omise ’ eke natasha tinsley analyzes beyoncé ’ W r i t i n g
The podcast story “Ask Not for Whom the Bell Trolls, It Trolls for Thee (Links to an external site.)” extends the concept of the male gaze, surveillance, and misogyny to internet comments and commentary. If the “male gaze” is about the objectification of women in popular representations, what does this story tell us about the subjectification of women on the internet? That is, what does it tell us about popular responses to women who act as agents or subjects (have power over) the way they represent themselves?
How can the following quote from the Banet-Weiser reading (from unit 2) apply?
“Casting women as sex objects in media, culture, and politics has been a powerful mechanism of control, because to be objectified, as Laura Mulvey ( 1989) wrote long ago, is to be transfigured into a thing to be looked at, gazed upon. However, when the gaze is returned, the status of object is disrupted, and it is harder to manage the control over a sexual subject” (Banet-Weiser 63).
After completing/reviewing Activity 3.2, write a paragraph response that explains how “ratchet feminism” relates to Beyoncé’s music video “6 inch (Links to an external site.).” Be sure to incorporate at least one quote from the Tinsley reading “Most Bomb Pussy” and to explain what ratchet feminism is.
Activity 3.2: Molly Crabapple video
On pp. 90-92, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley analyzes Beyoncé’s music video “6 inch (Links to an external site.)” in relation to sex work. Acknowledging that mainstream social assumptions about whether sex work often cast it as “unacceptable,” “immoral,” and not “respectable,” Tinsley wants to reclaim and redefine it. She says: “every ratchet black woman is transgressive in the way ‘she defies patriarchal criteria of feminine respectability” (91).
In her discussion of “video vixen” Chyna and reality tv star Joseline Hernandez, Tinsley re-reads their work – what could be described as sex work – as a “creative skill” that “conjures beauty out of negativity” (82). Nevertheless, she recognizes that they have faced stigma and even criminalization for their work: Joseline “was arrested twice for lewd and lascivious behavior” (87), for example.
Watch this video, by Molly Crabapple, about the criminalization of sex work and the way it particularly impacts women of color and queer people of color: “How Police Profile and Shame Sex Workers (Links to an external site.)
Reading these two texts together, we can deduce that sex workers are criminalized – in part — because their sexuality is powerful – it is perceived as dangerous to the patriarchal social order.
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