From Amy Lam’s article "Nicki Minaj’s Unapologetic Sexuality is Not a Crisis": 
When Minaj received negative feedback after releasing the cover art for “Anaconda,” she took to her Instagram to highlight the inconsistent and—let’s be honest—racist reactions to her displaying her own body. She wrote“Angelic. Acceptable. Lol” alongside photos of white Sports Illustrated models, topless and arching their backs, with their barely-covered bottoms on the cover of the magazine.
When Lady Gaga uses her body as a form of expression, she’s an “artist.” When Nicki Minaj owns her own hypersexuality, she’s slut-shamed.  
Where was the outcry against Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” when she laid about nude on a puffy pink cloud, with a small piece of fluff covering her bum? Did folks call Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” a piece of pornography when she salaciously licked a sledgehammer and writhed around naked on an actual wrecking ball? Did Jennifer Aniston face disparaging criticism for her strip scenes in last year’s We’re The Millers? Nope, they asked her how she got in shape for the role.  
Continue reading on BitchMedia.org.  High-res

From Amy Lam’s article "Nicki Minaj’s Unapologetic Sexuality is Not a Crisis"

When Minaj received negative feedback after releasing the cover art for “Anaconda,” she took to her Instagram to highlight the inconsistent and—let’s be honest—racist reactions to her displaying her own body. She wrote“Angelic. Acceptable. Lol” alongside photos of white Sports Illustrated models, topless and arching their backs, with their barely-covered bottoms on the cover of the magazine.

When Lady Gaga uses her body as a form of expression, she’s an “artist.” When Nicki Minaj owns her own hypersexuality, she’s slut-shamed.  

Where was the outcry against Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” when she laid about nude on a puffy pink cloud, with a small piece of fluff covering her bum? Did folks call Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” a piece of pornography when she salaciously licked a sledgehammer and writhed around naked on an actual wrecking ball? Did Jennifer Aniston face disparaging criticism for her strip scenes in last year’s We’re The Millers? Nope, they asked her how she got in shape for the role.  

Continue reading on BitchMedia.org. 

weneeddiversebooks:

We Need Diverse Books Exclusive Cover Reveal:

X, A Novel – Releasing January 6th, 2015

The WNDB team is proud to host the exclusive cover reveal of X, A Novel, by Candlewick Press, a book we are so excited about!

Candlewick Press announces the publication of the FIRST young adult novel based on the coming of age of a boy named Malcolm Little.

Co-written by Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, and award winning young adult author Kekla Magoon, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.

Timed with the 50th anniversary of his death, X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.

“Malcolm inspired me with his eloquence, his wisdom, and his thirst for truth and righteousness. This powerful, page-turning story tells us how he discovered these qualities within himself.” – Muhammad Ali

"Powerful and charming—makes you see things in a whole new way.  One of the best books I’ve read in quite some time." – Chris Rock

 

Definitely excited to read this when it comes out! 

You can’t file away desire. The maddening and amazing thing about the heart is its inability to be classified or pinned down. Labeling myself sexually has never worked. I have been a folder without a label, languishing in sexual limbo during a time of increasing mainstream acceptance of LGBTQ identity.
But while the Q of “queer” is rightfully gaining more traction, the Q of “questioning” doesn’t get a lot of love in a culture that demands definition. I have always envied people who find the perfect sticker for themselves and proudly display it one way or another, but I grew up finding role models in people of color who expressed a sexuality fluid enough to seem as close to being a questioner’s love as possible—the broad romanticism of Zora Neale Hurston, bell hooks’s adamant romantic flexibility, the undesignated bisexuality of Lorraine Hansberry, or the declared free sexual expression of Alice Walker and Meshell Ndegeocello.
— Joshunda Sanders, The Questioning Continuum  High-res

You can’t file away desire. The maddening and amazing thing about the heart is its inability to be classified or pinned down. Labeling myself sexually has never worked. I have been a folder without a label, languishing in sexual limbo during a time of increasing mainstream acceptance of LGBTQ identity.

But while the Q of “queer” is rightfully gaining more traction, the Q of “questioning” doesn’t get a lot of love in a culture that demands definition. I have always envied people who find the perfect sticker for themselves and proudly display it one way or another, but I grew up finding role models in people of color who expressed a sexuality fluid enough to seem as close to being a questioner’s love as possible—the broad romanticism of Zora Neale Hurston, bell hooks’s adamant romantic flexibility, the undesignated bisexuality of Lorraine Hansberry, or the declared free sexual expression of Alice Walker and Meshell Ndegeocello.

— Joshunda Sanders, The Questioning Continuum 

From "The Madame Butterfly Effect: Tracing the History of Asian Fetishization in Pop Culture":

Surveying the history of representation in text and film, the Asian female has continually been exoticized and eroticized, an image that persists today. Last year Katy Perry’s performance of “Unconditionally” at the American Music Awards was both lauded and derided as a form of “yellowface.” Perry appeared onstage in a Hollywood (read: sexier) version of a kimono, along with a troupe of similarly clad backup dancers. They spun their paper umbrellas on a set designed like a Japanese garden and sang about, well, unconditional love. Bloggers dubbed it Perry’s “geisha performance” and criticized it as perpetuating images of the groveling, self-sacrificial woman who has been abandoned.

