Sometimes I Say Smart Things

Before we leave 2016 behind for good, let's breakdown the good, the bad and the hot mess we witnessed this year. Guests Cate Young and April Reign join host Raquel Willis.
Everything is terrible, but Black women stepped up to keep the ship from capsizing by creating art, speaking out politically, and generally being excellent. It was the year Black girl magic went mainstream—because we needed a little light in the darkness.
-The Year in Black Girl MagicBitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

"It’s no secret that the digital space is often unsafe for women. Mobs of online trolls lead targeted harassment campaigns against women who dare to have a voice, fighting hard to silence dissent and maintain the misogynistic status quo. More than one high-profile feminist critic has been driven from their home, stalked, or doxxed. But women are using performative misandry as both comedy and coping mechanism; a way to bond with each other and commiserate about the seeming inevitability of their oppression. In a way, it’s the logical alternative to the real violence we might have enacted if we had decided to actually revolt." 
 -Male Tears For Fears: Embracing The Ironic Performance of MisandryBitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

This episode highlights three writers from the issue: Bani Amor on the human causes of so-called "natural" disasters, Sarah Jaffe on her book Necessary Trouble: American in Revolt, and Cate Young on the trend of ironic misandry.
-Popaganda: ChaosBitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

"Billed as a “witch's brew of comedy, camp, and commentary,” the five-episode web series Bwitches, cocreated by best friends/roommates Johanna Middleton and Martine Moore, tackles everything from dating to racial microaggressions from the perspective of two women of different races."
 -Bwitch, Please: An Interview With Johanna Middleton and Martine MooreBitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

"Racebending rebooted franchises allows us to add diverse perspectives to the existing canon of culturally significant narratives, present minority characters in a way that better reflects our varied experiences, and escape the material dangers that a single story can present."  
 -Reboot and Rally: The Revolutionary Opportunities Inherent In ReUpping Franchise FavouritesBitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

"To hear pop culture tell it, no man has ever unabashedly loved a Black woman without “taming her” first. It’s significant to have a Black woman who embraces her inner “savage” be acknowledged as the prize that she is: beautiful, successful, ambitious, and not at all in search of a partner."
 -Performance Anxiety: Why I'm Here To Watch Drake Worship RihannaBitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

"While Wiley is right that art reflects life and vice versa, she skipped an essential step: Art is meant not just to reflect life, but to comment on it. To distill a universal truth about the mundane lives we live and supply us with a greater understanding of ourselves. The artist’s responsibility is not simply to reproduce the violence that exists, but to deconstruct it. What did this season of OITNB add to the conversation about police brutality that hadn’t already been said? How was this plotline any different from a simple reproduction of Black trauma?"
 -On "Orange Is The New Black" and the Destruction of The Black Body, Bitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

Catherine Young, a Bitch Media Writing Fellow and culture critic, has been continuously updating a VERY essential thread on how news isn’t neutral, even when journalists are striving to adhere to ethical best practices (and especially when news is breaking). 
 -Sea of Chaos; Island of Frivolity, Two Bossy Dames

"The stories we tell about ourselves do not exist in a vacuum. As I often say, pop culture is a feedback loop that is both sustained by and contributes to the ways we see ourselves as a society and in relation to each other, so it’s frightening to know that at a cultural level, Black women are considered inconsequential, that our stories exist as incidental to those of white men and women. As Mary McNamara wrote at the Los Angeles Times, “These characters should not be used as seasoning or garland to give a white man’s story a little spice, a little color. They should be telling their stories too, in ways that don’t call for the ultimate sacrifice quite so often.” Television’s boast of increased diversity is meaningless if its stories reinforce the trope that Black female characters are expendable."
 -When Visibility Isn't Enough: Abigail Mills and the Failed Promised of "Sleepy Hollow," Bitch Media (Writing Fellowship in Pop Culture)

