Call Robin Thicke’s #GetHerBack Campaign What It Is: Stalking

“The most controversial song of the decade.” That was the name given by UK’s The Guardian to Robin Thicke’s “rapey” single “Blurred Lines.” But that’s old news. What has people talking now is his twisted new single, “Get Her Back.” Yes, despite dozens of schools banning his music, countless bloggers condemning his last hit and […]

Lana Del Rey: Not a Feminist

Count Lana Del Rey as the latest celebrity claiming to not be a feminist. She joins the ranks of Shailene Woodley, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, all who have recently rejected the feminist label because they “love men,” or “don’t think of things as guys versus girls.” What such celebrities are lacking is an accurate […]

Awkwafina, Fierce and Funny (and Asian-American), Takes on Hip-Hop

One might say the illest new rapper on the block is a water brand. Or, rather, the name of a water brand re-envisioned as an Asian-American rapper, Awkwafina, who introduced the superpower of the queef in her album Yellow Ranger, released in February. More recently, Nora Lum—the New York-based artist behind Awkwafina—has been working on […]

Can You Be a “Decent” Person and Buy R. Kelly’s Music?

If you grew up in the ‘90s, you’ve probably belted out R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” on more than one occasion. Or perhaps you remember blasting “Ignition (Remix)” in your friend’s car as a teenager. Whatever your relationship to R. Kelly and his music, it probably wasn’t all that complicated. But I’m willing […]

Beyoncé: The Grown Woman Album

This has been quite the year for Beyoncé: singing the national anthem at President Obama’s second-term inauguration, electrifying the Super Bowl’s halftime show (to the point of a blackout!), headlining a world tour and solidifying her feminist credentials by gracing the cover of Ms. magazine’s Spring 2013 issue (recognized by Huffington Post as one of […]

Miley Cyrus’ “Sluttiness” Is The Least of Our Problems

The universe (well, the media) is slut-shaming Miley Cyrus pretty damn hard today for her performance at last night’s MTV Video Music Awards. She wore little. She gyrated. She was sexual.  This is the least of our problems—or it should  be the least of our problems anyway. Cyrus used her sexuality–which is hers  to use–throughout the performance. […]

Singing the Lesbian Blues in 1920s Harlem

When Gertrude “Ma” Rainey — known as “The Mother of Blues”— sang, “It’s true I wear a collar and a tie … Talk to the gals just like any old man,” in 1928′s “Prove It on Me,” she was flirting with scandal, challenging the listener to catch her in a lesbian affair. It might not seem […]

Remembering Jenni Rivera, Feminist Icon

“Look at that dress,” I exclaimed as she sashayed across the stage, feet hidden beneath its many ru­­ffles. The floor-length purple gown was embellished with swirling golden details offset by a flowing scarf of the same color. The “Diva de la Banda” waved the scarf as she positioned herself in front of a semi-circle of […]

Catching Up With Ronee Blakley

Remember Ronee Blakley in her Oscar-nominated performance as singer Barbara Jean in Robert Altman’s 1975 film Nashville? (If you haven’t seen the film, Netflix it!) Blakley played a frail, home-sweet-home girl with the blues, and she sang several songs (which she wrote) in the film, filled with sweet lyrics and a heartfelt twang. New Yorker […]

Imani Uzuri: A Traveling Woman

For a woman, to travel can be a feminist act. Women who set out and proclaim themselves citizens of the world tread a path that is often the prerogative of (privileged) men. Yet women who can and do take physical journeys often experience emotional transformations as well. Singer/songwriter Imani Uzuri’s latest musical release (and second […]