Descriere: Hip-hop culture began in the early 1970s as the creative and activist expressions -- graffiti writing, dee-jaying, break dancing, and rap music -- of black and Latino youth in the depressed South Bronx, and the movement has since grown into a worldwide cultural phenomenon that permeates almost every aspect of society, from speech to dress. But although hip-hop has been assimilated and exploited in the mainstream, young black women who came of age during the hip-hop era are still fighting for equality. In this provocative study, Gwendolyn D. Pough explores the complex relationship between black women, hip-hop, and feminism. Examining a wide range of genres, including rap music, novels, spoken word poetry, hip-hop cinema, and hip-hop soul music, she traces the rhetoric of black women bringing wreck. Pough demonstrates how influential women rappers such as Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, and Lil' Kim are building on the legacy of earlier generations of women -- from Sojourner Truth to sisters of the black power and civil rights movements -- to disrupt and break into the dominant patriarchal public sphere. She discusses the ways in which today's young black women struggle against the stereotypical language of the past (castrating black mother, mammy, sapphire) and the present (bitch, ho, chickenhead), and shows how rap provides an avenue to tell their own life stories, to construct their identities, and to dismantle historical and contemporary negative representations of black womanhood. Pough also looks at the ongoing public dialogue between male and female rappers about love and relationships, explaining how the denigrating rhetoric used by men has been appropriated by black women rappers as a means to empowerment in their own lyrics. The author concludes with a discussion of the pedagogical implications of rap music as well as of third wave and black feminism. This fresh and thought-provoking perspective on the complexities of hip-hop urges young black women to harness the energy, vitality, and activist roots of hip-hop culture and rap music to claim a public voice for themselves and to bring wreck on sexism and misogyny in mainstream society.
A provocative and thoroughly researched inquiry into what we find beautiful and why, skewering the myth that the pursuit of beauty is a learned behavior. In Survival of the Prettiest, Nancy Etcoff, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a practicing psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, argues that beauty is neither a cultural construction, an invention of the fashion industry, nor a backlash against feminism--it's in our biology. Beauty, she explains, is an essential and ineradicable part of human nature that is revered and ferociously pursued in nearly every civilization--and for good reason. Those features to which we are most attracted are often signals of fertility and fecundity. When seen in the context of a Darwinian struggle for survival, our sometimes extreme attempts to attain beauty--both to become beautiful ourselves and to acquire an attractive partner--suddenly become much more understandable. Moreover, if we understand how the desire for beauty is innate, then we can begin to work in our own interests, and not just the interests of our genetic tendencies.
Noelle Cleary, Dini Von Mueffling
"Lady." Let's face it: the word brings to mind a host of associations many of which call to mind costume dramas or tea-sipping debutantes. That is, until "The Art and Power of Being a Lady " the book that brushes the cobwebs off and makes "lady" relevant to every girl and woman whether her role model is Audrey Hepburn, Oprah Winfrey, Madeleine Albright, Lauryn Hill, or Mia Hamm. In an era when looking out for one another and taking the high road is too often lost in the shuffle, today's lady has not forgotten what's important. She is kind and considerate without being a doormat. She's assertive, but never a bully. She is sexy without being vulgar. She has great style but is never superficial. She gives back without asking for kudos. And from now on, the perfect word to describe her is "lady.""
David Eng, David L. Eng
In The Feeling of Kinship, David L. Eng investigates the emergence of "queer liberalism"--the empowerment of certain gays and lesbians in the United States, economically through an increasingly visible and mass-mediated queer consumer lifestyle, and politically through the legal protection of rights to privacy and intimacy. Eng argues that in our "colorblind" age the emergence of queer liberalism is a particular incarnation of liberal freedom and progress, one constituted by both the racialization of intimacy and the forgetting of race. Through a startling reading of Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark legal decision overturning Texas's antisodomy statute, Eng reveals how the ghosts of miscegenation haunt both Lawrence and the advent of queer liberalism.Eng develops the concept of "queer diasporas" as a critical response to queer liberalism. A methodology drawing attention to new forms of family and kinship, accounts of subjects and subjectivities, and relations of affect and desire, the concept differs from the traditional notions of diaspora, theories of the nation-state, and principles of neoliberal capitalism upon which queer liberalism thrives. Eng analyzes films, documentaries, ...