I Like the Part About the Cloying, Evil White Guy

November 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’m in the process of packing for and generally freaking about my TED talk (fly out to Spokane early tomorrow morning), but Chris just sent me the above video with the message “The video is a parody of Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus and seems to be taking some notes from Lorde. Racially, I don’t think I fully understand what’s going on, but the feminism in this is just awesome,” which is one of the reasons I married his ass. (also: Lorde is this)

My take on the racial stuff (and I may be wrong; I’m drinking oh let’s say more than one glass of wine as I pack for my trip and might be wishfully thinking) is that it’s the old white men who benefit most from “accessorizing with black people,” which was one of the significant (and importantly, not slut-shamey) criticisms of Miley Cyrus in the wake of her VMA twerkfest. This video (critically? I hope critically) puts the “black accessory” front and center, all while showing the conniving white bastard staging every scene for his own financial gain. And hurray for framing the music/entertainment industry in terms of cynical business transactions, which is quite literally what “industry” means (this point should be a given, but mass mediated pop culture is so often framed –most vocally by stakeholders– as some sort of organic invisible hand, which nope).

So, I guess you could say, I like this. I think. Caveat: I most certainly do not like the idea that “shaking one’s ass” is somehow mutually exclusive to “having a brain” — I don’t care how hard a woman shakes her ass, or where, or under what conditions. That doesn’t have anything to do with her level of intelligence. The problem is when someone other than the ass-haver makes a profit; but that’s a different issue, and still has nothing to do with how smart the woman in question might be. Anyway on the whole, this video intrigues me (especially the sarcastic claim that “we’ve [as in women] never had it so good/uh-huh, we’re out of the woods”). The “Lily Allen has a floppy pussy” balloon art is a nice touch (a nod to horrifying sex monster Robin Thicke’s “Robin Thicke Has a Big Dick” balloon display from the “Blurred Lines” date rape advocacy campaign I mean music video), the excessive use of “bitch” and “tits” is interesting, and I appreciate the inversion of “it’s hard out here for a pimp,” because let me tell you, it really is hard out here, for a bitch.

Update: Lily Allen has since insisted that her video isn’t about race/that she doesn’t even see color, which is disappointing (and regarding the claim that the video “isn’t about” race, wrong). I guess it really was wishful thinking that she would deliberately call people out for accessorizing with people of color. Like I said, disappointing, but…golf claps for first world white lady feminism, I guess?

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