A couple of years ago, when I was newly pregnant and reporting in the West Bank, some of my local colleagues insisted that I skip covering a protest at an Israeli checkpoint. At first, I was resistant to letting pregnancy stand in the way of my work, but they knew from experience that there might be tear gas, and tear gas, they said, causes miscarriages.
They were right: though rigorous studies are few, there is evidence that tear gas is an abortifacient. In 2011, Chile temporarily suspended its use after a University of Chile studylinked it to miscarriage and fetal harm. Investigating the use of tear gas in Bahrain in 2012, Physicians for Human Rights found that local doctors were reporting increased numbers of miscarriages in exposed areas. And UN officials have connected tear gas to miscarriages in the Palestinian territories.
This means it’s likely that police in Ferguson, Missouri, have been spraying abortion-causing chemicals on crowds of civilians. Recently at TheNation.com, Dani McClain wrote about the killing of black youth as a reproductive justice issue, one that goes to the heart of the rights of parents to raise their children in peace, safety and dignity. She’s correct, of course, but if the anti-abortion movement were actually concerned about the well-being of the unborn, then the violence in Ferguson would be a pro-life issue as well.
the only thing about the anaconda video that makes me sad is that so many white boys (or just boys, tbh) are going to wank to the first three minutes or so without realising that when nicki minaj chops up that banana, and then goes into that sequence where she says no to drake, she’s pretty much ‘lol no I really don’t care about your boy dick’.
like this is all just my interpretation but
the first three minutes might be read by this audience as “all about them” and catering to their sexual needs - but tbh that misses a lot of the commentary. there’s a self-awareness about the over-focus on butts butts butts - it’s deliberate, as the sample by some (probably white) girl going ‘oh my god look at her butt’ illustrates it’s about more than just nsfw clips and blatant suggestion. It’s not just softcore porn for straight dudes but actually using that perspective and amplifying it to look at the idea of ‘looking’ and ‘perspective’ as a whole on black women’s bodies. To a cishet dude this might be all about their fucking dick, but to someone else? To a white girl who has internalised misogyny as well as being, well, flat out racist, it’s a point of ridicule/amazement, probably ‘skanky’ ‘slutty’ whatever nasty word or slur you want - it’s fetishising as well as gross. But to a black girl it might be reaffirming that your body is ok, it might be creating a paradigm where black bodies are desirable and beautiful and sexual, it might be about sisterhood (which exists in the video); for the queer black girl it might also be about challenging assumptions of sexuality (clear queer undertones at points; might just be baiting or really playing up the ‘for the straight guy’ assumption but maybe also not). And in the last few minutes nicki confirms it’s the last group - black girls, with their fat asses, who are important. And she’s particularly flippant towards the idea of masculine attention. It’s also really well-timed and important given this really shit racist ‘white girl twerking using black girls as props’ music video trend.
but tbh, I think that will just be lost on the straight dudes
and yeah, the video is definitely not about them or for them.
BUT I think they’ll bring in so much of the revenue. and part of me cynically thinks there’s a board room exec thinking hmm, we can capitalise on this ‘sociological critique’. because tbh if you’re not aware of how race and gender and sexuality define our world and there are constructed paradigms of superiority/inferiority built on those then you probably won’t notice. what I mean, is that people who aren’t marginalised are also not aware that these issues are race or gender issues. they’ll frame it as a debate about the morality of sexualisation or some dumb shit.
and most people will either:
a) wank to this video b) call nicki a [insert fucked-up word or slur here]
and that makes me sad.
and I know I’m looking at it wrong and anaconda is not meant to seriously be a vehicle for calling out straight dudes because it’s not meant for them, but still
“When did Martin Luther King get transformed from a revolutionary civil rights leader that the FBI feared into a teddy bear that only says “I Have A Dream” when you pull the string?”—Hari Kondabolu (via thefemcritique)