Qu'est-ce Que J D?
this thought is nascent and undeveloped

it seems to me that a significant obstacle to knowing oneself in terms of sexual orientation and gendered attraction and things like that is that it’s really common to paraphrase questions about those things into terms like “do you like boys or girls” and like I say in the song, “I knew I didn’t like boys / ‘cause boys called me a fag so much it blended into white noise…”

But in the richness of the fullness of time it comes to seem to me that that experience wasn’t totally different from an experience that a lot of girls have, who would identify as heterosexual in the long run, but who would have a reason to not “like boys.” It turns out you don’t have to think they’re categorically likely to ever be nice to you to eventually determine that their bodies are about as valid of a venue for sexual interaction as anyone else’s.

i always felt a lack of a draw towards mainstream gay culture when i was a youth in turmoil (trying sometimes REALLY HARD to be into it at least superficially) and it wasn’t just because I had sexual interest in girls. that didn’t feel like a real obstacle, I never doubted the validity of bisexuality (in the context of a world that binarizes gender). looking back, i think maybe the gulf was more from what felt like a celebration of masculinity and a reduction of women just as disrespectful as it is in mainstream mainstream culture.

plus I’m fat, so.

haha I started this to be my official rap blog but it’s my livejournal.

thefemcritique:

amandahess:

important 2012 polling numbers released.

UNBELIEVABLE. but sadly real 

This is a poorly worded question, and I don’t doubt that some sexism played into how many people chose to vote “Yes,” but I don’t read the meaning here as whether a stay-at-home mom should have to get permission from her husband to get ANY credit card.
I think that - without selling short the enormous contribution made to a household by a partner who opts for domestic labour over paid labour outside the home, and the direct impact that has on what the other partner can earn - if we phrase it just to say that Partner A should require the permission of Partner B to get a credit card attached to any accounts that hold obligations for Partner B whatsoever, even in addition to obligations for Partner A, then the obvious answer is yes.
"Husband’s permission" is a loaded phrasing because "husband" is a word that means caretaker, provider, and more or less boss; where "wife" means helper, companion, and more or less servant.  It’s a sexist & paternalistic concept altogether.  But say I’m married - whether my partner is earning and I’m not, or they are and I also am, what part of couplehood means that I ought to be able to get a credit card on their account WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION?
That said, I’m not optimistic enough to assume that very many people clicked yes for the reasons I described.  More likely they WERE considering domestic labour a free ride, or men to be the masters of their households, or something else dismal.  Hell the question may even have been intended to cater to those biases.
But it’s not really what the question ASKS.

thefemcritique:

amandahess:

important 2012 polling numbers released.

UNBELIEVABLE. but sadly real 

This is a poorly worded question, and I don’t doubt that some sexism played into how many people chose to vote “Yes,” but I don’t read the meaning here as whether a stay-at-home mom should have to get permission from her husband to get ANY credit card.

I think that - without selling short the enormous contribution made to a household by a partner who opts for domestic labour over paid labour outside the home, and the direct impact that has on what the other partner can earn - if we phrase it just to say that Partner A should require the permission of Partner B to get a credit card attached to any accounts that hold obligations for Partner B whatsoever, even in addition to obligations for Partner A, then the obvious answer is yes.

"Husband’s permission" is a loaded phrasing because "husband" is a word that means caretaker, provider, and more or less boss; where "wife" means helper, companion, and more or less servant.  It’s a sexist & paternalistic concept altogether.  But say I’m married - whether my partner is earning and I’m not, or they are and I also am, what part of couplehood means that I ought to be able to get a credit card on their account WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION?

That said, I’m not optimistic enough to assume that very many people clicked yes for the reasons I described.  More likely they WERE considering domestic labour a free ride, or men to be the masters of their households, or something else dismal.  Hell the question may even have been intended to cater to those biases.

But it’s not really what the question ASKS.

Trigger warning for descriptions of threats and simulations of violence, sexual and otherwise, against women.  Well one woman in particular, but as a warning to all.

It’s really upsetting.

dudesforchoice:

super cool rapper jesse dangerously supports women in ottawa and everywhere else.

