For this badass feminist’s 100th post, I wanted to focus on something positive. When you do this kind of critical work, as I like to believe I do, it’s easy to get caught in the traps of being a Debbie Downer. As an activist, I think it’s important to always be the kid in the back of the room with their hand up, asking the “But what about (insert here)? And what about (insert here)?” This is the stuff that moves us forward.
But at the same time, people get burnt out for a reason. It’s exhausting to constantly be on the negative side of things.
So I was waiting to write a long post about “This is what the F-Word has brought you”. A mash up, colliding both of my favourite words: fuck and feminism. But then, last night, watching the Grammy’s of all things, I came across something that made my feminist heart a flutter.
I saw rap, hip-hop goddess M.I.A, 9 months pregnant rapping on stage at the Grammy’s. (Click for a video of her amazing performance).The song, “Paper Planes” chronicles the (shitty) immigrant experience. As much as it killed me to see her performance last a measly 30 seconds before 4 dudes came out and drowned her out, I promised I wouldn’t focus on the negative.
The positive here is that hip-hop and rap has traditionally been a very male domain. Hyper masculine and straight up macho, in fact. True, country music has been much the same but they at least carved out a niche for “country songbirds”. I mean, this is the genre that has Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton for Pete’s sake!
And although hip hop has had Mary J, Queen Latifah, Salt ‘N Peppa and others, they rarely got the attention those badass womyn deserve(d).
So to see not only a womyn, but a womyn who was nine months pregnant rapping on stage to rival the best of them, I couldn’t help but think “Right on, sister”.
M.I.A was heavily pregnant (due the night of the Grammy’s in fact) and yet undeniably badass in her swagger and demeanor. And so I can’t help but be proud of the years and years of work that feminists have undertaken to forge a place for womyn in a “Man’s World”. The years that feminists have spent proving that womyn (like men) are complex creatures.
And so the day I see a pregnant, refugee, womyn of colour on stage at the Grammy’s, rapping about “nobody got a swagger like us”, I can’t help but think that maybe us feminists are on to something.
(As for this blog in general, thank you to all of you who have continued to comment, compliment and challenge me. Even the Trolls. I appreciate you, too).