Why You Mad, Bro?
By Jeremy Pasker
Feminism is complicated. But I feel, ultimately, it lies in the understanding that women should own their own bodies, do with them what they feel is honest, and not forced to behave how parochial taboos dictate them to act.
Shame has been used way too often to castrate the female spirit from Eve all the way to today. It is about time men (and brainwashed women) take responsibility for their own perversions and stop blaming vaginas for their weaknesses and insecurities.
The moment Nicky Minaj dropped her artwork for the single Anaconda the (vagina) backlash began. Then the (vagina) backlash only got worse once the video for it came out.
“It’s too lewd,” the critics often write or “what about the children?,” they often say.
Of course it’s lewd but she shouldn’t be ashamed of her. Shame is bad. Shame is about hating yourself. Just as lewdness shouldn’t be maligned, prude behavior shouldn’t be praised.
Just so we are clear, I agree, children should not watch Nicki Minaj videos if they aren’t old enough to own their sexuality or mature enough to understand it (but that’s a question of parenting and the way a child is raised). That is why there are barriers in place to deny children’s access to explicit content.
Recently a friend, who I often speak about cultural issues with, told me, “There are consequences and responsibilities [we] have to be accountable for when [we] do whatever [we] want. You’re free to do whatever you want, not to ignore the aftermath.”
His point is valid. Children shouldn’t watch but not because Minaj’s behavior is wrong. Young boys and girls should not watch it because they cannot analyze intent. All they see are what’s on the surface, not the syntax, or the power struggle over the female body.
Minaj’s bravery is commendable. She’s showing that women can do whatever they want too, can own their decisions too, and are free to decide what they want to do with their lives and bodies when their older too.
Minaj’s empowerment is about bravado and ensuring her sexual appetites are as valid as any man’s. All her songs correlate to taking power away from the male gaze. You can look but only when she says so or where she wants you to look. She is showcasing her assets just like every other hip-hop artist does. Except women have breasts and asses to go with their “Ferraris” and their “big houses” and their “gold jewelry”. That scares the patriarchy.
But more important than all that, all the attention is given to women taking off their clothes, while ignoring those who buy their nudity. Why are they absolved from blame? The consumer needs to accept responsibility for their part.
It is time for society as a whole men and women to stop policing the behavior of others if that behavior doesn’t affect anyone’s physical well being. Politics of respectability across the spectrum are rubbish. As a woman and especially as an artist she should be allowed to do what’s honest to her to if it does not physically affect anyone else’s well being.
No matter what side you are on (feminism or anti-feminism), know that feminism comes in many shades. There is no such thing as a perfect feminist. I suggest less shaming and more acceptance. I need for there to be a world where everyone gives as few fucks as possible about other’s sexual choices that don’t involve them, or harm others.