Your Opinions Are Just As Important as Mine.
Tri-weekly feels like a strong thing. I may stick with it! This week I discuss Beyonce, Kesha, Kendrick, Taylor Swift, and what they’re actually doing for our society. I’ve gotten into a few Facebook discussions lately, and have desperately stopped myself from re-sharing the blog I wrote about it being ok to be wrong, and to accept knowledge from others, but will just mention that if you’re ever in a position where you may be wrong, deciding to just “disappear” and not acknowledge the issue of your inaccuracies is not the appropriate approach. Let’s all get with the picture and accept that we can receive knowledge from MANY different aspects and types of people. Next issue I’m talking about life post an eating disorder, and continuing with the Love Letters. If you have anything you’d like hear or add, feel free to shoot me a message!
Why The World Was Okay with Kendrick Lamar at the Grammy’s, and Not Okay with Beyonce at the Superbowl (and why it’s bullshit regardless)
Lets get some things straight. What Beyonce actually said at the Super Bowl was this ”
Okay, okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation
Okay, okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation
You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it
I twirl on them haters, albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low, sippin’ Cuervo with no chaser
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard)
Get what’s mine (take what’s mine), I’m a star (I’m a star)
Cause I slay (slay)”
So lets be clear, she didn’t SAY anything anti-police, pro universal black pride (this is debatable, but at face value she’s only saying SHE likes these things, she isn’t say WE), or anti-white privilege. She makes an homage to her parents upbringing and how they’ve created her, then identifies those crude comments people were making about her babies looks by pointing out that she likes her babies natural hair, and her husbands large nose. That is all. She also had her dancers in black panther uniforms, which easily could of been seen as reverence to Michael Jackson who did the same thing at one of his Super Bowl performances, but instead was viewed as a promotion of anti-police activity. Well lets talk about the kind of activities the police were doing during the Black Panthers most aggressive period: horrible horrible things. Like really, this is the time where innocent marches would have dogs released on them and hoses fired on them. People were burning down churches where groups of black people would meet to discuss ways to better their people and fight a way to equality. COPS were raping black women AND DOCUMENTING IT!  This isn’t to say that cops are great right now either, but there is no reason to immediately assume she’s connecting it to that AT THE SUPERBOWL! In her video, she says a few more lowkey things, but still, nothing really obscene. And the officiers in the video are dressed as the officers from Ferguson and then they lift their arms in a head nod to Eric Garner, but lets be clear, these are items from her video. As an artist, in her own video she has the right to promote whatever she wants, especially if it isn’t immediately harmful to anyone. Kid Rock and MANY others have done the same. (and lets not also mention that Kid Rock brought his confederate flag [which is linked to the KKK] to the Super Bowl not too long ago…) But then! Kendrick Lamar came to the Grammys, and said something. Like really made a statement. And the world LOVED him for it. As they should have, he made statement on how capitalism and our government have continued to enslave black people through private prisons, letting off officers who kill without thinking, and using environmental warfare to get rid of them. I’m going to be honest and say that his diction and clarity with vocalizing words could use some work, so I’m not entirely sure of everything he said, but I got the message loud and clear. How did the media take this? They loved Kendrick! In my opinion, its because he’s a man. Because a man got on our TV’s and told the world about the struggle of black people, he was excused, as if someone just went “eh, he’s an angry black man so, whatever.”. How could I stand for such outrage? Well I didn’t really. Kendrick Lamar is not just another black man vocalizing the black struggle, he is a part of a group of people using their positions to say something! Beyonce used her music video to say something, and then used the Super Bowl to tell people how she felt, in a light and gentle manor. Men (and some women) were outraged that shed use this moment to share her opinion. Well let’s just note that MORE PEOPLE watch the Super Bowl (111.9 million) than the Grammy’s(24.5), so there is reason to suspect that Beyonce was trying to brainwash the masses. But that’s not what was happening, and that not what we seem to be missing. In the grand scheme of the racial binary that puts black people at the bottom of the hierarchy, black women live at the base. A black woman can say less than a man and still receive backlash for speaking IN GENERAL. All people of color go through a struggle, and it’s great to hear Beyonce come out to the world as Black (because she’s oddly only gotten lighter as her career as gone on, which isn’t exactly how melanin works, but regardless she’s kept color) and proud of living her life and rising her child in a pro black lives environment. Kendrick Lamar did an amazing job and truly deserved the respect he got from his performance, but lets no longer allow people to promote Beyonce as anti-police, or say things like “the Super Bowl is a time to come together, not isolate people.” because she did not isolated white people, she’s removing black people from their isolation within the world.
