Top 9 AWW Posts of 2014… Did You Miss Any?

16 Dec

2014 was another amazing year for A Womyn’s Worth. We’ve discussed everything from virginity to pole dancing to protesting and more. Many of the posts have be featured on various sites including the Ms. blog, Slutist, Huffpost Women,  Jezebel, Clutch Magazine, and XO Jane. AWW even got a shout out from The Root. Check out the top 10 posts of 2014:

4 Reasons Respectability Politics Has No Place in Black Feminism

beyonce-blow-stillThough I previously was a devout believer in respectability politics, I’m now saying that acting “respectable” doesn’t fix the hypersexual image that black women have, but instead adds onto it. Here’s why this type of thinking, as well-intentioned as it is, simply doesn’t work…read more.

 

So You Haven’t Heard of Afrofuturism?

AFROFUTURISMPlease, allow me to upgrade your life to a plateau of awesomeness where time travel is the norm, Androids reign supreme, and Janelle Monáe happily twerks in the mirror wearing, of course, black and white.

Picture a cultural meta-genre that encompasses some of the most incredible artists, musicians, entertainers, filmmakers, philosophers, and scholars—an aesthetic where Octavia Butler, Grace Jones, Janelle Monáe, W.E.B. Dubois, Will Smith, Michael Jackson, and Erykah Badu all take center stage with a common inspiration…read more.

 

Black Feminist Backlash I’m Tired of Hearing (Published on XO Jane)

Feminist Backlash option 2I’m not the first writer to ever be told that my work is “a load of bs.” However, as I review the comments on my writing and on the writing of other black feminists on the web, I’ve noticed a pattern of backlash. The disapproving comments usually fall into 5 main responses. And since I’m sick of reading the same old comments on every black feminist/womanist blog or website, I think it’s time to address the backlash…read more.

 

Falcon and the Human Torch: Why Black Superheroes Matter

Red-White-FalconSeeing someone other than the typical strong white male saving the day is bigger than just “diversity on the screen.” Media representation has always been an uphill battle for people of color. It’s a historical struggle: from the white actors in blackface in the 1800s, to the mammies and sambos of antebellum films, to the bitchy and irrational black women of Tyler Perry’s films. We’re still struggling for representations that don’t exemplify nasty stereotypes. So when I see a black superhero in a movie, I jump for joy…read more.

 

Where Are All the Leading Ladies of Color? (Published on Ms. blog)

TYPECASTA few years ago, my boyfriend and I sat in a movie theater in Malibu, watching the opening of Couples Retreat. When the first black actress came on the screen, my date smacked his teeth in disgust. The woman was loud, obnoxious, and senseless. Within the first 5 minutes of seeing her on the screen, the only other black couple in the theater walked out.

They were lucky: Had they stayed any longer they would’ve seen the other black woman in the movie, who was louder, violent, and even more irrational, knocking other women out of her way while she searched for her cheating husband…read more.

 

How to Date a Feminist

DATING A FEMINISTMy boyfriend and I have had countless heated feminist-related discussions/arguments. I’ve called him out on male privilege, he’s claimed I’m a separatist, and we’ve had intriguing debates on Juicy J’s Twerk Scholarship, #Solidarityisforwhitewomen, #Blackpowerisforblackmen, and cultural appropriation. After disagreeing on Grand Theft Auto’s need for playabler female characters, we had to reconsider whether or not this relationship was going to work out.  

Needless to say, my black feminist politics has impacted our relationship, bringing us closer together, while at the same time, fostering lots of disagreement. Somehow, we’ve managed to survive. So here’s our 6-step plan to dating a feminist…read more.

 

I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse to be a Virgin (Published on XO Jane)

A few months ago, my friends went around the table talking about the most bizarre places they’ve had sex. When it was my turn, their jaws dropped at my response. Then someone made a soft, “Awww,” — the kind you give a baby after she lets out a burp. It was the first time I admitted to a group of feminists that I was a virgin — something I’d been ashamed of for a while…read more.

 

Bad Girls Are My New Role Models (Published on Slutist)

Role M.Leaking topless photos, sexing in limousines, and twerking while wearing a diamond-encrusted bra will get you crowned “Queen of THOTS” (current slang for hoe) in a hot second. Rihanna’s topless photo on a French magazine cover got her shipped to THOT Land, where Beyoncé has been exiled since the release of “Partition.”

Lots of folks are concerned that these sexy singers are bad role models because of their young fan base. Now, I wouldn’t bump “Drunk in Love” in the car with my little cousins riding in the back seat, nor would I use Rihanna’s “S&M” video as a stand in for sex-education conversations. But for mature audiences, the vixens of the music industry may be some of our best sexual agency role models…read more.

 

I’m Not Giving Hollywood Any More Money

I’m not a “movie person,” but summer always brings a few films I’m excited to see. However, after writing my recent article about Hollywood’s addiction to typecasting, I couldn’t walk into a theater without feeling guilty. Every time I purchased a ticket, my black feminist conscience would yell, “Are you really going to support an industry that doesn’t give a shit about you?”

