Nicki Minaj is not a woman who easily slides into the roles assigned to women in her industry or elsewhere. She’s not polished, she’s not concerned with her reputation, and she’s certainly not fighting for equality among mainstream second-wave feminists. She’s something else, and she’s something equally worth giving credence to: a boundary-breaker, a nasty bitch, a self-proclaimed queen, a self-determined and self-made artist. She’s one of the boys, and she does it with the intent to subvert what it means. She sings about sexy women, about fucking around with different men. She raps about racing ahead in the game, imagines up her own strings of accolades, and rolls with a rap family notorious for dirty rhymes, foul mouths, and disregard for authority and hegemony.
While Beyoncé has expanded feminist discourse by reveling in her role as a mother and wife while also fighting for women’s rights, Minaj has been showing her teeth in her climb to the top of a male-dominated genre. Both, in the process, have expanded our society’s idea of what an empowered women looks like — but Minaj’s feminist credentials still frequently come under fire. To me, it seems like a clear-cut case of respectability politics and mainstreaming of the feminist movement: while feminist writers raved over Beyoncé’s latest album and the undertones of sexuality and empowerment that came with it, many have questioned Minaj’s decisions over the years to subvert beauty norms using her own body, graphically talk dirty in her work, and occasionally declare herself dominant in discourse about other women. (All of these areas of concern, however, didn’t seem to come into play when Queen Bey did the same.)
"Privilege" is not a laundry list of "perks." It describes a relationship in which a group of people has power over and exploits other groups.
What fucks me up about the Darren Wilson fundraiser is that he hasn’t been charged with a crime. He doesn’t have to hire a lawyer. He’s on paid leave, so he’s not losing wages. This is not covering his expenses, because he doesn’t have any additional expenses. This is a reward. He’s getting a $250,000 reward for murdering an unarmed black kid, two days away from starting college, in broad daylight.
Bull Connor represents—and even in the story of sundown towns—a kind of exceptionalism in this country’s history where we can distance ourselves from this kind of rabid, racist personification of the past that distances ourselves from what is with us today. And so making the connection to the systematic microaggressions—just the simple abuse of authority and disrespect that happens every single day—what happened to Michael Brown, just like what happened to Eric Garner, is just the most extreme form of this. So when you hear people in Ferguson talking about how police harassment is a way of life in this community—and in other communities all around it—that’s what has to be the frontier. Because that’s the story of Black people in America. In the South it was vigilantism. In the North, it has always been police violence. And if we don’t make that connection, if we don’t say that history is actually fairly flat in this instance, then we have not moved the needle in nearly 100 years when it comes to Black people making claims on liberty.
Apparently it takes the death of more than one unarmed teen to get an arrest, I’m wondering how many stores it takes to be looted before one loses their after-dark First Amendment rights to assembly.
we're screw-ups. I'm a screw-up and I plan to be a screw-up until my late 20s, maybe even my early 30s.
25-year-old east coast women's college graduate with a laptop and no original thoughts.