Pop culture is moving fast

TW: transmisogyny, sexism, racism

Today I just want to quickly draw your attention to two really radical developments in the past couple of hours. If you live in the US (and probably a good chunk of the rest of the world) you might have heard about Beyoncé’s unexpected album release last night. Her work is full of interesting songs working through some rather complicated politics (reflecting her various and fluctuating socio-economic statuses), but what seems to have caught a lot of people’s eyes is the song ***Flawless, which seems like a simultaneous rebuke of the marginalization of women of color from feminist spaces and events and the social and economic limiting of women to variously circumscribed “feminine spheres”. Here’s the thirty second promotion for the music video that’s been released:

The full video has, of course, been leaked, with numerous people finding it important how it highlights women of color dancing and otherwise inhabiting a modern punk-esque musical scene. In short, this is a huge declaration of women’s right to full participation in society with an underlining of that for specifically women of color.

(Stills from the video, from here.)

A little less publicly recognized, today was also the first release of THEM, a literary magazine for trans* writers and poets, and likewise trans* readers. You can read the excellent complication here (warning discussion of ableism and suicide as well), but I have to particularly recommend Joy Ladin’s poem on trans-exclusive feminism (on page 68), which ends on a particularly poignant note:

may binaries blossom in your follicles and fingertips
until you can’t conceive good without evil, life without death
self without others you disdain

There’s a lot of things happening with varying degrees of visibility within pop culture at the moment, and I think we should all acknowledge that today.

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