This is the only reason I left my house on the long weekend, and it was a damn good reason.  Shouts to Young K, Kim, Kate & Helena, Jessamy, Vicky & her CLC comrades, Radical Handmaids, NDP MPs Nycole Turmel and Djaouida Sellah, and everyone I met briefly but whose name I couldn’t retain.
It wasn’t a “demonstration” in the sense that we were appealing to the public… it was in front of Greenbelt Baptist Church, which occupies the corner of a block of offices in almost a business park in the far east of Ottawa.
We were there to address the congregation hosting the anti-choice caravan that just made its way from Alberta to arrive in Ottawa for Canada Day, and let them know that they can’t just notoriously conspire to harm and control women without anyone expressing disapproval.
Those jerks.

dudesforchoice:

super cool rapper jesse dangerously supports women in ottawa and everywhere else.

This is the only reason I left my house on the long weekend, and it was a damn good reason.  Shouts to Young K, Kim, Kate & Helena, Jessamy, Vicky & her CLC comrades, Radical Handmaids, NDP MPs Nycole Turmel and Djaouida Sellah, and everyone I met briefly but whose name I couldn’t retain.

It wasn’t a “demonstration” in the sense that we were appealing to the public… it was in front of Greenbelt Baptist Church, which occupies the corner of a block of offices in almost a business park in the far east of Ottawa.

We were there to address the congregation hosting the anti-choice caravan that just made its way from Alberta to arrive in Ottawa for Canada Day, and let them know that they can’t just notoriously conspire to harm and control women without anyone expressing disapproval.

Those jerks.

Just another Baldwin brother

I started following sonofbaldwin on tumblr because I was always seeing people reblog really on-point quotes from him about race and queerness.

But right about now I am going to unfollow him because I can’t really stomach his seething misogyny.

It is clear that he knows better, because he keeps trying to name it different things, but that dude has a PROBLEM with women.

And in about a week of following him, I’ve had it mess up my day enough times.

(p.s. it is a really weird way to engage with social media, to attribute rebloggable “quotes” to yourself as though someone had seen fit to excerpt your most salient points from a longer piece. I didn’t realize he was making those “quotes” himself.)

It Really Was Long Overdue

I’m disgruntled by the rush to snark on Jessica Valenti for saying that hearing MCA’s famous “little something that’s long overdue” in “Sure Shot” was one of the first times she ever felt like the music she loved loved her back.  In particular, as much as I’m upset when hip-hop per se is mischaracterized as intrinsically or overwhelmingly misogynist - usually in the mix with some appalling dearth of racial analysis - I think it’s dishonest to pretend that the popular rap landscape was CRAWLING with artists of colour who were falling all over themselves to give respect to women as equals.

Certainly white rappers weren’t either - 3rd Bass wasn’t, House Of Pain wasn’t (Everlast wouldn’t invent the idea that abortion is complicated until 1999), Blood of Abraham wasn’t, Miilkbone wasn’t - and it is gross if anyone thinks the Beastie Boys invented rap with a conscience, or that “Sure Shot” represents the first time women weren’t getting dissed on record.  I hope it can go without saying that it would be preposterous to believe that artists of colour are more misogynist than white artists, but I also don’t think that’s what’s implied by shouting out that moment on record.

Everyone who listened to hip-hop in 1994 remembers that line.  It gave us CHILLS, I mean those of us who were hoping to hear that sentiment anywhere.  I guess a lot of people might have thought it was corny, but they’re jerks or something.  Maybe it is a corny line, but it didn’t matter.  It was more affecting than it was affected.

Not everyone who was listening to hip-hop that year had heard album tracks like Digable Planets’s “La Femme Fetal” or … … … what else?  This is what I think is dishonest - if you really know hip-hop, and I really know hip-hop, you know that it was dominated by young men from day one.  And young men can be lots of different ways, many of them lovely, but young man culture very rarely takes a moment to address women as people in a positive way.  And in rap, it was NOT HAPPENING.

So everyone who was like “pfff Jessica Valenti it is racist of you to not have been even more impacted by the many times other rappers said explicitly respectful things about women in general on hit major label singles prior to the release of ‘Sure Shot’” is pretty much blowing hot air because they haven’t named even one example.  Not one.  Because it wasn’t an existing trend.

I remember songs like KRS-ONE’s “Brown Skin Woman” which seems really positive until you put it side-by-side with Jeru The Damaja’s “Da Bichez” and realize it’s the SAME SONG, and that song is an assertion of the virgin-whore dichotomy.

I remember a time when Ice Cube saying “A Black woman is my manager, not in the kitchen / so would you please stop bitching!” felt like PROGRESS.  I mean I can’t pretend I was thirteen, fourteen years old and had total feminist consciousness and a clear understanding of the need for respect, but I understood that disrespect made me feel bad.

