Feminism

The Cardi B Clapback

The Love & Hip-Hop reunion happened. The original Love and Hip-Hop by the way that takes place in New York. Although I haven't seen it yet, I did see the clip of Cardi B telling Peter Gunz the truth regarding his actions on the show and how he has treated both Amina and Tara making its rounds on the internet today. I won't give a full play by play of the conversation, but instead give you a clip of the scene (listed below)

http://doodlebug99.tumblr.com/post/141483778500/cosmic-noir-existentialstripper

Everything that Cardi B said was true and no, how and what she said was not wrong. Peter does make Amina and Tara look stupid every episode, he makes them look like they are less than what they are. He makes them look weak and vulnerable as if they need him for some odd reason. He needs to focus on his other women and his children, especially because he has 9 of them. And yes, women should treat men the way they treat them. As Cardi B was saying at the beginning of the video it's not hoeing when treating a man the same why he treats you.

But my real issue with the back and forth between Peter and Cardi was not the conversation or what they were talking about, but the way in which Peter spoke to Cardi B. Peter legitimately took offense to what Cardi B was saying about him and how he conducts himself as if he has never heard these things in the past from friends or family members. Matter of fact, in an earlier episode, his friend Rich Dollaz tells him he needs to stop doing what he's doing and to do and be better. Yet, when Cardi B tells him the same thing he says she's being "disrespectful" and that she should basically be quiet as if she doesn't know what she's talking about. I can't stand when men, black men specifically in this instance, who try to silence or dismiss a woman just because they don't like what she's saying. Just they don't feel like she should be saying it as if it's not her place like she can't speak the truth. Yet, men will tell women how they should conduct themselves, how they  should dress, what they should talk about, etc. Let's not forget when Ayesha Curry stated last year she preferred classy over trashy and how black men then proceeded to go in on women and how women should dress with more class and how more women should be like Ayesha Curry.

We have to get past dismissing and silencing others just because we don't agree with what they may say. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but we, as a society, also need to approach the issue of patriarchy and how we treat women in society. While the mistreatment of women in society may not be as overt as it has been in the past, it has simply become more subtle. The disrespect has become more subtle, yet men still show how they really think of women. We need to approach and face these subtle ways head on and then they will start to get fixed.

Leave your comments below and tell me what you thought of the Love & Hip-Hop reunion or what you thought of what Cardi B said. 

The Fight for Abortion Includes the Trans* Community

I love having friends who constantly challenge and educate me. Who are not afraid to call me out on my shit and say, “Christina, you fucked up. Stop talking about shit you may not know about.” That’s why I was so excited when one of my best friends posted a very valid and honest post on Facebook about the issue of abortion. I will not screenshot their Facebook post into this blog post, nor will I say their name, but I will give you a quick synopsis of what they said. They stated that, “abortion is not only a cis woman issue. Trans individuals need access to abortion and reproductive health as well. Many afab (assigned female at birth) trans individuals feel as though they have no voice and cannot have an opinion on the issue given mainstream feminism.”

I know it was a very quick post, yet those are the best ones such as in this case. It packed a punch and opened my eyes to an issue I had never truly thought about. I am a cis woman so when the topic of abortion is brought up I argue passionately for the subject as I do feel it is something that affects women everywhere. Although, as an ally, I had never thought about how abortion may affect the trans* community and afab trans* individuals.

In the last year, there has a been a recent push amongst reproductive and abortion rights activists to use more gender inclusive language where the focus for those who would need access to abortions is not only focused on cis women. But where there is a push for something there is a push that goes against it. There have been feminists who have stated that the use of gender inclusive language of pronouns would “. . . render half of the population, those who got pregnant, invisible.” (Link to article here)

That’s ridiculous. It even sounds ridiculous. How does using gender inclusive language render the female population invisible when a person obtaining an abortion should not solely be based on their gender? What I mean by that is, I view abortion as a solution to a problem that has happened in a person’s life. They may not have a lot of options and this may be the one act, the one solution, that gets them out of this problem. It is asinine to think that abortion can only be inclusive of cisgender women when it should all-inclusive to transgender men and non-binary individuals as well. Those who are a part of the transgender community face not only discrimination within society but also discrimination within the medical field and failure to use gender inclusive language when talking about abortion rights only furthers the problem and limits the trans* community's accessibility to medical and reproductive services as they do face increased discrimination.

