Janet Mock on Beyoncé’s feminism.
I really appreciate everything Janet said about Beyoncé in this video clip and especially on the panel with bell hooks (which she also mentioned in this video), which I wrote about in Liberating The Black Female Body: Thoughts On The Voices Of bell, Janet, Shola and Marci. We need nuanced perspectives and ones that aren’t solely about respectability. And also, recognize that Beyoncé is still a human being even if people only recognize her as an inanimate brand, or worse.
Janet keeps it 100. Love her. (Oh and LMFAO @ Janet in the clip saying the writer needs to “have a seat” and “at one of Beyoncé’s concerts.”)
"Gulabi Gang" is a gang of women in India who track down and beat abusive husbands with brooms.
this is too thug not to reblog
That’s not all they do - they’ve got more information on their website.
What else they do that is awesome:
- Stop child marriages
- Persuade families to educate girl-child
- Train women in self-defense
- Oppose corruption in administration
- Create awareness about the evils of dowry
- Register FIRs against sex-offenders and abusive husbands
- Publicly shame molesters
- Encourage women to become financially independent
Yesssssssss. Female empowerment is a wonderful thing.
Btw gulabi is a reference to ‘rosy’ and a Hindi word for pink
Hence the pink saris
Bollywood’s actually doing a movie on it
Me and my friends in India consider the Gulabi gang the height of badass-ness
god according to their website, they will set up and cater and do the makeup/outfits/arrangements for PROPER weddings that are supported with proper ideals(no forced marriages and so on). AWESOME!
"It's hard to be an up & coming female rapper nowadays because people don't know what to do with us. Like, they don't know what to do with women in Hip-Hop, so the best thing to do is to pit them against each other and it's like, 'You are gonna be better than her because she's the only one doing it right now,' and there are so many male rappers now that no one says that about."(x)
"I need feminism because… I’m tired of being one of 3 women at my Fire Department!"
I’m tired of third wave feminism being so obsessed with equality in every single aspect of life… that they are compromising the safety of others. Did you know that the Australian Fire Department has relaxed its fire service strength and fitness tests just for women because most of them could not even complete the bare minimum required for acceptance? That’s right. Women wanted jobs in the fire department, but because they couldn’t pass the required strength tests they threw a temper tantrum and as a result the government relaxed the entry conditions.
Do you realise what the implications of this are? Imagine a Fire Brigade being forced to hire a number of women because they qualified under the relaxed strength and fitness test (and not hiring them would therefore be discrimination). Now image that same Fire Brigade being called out to a building that is on fire. If there were unconscious occupants still in that building, the only chance of survival for them would be if a fireman pulls them to safety. Now what if one of the female firemen finds two, middle aged men unconscious on the second storey? What if she was one of the many women who could only pass the relaxed strength test because the original was too tough for her? After a long struggle she’ll eventually heave maybe one man out of the building before the fire consumes it… in the same amount of time it would have taken her male colleague to bring out both men.
The Fire Brigade strength and fitness tests weren’t designed to exclude women… They were designed to ensure the safety of those in danger! They were designed to ensure that the rescuers were physically capable of rescuing!! Do you notice how men have little hips and big shoulders? Not only is it cute, it makes them 1000x more efficient at lifting and carrying heavy loads than compared to a woman of the same height and weight. That isn’t a result of patriarchy, that is the result of biology and human anatomy, so go sue Mother Nature if you think it is sexist.
Lowering the strength standards has put innocent lives in jeopardy. It has nothing to do with real equality, and everything to do with something as trivial as male:female ratios in certain fields of service. Guess what? It is all because of deluded third wave feminists who consistently fail to look at the bigger picture and are so consumed by their victim complexes and their delusion of being oppressed by the patriarchy that they can’t comprehend the harsh reality of any given situation.
^Same reason why combat units in our military should not relax their standards just so women have an easier time getting into those units.
What the FUCK
Why do some people have the ridiculous, idiotic, misogynist notion that women are not as strong as men? What the fuck?
That Fire Brigade Bullshit probably happened because the only women to apply weren’t physically fit.
But lemme explain to you a thing. Lemme explain to you ALL a thing.
WOMEN ARE NOT WEAKER THAN MEN.
WOMEN ARE NOT WEAKER THAN MEN.
