My favorite part about Man of Steel.
legit gonna see this movie just for her okay
Policing Feminism: Regulating the Bodies of Women of ColorJune 10, 2013 by Leave a Comment
The decision to feature Beyoncé Knowles-Carter on the cover of the latest issue of Ms. magazine ignited controversy among its feminist readership, and as the author of that cover story I’m not all that surprised. Indeed, my article is precisely about the “debates” over such a high-profile celebrity and sex symbol identifying as a feminist.
Still, what is surprising to me is the level of vitriol and mean-girl over-the-top outrage that accompanied the news of Beyoncé’s cover on the Ms. Facebook page. Whatever one may feel about Beyoncé as a feminist icon, when did it become acceptable to call this married mother of a toddler daughter a “stripper” and a “whore”?
I’m the first to admit that Beyoncé’s “fierce feminism” often seems contradictory in its public delivery. But after the heated response to her Ms. cover, I wish I had delved further into our queasiness over her “sexiness.” This isn’t simply a rejection of a sexy-image-as-defined-by-patriarchy: This is in the vein of pearl-clutching, although the opposite of sexiness—modesty—is hardly viewed as women’s salvation since it represents a different policing of women’s bodies.
Indeed, just back in April, when the mostly white Ukraine-based group Femen staged a “Topless Jihad Day” across Europe in solidarity with Tunisian Femen member Amina Tyler (who was penalized for posting topless photos of herself on Facebook), some took that opportunity of “solidarity” to exhibit their Islamophobia by marching topless in immigrant Muslim neighborhoods and demanding their Muslim sisters to “get naked.” Of course this did not sit well with some Muslim women in the West, who responded in kind with their own “Muslimah Pride Day,” reminding non-Muslim women that they don’t need saving nor do they want to discard their hijabs.
So, what’s going on in the sphere of Western feminism? In one area of the world they’re condemning women of color such as Beyoncé for “not covering up,” while in another part of the world they want Muslim women to “get naked.”
There is an uncanny pattern here between the condemnation of Beyoncé’s booty (how she displays it and how she shakes it) and Muslim women’s hijabs (how, when and where they wear it). What certain feminists clearly want is to regulate the bodies of women of color in order to eradicate difference. Since when did feminism reinforce dress codes instead of women’s autonomy and solidarity with other women, in which we support all of our choices while also recognizing how those choices are sometimes limited by intersectional oppressions (and no one is immune from this)?
And let’s not forget context. An Amina Tyler mounting a naked protest is about her autonomous right to her own body in a conservative society that would sooner punish her for “not covering,” while getting naked in Western culture could lead to slut-shaming and pornographic ogling. On the flip side, “covering up” in the West, especially in a hijab, could lead to hate-crime targeting, as had occurred with some Muslim women in the wake of the Boston bombings.
As Jada Pinkett-Smith aptly questioned on Facebook, in defense of Beyoncé’s choices: “Whose body is this anyway?” It seems some of us in feminist movements need a not-so-subtle reminder: Our bodies are our own! If feminism becomes yet another space for the regulation of our differences, rather than an embrace of our differences, then we have impeded our progressive move forward in our collective political consciousness.
Sure, we may ask, in the vein of Barbara Smith: “How does this free us?” (This in reference to Beyonce’s sexiness or Muslim women’s hijabs). But, if feminism looks like Beyoncé and a Muslim woman who covers and a Middle Eastern woman who engages in naked protest and a white woman who questions her power and privilege in relation to her sisters of color, then the message becomes loud and clear: Feminism is about politics, not a one-size-fits-all uniform.
And the story doesn’t end there. This is just the beginning. What more could be accomplished when we build on our differences, complicate our perspectives, and come together in solidarity? All I know is this: When my students try to creatively engage feminist consciousness and use symbols from pop culture, Beyoncé is their go-to-person. When one of my graduate students worked with middle-schoolers on a dance performance raising awareness about sexual violence, whose music did these girls choose? Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child.
I’ve learned a long time ago that our pop icons have been a gateway for young women and girls in the articulation of their feminist consciousness. Music is so ubiquitous, and exists in the most intimate spaces of their everyday lives, that it’s counter-productive to call a woman they admire a “stripper” and a “whore.” Beyoncé might very well lead them to other feminists existing beyond commercial boundaries. The widespread condemnation of her (interpreted as “feminist critique”) could stop them in their search.