Continue reading Patricia Park’s essay at BitchMedia.org. Illustration by Juliana Wang.  High-res

From "The Madame Butterfly Effect: Tracing the History of Asian Fetishization in Pop Culture":

Surveying the history of representation in text and film, the Asian female has continually been exoticized and eroticized, an image that persists today. Last year Katy Perry’s performance of “Unconditionally” at the American Music Awards was both lauded and derided as a form of “yellowface.” Perry appeared onstage in a Hollywood (read: sexier) version of a kimono, along with a troupe of similarly clad backup dancers. They spun their paper umbrellas on a set designed like a Japanese garden and sang about, well, unconditional love. Bloggers dubbed it Perry’s “geisha performance” and criticized it as perpetuating images of the groveling, self-sacrificial woman who has been abandoned.

Continue reading Patricia Park’s essay at BitchMedia.org. Illustration by Juliana Wang. 

Discussing the politics of desire takes major guts in our culture, especially as a fat person. Most people still believe they don’t need to question their own reactions to fatness and fat people or how those reactions affect us. Many people still regard fatness as the exclusive problem of fat people. If we want to be treated better, we should stop being fat, right?
Once during college, I visited the local urgent care facility because I was feeling deeply depressed. I explained to the on-call psychiatrist that a major source of emotional distress was how other people were treating me because of the size of my body. His advice? Cut out potatoes, rice, wheat, and corn from my diet. Implicitly, he was confirming that the problem was me, not other people’s treatment of me. If I wanted respect, I should be thinner.
Holding other people accountable for how they treat fat people is still very taboo. By extension, attempts to work through the politics of desire—already a topic met with hostility and derision—are especially difficult for fat people. We have been trained in Western culture to think of the political and the intimate as polar opposites. This ideology pits the rational and the irrational against each other along with other corresponding binaries: the masculine and the feminine, the public and the domestic, the mental and the emotional, the mind and the body, the head and the heart.
Continue reading "It’s Not Me, It’s You: The Absent Dialogue Around Fat Women’s Sexuality"  by Lisa Knisley.  High-res

Discussing the politics of desire takes major guts in our culture, especially as a fat person. Most people still believe they don’t need to question their own reactions to fatness and fat people or how those reactions affect us. Many people still regard fatness as the exclusive problem of fat people. If we want to be treated better, we should stop being fat, right?

Once during college, I visited the local urgent care facility because I was feeling deeply depressed. I explained to the on-call psychiatrist that a major source of emotional distress was how other people were treating me because of the size of my body. His advice? Cut out potatoes, rice, wheat, and corn from my diet. Implicitly, he was confirming that the problem was me, not other people’s treatment of me. If I wanted respect, I should be thinner.

Holding other people accountable for how they treat fat people is still very taboo. By extension, attempts to work through the politics of desire—already a topic met with hostility and derision—are especially difficult for fat people. We have been trained in Western culture to think of the political and the intimate as polar opposites. This ideology pits the rational and the irrational against each other along with other corresponding binaries: the masculine and the feminine, the public and the domestic, the mental and the emotional, the mind and the body, the head and the heart.

Continue reading "It’s Not Me, It’s You: The Absent Dialogue Around Fat Women’s Sexuality"  by Lisa Knisley. 

These numbers are shocking—and they’re important to recognize that this is one more example of how white people have the privilege to ignore race. Because we live in a culture where whiteness has historically been considered the norm, white Americans can more often than not wander through our days and lives simply not thinking about race. That’s acutely true when it comes issues around policing and justice: A study released this spring showed that nearly half of all black men in America have been arrested at least once by age 23. When black men’s chances of being arrested are as good as flipping a coin, it’s impossible to ignore the role race plays in shaping our justice system. New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy has been another clear example of this reality. New York State Senator Eric Adams testified that the NYPD’s aggressive stop-and-frisk has disproportionately targeted black and Latino men because “he wanted to instill fear in them, every time they leave their home they could be stopped by the police.” To say that we “race gets too much attention” is a notion founded on the false idea that race doesn’t really impact peoples’ lives that much.   

Continue reading about the new poll on race and Ferguson at BitchMedia.org.

Wonder Woman first hit the comics page over 70 years ago—but her story and personal history has changed dramatically with each new generation of artists, writers, and fans.

We explore Wonder Woman’s origins and impact with help from author Jennifer K. Stuller, DC comics creative team Cat Staggs and Amanda Deibert, and the folks at LA’s Homemade News.

Michelle Goldberg’s recent New Yorker article "What is a Woman? The Dispute Between Radical Feminism and Transgenderism”  is meant to paint a clear picture of a longstanding debate within feminist groups about whether transgender women should be accepted as women, profiling several feminists and exploring the history of current discussions about the push to exclude transgender women from “women only” spaces. But in the process, it paints trans identity as suspect, does nothing to counter the hurtful misconception that trans women are either “men” exercising entitled “male privilege” in deeming themselves female or sexual fetishists acting out “erotic compulsions,” and holds up authors who’ve written book-length academic works delineating these ideas as noble, aggrieved scholars.

Trans-exclusionary radical feminists posit that transgender women can never be considered women. At their worst, they argue that transgender women are malicious in their deceit, aiming to infiltrate female-only spaces with the goal of harassing or raping other women. These are the feminists who campaign against gender-neutral bathrooms and support the exclusion of transgender women from other women-only spaces.

"This kind of conduct is incredibly dangerous to trans women," says Emily Horsman, a woman targeted by Cathy Brennan, a TERF activist, in that article. “Outing us in a workplace or school environment could easily damage our future and put us at risk for physical violence.”

Read more of Leela Ginelle’s article on how the New Yorker’s one-sided article undermines transgender identity on Bitch Media

Statistics from the National Transgender Discrimination survey. Illustration by Michelle Leigh.