WOMEN ARE NOT WEAKER THAN MEN
SOCIETY JUST TELLS THEM THAT THEY ARE WHICH CAUSES THEM TO LOSE CONFIDENCE, CAUSING THEM TO BE WEAKER.
My dad is a deputy fire chief, and he would have some choice words for the first two responses. He has more than 35 years of experience. He first started in an entry-level position and rose through the ranks, with about eight years outside of a fire department when he was working as a senior investigator and policy analyst at the Office of the Fire Marshall. He also makes a huge effort to hire women, which unfortunately meets with a lot of resistance within the department—by the same people who are also extremely against hiring people of colour or people who aren’t heterosexual. It’s funny how easily bigotry fits into rhetoric of “safety,” isn’t it?
Firstly, women firefighters have to pass the same physical exam as men. A lot of men don’t pass it. A lot of women don’t pass it. But any woman becoming a firefighter has necessarily fulfilled the safety requirements her fitness entails. A lot of women pass the test. Unfortunately, not a lot of women actually apply, because of shitty idiotic attitudes like this. And yes, women often do better on the tests than men. It isn’t the case at all that all men do better than all women who apply. Fuck you for suggesting that.
Secondly, guess what, dipshit. There’s a lot more than goes into putting out fires and rescuing people than brute strength. That’s why there’s a lot of education as well as psychological exams that go into hiring firefighters. And it might stagger you to realize that when you’re talking about entering burning buildings and other hazardous environments, having only a bunch of people with the exact same build and physique is a huge safety risk. You know why the (equally strong, equally smart) women on my dad’s force are such an asset to the team? Because they tend to fit places that men can’t—like through a schoolbus window last month that was inaccessible to almost every firefighter present. My dad says the most effective partners have complementary builds. This often means pairing a woman with a man, as it did in this case. This particular pair often works like this: the man helps move the woman to a place he can’t fit (sometimes literally throwing her through a window). If there hadn’t been a woman, the casualties would have been much higher. And that’s just one example. It’s never a disadvantage to have people of different shapes and sizes, all fully trained and all meeting the same physical requirements of the job, who can contribute differently.
Thirdly, I’m assuming these idiots regard muscled young white men carrying women and children over each shoulder as the Platonic form of firefighter. But it may astonish you to know that in a fire, smoke kills first. You fucking asphyxiate. That’s one reason firefighters never carry people over their shoulder (the other being that it’s extremely dangerous to deadlift a limp body when you’re wearing 80 pounds of equipment—try doing that and you’re more than likely adding to the amount of victims who need to be rescued). If you hold people up to the ceiling, they fucking asphyxiate. Obviously. So you watch too much TV if you think that’s basically the job. How do firefighters evacuate victims from burning buildings? They drag them along the floor. This is so they don’t suffocate the victim, they lead the way first to safety, and they can fully fucking see and manoeuvre through the hazardous environment. I am not strong. I am not in good shape. I could never be a firefighter without some serious physical training (unlike a ton of other women I know, and like a lot of men). Guess what. Even I can drag my 200-pound, tall, male firefighter father across the floor.
You’re not looking out for people’s safety. You’re upholding misogyny and assuming you know what you’re talking about. We do need feminism in firefighting, because it’s a fucking cesspool of white supremacist patriarchal homophobic cissexist anti-immigrant privilege good old boys’ club bullshit. It’s based on nothing but prejudice, and emergency services should fairly represent the population they’re paid handsomely to defend. Thankfully, people are slowly steering away from this. There are more and more women becoming firefighters, and last month, a woman joined a neighbouring department to my dad’s as a deputy chief. She passed the tests. She has experience and a sterling record. She also has a Master in Gender Studies, and she’s not very big.
Bolded the part that points out you don’t even want a group of people who all have the same characteristics and strengths and motivations involved in saving lives for both obvious and less obvious reasons (well, if you’re a cisgender, straight, white, able-bodied, and/or otherwise privileged.)
Late to the party so I’m sure I’m not the first to have any of these observations! But I’m randomly skipping around rereading bits of the Wonder Woman stuff I’ve already read, and one thing I REALLY LOVE about Gail Simone’s run is how it textually acknowledges the inherent queerness of the Amazons without winking at the audience in a way that would frame it as the male gaze (hot chicks, no men!!), or having it be a cause for panic or confusion (what do they do without menz?!). Like how the comic lampshades that the Amazons have courting rituals, in a culture made up entirely of women. Tom reacts to that with a bit of panic, but the comic itself just takes it in stride. Diana mentions Amazon courting rituals several more times throughout the story.
