Monday, June 27, 2011


After the advent of Chris Rocks  movie “Good Hair” this poem kept the debate going in the UK.
The politics of hair affect all women around the globe. We are under constant pressure to be beautiful and to manipulate our outer appearance taking our focus away from engaging and empowering our inner world. The first place we can attack is our hair because it’s accessible and so malleable. But the world is fickle and making those changes will only put demands on us to reach a next level of perfection that will always be unattainable. Distracted again.
The trials for Black women though, is  weighted in our historical confidence in our colour,  as well as  to our physical attributes and  "failings". Our beauty is tied up in a hierarchy of concepts that start with how we value our African features at the foundation.
But how do we get to hating and obsessing about our hair so much? Let me give you a scenario. After a meal with a friend, he was picking his teeth telling me the one thing he cannot stand about black women (he dates white ones), is a busted up weave.  I conspiratorially giggled a  bit and let it slide because I didn't want to get in to the whole weave debate after such a nice meal.  A few minutes later, I started commented on my own natural hair and pointed out "See that bit there? Just there?" He replied, "What, where its all picky picky?" He said it as if I just spit in his mouth. And there it was, out in the open - his disdain for my natural hair, dred on top, short at the the sides, with neat little 'pepper corn' curls,  relegated to a cuss, to "picky picky" by a brother with the same textured hair as me.
Now, I'm not going to go on a 'he just hates himself and his mother',  I want to deal with how he was a blatant example of contributing to the decreased confidence in self image for naturall ynappy headed women of colour, because it would not matter what I had on my head HE would've found fault. Part of his brain is imprisoned into

Thursday, June 23, 2011


These guys must have known they'd be putting themselves in the firing line for some serious ribbing but went for it anyway. I kinda respect that.

The "Dear Woman" youtube video made by a group of men who call themselves 'conscious men' has gone viral and is a collage of "conscious men" reading a  manifesto of "consciousness" built around their belief of the sacredness and power of the Feminine. Since its upload, the responses that hate it go beyond passionate! Their youtube comments ability - disabled. 
Some of the men who have blogged/vlogged in response think that their male counterparts in the vid are 'pussy begging' and trying to curry favour with women.  Some responses to the 'dear woman' vid are ill-thought out justifying some of the aggresion that is meted out on women globally as , 'women made  men this way!'
Are these riled guys are projecting what they know of themselves on to their 'conscious' brethren and are making wolf calls for 'real-man' masculinity who would chew up  these "conscious men", all in the name of natural selection and getting a mate. But so what if a couple of guys want to speak out against the supression of women and fore Feminine  acknowledgement and empowerment? And, if they don't like it, write your own manifesto, make your own video.

Then there are women blogging/vlogging who don't want to be patronised by some random self-appointed 'conscious' guy telling them how they honour their 'nurturing nature' and their innate ability to commune with 'Mother Earth.  Oooo.... they really touched a nerve there.
 The haters, male and female , are taking offense  by

Saturday, June 18, 2011

SLUT WALK LONDON 12th June 2011

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

These images are from Slut Walk London that walked th elength of Piccadilly and convened on Trafalgar's Square (under nelsons phallic column) on a fresh sunny day in London. As I stood with camera and hand held recoder in hand, I wondered what I had come. Was I wanting to be inspired, pumping my fists in the air every 20 seconds? Did I want to document a feminine utopian event that hopefully marked the new beginning of women of all class and cultures, standing up and speaking out against violence against women?  Was I expecting a tirade of man-bashing speeches that was a call to arms? 
What I got was common sense on a humanist level and wasn't disappointed as such, just hoping for even minor incendiary provokation. Not a bra burning but a  something that made my heart beat a little faster. Not Beyonce's Girls Run The World war on Man but was some kind of Kali or Nzinga defiance

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Wow... Beyonce's new vid is rousing some interesting debate and I find myself writing about it again.

Natasha Thomas-Jackson's article in the award winning Alternet Online magazine revealed to me another layer to unpacking the complexities around contemporary feminism.
Natasha is an MC, spoken-word artist, wife, mother, and Executive Director of RAISE IT UP! and she uses a vlog by 9teen% - a dynamic 24 year old woman, outspoken professional youtuber - to back up her sentiments and frustrations on what she calls the 'ugly' side of feminism.

There are a couple of things about Natasha's critique of 9teen%'s youtube post that colour it as an emotional response to a bad experience she had at a feminist conference.
1)  Why is it that Natasha automatically assumes that the women who looked at her with ridicule and disdain, because of of her dress choice, were either 'jealous' of her or that they could not help themselves because of an 'unconscious act of internalized sexism?
2) And why is it  that the STYLE with which 9teen% opted to deliver valuable information is 'thought of as 'snarky, confrontational, biting, sarcastic, and ugly'? Harsh words. An alternative perspective would be 9teen% is passionate, wanting to stamp impact with character (snappy editing cuts and quirky gesturing).

What if  the women at the conference had  been just plain angry with how she was dressed, as they may have held the view of 'you're either with us or against us'. What ever way Natasha was dressed  that day may have roused a frustration in those women that manifested itself in a fashion that made Natasha feel uncomfortable (angry?).  Was she was on the receiving end of 'ANGER AND HURT IN PROCESS'? We know women ALSO have a lot to answer for in perpetuating elements of the patriarchal status quo, for example, over sexualized attire,  anorexic looking fashion models, facilitating forced arranged marriages, female genital mutilation etc. Is her article over reactionary?

Natasha's response is on point in many areas, however, its intention appears rooted in a