Are we gonna pretend that Native Tongues had things to say about women that weren’t mild-mannered versions of “I wanna fuck?”  I mean they tended to be relatively respectful versions of “I wanna fuck,” but not always, and there was never that moment of “hey let’s be serious - can we stop dissing women for a minute here?”  Black Sheep - probably the most conscious and politically outspoken segment of the troop - actively mocked “Ladies Against Sexist Motherfuckers” in a skit on their timeless masterpiece debut album.

The thing that is problematic about the prominence of the Beastie Boys in popular music while their predecessors, peers, and betters from classic hardcore hip-hop languish in obscurity is not that they don’t deserve recognition for what they accomplished within the sphere of hip-hop.  Everyone from hip-hop respects the Beastie Boys.  You should hear Ice Cube’s first demos - he wanted to BE Licensed To Ill.  They’re from New York, they were there when it happened, they belong to that history and they ought to occupy a certain special corner of it.

The thing that is problematic about what happened from there is that the mainstream embraced them as white.  The extent to which they’ve benefited from that is appalling not because they’ve sold hundreds of millions of records, but because they’ve sold hundreds of millions of records more than Masta Ace, and Souls of Mischief, and Def Jef, and Heavy D, and KRS-ONE, and Kurious, and pretty much all of the hip-hop artists who made noise between 1986 and 1994 COMBINED, and it’s because they were allowed to do whatever they wanted and they were embraced, and because all those other artists pretty much were allowed to either be Tupac or a footnote - someone Jay-Z references in one line to make someone like me smile.

I do feel grossed out that every cool white chick I know between 30 and 40 years of age gets excited to rap along when “Get It Together” comes on but has literally never heard even one Tribe song ever in her life (knowingly).  And I’m sure we all bear some burden to broaden our horizons beyond the white walls of pop culture prominence and I guess people who only like “Get It Together” are derelicts of dialect in that regard… but they weren’t really given much of a chance to do otherwise.

Sometimes I think people who like the Beastie Boys but don’t love Cypress Hill and Funkdoobiest are just plain racist.  But if I think about more than beats and vocal inflections, the truth is that while people who like House Of Pain but not those other two groups ARE racist (THE SAME GUY MADE ALL THOSE RECORDS, SHEESH), the Beastie Boys took advantage of their white-skinned privilege to put out a record and be goofy and nice and non-threatening, and Columbia Records was never going to put out a goofy, nice, non-threatening album from Cypress Hill or Funkdoobiest.

It’s not rap’s fault that people didn’t get to hear a lot of variety in content in rap, and it’s not the fault of artists of colour that people didn’t get to hear a lot of variety in content from them.  At least, not without being passionately devoted to finding it in the dusty dungeons of no promotional budgets, half-assed development deals, or indie records.  But it isn’t the Beastie Boys’ fault that the same bullshit wasn’t heaped on them, and it isn’t their fans’ fault, either.

But really I mean really you SHOULD have been listening to Digable Planets.  It’s not that I don’t think everyone should have been listening to Digable Planets.  I just understand why not everyone WAS.  And I hope they do now.

Um does that make any sense?

Fourteen Hours of Admiration

This is what happens when you’re late to the party on an artist.

That Phil Ochs documentary got me all fired up about his great music and exciting politics and some of it sounded like Buffy to me and some of it sounded like if Tom Lehrer really wanted to get his hands dirty and there was anger and urgency and big ideals on parade…

…then after about five minutes of poking around youtube, I start to discover that one thing they did not bother to touch upon in the laudatory documentary was the breathtakingly ugly misogyny evident in songs like “I’ve Had Her” and “Pleasures Of The Harbour.”

I guess I should have been more suspicious when they went into so much detail on so many things in and around his life and almost completely elided any mention of his relationships with women other than his daughter.

The Immortal Technique of the 1960s.  Great.

I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of Canadian citizen who - even though I’m all for some kind of smashing the state such as it is - has a favourite Member of Parliament.

Her name is Megan Leslie and she’s the Honourable Member for the riding of Halifax.  Yesterday she stood in the House to make an early member’s statement for International Women’s Day, and it was a reprisal of her now familiar move of breaking away from the pat, complacent, parrot-y speeches that people tend to make on these magnetic occasions whereupon it is admitted to some extent that gender parity is not something we accomplished already… and takes the public to task.

She names real problems and doesn’t gloss over the harm they do, and she isn’t apologetic or mealy-mouthed about it.  She’s among my heroes, in fact.

