Monthly Archives: July 2012

Olympics Oppression?: Gabby Douglas and Smile Politics

I tune in to  the Summer Olympics every four years primarily for one sport: Women’s Gymnastics. I like basketball, women’s tennis, track and field, and men’s diving, too. But Gymnastics is my bread and butter. I had the privilege of falling in love with gymnastics in the early 1990s, the golden era of Team USA. All coached by the great Bela Karolyi, the 1992 and 1996 teams featured the likes of Kim Zmeskal, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, and Dominique Moceanu, just a few of my faves from back in the day. And my all time favorite moment is when Kerri …Read more »

Throwback Thursday: Living Single

Today’s Throwback Thursday has me digging up a piece I didn’t claim as mine before. I don’t like to get personal on here because some of y’all don’t know how to act. Also, I’m still working out the importance of emotions and expressing them. This may be a lifelong process. I wrote living single at a time when I was thinking about how I do relationships of all kinds and if its sustainable. Many concerns that I raised remain but there are also updates. Mia and Stacey made it to the Bay and have been documenting the very real and …Read more »

A (Not So) Guilty Pleasure: Love & Hip Hop Atlanta

By now, many of you have experienced the delightful ratchet theater that is Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. One word: Ratchetstilksin Love and Hip Hop Atlanta is the brain-child of producer, Mona Scott-Young, who also unleashed upon the world created the first Love and Hip Hop series. LAHHA follows, as you might have guessed, the high and lows of several (not particularly well-known) artists, producers, baby mamas, and the like who are enmeshed in the music scene in Hotlanta. After randomly stumbling upon the show a few weeks ago, I must confess that I am hooked. I swear I watch …Read more »

Throwback Thursday: “You’re Pretty for a Dark-Skinned girl!”

Today, I am revisiting the first blog I wrote for the collective in 2010.  I can’t remember why I wrote about colorism, but it feels as fitting and relevant today as it did two years ago when I first found the words.  I wrote about how “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl” is a backwards pseudo-compliment that leaves dark-skinned girls caught up in a conundrum and half-smile, wondering if the two things she is being called (the two things she is) are oxymoronic, canceling each other out—does being pretty make up for being dark-skinned, does being dark-skinned cancel out being pretty?  …Read more »

Man or Beast?: Revisiting the White Male Gaze

By Andreana Clay Originally Posted on Queer Black Feminsist  “I’m the man!” the little girl screamed at her father in a climatic scene from Beasts of the Southern Wild, a new film by Behn Zeitlin.  My dear friend Holly and I checked it out tonight in downtown SF. It’s a film I’ve been wanting to check out for a while. And, it did not entirely disappoint. In fact, it did something else. Beasts made me sick, literally. This has happened to me once before, because of the way the film is shot and our proximity to the front of the crowded theater, I became …Read more »

The Wait of the Nation II: Parent Companies, the “Bain” of our Existence!

On May 24th I posted the blog “The Wait of the Nation” in response to the four-part HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation,” and I specifically focused on part three “Children in Crisis.”  My major concern is both the blaming of individual parents as the primary problem and the marketing of obesity clinics as a primary solution.  For the record, I do not believe parents have no role in children’s health and that health care clinics are not important,  however, I am extremely bothered by the trend of conflating weight-loss, previously considered part of the beauty and cosmetics industry, …Read more »

Asking for Sex: Revisited

Last week, I wrote a post called Asking for Sex: What to Do When the Guy Says No. My interest in writing the post was to explore the contingencies and challenges of asserting sexual desire as a straight Black woman. What I know now is that there is much truth to that saying about hell and good intentions. Because I respect our community of readers, I want to both take some responsibility for the lack of clarity in the post and also actively (and perhaps aggressively) respond to many of the claims (and attacks) made on and about me in …Read more »

Coming Out Stories: On Frank Ocean

By Summer McDonald Original Published at The Black Youth Project I’ve spent the last week treading in the liquid of a queer-flavored ambivalence, trying to determine why the Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean coming out announcements mean less to me than other people. I have seen enough episodes of Coming Out Stories and foolishly subjected myself and my partner to the awkward anti-climax of telling my father about my sexuality to know that helping folks who somehow don’t know how to use context clues with declarations of same-gender-lovingness is supposed to make one feel liberated, free, authentic. I know that my role …Read more »

The Joys of Stillness

Recently, Tim Kreider published a piece in the New York Times called “The ‘Busy’ Trap,” where he extolled the virtues of being both lazy and ambitious. Krieder is not really talking about genuine busyness brought on by meaningful obligations, but all the small stuff that can take up a lot of room in our lives. In fact, Kreider insists “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.” Whoa. But when you …Read more »

Asking for Sex: What Do You Do When the Guy Says No?

Frequently, I tell my friends that my life is a bad romantic comedy. There’s plenty of comedy, little romance, and never a happy ending. This has become all the more apparent as I have attempted to make sex a regular rather than sporadic occurrence in my post-30 life. I swear that I have managed to meet the only 200 men on the planet who actually say “No” when you ask for sex. (Of course I’m exaggerating. I don’t think I personally know 200 men that I find sexually attractive.) Feminism and becoming a grown-ass woman with a strong-ass 30+ year …Read more »

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