No It’s Not Just Taylor Swift Faking Feminism, and We Should All Set A Better Example
While this topic is so fresh in everyones mind, let me start this by saying by no means should this take away from THE ACTUAL PROBLEM which is that Rape and Misogyny are still at a high in the world, and you don’t escape the deeper emotional cuts by having fame or money. And while rape is detrimental for the victim, how we approach and deal with it as a society is also crucial. I am not a part of the TOP 1000 Kesha Fan Club, but I’ve enjoyed her music, and I’ve DEFINITELY followed her case and supported her (in the small [grand scheme] ways I could). So I was soo happy to hear that she won in the case of Dr. Luke suing her for defamation and breach of contract. But then, just as the world so frequently does to my poor, gentle, sensitive, little heart, I learned that she lost in her case in her release from her SONY contract. [Side note; isn’t Sony supposed to be all capital letters? Or did I make that up? I don’t know if I want my google search history to know that this is what I’m indecisive on. I did it. Google didn’t really say no, but it didn’t say yes. I’ll conform to just the personalized capital for conventional purposes, and so people stop thinking I’m screaming at them] The Judge basically said because your [accused] rapist has invested so much money into you, you can’t possibly expect to not give him what he wants. Which is the equivalent to “if he buys you a drink, then you’ve gotta sleep with him.” and its crazy that the law just justified this by saying the contract was “heavily negotiated and typical of the industry.”* The world, the justice system, and a bunch of people, have just failed Kesha. And not only have they failed Kesha, they’ve shown women and girls, yet again, that a mans investment in you is worth more than your ability to be in control of your body and life. A MANS approval of your body, your life, and your livelihood. This leads me to a woman who has gotta split reviews on her very conservative views on how a woman should dress, Ayesha Curry. Mrs. Curry tweeted “Everyone’s into barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters.” & then “Just looking at the latest fashion trends. I’ll take classy over trendy any day of the week”. My very own family member supported this statement by saying something along the lines of dressing a certain way for her boyfriend. *dramatically fans self as if depleted* I’ll say I mostly blocked it out of my memory, but I think I maybe kindly mentioned something about how ancient African Women wore no clothing until they were married because the man forced them to. Nudity was a form of freedom and expressed strength, confidence, and availability to work. And after further research, nudity was a think everywhere until men decided the world should be more moralistic, antisexual, and use more of the body-shaming edicts of the Victorian period. But even in modern society women are fighting back their ability to control their own body and what they wear on it “there is an independent Republic of India, the jains are again unhampered in their religious practice of nudity. In India today, some women have also joined the ranks of the naked Jain ascetics.”*1 So Mrs. Curry, you have the right to dress however you’d like. But you may not shame anyone for deciding they’d like to wear less clothing. The body belongs to the individual and promoting a man approval for our bodies isn’t beneficial for society. It leads men to make decisions like “well she dressed like a slut, so I raped her.” and feel justified. Or judges to say thing like ” granting the singer’s request to nullify her deal would undermine the state’s laws governing contracts and the court couldn’t do that.” When asking to be completely disassociated with someone she is claiming raped her. Tragic, truly. And we’ve heard our other celebrities opinions on this matter. I won’t list them, but here’s a look of supporters from Lady Gaga to Halsey to Lorde. And Taylor Swifts first issue of support comes from a representative of hers letting the world know Swift donated 250K, “In a show of support, Taylor Swift has donated $250,000 to Kesha to help with any of her financial needs during this trying time,” a representative for Swift wrote in a statement.* So publicly, Swift has made no actual attempt to support Kesha, or talk about rape victims. Instead she’s given an ABSURD amount of money to Kesha, to help her with her legal issues. Earlier today I made a list of more effective, and caring ways Taylor could of shown real support, and not just show face (to use a slang phrase) and thrown money at Kesha. Here it goes; 1) allowed Kesha to sing covers and duets of Taylor Swifts music. (not a breach of contract, gets double coverage so if she did have a different rep with Sony they wouldn’t be able to completely deficient the album and she gets to immediately get back into the performing game)
2) talked about her own interactions with negative/abusive men within the industry and let her fans know that not only was she not standing for it but they shouldn’t either (someone mentioned that Taylor Swift has been sexually assaulted. I haven’t heard of this before, and have yet to look into it, but if its true it would of been way more forthcoming to relate than to have you PR person communicate with her and the public [and she doesn’t have to be public about what she’s doing, but she choose to be public about the very specific amount of money she gave out. She could of just said a large sum. We needed to know just HOW much Taylor cared. And the only way we could know that was by knowing how much she spent. I assume is the rationale there…] and also let her fans know that they should also speak up of these incidents. She literally said nothing and just gave money.)