I ignored her at first, but after the disappointments from the latest movies I’ve seen, X-men: Days of Future Past, Think Like a Man 2, and Godzilla—I’m officially done with Hollywood.

I’ll save my movie money for an industry that isn’t going to regurgitate stereotypes wrapped in lame, white-washed plots.

I have 3 main reasons: read more.

 

Finally, I want to say thanks to all of my readers. I’m so grateful for your comments, criticism, Facebook and Twitter likes, shares, and retweets. I promise to continue writing interesting commentary in 2015. Additionally, I have a list of publications I’m aiming to write for. I’m so excited to take AWW into it’s third year.

For weekly updates and new posts, follow A Womyn’s Worth on Facebook.

Most Powerful #BlackLivesMatter Protest Moments

11 Dec
As I discussed in the previous post, Why Protesting Matters, the demonstrations across the nations and around the world against the killings of unarmed black men and women have been powerful. And they have not stopped.
So far, people around the world have been shutting down malls, freeways, street blocks, bridges, and many other places, to let our nation know that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Take a look at some of the most inspiring protests so far:
1. Ferguson protesters in Boston shouting “we see you” to inmates in a local jail.
Protest Jail2
2. Protesters in Ferguson protecting local stores from looters
ProtestProtectingStores
3.Wal-mart employees across the nation stage sit-ins on Black Friday
ProtestsWal-Mart
4. Protesters in Ferguson “Die-in” and shut down an entire mall in St. Louis on Black Friday
ProtestDieIn
5. Protesters in New York carry mock caskets for all the black lives lost to racist police
Protest MockCasket
6. #Blackout Black Friday Protesters in the Bay Area shut down Bart
ProtestBart
ProtestBridge
I recently found a newer protest happening this Friday at movie theaters across the nation to boycott the movie Exodus. I’ve discussed the whitewashing of black history and the casting of white characters for black roles in Why I’m Not Giving Hollywood Any More Money. Movies like Exodus show that Hollywood doesn’t give a shit about black people. Our dollars are powerful and shouldn’t support blatantly racist crap like this. So check out this protest:
ProtestExodus
Finally, if you saw any protests that inspired you and did not make my list- drop a note with link in the comments section.

Why Protesting Matters

5 Dec
Protesting in Los Angeles

Protesting in Los Angeles

Protesting: Because We Can No Longer Remain Silent.

I protested at two demonstrations this week—both regarding the non-indictments of murders of Black men—however I quickly realized that these protests were about so much more:

  • Mass incarceration
  • Hindering our right to vote
  • Militarization of the police
  • Un-livable wages at Wal-mart and countless other billion-dollar companies
  • Racism on the internet
  • The lack of coverage for women of color who are raped, abused, and murdered by police

I’d rather not go on. Though you know I could.

Yet, with all of this injustice going on, I am inspired by the millions of people across the nation and around the world who are protesting. I am inspired by #ShutItDown, #HandsUpWalkOut, #HandsupDontShoot #BlackLivesMatter, and countless others. When I see the photos of demonstrators shutting down the Bart, the Brooklyn Bridge, Wal-mart, and other places, I want to jump out of my seat and join them. So I did. And we will continue—despite the difficulties.

Demonstrations aren’t always easy. People marching the streets are been arrested, threatened, and made examples of by the police. We’ve seen the hostile situation in Ferguson, where police interrupted legal protests with tear gas. We’ve seen around 300 people arrested in Los Angeles in just 2 days. And we’ve seen protesters in DC hit purposely by an angry driver, while police turn their heads and let the driver speed off. Protesting can put your life at risk.

But it is worth it.

Our predecessors marched despite being spit on, attached by police dogs, plowed down with powerful water hoses, bombed, and more. But they marched on. Their cause was worth it, and their fight has been passed down to us.

Every day since the Darren Wilson was let off without so much as a slap on the wrist, we have been protesting. And so far, I’ve seen demonstrations scheduled from now up until January.

We can’t let this movement die. This is on us.

Memorial at USC

Memorial at USC

If this racist system has been in place for more than 100 years, it will take more than a few days of protesting to tear it down. And when it stops trending on social media, we must continue.

So Ignite your inner Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcom X, Angela Davis or whoever your hero might be. Contrary to what I used to believe after watching Chris Paul turn his jersey inside out and play for Donald Sterling, Black people are not cowards—though our celebrities might be. Why are they so silent these days? Where’s a Kanye rant when you need one?

I bet if Beyoncé and Jay-Z called for everyone to boycott Wal-mart until the workers receive reasonable wages, lots of folks would take their buying power elsewhere.

We can’t be silent like our careless famous folks of color. We can’t turn our jerseys inside out and go on with our lives. Business as usual means more police murders walk free while injustice continues.

We’re better than that.

As Desmond Tutu once said:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

P.S. I’ve been asking every protestor and supporter this question: Where do we go from here? Lots of folks are saying we need a monetary boycott. Maybe we need to reclaim the sentiments of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. That was successful because buses were forced to integrate. They couldn’t afford to lose black dollars. So maybe we should be a little more strategic about our buying power.

Tell me…Where do we go from here?

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