In this case, she wipes the grin off of the shitty classic rock station, Q104, that I grew up with in Halifax, and points out what is intolerable (and yet RESOUNDINGLY TOLERATED) about their hideously objectifying “The Male Is In The Czech" mail-order bride giveaway contest.

Actual International Women’s Day is today, so please take one minute and four seconds to check her statement out here.  I wish the video were longer, because when the honourable members all around her take to their feet to applaud my heart jumps into my throat and I just want to watch it over and over.

So: Eminem. I feel like some of his stuff is soooo hateful and triggering - I nearly always skip the "skits" because they're often icky. But on the other hand, in some songs, such as /My Darling/ or Love the Way You Lie (at least when you factor in Part 2), his anger is so... COMPELLING. I don't know enough about rap to be critical about it, but I know that you do! So I'd like to know, what are your thoughts on these two songs, in particular?

(I guess the name Eminem at the top should almost be synonymous with this, but so we’re clear: TW; sexual violence, gendered violence)

I used to find some things about him compelling - hell, I used to find MOST things about him compelling.  That all dried up for me after Encore, whereupon he squeezed out the last few drops of anything I’ve considered creative or meaningful (and on that record, it was down to a few innovative flows; the content was long gone).

I remember “My Darling” being one of the bonus tracks from Relapse, right?  I had just given that whole album a shot by the time I heard it, and I was feeling genuinely queasy.  I was reeling from the constant barrage of cheap shock jokes about sexual abuse and violence against women.  I was not about to be charmed by his song about revisiting his scurrilous rapscallion alter ego who tickles himself pink by doing specifically those things.

I also think it is REALLY weak, musically and rap-wise.  I remember listening to it on the bus somewhere, feeling so unmoved I could have missed my transfer.  My feeling at the end of that album was a mix of sickness that he was finding such success with his hate speech, and relief that I wasn’t going to feel conflicted ever again about him being so technically gifted but intolerably foul.

His technical gifts are spent.  I mean I STILL hear a song from his first or third post-Infinite albums (and even one or two from Marshall Mathers) and I’m disarmed by the wordplay, the syllables, and even the nascent pathos.  But he really grew up into a monster.

And ”Love The Way You Lie” has always felt like a manipulative move (like 2pac’s “Dear Mama” or “Keep Your Head Up,” both of which came on the heels of charges), but one so clumsy that I’m almost as frustrated to see it succeed as I am to see it attempted. It’s not even a song condemning intimate partner violence - it’s a song about how victims kind of ask for it, and how being abusive is really sad for the abuser.

I know what you mean about “Part 2” being a complicating factor (now that I went and looked it up, because I hid from it pretty effectively before) because it tries to make presumably the same scenario from the first song more mutually violent, but the problem is that it’s a first person story written by EMINEM.  We actually know that he is the aggressive abusive partner in his relationships.

Even leaving aside actually throwing blows, many millions of us watched him abuse Kim in a very real, meaningful and intolerable way by recording, releasing, and sailing to massive sales, fame and profit off of songs including “97 Bonnie & Clyde,” “Kim,” “Mockingbird,” and the dozens of others that include less central but still hateful barbs aimed at her.  It’s like if we watched a guy screaming those things at his partner in a hotel lobby, or on a street corner, we would call the police.  But he screams at her even louder, even more publicly, even more violently on record… and we buy it.  And we give it critical consideration.  And we wrestle with what we think of him.

I’m not trying to call you onto the mat for finding something there that seems worthy to pay attention to.  Art and the consumer’s relationship to it is very complicated, and I think our moral obligations stop somewhere short of censoring what we consume and can find merit in.  I mean I even did download the Bad Versus Evil album with Royce he did last year, even though I KNEW I was going to be mad at it, because I want to know what I’m talking about and I can’t entirely resist the faint hope that I’ll hear a rap that impresses me.  Even I, who bursts a blood vessel when I think of the little twerp from a standing start, have to confess to that.

But he makes me unhappy.  And I don’t forgive him.  And I do want something violent to actually happen to him to make him stop contributing to the culture forever.  And if it could take out Dr Dre in the same fell swoop, then fucking GREAT.

Haha Gayle I don’t mean to be negative I just hate those guys and stand against everything they believe in, full stop.

HOMOPHOBIC FEMINISTS / TRANSGENDER ESSENTIALISTS / ANTI RACIST, ANTI CHOICE / MISOGYNIST QUEERS
Kyriarchy Elieson, poem in progress