Let’s stop fearing our differences. In the words of bell hooks, Feminism is for everybody!
The latest issue of Ms. magazine, featuring Janell Hobson’s cover story on Beyoncé, is available for your mobile devices or in the traditional print version. Find out how to download the Ms. app and get a year’s worth of Ms.!Not necessarily afrofuturist (although, kinda), but this discussion needs to be shared widely.
I AM SORRY BUT THIS IS WHY I AM EMBARRASSED TO BE AN AMERICAN. IF A HIJAB THAT DORNS THE AMERICAN FLAG PATTERN IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BUT SKIMPY ASS BIKINIS OR WEARING THE FUCKING ACTUAL FLAG IS ACCEPTABLE, JUST BECAUSE THE PERSON IS WHITE, I WANT TO FUCKING THROW UP.
(I don’t have a thing against Audrey Kitching, she was just merely and example).
But this fucking disgusts me right here. It makes me want to say, fuck this country and its racism and double standards.
I LITERALLY FUCKING CAN NOT
Give her a bullet to the head for walking down the street, minding her own business?? And they think SHE’S the terrorist.
Moderate white people, please talk to the extremists in your community.
Smarter Cities project
Ogilvy & Mather France created some useful outdoor ads to promote IBM’s “People For Smarter Cities Project.”
Check out the video below to see the full project:
I hear this too often aaa
Diversity is the spice of life
*murderous glare* but don’t erase people’s experiences and identities
Yes. Too often I hear versions of “but it doesn’t matter if someone is [fill in the blank], we’re all the same!” and I hear it as a version of “Isn’t it nice that I’m going to pretend that it doesn’t matter that you’re different from ME ” and that ME is usually cis-gendered straight and white. (I’ve added “male” to that descriptor a couple of times and taken DAYS of heat for it).
Drives me crazy that people don’t understand the essential ego of that—it doesn’t matter to ME. Well, how ‘bout if we find out if it matters to the person, the real person having their life.
One of my kids recently decided to come out as bisexual (or “situational”, a term she likes that one of my friends uses for herself) and many family members said, “So? It’s not a big deal.” I verbally removed a few heads… It’s not a big deal TO YOU because you are not the person who will be living that identity. YOU only think about how it doesn’t affect your life—it affects HERS, it is her identity and she now will go through her life with that being a filter through which many will choose to see her… (Not to mention how incredibly “first world” that mindset is).
Does it change how we think of her or love her? Nope, not one iota. But it’s important. And she’s allowed to have it be important to her.
Yes to all that.
“We’re all the same” is extremely problematic, because it implies that there is something wrong with difference. The society I dream of is one where people don’t fear difference and where otherness is not vilified. It’s a society where diversity is celebrated, not erased.
The “we’re all the same/difference doesn’t matter” attitude is only sustainable in a context where discrimination no longer exist. And that context, sadly, doesn’t really exist in the real world. So when people tell me these things don’t matter, even if their intention is to show how open-minded and tolerant they are, what it really tells me is that they are unaware of their own privilege.
Penny and Walter. brush and ink, photoshop.
I really liked how these guys looked in this panel, so I colored it! Walter is wearing his Special DM Shirt. Penny naturally has strawberry pinkblonde hair because it is a comic and I do what I want.
Lucky Penny is currently bein’ posted over at Johnny Wander if that is a thing you want to look at! It’ll be published by Oni Press whenever it is complete.
Johnny Wander is good. Yuko and Ananth are good. Lucky Penny is good.
Hate draws my comics. Pure blinding a billion proof hatehol.
my comics are drawn with love <3
This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like. Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York. This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary. Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.
woah, I feel like everybody needs to reblog this….
Can I get like three or four of these, turn on some Netflix and do this while sitting down?
From The Wild Kingdom by Kevin Huizenga. Drawn & Quarterly, 2010.
I love how Kevin Huizenga choreographs action. It can be the simplest action, but he’s great at finding, isolating, and highlighting a shift in a way that really softly directs the reader. The way the cat’s tail in the final…