Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[Reblog] "All Hail the Queen?"

Illustration by Irana Douer for Bitch Media

Shout out to Tamara Winfrey Harris (writing for Bitch Magazine) for an excellent essay on feminism, race and dangerously high standards: All Hail the Queen? — What do our perceptions of Beyonce's feminism say about us?.

Being a feminist in the public eye should not require remaining aloof about relationships... We don’t require this of men... President Barack Obama made a very similar claim about his spouse post-2008 election: I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years...Michelle Obama.

Tamara Winfrey Harris, All Hail the Queen?. Bitch Magazine, Issue 59.

Through a career that has included crotch-grabbing, nudity, BDSM [and more]... Madonna has been viewed as a feminist provocateur, pushing the boundaries of acceptable femininity. But Beyoncé’s use of her body is criticized as thoughtless and without value beyond male titillation, providing a modern example of the age-old racist juxtaposition of animalistic black sexuality vs. controlled, intentional, and civilized white sexuality.

Ibid.

Harris critiques the all-or-nothing litmus-test approach to determining feminists shared by some commentators:

Many challenges to Beyoncé’s status as a feminist role model... [position] feminism as nigh impossible to everyday women who can imagine being scrutinized for making the same choices Beyoncé has made...

A tiny top and a traditional marriage should not be enough to strip a woman otherwise committed to gender equality of the feminist mantle.

Ibid.

(Emphasis in boldface is mine.)

Check out the article here.