The issue of abortion rights has always been viewed as a woman’s problem, an issue that only affects women and their bodies, but that is a basic and limited way of viewing the abortion rights issue. Unfortunately, that mindset and that view of abortion rights is what drives the abortion rights cause. Many feminists feel as though by not specifically using the term women or talking directly to women you are leaving them out of the conversation. Those who are a part of the mainstream feminists movement have gone so far as to create an ultimatum, “. . . To address privilege in the movement threatens women and, therefore, strengthens patriarchy.” (Link to article here)

Inclusion makes a movement stronger as it causes more people to feel included and respected. What you may lose in individuals who do not agree with your new message, you make up for with integrity and respect towards new individuals who want to be a part of your movement once you started being more inclusive. Using gender-neutral language does not make women invisible, yet using and portraying the idea that only women need access to abortions does make the trans*, non-binary and genderqueer community feel invisible. I think when it comes to feminism, there's a history of feminists speaking out on injustices and issues that "white, upper class, cisgender women" (Link to article here) find to be important, yet not including, maybe even "othering" those who do not identify as "white, upper class, cisgender women". I think those a part of the feminist movement, including myself, need to do our part in portraying those who are a part of oppressed groups, not only women, and not only the groups many feminists may feel comfortable with. The first step to making those who are a part of oppressed groups feel included is to start using inclusive language.

 

Roll Call: The Effects of Call Out Culture

What was supposed to be an action that held those accountable for using their positions or words to hurt others has turned into an action in which we have now turned against each other; the people who were supposed to call out wrongdoers.

If you are not familiar with "call out culture," let me assistance. Asam Ahmad wrote a piece for Briarpatch (Link to article found here) magazine last year where he defines call-out culture:

Call out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists or regular people who have access to the internet to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behavior and language by others. 

Call-out culture was originally supposed to be an action where others who had used language or partook in actions that hurt others would then be called out by individuals in society so they could learn from their actions. Calling someone out was supposed to educate them on what they did wrong, why it was wrong and why it was hurtful to others. If the action was horrendous enough those who called the individual out would expect a consequence. For example, an employee losing his job or an athlete sitting out and missing a couple of games.

People have started to abuse the action of calling someone out, thus creating call-out culture where anyone who says something that someone does not agree with can experience backlash and come under attack. What typically happens with call-out culture is people start attacking and swarming the person on social media and sometimes in real life. It is the individual's behavior behind call-out culture that is problematic because it is generally a one-sided argument and tends to involve vulgar or offensive language against the person.

A person's personal reactions or disagreements have become coded as a defense in the name of doing good, it has become "oh, you didn't do this the way I wanted" or "you didn't say this the way I wanted". It has become less beneficial as people are experiencing hateful language just because they said something that others didn't agree with. As Americans, we are allowed freedom of speech, it's one of the main rights that are heavily guarded besides the right to bear arms. Yet, people are still being attacked for not twisting their language to appeal to everyone.

The excuse of a person partaking in call-out culture saying that the recipient is simply taking it personal and that they are emotional has become prevalent. It is not a matter of people taking it personally but has become a matter of people taking respect out of the situation. Call-out culture in so many words has removed the action of respecting someone else.

People partaking in call-out culture is worse on certain social media platforms, the main ones being Twitter and Facebook, both have become prime venues where call-out culture has taken on a life of its own. Call-out culture intertwines with harassment once social media is involved as someone is then able to constantly "troll" that person and their post or what they have said. Given the fact of how Twitter and Facebook are set up as social media platforms, they allow for easy harassment of others where the action becomes a performance and makes the person a spectacle.

The effects of call-out culture are not visible, but once a person experiences being attacked or swarmed on social media or in their daily life the person may not to be as vocal as they were once before. Call-out culture hinders freedom of speech as the person then does not want to experience call-out culture again so they are then careful of what to say and who to say it to. While many may see people hindering their speech as a victory, if there are people experiencing and being affected by call-out culture just because people do not agree with them, then the act of calling people out becomes pointless.

The action of "calling in" has started to become more frequent. Calling in means speaking privately with an individual who has done something wrong (Asam Ahmad - Briarpatch). Calling in is more beneficial and educational versus calling out. Calling in requires a person to reach out and interact with the person, whereas call-out culture falls short in addressing the behavior or statement of the person, calling in picks up the slack. Yet, why do we need another term to represent the actions of call-out culture? Calling in was what calling out was supposed to be before people decided to abuse it.

You can call people out and educate them at the same time. You can call someone out in a respectable manner, we need to get back to trying to help others instead of looking for an audience and putting on a spectacle in order for call-out culture to improve.