This Week in Feminism: bell hooks on Bey, Libertarian Hermione, and Twitter Activism
To begin this week, Discovery Girls Magazine reminded us that you’re never too young to start criticizing yr body.
Second, if you think the media is done squeezing Lemonade, you are sorely mistaken. This week, bell hooks– acclaimed intellectual, feminist theorist, cultural critic, artist, and writer– published a critique of Beyonce’s newest release on their blog entitled “Moving Beyond Pain.” Inside, she discusses commodification, capitalism, and Black female pain. The piece is biting, salient, and reminds us that we must critically consider our media within the larger context of feminism and intersectionality.
Many were surprised this week when actress and U.N. women’s goodwill ambassador Emma Watson was named in the Panama Papers. While the idea of Hermione Granger as a libertarian, spending her nights in smoky clubs and days languishing in the failures of government to protect her wealth is entertaining, Watson’s public statement notes that her use of shell companies was an attempt to maintain anonymity. Even so, many claim Watson to be a hypocrite, as she has spent the better part of the last five years campaigning for social justice. Regardless of the truth, however, the larger issue here is one of sexism: why is Watson under so much scrutiny and attack while she is only one of the many, many celebrities named in the Papers? (Not hip with the Panama Papers hap? Here’s a recap.)
Twitter got real this week with some on-point hashtags.
#maybehedoesnthityou was started by twitter-user @bad_dominicana to fight against stigmas around domestic violence, specifically that physical violence is the only “real” kind of abuse.
— AzureKingfisher (@Alcedo_Azurea) May 2, 2016
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he threatens your financial security, undermines your authority & constantly tells you you are nothing without him.
— Nengi Willie-Pepple (@RunwayRibbons) May 2, 2016
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he tells you he’ll kill himself if you break up with him.
— Jenny Jaffe (@jennyjaffe) May 11, 2016
On a lighter note, Twitter also blew up the tags #ThickGirlTwitter, #TallGirlTwitter, and #BigGuyTwitter with folks posting images celebrating their big bodies and absolutely rocking it.
— TracieMae (@TracieMae) May 10, 2016
In addition, the Philippines elected it’s first transgender politician this week! This is a huge step for the majority Catholic country, which still has laws prohibiting transgender individuals from legally changing their names or sex.
Rapper Azaelia Banks had a rough week. She said some really problematic shit and got hella called out for it. Yesterday, Twitter suspended her account. Which is interesting in it’s own right– since when does Twitter suspend accounts? More troubling is the strong stench of anti-blackness wafting from this news. As WYV senior editor Monica Cadena puts it:
That’s cool–but why is George Zimmerman allowed to have his account open? Azealia is an asshole yes. Without pathologizing someone, she may be suffering with a mental illness (which oftentimes goes undiagnosed in black and brown communities). Not giving her a pass for her words, but this is antiblackness at play. White folks threaten our lives on the daily-not just spew prejudice shit, and they’re still over here on Twitter like ???
I’ll leave you this week by sharing the story of Lhakpa Sherpa, the rad female mountain climber who has summited Everest more than any other woman EVER, but who is, to this day, basically unknown.