3) reached out to Kesha personally, asked her if she could assist in any legal fees or if she needed help finding a better lawyer. (so I don’t know that this didn’t happen. But again, think about the very selective amount of information she’s chosen to let us know. It’s not like this just slipped out)
4) donate $250,000 to someone willing to start a record company that avoids this misogynistic bullshit. (this is so real. First! I’d like to mention that all of those fans that Taylor Swift has ever helped/visited are white. I don’t think that her whole fan base is white. but maybe those are the people she notices the most. I don’t know. I’m just saying I did the research. Second, money fights the problem, which benefits the victim. To just give Kesha all that money and not go the step further with your belief and make the true difference, you are again not saying anything. Just hoping the money will either hold her over until someone does something, or keep her quite for awhile. I don’t know. She doesn’t seem like a terrible person, but the terrible ones sometimes don’t seem half bad.)
5) actually use the words that not only was Sony wrong for forcing her to stay in her contract but that the LAW was wrong for forcing a rape victim to be owned by her rapist. (again, USE YOUR VOICE! USE YOUR PLATFORM! YOU ARE AN SELF PROCLAIMING FEMINIST!)
and not just taylor, but since she’s really trying to use her feminist platform and claim to want equality for all women, I’d like her to be a little more educated on how genuine feminists behave.
that last part was just a little push for my point. I’m not anti-Taylor Swift. I’m Anti-bandwagon feminist who don’t get that feminism is a hands on, down and dirty, kind of task. It’s not sending a PR to give your regards; Its walking up to your students parent who you know knows their child is getting bullied and asking them what they plan on doing about it. It’s releasing a video explaining that you will never understand exactly what its like to be a rape victim if you are not a rape victim, it is letting all of your fans know that “Our focus should be on the topic of victims of sexual and physical abuse being afraid to come forward with their stories. They’re more likely to face retaliation and harassment than to see justice being served. Especially women. It baffles me that when it comes to serious issues like equality and abuse, too often women are not taken as seriously as men. All I want to see is women coming together and actually making a difference. A real change and shift in society. Everyone has their own way of giving support to others , and at the end of the day, helping victims is all that matters. Ultimately, the message I want people to hear is it’s okay to come forward with your abuse and if you do decide to take action, you are not alone”- Demi Lovato. We all need to be doing our part in supporting women. And supporting Kesha. No, I am not saying helping someone financially isn’t supporting them. I’m saying only giving someone money (and doing it through the grape vine) isn’t a very feminist way of approaching a matter of such misogynistic and victim shaming matters. It doesn’t help others come forward, and it doesn’t make a difference for ALL women, just that one.
*I’m actually going to a panel discussion with men who are victims of false rape accusations and anti-rape activist who support the right to make an accusation, but not the ability to ruin a persons life on a false one. I’m excited for this panel because it’s not a common voice to be heard, and I hope its not aggressive. FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES if Kesha is lying, there are ways for Dr. Luke to regain views in the eyes of the world. I’ll talk more on this when I know more. But know that I’m not for viewing anyone as guilty before proven, I’m just saying if someone is claiming they have been sexually assaulted, it needs to be taken care of as the first priority and not after a defaming case & a contract case, and that she shouldn’t be forced to work with that person. IF it was false though, that person wouldn’t want to work with her either, ya know? Its not all about the words that are written, but the context they’re written in.
Love Letters To Yourself. (continued)
I hope that each issue I can post a new poem (or two) here, adding to the list to make this one giant love letter to yourself. I’ll start us off, but I’d love for some more outside writers!
Don’t. Just Don’t. Its probably not as bad as it feels right now. And in a few years from now you’ll be reviewing this moment as the small fears that didn’t hold you back. You are worth everything, and so much more than that fact. You are your own rock and you don’t need to try to break yourself. You will recover from all things, as long as you can believe your way through it. You may never love again, but you will always love yourself.
~You can wash windows your whole life and never see things clearly. You can demand change from the coinstar but never feel the cold, heat. You can love someone forever and only get to be with them for a moment. You can love yourself enough, but always need more. And thats okay. You can never be satisfied, and continue to exist. Look at a perfectly blue sky and wonder why there isn’t a hint of pink. Walk through the forrest without shoes on and step on a twig. Touch the fire. Feel the burn. And challenge yourself to make a difference every day.~
- I good (not discrediting it, but I can imagine there are better articles out there as well, this just happened to be a mildly personally opinionated one that I read) article on why it isn’t appropriate for women to frown upon other women wearing more or less. It also shows some other female opinions.
- read this, then go hug a woman, just because you’ll realize that with these numbers, this sort of abusive has happened to SOMEONE in their or your own family.
Here are also a few places to look for what the industry (is just assault in general) does to victims, and what other celebrities are actually saying about it (and willing to actually do something about it)
Lena Dunham releases an essay about how Kesha’s case is about more than just Kesha (I enjoyed this essay, mine is a little more broad, and covers another important topic, but her’s is a great key in