Like Ida B. Wells-Barnett, my experience as a Black woman in the academy has been that my choice to be committed to supporting my Black husband and raising Black children has been interpreted as a “divided duty,” more than 100 years after Wells-Barnett blazed the trail. I entered the tenure-track 15 years ago when I was five months pregnant. I have taken three parental leaves, which were all met with resentment. This is not unusual, but what I am confident of is that if I had chosen to stay home, I would have faced as much hostility, if not more. America is comfortable with Black women raising white children (TheHelp, To Kill A Mockingbird, Clara’s Heart, I’ll Fly Away…need I go on?), but the minute we try to take care of our own, we’re reduced to “letting down the team,” which is what white feminist Linda Hirshman is claiming about Lady “O.” I’m confused. Just because I have five letters behind my name (Ph.D. and JD) and a substantive career does not mean I am, ever have been, or ever will be on their team.
Why? Because I am raising a daughter the same age as Quvenzhané Wallis, and it’s not the same as raising Dakota Fanning. After receiving an Oscar nomination for her role in Beastsof the Southern Wild, Wallis, the youngest Best Actress nominee ever,landed the leading role in Sony Pictures/Overbrook Entertainment’s upcoming Annie. Despite this, as many people know, The Onion degraded her childhood by calling her a “cunt.” This is where there is a divide between white Moms and “Mocha Moms.” Leslie Morgan Steiner is not raising Quvenzhané, but we are
Although Mrs. Obama did not stay at home until being married to the President, she knows that she is not entirely different from the Black women who stay at home for other reasons. She is also trying to protect her daughter from being “satired.” When Malia was only 11, she was ridiculed for wearing natural hair and a t-shirt promoting Peace. Lady “O” knows that Malia is Quvenzhané, which is why she invited the Mocha Moms to the White House. It’s an ethos Black feminists have understood all along; we need to support each other, value each other, and not degrade a sister whether she goes into the workforce or not. That’s what being on the same team is all about.
#worry about your own uterus
Abortion seems to be the only medical procedure that people want to deny you based on how you got in that situation.
Drove drunk, got in an accident and need an organ transplant? No problem.
Messing around with a gun, accidentally shoot yourself in the leg and need surgery? Of course.
Smoke tobacco for most of your life and need treatment for lung cancer? Yep.
Climb a tree, fall out and break your leg? We’ll fix that right up.
Have sex and get pregnant when you don’t want to be? YOU GOT YOURSELF INTO THIS SITUATION AND YOU DESERVE NO MEDICAL HELP OR COMPASSION! THIS IS YOUR FAULT AND YOU WILL DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES!
"I’m totally into Taylor Swift. I think she has super-clever lyrics, and I love that she writes her own music. Some of the themes she writes about are stuff I wish was there for me when I was in high school, and I’m so happy she really cares about her female fans. She’s not catering to a male audience and is writing music for other girls. I don’t care if she calls herself a feminist or not. There is something that she’s doing that feels feminist to me in that she really seems to have a lot of control over what her career is doing. She’s 23. People say she’s dating all these guys. Well, yeah, she’s a young person and is dating all these people ’cause that’s what you do when you’re young. John Mayer can fuck 84 people in one day and nobody calls him a slut. I think that’s the subtext of some of the things she’s said recently."
Kathleen Hanna, patron saint of all things feminist and formerly of the bands Le Tigre and Bikini Kill, dips her toe in the most pressing social issue of our time: Is Taylor Swift a feminist? In an interview with The Daily Beast, Hanna makes a point that I hadn’t considered before: Taylor Swift definitely isn’t catering to a male audience — posing nearly naked in lad mags, performing sexually provocative dance numbers, tweeting scantily glad pictures of herself — in the same way that Katy Perry, Rihanna or Britney Spears do. That alone does not make Swift a feminist, of course. The content of the messages she’s sending to her female audiences are important. But I suspect part of the reason that Swift gets so much shit for being a girly-girl making music for girls is because she doesn’t necessarily have a legion of straight male fans wanking off to/supporting her. (And FWIW,Kathleen Hanna is also a fan of Beyoncé, so I think we can agree she’s more of a lover than a hater.)
I read this on the Frisky and this kinda sums up how I feel about Taylor Swift too. She gets a lot of hate at times from feminists but other feminists love her because a lot of things she writes about are completely real. Like I’ve said some of the lyrics in her songs word for word. I honestly wish that I would have had someone like her to listen to when I was growing up and going through my awkward years in jr. high and high school and dealing with navigating the confusing world of those first relationships with boys and having a strong network of best friends (my core group of friends from high school are still my very best friends). And even now, her music has a message for me at times. No, I don’t agree with everything she says, but I can’t deny the fact that she is a great and honest songwriter for girls.
"When I started Rookie, there were a lot of girls like me who had fashion blogs and loved getting dressed up and thinking about appearance, not in a stressful women’s magazine way, but in a creative way. I can understand how some feminists who’ve fought against things like style or beauty defining all women might feel confused about how we can discuss self-esteem and being your own person but also write so much about fashion. But for Rookie, fashion is about personal expression and creativity. And I want there to be a place where women can do that, where you can care about fashion, and even be super girly, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not also smart or confident or strong."
–Tavi Gevinson, on how you can care about fashion and still be a feminist. Like, duh.
#legitimate children of rape
In working on my book, I went to Rwanda in 2004 to interview women who had borne children of rape conceived during the genocide. …At the end of my final interview, I asked the woman I was interviewing whether she had any questions. She paused shyly for a moment. “Well,” she said, a little hesitantly. “You work in this field of psychology.” I nodded. She took a deep breath. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she asked. “I want to love her so much, and I try my best, but when I look at her I see what happened to me and it interferes.” A tear rolled down her cheek, but her tone turned almost fierce, challenging. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she repeated.
Perhaps Todd Akin has an answer for her.