At the Grammys, Domestic Violence is Cause Célèbre, But Black Women Rappers Are Uncelebrated


Leading up to last night’s Grammy Awards, controversy centered on what a victory for the white, Australia-born rapper Iggy Azalea would signify, as she would have been the first solo woman artist to collect the Best Rap Album award. Assessments of Azalea’s authenticity (her “blaccent” works with an on/off switch—she speaks differently than she raps) […]

A Feminist Ode to Bobbie Gentry


It was the 3rd of June, another sleepy dusty delta day I was out choppin’ cotton and my brother was balin’ hay … In the summer of 1967, there wasn’t anyone listening to AM radio who wasn’t familiar with these opening lines to the #1 hit record “Ode to Billie Joe.” Sung by long-dark-haired Bobbie […]

Nicki Minaj and the Inevitable Politicization of Celebrity Abortions


Reprinted with permission from RH Reality Check.  Read the original here. If you ever want to see a perfect example of how the mainstream media perpetuates abortion stigma, look no further than the reactions to Nicki Minaj’s recent Rolling Stone interview, in which she discussed an abortion she had as a teenager. In a world where most […]

Crank These Feminist Tunes on New Year’s Eve


As we bring 2014 to a close, we celebrate a year of feminism—a year in which the movement rose to national spotlight (quite literally), sparking conversations and empowerment on a grand scale. For those partaking in New Year’s Eve celebrations (and for those camped out with a good book), we’ve compiled some feminist gems to […]

The Privilege of Christmas Carols


It’s that holly, jolly time of year again when the festive patriarchy and cultural majority rises up and celebrates itself for its good-spirited, happy camaraderie. A time when we sing in hearty chorus, celebrating the triumphs and tribulations overcome by our favorite heroes, chipper and forward-looking, pulling themselves up by their red-and-green-striped bootstraps. Don’t get […]

Nicki Minaj and the Performance of White Supremacy


“[Hitler] killed Jews and Gypsies because he didn’t have us.” — from Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon I had already read the numerous condemnations before actually viewing the lyric video for Nicki Minaj’s latest single, “Only.” Just how bad could it be? I thought. After all, I had not seen prior indication that the pop star was given to anti-Semitism. […]

Hey, Maroon 5! Stalking Isn’t Edgy


While Maroon 5’s “Animals” probably won’t be as big of a hit as Robin Thicke’s consent-ignorant “Blurred Lines,” “Animals” has taken the narrative of questionable consent and doubled-down with a music video that blatantly glorifies stalking and sexual violence against women. No blurred lines here. Lead singer Adam Levine plays a self-conscious, glasses-wearing butcher who stalks […]

One Childs Born, And Laura Nyro Carries On


It’s hard not to toy with the lyrics of Laura Nyro’s song “And When I Die” when headlining a review of jazz pianist Billy Childs‘ new tribute to the inspiring singer/songwriter/feminist. “And when I die,” sang Nyro in the 1966 recording, “and when I’m gone / there’ll be one child born / and a world […]

Beyonce at the VMAs: Feminist and Flawless

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  If you missed the MTV Video Music Awards last night, there was only one image you really needed to see: Beyoncé literally putting the spotlight on feminism. And seeing the word FEMINIST emblazoned on a huge screen behind the singer was a galvanizing sight to behold. The millions of people who tuned into the […]

Nicki Minaj: A Brown Sugar Sphinx Riddle

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Who knew that after the demolition of Kara Walker’s wildly popular “Marvelous Sugar Baby” art installation (see photo at left) at the old Domino sugar refinery in Brooklyn, the giant-sized booty of her 35-foot-high and 75-foot-long Sphinx would cast a long shadow this summer? At least that seems to be the case with the uproar […]