Racist Feminist


girlpNM

I was on tumblr a last week and this post came across my dashboard. The first article, “Why Miley Cyrus Is a Feminist Icon”, is pretty self-explanatory. Jincey Lumpkin begins by defending Miley Cyrus and tells readers to stop “slut-shaming” her:

 

I am sick and tired of people assigning a negative personal value judgment to individuals who choose to express themselves sexually. Whether or not you actually use the word “slut” when you wave your finger and speak in harsh tones about how “gross” and “disturbing” it is when she strips down and slithers around on a wrecking ball, in a swimming pool, or on Robin Thicke’s man-junk, you are still slut-shaming her.

She then addresses Miley Cyrus directly and asks for “more nakedness, please.” She continues by stating that people need to stop freaking out about sexuality. She asserts that she supports Miley because Miley owns her body and she can do what she wants with. She follows this claim by proposing a shift in discourse:

Let’s shift the conversation away from trying to make Miley put on pants. Why don’t we start a dialogue about informed consent? If Miley feels great about her decision to stick out her tongue and twerk (which she does), then why don’t we celebrate that as an indicator of how far we have come in the women’s movement?

The second article, “Nicki Minaj Shows Plenty O’Skin As She Forgets To Wear A Shirt Under Her Blazer Again”, in my opinion, is less of an article and more of an attempt to publicly sneer at Nicki Minaj’s outfit choice. In the article, Liat Kornowski declares that she does not have a problem with Nicki’s choice but then proceeds to exhibit pictures that she deems are too revealing. I think the same argument that was used by Jincey Lumpkin for Miley Cyrus’ performance can be used for Nicki Minaj’s outfit. We are all sexual beings, “more nakedness, please”, and Nicki Minaj owns her body and she can do what she wants with. I think because Nicki Minaj feels comfortable not wearing a shirt or a bra under her blazer this should be an indicator of how far the women’s movement has come. But because we have these two different reactions to very similar scenarios, these articles becomes more of an indicator as to how stagnant the women’s movement is.

Black women and white women should not be treated differently by feminist. This just points to an issue within the movement. It is not truly a women’s movement if women are not viewed as equal, whether that be because of race or socioeconomic status. This example shows that race is a divisive factor of feminism because Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj are similar in socio-economic status. Many people think that we live in a post-racist society but if even within oppressed groups racism is still prevalent, then that is a major indication that we are far from post-racist. Feminism and the women’s movement need to be all inclusive. They need to eliminate factors such as race or more accurately make these factors central points of dialogue so that interpretations of expression are not biased by racist ideologies.

The following link also points to the division among feminist based on race:

http://gynocraticgrrl.tumblr.com/post/64736447208/title-of-talk-from-the-personal-is-political-to .

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One thought on “Racist Feminist

  1. One of the major critiques of feminism is that it often only focuses on the issues of white women, as opposed to all women. For example, the fact that women only make 77 cents to a man’s dollar is always toted around (such as on the tumblr that you linked to), but only white women make 77 cents to a white man’s dollar. Women of color make less than 77 cents (it differs by racial background) and men of color *also* make less than 77 cents on average.

    I remember learning about the Jincey Lumpkin article on Twitter because some of the women I follow were questioning Lumpkin’s idea of Miley Cyrus being a feminist icon. I don’t know much about her, but apparently Jincey Lumpkin is pretty well-known as a lesbian feminist. After her article was published, Mikki Kendall (@Karynthia) and some other women reached out to her on Twitter about how declaring Miley as a feminist icon when Miley’s performance objectified the bodies of black women is not intersectional feminism. Many of Lumpkin’s responses totally deflected what was being said and she didn’t take any responsibility for how her actions could be harmful, finishing up the tweets by saying, “For the record, I am not a racist.”
    The next day, she wrote an apology on her tumblr. I have a lot of issues with what Lumpkin wrote, both on Twitter and in her apology–more things than I could reasonably go into right now (especially the idea that being called ‘a name’ like racist is more harmful than actually perpetuating racism)–but I guess it’s good that she took the time to reflect.
    What she wrote: http://juicypinkbox.tumblr.com/post/64227292358/response-to-the-backlash-from-my-huffpost-column-on

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