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Despite a society hellbent on silencing their stories, there will always be nasty women, fragile women, slutty women…difficult women.  

Roxane Gay’s “Difficult Women” went to print at a time when the United States was putting its first female Presidential nominee against its most vehemently and openly misogynistic candidate in this century. To beat that female nominee, the misogynist would use labels: “liar,” “criminal,” “traitor,” and more. The label that would later unite women across the US against him, however, would be “nasty woman.” He would follow up with “lying woman,” “frigid woman,” “man-eating woman,” and “crazy woman” before the end of the election. These labels are the very root of Roxane Gay’s “Difficult Women”, a book about feminine labels, create at a time when the leader of the free world tried so hard to reduce women to labels, and the women found the strength to push them back. In fact, 2017 could be called the “Year of the Difficult Woman”. From the indictment of white women for electing Trump the black women who saved Alabama from itself, the pink pussy-hatted woman, silenced and disrespected women of Congress, as well as the most prominent difficult women, those of the #MeToo movement. The year was all about women marching, speaking up and speaking out against the sexual harassment that men once thought was their birthright. It was as if the Universe had read Gay’s work and decided to have it acted out in a single year. In 21 stories and 256 pages, Gay explores the labels given to women in today’s society when that woman becomes something other than compliant. She takes the label, distorts it with the image of the woman carrying it. That distortion reduces the woman to a character that is still human, but now she is her label but is more palatable to a reader who has been conditioned to NOT see past the label. By the end of the story, the reader has no choice but to see the strength and power that underlies every woman as she struggles under the auspices of the label. The reader must empathize with her or simply gather an understanding and move on. This is how each woman fared in the 21 stories.
Related: 2017 IS THE YEAR WHITE FEMINISM CHECKED HERSELF INTO HOSPICE AND REFUSED TO DIE

What will it take for all of us to continue to care about what's happening in Haiti?

There is something adrift — or perfectly in line with the machinations of white supremacy — amongst the current crop of wealthy, Republican elite flaunting their power in D.C., when The Washington Post writer Jennifer Reuben has to describe the Trump administration’s decision to deport 50,000 - 60,000 Haitians from the United States, as “abject cruelty”. There is no particular need –aside from red meat for the anti-immigrant base — to expel these law-abiding people who have made their home here for as long as seven years,” Reuben writes. This isn’t surprising. Throwing red meat at the conservative base, most of whom hold anti-immigrant prejudices, has been an indispensable component of President Trump’s domestic policy. And as recently as last week, Trump reportedly called Haiti and El Salvador, predominantly black nations, “shithole countries,” a move which quickly prompted U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley to resign from office. Abominable as Trump’s comment is, as with everything else this president does, it seems to have been the spark that sent outraged Haitian protesters to the streets. AJC.com reports that 400 Haitian protesters and allies marched on Trump’s Winter White House in West Palms, Florida, demanding an apology. In an interview with Wear Your Voice (WYV), DJ Sabine Blaizin, WYV's co-host of LaKay Se Lakay: The Revolution and a Haitian artist who is deeply attuned to the issues that impact Haitians across the diaspora, expressed concern that the Haitian community seemed to be too complacent in the face of the federal government’s obvious coldheartedness. Asked why resistance to Trump’s revocation of Temporary Protection Status (TPS) appeared low, Blaizin suggested that Haitians may be unaware of the serious ramifications of what’s about to go down 17 months from now, when Haitian refugees are expected to “make arrangements” to return home.
Related: WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION AFTER ONE YEAR OF TRUMP

White supremacy is insidious and pervasive everywhere, including at The New York Times and other liberal media.

By Jordan Valerie In recent months, liberal news publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post have come under increased scrutiny for their coverage of race. From refusing to describe the president as racist to an obsession with racist “white working class” voters to Nazi-sympathizing profile pieces, the liberal media outlets that proclaim to be the saviors of truth in the era of “fake news” have proven woefully unprepared to cover the normalization of open white nationalism under Donald Trump. This glaring problem goes beyond a few poor editorial decisions; it speaks to the fundamental worldview of these liberal publications – white supremacy. “White supremacist” isn’t a term you usually hear ascribed to the prestigious New York Times. No, white supremacy is a descriptor reserved for Breitbart, and if we’re really brave, Fox News. The liberal New York Times? The same New York Times that Donald Trump wants to sue out of existence? There’s no way they can be described as white supremacist, let alone racist, right? Wrong. White supremacy isn’t limited to websites that feature a “Black Crime” section, like Breitbart. It’s not even limited to conservative publications whose editorial pages are littered with racist op-eds, like The Wall Street Journal and National Review. White supremacy is insidious and pervasive everywhere, including liberal media. Because white supremacy is not just neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Charlottesville, it is the belief that whiteness is supreme; that it must be treasured, cherished, defended, and centered at all times. And that ideology is absolutely reflected in liberal news media such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Related: WHITE SUPREMACISTS, WHITE NATIONALISTS, AND NEO-NAZIS 101

Oprah’s speech obviously made a huge impression and once again a Black woman is being called upon to save us from white recklessness/racism.

Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes award-acceptance speech ignited a fiery debate on social media, as people speculated over whether or not she should run for President. Discussions ranged from complete adoration and reckless stanning to fervent disapproval. Some wondered if the latter was due to racism (likely for some). Some blamed sexism. Some highlighted the fact that running a country is not like running a business and that Oprah is not politically versed and gave the names of other, more qualified, candidates. Whatever the case, Oprah’s speech obviously made a huge impression and once again a Black woman is being called upon to save us from white recklessness/racism. Whether she’s qualified or not is beside the point. What I want to know is why people continue to advocate for a Pine-Sol Lady™ style clean up of their mess? While the typical Magical Negro is usually a Black man (typically disabled or impoverished) the Mammy stereotype is another gendered racial trope that dehumanizes Black women and seeks to place us in the diminished role of white savior-mother-maid. Mammies are like the tree in Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”. If you are not familiar with the premise of the book it goes like this: The tree loves the boy. The boy gathers her leaves and plays beneath her. He shares his woes and receives comfort and support. Supposedly the boy loves the tree. Whatever. The relationship appears mutually beneficial, right? So the boy grows up a little. Stops visiting as much. He’s getting some, he’s going through puberty. The tree patiently waits. The boy occasionally appears whenever he needs comfort for some life disappointment, or when he needs something material. This continues until the tree has sacrificed its fruit, branches and trunk. All while being understanding and kind and never asking for anything in return. The rest is irrelevant. I wept for that tree.
Related: WE’RE NOT SHOCKED THAT THE GOLDEN GLOBES LACKED IN REPRESENTATION

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