"If you were lucky, you had parents who were able to stringently pass on strong financial values. But if you weren’t, you likely to had to figure out how to manage money when you got your first official paycheck. Generational poverty is real, but so is generational money mismanagement. If you never had a proper model for how to be responsible with money, it makes it doubly hard to develop those habits on your own. Part of the problem, too, is that we’ve been taught as a society that talking about money is impolite and gauche, and for women especially, this has silenced discussions of how money functions in our lives, and how we handle our expenses. This inevitably means that mistakes get made that set us back significantly."  
Episode 8!!!! This week, Black Girl Dangerous Mia McKenzie and guests Jamie Nesbitt Golden and Cate Young  discuss Patti’s Pies, Empire, why white women don’t need to have opinions on how black women celebrate each other, Aziz Ansari’s new show and non-Black PoC f*ckery!
Episode 7 is of the BGD podcast is here! Black Girl Dangerous Mia McKenzie and guests N’Jaila Rhee, CarmenLeah Ascencio and Cate Young discuss Ben Carson’s new “urban” radio ad, the Daniel Holtzclaw case, Matt McGorry and white celebrity “allyship” and why Amber Rose may be exactly the feminist we need right now.  
 -White Celebrity "Allyship", The Black Girl Dangerous Podcast

Episode 6 of the Black Girl Dangerous podcast is here! Listen to Black Girl Dangerous herself—Mia McKenzie—and guests Jamie Nesbitt Golden, Reagan Gomez and Cate Young discuss the Democratic debate, why we don’t trust Hillary Clinton, Quentin Tarantino and the importance of controlling our own narratives as marginalized people, Ellen Degeneres’ racist Nicki Minaj skit and more!
 -Why We Don't Trust Hillary, The Black Girl Dangerous Podcast

"In an interview with The Times, Young said that the phrase is often misunderstood as an attack on white women. But as Young and others have explained it, “white feminism” is not necessarily feminism by white people. Instead, it is feminism for whites — that is, it benefits only whites. The term is a way to caution feminists who might ignore the lives and experiences of women of color."  
 -Viola Davis and the "white feminist"backlash, The L.A. Times

"White feminists often "forget" to apply an intersectional framework to issues that affect women, Young said. For example, last year's viral video targeting street harassment "served to reinforce racist narratives about men of color preying on white women," she said. "That no one in the organization was able to pinpoint that as an issue before the video was released is an example of how non-intersectional thinking can give us blinders about things that matter very much to women who aren't facing the same issues as us."
 -The Brutal Truth Every White Feminist Needs to Hear, Mic.com

"The advantage that white women have is that they are automatically presumed to be sexually pure, so any deviation from that is seen as a break from the patriarchal confines of sexual oppression," said Cate Young, author of the feminist pop culture blog BattyMamzelle." 
 -Reclaiming the Booty: Minaj Shows Black Women'sChallenges, Business Insider

“I get that Allen was trying to make a statement about the cultural appropriation and sexual appropriation of black women in pop culture, specifically making a dig at Miley Cyrus’ twerk-gate with Robin Thicke. But here’s an interesting concept! You can make these statements without objectifying black women yourself! According to blogger Cate from BattyMamzelle [..]” 
 -The Trouble With Lily Allen's "Hard OutHere", Into The Gloss

"If it’s your party, you can do what you want. But some hella smart women are gonna call you out for it, and you better listen! Hear why Miley Cyrus’ performance at the Video Music Awards last weekend was racist, and how one feminist’s timely response went viral on Jezebel!  23 year old blogger Catherine Young talks about her totally on point article, “Solidarity is for Miley Cyrus.”"  
 -PacificaArchives, "Miley" and Passionate Pursuit, Feminist Magazine

"The blogger BattyMamzelle wrote a post which was also posted on Jezebel that has garnered a ton of attention. Along the lines of our continuing roundtable on race, feminism and digital spaces, she wondered why so many feminists who were defending Cyrus from slut-shaming were missing all the hard-to-miss racial imagery the pop star was playing with."  
 -About This Miley Business..., NPR's Code Switch

"Others identified the implicit and oft-explicit slut-shaming to be found in many mainstream media responses. Here's our roundup of critical responses."  
 -Critics Roundup: What Everyone Said About Miley Cyrus's VMA Performance, Vulture.com