And it’s not just queer in the sense of, some of them are lesbians, but in the sense of acknowledging and prioritizing different kinds of familial relationships beyond one woman + one man + their biological kids. Different parts of the story showcase Diana’s relationship with her mom, with her sister, with Etta, with the Amazons collectively; Hippolyta refers to Diana as “our” daughter among the Amazons. These are Diana’s supportive family structures and that’s just the way it is. Obviously it could do more (i.e. I think we only see two couples go through the courting rituals, and they are both heterosexual relationships), but it’s not just wink-wink subtext either?
I do realize that this inherent queerness/lady-centricness is probably why important DC people call Diana’s background and origin story “tricky.” I think that maybe that belief comes from a perspective where the absence of men has to be *justified* in some way? Like the Amazons have to hate men (but really just because they don’t ~understand them), instead of just choosing to live apart in their own culture because … they’re fine that way. It can’t just be that they support themselves and each other, protect each other, love each other, and form their own families and important relationships. Like Diana says elsewhere, why is it that people feel that a belief in women equals a hatred of men?
I think this comic shows that it doesn’t have to be “tricky,” because it doesn’t have to be justified or explained. This comic just lets her origin story be what it is. It takes the story seriously and complicates it, especially with the baby stuff in The Circle, but that’s a different angle (and a whole different conversation). It doesn’t try to explain the Amazons in a faily way or treat them like they have to be explained, and it doesn’t make the female-ness of Diana’s family and upbringing alien or weird.
I am reblogging this again, both for the lovely thoughts of a new reader experiencing these stories freshly, and because of the smart analysis of the issues regarding the Amazons as told in those stories.
The OP is exactly right that I had no interest in making male gaze-y stuff out of Amazon culture. I felt it was pretty matter-of-fact to them, they’d lived with it for 3000 years.
It’s sad, but I have actually had many, many conversations with guys in the industry who don’t ‘get’ Wonder Woman and it almost always boils down to the Amazons. They don’t get the Amazons. The Amazons exist without much reference to guys at all, which is kind of a nightmare for some guys no matter how feminist they claim to be.
So you see over and over again, attempts to take away Amazon power, to make it about men, to make their message “WE HATE GUYZ LOL” instead of “this is our incredibly advanced, peaceful and happy world we’ve built on our own.”
It’s frustrating. It’s not just comics, almost every Hollywood pitch I ever read about WW had that same tone.
I always maintained that handled properly, the Amazons were as much a power fantasy for readers as, say, the Asgardians in Thor.
But a lot of people are unwilling to even try it. Stories that take place ON Paradise Island always, always lose casual readers.
There are two interesting things going on with Tom in this story that I think are important. I don’t think his surprise in these panels is gay panic, although I can certainly see why that is always a concern. The way I wrote it, and I think the way it came out, is that he has a moment that LOOKS like it might be a bit of gay panic, but what it really is, as shown in the next panel, is anxiety that he might not fit in, might not measure up, particularly with a ritual that had never had a dude involved. I think he feels he’s going to screw it up.
But that is just my interpretation, certainly people will read it differently.
To me, it’s also interesting that later, when he meets Diana’s mother on Thymiscira, he goes in with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, fully expecting to not be welcome on this island of women, but Hippolyta surprises him, her daughter cares for him, but he’s not an Amazon. It’s not the gender that concerns her, it’s that he’s not an Amazon.
So she MAKES him an honorary Amazon, complete with title and weapon.
I think there is a lot of female power in that. She would certainly have been within her rights to keep him off the island. Instead, she chose to show him what being an Amazon means. I always thought that was a powerful, queenly thing to do.
Anyway, I could yap about Diana all day. :)
Barbara Winslow, Feminist Movements: Gender and Sexual Equality
The next time someone tells me that you can’t have feminism in historical settings I’m going to print out 1,000 copies of this post, bind the paper, and throw it at them.
"When I got into the music industry a majority of female artists I’d seen were trying to regurgitate an ideal of the female image. They were trying to be almost a replica of what was popular. I just found that to be very boring and dishonest. I just wanted to be in control of my clothes. I wanted that choice. That’s the only things that I’m saying. Women should not be marginalized. We shouldn’t play into the sexism." - Janelle Monae [x[