gender

Nigga, you gay.

Well, here’s a thing.  Some coming out, kind of, and discussion of sexuality in the hip hop realm.  One thing’s for sure, it never was an island.  Just had some dominating censors policing a certain story and identity.  For some. There’s always diversity if you look.  And those afraid of it trying to hold it back.

 

‘Moral witnessing’ of a higher status

Giroux’s article about ‘Lil Wayne’s Lyrical Fascism’, here, makes good points.  The erosion of civil rights values, the pornification of everything to make the bottom line plumper, the casual cruelty of spectacle.  ‘Course. These things I agree with.  

I also get pretty allergic to a certain claiming of status about the ‘moral witnessing’ that civil rights era activists, and writers who remember them, engage in.  Yes.  Honouring, remember, upholding.  Yes.  But ‘higher value’ can wedge in that generational gap to become preaching.  Try living in the youth cultures that routinely trade in misogyny.  Try being a female artist.  

Yes, people of any age can (and some do) question consumerism as the basis of all things.  Yes, people of any age, gender, race, sexuality, and ability can get themselves educated about the multiple struggles that have gone before.  That continue.  

There’s also a need to look at the ways that precarity of work and disposability of people affect the ways that people think about themselves.  And justice.  And history.

Now.  I don’t want to give excuses (and I won’t, for misogynistic, racist crap).  It’s pretty likely that if I can accuse others of sounding inflated and preaching, they can accuse me of sounding resentful.  

But the system that applauds Lil Wayne didn’t come out of the abyss*.  And, of course, systems are made and sustained and changed by people.  Like those marchers, those preachers.  And MCs and those who stop applauding.

By female artists rapping back.  By male producers steering clear of the schtick.

 

*Or did it.

X-er

Well, if we are going to get all sweeping and interpretative, we may as well read about Generation X men and what that’s all about here.

Kind of makes me want to value my own ways of talking in umbrella ways.  They have their place.

‘Course, what isn’t in the umbrella?  Race?  Do indigenous X men feel like this, have they lived this?  Immigrant X Men?  Queer fellas?  What is masculinity theory doing about the whole gender/biological sex distinction?  Is it still right to talk about ‘masculinities’ as meaning men?  (Ok, this has probably been thrashed out already and my reading needs to catch up).

Look.  The generational cliches are limiting and kind of overdone, and useful.  I know I feel the resentment towards Boomers big time, and like the conversation between Y and Boomies is going on over my head.  So there is some resonance here with my lived experience.

 

The anti-judgement vow

It’s the 16th of June, 2013.

Here we go, a year-long vow.  

To ease back from judging women.  Within the particular storm of hate around Julia Gillard at the moment, living in a porn-saturated world, a confusing world: I vow.  To ease my thoughts back from judging women.  As often as I can, again and again.  For being skinny.  Liking clothes.  For their looks.  For what they do to their looks.  For what they don’t do.  Their waxing, their botox.  Their feral edges, tracksuit days.  For selfies, for their status updates.  Substance abuse, for their current partner.  For being alone.  Their work, lack of work; education, and lack of it.  Motherhood or no.  Contraception or no.  Drinking or inhaling.  Porn or Christianity.  Worldliness or naivety.  

Really.  The judgements can be so instantaneous and sly.  Hard to catch.  But they are there, subtle, sneaking around as I have been taught to do.  Snipey comments, those hips are from her grandmother.  My side of the family doesn’t have that.  I don’t think you should wear that.  Burrowing mindworms.  

So, a year, at least, of applying my own consciousness to my own.  

Let’s see.

I am Woman Mind

I wrote this as a part of a collaborative chant in the style of Maria Sabina:

I am a woman who holds her experience
I am a woman who lets the experience wash through
I am a woman who heals Universes
I am a woman who comes through pain
I am strong woman.  Whole woman.
I am woman, light, who moves with the fluids.
I have woman mind which knows the unknowable.
I can heal without knowing how.
I am woman mind which knows the unknowable.
I heal without knowing how.

 

 

 

Does Australian Hip Hop Have a Problem With Ladies?

Ok ok.  

The question, does Australian hip hop have a problem with racism? has been getting extra attention lately. Grand, very grand.  (Oh yeah, perfect final bit for the thesis …)  No, but it is confirmation of what many artists and scholars have been noticing.

