First things first. I don’t give a f-ck who these women f-ck or, really, what any woman chooses to do with her own vagina. Because it’s her own vagina, get it? And because it’s her own vagina, she doesn’t need to justify what she does with it. It should go without saying that a woman can do whatever she wants with her own body. But when she feels the need to explain why she does what she does with it, which is what these posts boil down to for me, she’s just playing into this very old and very male idea that a woman needs to justify what she does with her own body because, ultimately, she doesn’t have authority over, I repeat, her own body. Sound familiar? It should (see: “the war on women”).
The other problem with these posts is that they put race and gender at odds with one another, like they have this mutually exclusive relationship, and you have to choose one or the other to have some kind of cohesive identity. If you believe An’s argument–which she later backpedaled on, calling it “a character” designed to provoke discussion–as an Asian woman, in order to reject “patriarchy and cultural sexism,” you have to be a racist dick and hate your people.
–From “I’m An Asian Woman And I Think Blog Posts Defining That Identity By Who Someone Like Me Would Or Wouldn’t Date Are Bullshit,” at Disgrasian
By Andrea Plaid
Having watched several of Mira Nair’s films repeatedly, I swear her guiding directive is, “If you’re 1) brown, 2) grown, and 3) sexy, you need to be in my film.”
Watching the first episode of “Christine,” I couldn’t help myself from cringing. This is a testament to the writer’s skills and America Ferrara’s watchability – the series of shorts follows Christine during one (seemingly endless) night of speed dating. The conversations are often uncomfortable and awkward, just like actual dating! And sometimes, it’s a bit too true to life – some of these dates, especially the rough ones, seem to stretch into eternity. And the one above, the mildly creepy set up (with a cocky guy and strange interracial asides), is both compelling and repulsive at the same time.
Ferrara’s project is part of a larger YouTube channel called WIGS – a lauded launch that is targeting women with short films featuring recognizable stars. The business side of this is fascinating:
We know what you’re thinking. How can YouTube afford to pay A-list actors to sign on for such a project? This is the beauty of it. According to Avnet, they’re being paid “very little.”
What does that mean? Essentially, the actors are getting paid the equivalent of SAG actors with all actors earning the exact same amount regardless of name or talent.
According to last year’s SAG contract summary page five, performers make anywhere from $825 for a day performance to $2,921 for weekly performances. 1/2 hour programs pay upwards of $4,600. Keep in mind these shows are several minutes. Very little indeed.
So, why would stars commit to doing something for peanuts?
Well, exposure for one. This is a unique opportunity for stars who have been out of the limelight for a while, but who still resonate with viewers (i.e. Garner and Stiles). It’s also a great opportunity for break out stars such as Caitlin Gerard in “Jan.”
Avnet says it’s also for the experience. They’re getting be a part of something that hasn’t been done before and that has the potential to be huge. Again, the snowball effect also comes into play here. Once one mega star is signed on, it’s the cool thing to do.
So, as I am wont to do, I found myself doing chores and catching up on reality TV.
I had heard about Nicole Murphy/Andrea Kelly’s new show, but I also set myself up for disappointment by reading the title as “Hollywood Execs” not “Hollywood Exes.” Here I was excited to hear all about these new women fronted development projects, and the show is actually about moving on from your famous spouse. Oh well. I decided to give it another chance. During a routine conversation about vaginal lasering and rejuvenation, this exchange happens:
Sheree Fletcher: Wait a minute, let me ask you this. It’s my understanding that men really don’t care what it looks like -
Jessica Canseco: Well, that’s ’cause you datin’ a black guy, honey!
Sheree Fletcher: Now wait a minute…
Other women: What do you mean, what do you mean?
Jessica Canseco: From what I hear, black guys don’t go [down.]
Nicole Murphy: (in confessional mode) That’s garbage. That’s not true. At all.
Jessica Canseco: Black guys are like “eep eep eep” (makes chicken fingers). They do, I swear to God. They talk about black girl’s vaginas. It’s true.
Sheree Fletcher: (swoons) Our vaginas?
Jessica Canseco: You want me to get into all of this?
Sheree Fletcher: They complain about our vaginas to white girls? Continue reading
By Andrea Plaid
I need to admit something about the Crush posts about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Oppressed Brown Girls Doing Things I did in April: I partly did it because I wanted to give myself a birthday present that week, and what’s better than a sharing some love on one’s birthday, right?
Well, this week’s Crush just celebrated a birthday this week–like two days ago–and I try not to be selfish about sharing birthday love. So…the Racialicious Crush Of The Week is Grace Lee Boggs, who just celebrated her 97th year on this earth–and she’s still rocking the activism.
By Guest Contributor Kendra James
Lisa Duva’s directoral debut, Cat Scratch Fever, is many things. At its surface the hour-long film works as a cautionary tale about the millennial generation and our tendency to always be “plugged in” but, even as it verges on science-fiction dramady, it offers an interesting glance into female friendships and identities.
The movie follows Lisa and Ashley (Starsha Gill and Kara Elverson, respectively), who discover that using their computer screens they can watch an infinite number of alternate versions of themselves living out all possibilities of their own lives. Though this gives them the ability to explore their own identities, it also means watching them spiral as they lose track of which reality they’re actually living in.
By Andrea Plaid
Harry Belafonte’s music moves in my mind and life like a childhood memory: I know he’s there and smile or dance when I hear one of his songs just for the little-kid joy it brings to me. (My personal cut: “Jump in the Line,” made famous again by Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice.)
But he moves through my own political consciousness (budding back in the 80s) as one of the first celebrities to organize efforts to aid and stand in solidarity with African countries, from speaking out against apartheid in South Africa and co-organizing the musical benefit record “We Are the World” to now, where he’s harshly criticized former president George W. Bush’s policies about Iraq.
However, Ms. Owner/Editrix, Latoya Peterson, who saw Belafonte’s documentary not too long ago, breathlessly said at a recent Racialicious editorial meeting, “He is Racialicious.”
By Guest Contributor Tracey Ross
I’m the kind of girl who walks down the street and doesn’t realize I’ve been singing out loud. Or offers a pregnant lady a seat on the metro only to find out she’s not pregnant. I’m awkward. And black. This is why I love the web series Awkward Black Girl and, like many ABG fans, am counting down to the premiere of season two.
Towards the end of the first season, the audience was left with a cliffhanger episode where the star “J” (played by show creator Issa Rae) finds her two love interests “Fred” and “White Jay” at her doorstep. If it’s not obvious, White Jay is white. And Fred is black. Given the choice before J, the show created an unlikely platform for conversations about interracial dating, and spurred much debate over whether it is OK to date outside one’s race. We can expect season two to highlight J’s new relationship with White Jay, but it would be a mistake to allow the characters to fall into the familiar tropes used to depict interracial dating.
Typically, there are two ways television and movies handle interracial dating. The first is the traditional approach where the family has a problem with the relationship. From the 1967 classic “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” to the 2005 role reversal of “Guess Who.” The second is the imaginary, post-racial approach where no one seems to notice that the happy pair is an interracial couple. Not even the couple themselves, as seen on many new sitcoms. Continue reading