April 7, 2008

Heidi Montag is a Feminist Icon

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Some idiot at the New York Times had declared a pseudo-reality star with a manipulative boyfriend and a bad music video to be a "feminist hero". Gross.

Her evidence that makes this case centers around the fact that Heidi Montag only allows herself to be pushed around sometimes. She stands up for herself, the columnist says, and Montag's shining moment of feminist glory “This isn’t, like, Spencer’s relationship and you decide what we do." Since when are our standards for feminism so low?

I thought that power-equal relationships were in (see democratic presidential candidates with smart, savvy spouses), and dating men that don't respect you and talk you in to plastic surgery (see Heidi Montag) was out. I guess not. Apparently, while I was in class or taking a nap, the New York Times writer decided to hijack feminism a-la Tyra Banks and use to to describe women who knowingly objectify and demean themselves. Yey!

I'm also moderately appalled that the writer brought Gloria Allred in to this mess. Rude. Refusing to elope does not qualify as fighting back against injustice or discrimination.

February 14, 2008

Sex and Violence are Ever-Present in Hip Hop

I do my best not to see the misogyny in hip hip that I like, especially with an artist like Kanye West, who is truly an artist and very progressive in other ways. But, I've again been denied the ability to turn a blind eye, with the new "Flashing Lights" video that combines sex, violence, and "too much ass" for me to ignore.

The video manages to sexualize murder and to villify the woman not only lyrically, but visually. The narrative is of a vindictive and selfish woman who takes her relationship revenge to an extreme degree, murdering a perfect, caring, romantic, obedient man. She is the ultimate castrator within the power dynamic of the relationship. And she has no face, only a materialistic values and massive breasts and ass.

It is a combination of all things negative in popular rap and hip hop, and I feel really let down by someone who (in my ideal world) could be setting a progressive example for the hip hop and rap community.

Lyrics after the jump.

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