I enjoyed hearing these voices together in one place.  Of this (yeah, subjective …) list of the top in Australian hip hop, one, one was a lady (the force herself, Nay from The Last Kinection).  

What’s the problem?  Top artists doesn’t have to be numbers of units moved.  I guess they vaguely meant biggest profile.  Guess how profiles get bigger?  Articles like this are a part of it.  Sky High, Macromantics, Layla?  Hello?

The old ‘affirmative action’ debate, essentially.  More inclusion does need to happen.  This is partly on the gate keepers of music press/web and record labels (yes, some of whom have included ladies.  Still more room. More).

Meanwhile, ladies are just doing it, calling it out:

 

I recommend following @BustyBeats and @AustralianBooty on the twoosh to help amplify the call.

 

Your Day is Done

Ah, Mr James Brown.  We’ve had this chat before. I’m a swaying, even got a bit of a chug and a bounce.  Head-nodding and shoulders rolling.  But my brain and brow are not happy.  

It’s ‘A Brand New Day’.  As if the title will roll back that pesky second wave feminism.

“Fellas, things have got too far gone.  We got to let the girls know what they got to do for us!  It’s got to be a drag, man, a man can’t do nothin’ no more”.

(Er, an early masculinist?  Yeah, sure feminism has obviously achieved way too much.  Yeah, one in three men are sexually assaulted, yeah.  Way too far).

“Never get so confident, it’s nothin’ you want to know

Cos after time you lose your thing, then you got to go

You know what we got (tell em)

You got to use it carefully, can’t be a total loss”

What I do with ‘it’ or my ‘mess’, ‘thing’, or ‘business’, ain’t nothing to do with you. (Ooh it’s rubbing off on me).

(Nodding head, shuffling around.  A bop, a bouncy roll.)

“Walk away and twist your hips, make sure you keep him weak”

Yeah.  Sure.  Fun.  Also.  That’s not all.  Sexual power can keep men weak, but what else?

“Don’t let nobody take ‘care ‘your business better than you do

Do what he want, give him what he wants, and respect will come to you”

But, we know this, it doesn’t.  Disrespect does.  ‘Cos when you lose your thing, then that’s it. Look, I love sexy dancing funk soul gender play.  Calling out and shaking it up. But there’s underlying shit here that rubs counter-current against my soul joy, the anger friction getting tighter and tighter.

Whoa inter-generational crossing-times retrospective imaginary argument.  Fun fun.

Go Anna Rose

Anna Rose photo from AYCCI went and listened to Anna Rose speak today.  She is a young climate activist who co-founded and chairs the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC).  She was also featured in the documentary/reality show that was produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation titled I Can Change Your Mind About Climate.  She and former Finance Minister Nick Minchin, on opposite sides of the ‘climate debate’, took each other to their pick of sources for their side of the argument, to see if they could convince each other of their perspective.

What an inspiring young woman (the AYCC actually strikingly shows considerable young female leadership).  I also find her to be a lovely, committed, a great listener and speaker, a clear presenter and obviously (together with others in the AYCC) as pretty damn good at organising a political movement and campaigns.  THIS is where hope lies.  And pragmatism, as Anna said today, “I have to have hope, people won’t join a movement without hope”.  Pragmatic hope, strategic optimism.

The tutorials that I taught today were coincidentally on coverage of global crises such as climate change in the media.  We discussed the idea of ‘false balance’, where the journalistic norm of balance actually means that those who support a minority view from a scientific perspective are given a disproportionate amount of airtime.

The premise of I Can Change Your Mind About Climate has been criticised as itself providing a false balance, which I think stands.  However, this is where the AYCC wants to step in and educate people about the science, and how to talk to others about the science.  Anna’s talk today is a part of a three-month tour to promote her book and present on this topic.  The book is called Madlands and is about her experience of doing the documentary.  You can get it from the AYCC site.

In a broader sense this connects with thoughts and feelings about hope, depression, choices, and work.  Those thoughts are a little more embryonic.  And maybe there is no one right approach, maybe humans just do get hopeful, depressed, overwhelmed, alarmed at different moments, particularly in response to global crises.  In the meantime, it’s about making chocies and doing work, and being occasionally peppered with a little hope.