Dr. Jennifer Turner conceived of What the WAP as a series that centers Black feminist scholars and their perspectives on contemporary Black sexual politics. In the first few parts of this series, Dr. Turner engages in conversation with Dr. Melissa C. Brown. In the third part of the series, Dr. Turner and Dr. Brown reflect on how misogynoir shaped the response among rap music fans this summer after a Black Canadian male rapper shot Megan thee Stallion, which she wrote about in a recent New York Times op-ed. They also think through ways Black women can pursue sexual agency and autonomy in the face of gendered and racialized oppression. In what follows, they respond to the questions: (1) What do you think the reaction to WAP and Megan Thee Stallion’s shooting say about how Black women’s bodies and sexualities are viewed in the American popular imagination? And (2)What steps can we take to combat the misogynoir that was directed towards Cardi and Meg in light of WAP? Be sure to check out part one and part two of the series.
Dr. Jennifer Turner conceived of What the WAP as a series that centers Black feminist scholars and their perspectives on contemporary Black Sexual Politics. View the first part of the series here. In the second part of the series, Dr. Turner and Dr. Brown cover the topic of sexualization and how it affects Black women… Continue reading What the WAP: Part 2 – The Sexualization of Black Girls and Women
What Black feminist scholarship, literature, or concepts came to mind for you when you reflected on the song and video for WAP?
I finally got around to seeing Hustlers, the film starring Constance Wu as Destiny, a stripper who gets roped into a con run by Ramona, played by Jennifer Lopez. Personally, I wanted to see Cardi B tap into her stripper girl history to portray the character Diamond. Furthermore, I just knew J. Lo’s body and… Continue reading 7 Ways Hustlers Gets the Strip Club Right
Reality shows remain one of few ways that Black women appear on television. From The Apprentice‘s Omarosa to the Clermont Twins of Bad Girls Club, Black women have occupied a space crucial to the reality television genre. However, a number of the depictions of Black women rely on controlling images. The media perpetuates racist and sexist societal… Continue reading Reality Television and Negative Stereotypes of Black Women
A few days ago, images surfaced of intimate boudoir photographs of Beyoncé and Jay Z, which many media outlets have attributed to promotional material for their On the Run II Tour. I saw a wide range of reactions to the photo from social media users. My research generally involves looking at people’s social media behavior,… Continue reading Beyonce’s Boudoir and the Culture of Dissemblance
Rappers aren’t typically the first people thought of when we look for Black feminist or womanist principles. However, Black feminism has been a theme in Black women’s music at least since the Blues era, as Angela Y. Davis wrote in her book Blues Legacies and Black Feminism. Rap music also is a site of Black… Continue reading 5 Black Feminist Rappers to Play Right Now
Religious studies scholar Elizabeth Perez argues twerk exists “within Black Atlantic choreographic modalities” (17) emergent from the Caribbean and Latin American traditions. Viewing twerk through a western lens renders twerk “ratchet” or “ghetto,” delegitimizing the dance as a legitimate art form. When contextualized as a Black Atlantic art form, twerk appears the descendant of sacred… Continue reading Black Women’s Dance: The Sacred Origins of Twerk
Black people are the fastest growing demographic in mobile phone use, which is one reason why twerking has proliferated on YouTube. Twerking is a dance shared by Black girls that transcend local environments with the dispersion of twerk videos on YouTube. The specific dance begins in New Orleans but also has roots in the “dance-drum” customs… Continue reading YouTube, Twerking & You: Context Collapse and the Handheld Co-Presence of Black Girls and Miley Cyrus
Public health scholar Denise Herd reviewed research on gender relationships and sexuality in rap music in a 2015 Sexuality and Culture article. According to Herd, most studies look at the effects of the media content rather than the content itself. Herd reviews the literature on sexuality and gender with a focus on feminism, masculinity, folklore,… Continue reading How Rap Music Portrays Black Men and Women