Tag Archives: masculinity

Unapologetic: Chris Brown Deconstructs Masculinity Through Rihanna Subjectivity

A generation – or rather culture – of men are growing up with very skewed, chauvinistic,  and hegemonic perceptions of masculinity (and this post is not saying the onus is on Chris Brown).  The trend of degrading women while exalting them has a paradoxical effect.  Is it possible that Rihanna and Chris Brown are both victims? Yes.

Black masculinity must be juxtaposed against white masculinity to fully understand its context and evolution. The tension between white and Black masculinity is attributed to the notion that white masculinity prevails and Black masculinity is powerless.  Hypermasculinity, subjectivity, and objectivity prevent the essence of masculinity from progressing.  Whether it’s conscious or not, we support and glorify figures that promote contradictory ideals that are detrimental to any hope of a brighter future. We have to demand more from our artists. We can’t do that if we isolate them from their craft.  Art imitates life.  We deserve better and must not be complacent in mediocrity.

Rihanna is a victim.  She is a victim of domestic violence.  She is a victim of the subversive ideals threatening notions of gender roles, feminism, masculinity, and identity.  She is a victim of the exploitation, the romanticism, the reality, and the desensitization of domestic violence.  She is a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. She is a victim of her fans.

Chris Brown is a victim. Shocker. He is a victim of the culture that turns a blind eye to domestic violence. He is a victim of the complexity, double standards, and hypocritical critics of manhood. He is a victim of the instability, complexity, and misnomer of manhood.  The relationship between Chris Brown and Rihanna is equivalent to the relationship between hip-hop and its fans.  The relationship is warm yet hostile, liberating yet binding, underground yet proverbial.

All-in-all, Hip-hop has never been a space to foster healthy male intimacy.  It’s often homoerotic, misogynistic, violent, homophobic, xenophobic, etc.  Once the fan-base changes, the content changes.

The End.

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What Beyoncé Teaches Us About Femininity

Let me start off by saying, I’m not a Beyoncé fan.  I’m not a Beyoncé “hater.”  I’m just critical of the way she portrays notions of womanhood.  I congratulate her for marriage before pregnancy.  That’s a great milestone in maturing as a woman.  Femininity is socially constructed and is defined as attributes, behaviors, and roles, generally associated with girls and women.  From Soldier to Single Ladies; from Run the World to If I Were A Boy, Beyoncé complicates this.

Women look at Beyoncé and take her words as gospel but negate her contradictory lyrics.  Let’s start with Run the World.  This song is like My President is Black coming out in 1960.  Girls don’t run the world.  They never had.  Beyoncé is confusing women, giving them a false sense of accomplishment and making them content with this contemporary era.  This song is counterproductive to the age-long struggle of gender equality.   HEALTH: Roughly 25 percent of men will die within a year of their first heart attack, but among women, 38 percent will die. EMPLOYMENT: Women are paid, on average, 22% less than men. Who really runs the world?  The struggle continues and it’s not time for a celebratory song.

Beyoncé exploits sexuality that is “expected” of women in our society.  The “b*tch-queen” binary is rampant in her music (as well as others).  Either (Black) women are bitches or queens.  Sometimes, they can be both simultaneously.  The gender politics of these traditions have historically privileged masculinity political genders, often under the false proposition of romanticizing and purifying our Black counterparts.  Female objectification isn’t anything new.  It didn’t start and it won’t end with Beyoncé.  The Black female is complex.  They are more than either this or that.

If I Were A Boy.  She complicates notions of gender roles even more with this song and video by downplaying masculinity which can be translated a number of ways.  She narrows the influence and power of a woman.  In other words, a woman can’t have the upper hand in a relationship unless she acts like a man.  Masculinity and femininity are both flipped, questioned, and explored and to some can be confusing and misinterpreted.  Additionally, she homoeroticizes masculinity by playing the role of a man but has make-up, tight clothes, and looks rather gorgeous.  Sigmund Freud once said, “men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea they become powerless when they oppose it.”  So, playing the role of a man is counterproductive to equalizing gender roles.

Soldier.  I won’t get into this one.

I know Beyoncé “stans” are going to disagree completely with this post.  Luckily for you, I’ll never EVER write about Beyoncé again!  Just know that you don’t run the world, you’re not a boy, and stop complicating feminism.

—Just my thoughts

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