Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Of Fire and Exhibition: Oh, wow. I don't even know where to begin.


Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:


via Brown Girls And Bois on 11/30/10

Of Fire and Exhibition: Oh, wow. I don't even know where to begin.:


1. Regis slapping Nicki Minaj's ass isn't funny.  It's degrading, dehumanizing, and just all-around reprehensible.  

2.  It's easy for spectators to comment, "Why didn't she say anything? I would have!"  The fact of the matter is, however, you were not there and this did not happen to you.  Nicki Minaj was on national television and in front of a live audience, which automatically puts her at a position of vulnerability.  Hell, her position as a performer puts her in a vulnerable state; her livelihood depends on the audience.

On top of that, but society tells girls and women all the time, "Don't be loud.  Don't be a drama queen.  Don't be too emotional, because people will take that as a sign of your inability to cope and think rationally.  Smile, and be nice, and be respectful.  Mind your manners."  This is why it's often so hard for some women to stand up to sexual harassment, or to be bold, or to say, "No. Fuck off. Go away, you fucking creep," when bathed in continuous unwanted sexual attention.   At the very least, it's hard for me.  At the back of my mind, there's always society's little voice telling me, "Don't cause a scene."  And when I do cause a scene, when I do raise my voice and tell these men to back the fuck off, I get painted as a bitch, as melodramatic, and irrational.  I've had friends turn around and tell me, "Whoa, it wasn't that big of a deal."  Except a guy's hand on my ass, touching me non-consensually, IS a big deal.

So yes, it's a big deal that Regis smacked Nicki Minaj's ass— but I'm not surprised that she didn't say anything, and that her reaction was to laugh awkwardly.  How many times have I done that in the fact of sexual harassment?  How many times have I seen other women do that?  And we weren't on national television, and I've never had my reputation or career on the line.  

3. I'm not even going to touch the "there is a difference between black people and n—-" and "bitches and queens" bullshit.  You got yourself worked into a fury there, didn't you, hun?  Well, keep on rockin' with your ignorant self.  I just refuse to even grace that sexist and racist shit with a counter-argument. 

4. Y'all don't have to agree with Nicki Minaj's Barbie alter-ego to acknowledge sexual harassment or to be outraged by it.  Moreover, just because Nicki Minaj has this Barbie alter-ego, doesn't mean she's any more deserving of sexual harassment, or any less deserving of support.  You also don't have to agree with how she calls herself a bad bitch; that's fine, and while I personally find power in reclaiming the word, it's understandable that others don't and find it sexist.  But again, just because she's a self-identified "bad bitch" doesn't make her deserving of sexual harassment, or any less deserving of our support.

5.  Barbies may be disposable, but human beings aren't.

6.  The hypersexualization of women in the hip-hop industry is a real thing.  However, before we start engaging in a dialogue about how "Nicki Minaj hypersexualizes herself, so what does she expect?" let's first learn a little about the hypermasculine hip-hop culture and the ways women must present themselves to have their voices heard.

7. Oh, and the "Nicki Minaj hypersexualizes herself, so what does she expect?" argument is pure bullshit.  Women can represent themselves however they damn please; they are still women, and thus, still deserve respect from the feminist community.  Feminism is supposed to fight for women, not just women you agree with, not just women who dress "sensibly" and don't market their sexuality and have Women's Studies degrees.  Feminism is for women— even sex workers, even hypersexual, self-proclaimed Barbies and bitches.

Outstanding commentary.


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