and racist toward other women). But the examples of Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus ARE racist and Nicki Minaj’s video isn’t the same as theirs.
This is how thoroughly we women have been sexualized, that we cannot make the kind of noises that come with physical exertion without it being associated with sex. In fact, everything about our bodies has been sexualized in one way or another. If we groan during sport or we breast-feed in public, we are criticized for making people think about sex. If we talk openly about things like menstruation and poop and farts, then we are criticized for making people not want to think about sex.
Think about what it means to be ladylike and all of the adjectives that go along with it: elegant, cultured, classy, sophisticated. To be successful at being feminine means being successful at being private, keeping your body’s natural functions behind closed doors and never letting anyone know they exist. It means to be constrained, that you do not let your legs spread wide in public transportation and you do not make noises that are harsh on the ears. It means presenting a polished, shiny surface to the world at all times, one that allows others to project whatever they wish onto you while never showing too much of your true self.
Philadelphia Newspaper Calls Asians “Chinky Winky” and “Dinky Doo”
Publisher Jimmy Tayoun says it’s a “proofreading error.”
In the August 21st print edition of the Philadelphia Public Record, the free weekly tabloid published by former Philadelphia City Councilman turned federal inmate Jimmy Tayoun Sr., current Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla is pictured at an event in Chinatown with, among others, “Chinky Winky,” “Me Too,” and “Dinky Doo.”
“It was a proofreading error,” Tayoun told Philadelphia magazine on Friday afternoon. According to Tayoun, the editor who used those names did so because he didn’t have the actual names. When we pointed out to Tayoun that there were actually more names than there were people, he reiterated, “It was a proofreading error.” And when we asked why the editor didn’t use a generic placeholder instead of an ethnic slur, he insisted that there’s no prejudice or bigotry involved here.
"That editor is a Britisher," Tayoun explained, puzzlingly. "He didn’t mean anything by it. The Public Record is the most inclusive publication in Philadelphia.”
"It was a proofreading error." Yes, you just keep repeating that. I guess he means it’s like a spelling or grammar error, but the editor forgot catch all the racist shit before it went to print. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Feel free to contact Jimmy Tayoun, publisher of the Philadelphia Public Record, with your thoughts:
PHILADELPHIA PUBLIC RECORD 1323 S. BROAD ST. PHILADELPHIA, PA 19147 Tel: 215-755-2000 Fax: 215-689-4099
So I just found out that Renee Lim—who plays Mae in Josh Thomas’ hit series Please Like Me—doesn’t have a Chinese accent in real life.
I don’t like to slap the ‘racist’ label on things arbitrarily so have thought about this for a while. I think the most common argument would be that this adds to the show’s comedic value—that her accent, which lends itself to the stereotype of the ‘foreign second wife’, is a nice contrast to how non-stereotypical she is in her brow-beating of her white husband. In effect, it points out to the Australian audience that we can’t make assumptions about people from different cultural backgrounds.
Which is, well, great. But I think that if you’re going to make a point of not pandering to stereotypes, making the actress put on an exaggerated Chinese accent actually takes the show backward.
I can count on two hands the number of Asian characters I’ve seen on screen or stage who haven’t had an Asian accent. And I consume a lot of media. Whether or not there are a few I haven’t been exposed to is irrelevant—the point is that the majority of Asian representation is either a) tokenistic or b) grossly stereotypical.
Accents are used to mark us as others. As being ‘not from here’ or a sign of not ‘learning our country’s language’. Having a foreign accent that isn’t something conventionally romanticised (i.e. pretty much anything European) is never seen as a good thing. So when I see it being used as a comedic device I’m always wary. Is the only way to extract humour from an Asian character based on what is commonly used to ostracise them from Western society? Is our only value in our novelty or in how we deviate from the Caucasian norm? No. It’s not. And it shouldn’t be.
Though, of course, some cultural representation is better than none. I get that. But the current deal is pretty terrible and there a lot of problems that need to be fixed.
‘Men get raped and molested,’ should be a whole sentence. If you have to tack on the word ‘too,’ then you’re using the experience of male victims to silence females instead of giving them their own space.
— Not sure if I’ve reblogged this before but it always bears repeating.