Monday, November 22, 2010

The Fierce Flashmob

(DISCLAIMER: this is one of those hastily thrown together posts.  and it's also a touchy topic.  if i've said anything offensive in here, which i don't think i have but i guess you never know, someone tell me.  i also give a pretty simplified view of a very complex topic in this post, because i'm trying to get my thoughts out there quickly.  if you want to discuss it with me more, shoot me a message somewhere.)

an event by the name of The Fierce Flashmob happened in front of the Science Center today.  according to the emails that were circulated, its purpose was "to demonstrate the need for more LGBTQ resources at Harvard."  apparently, Harvard doesn't fund the Queer Resource Center on campus in any way--not even by paying its student staffers.

the issue of how to love the queer community on campus has come up quite a bit this semester--my Christian fellowship had a discussion about it a few weeks ago, and my friends and i have talked about it quite a bit.  so when i saw this event going on when I got out of class, it interested me.  a group of people stood on a fairly small patch of lawn, in a crudely roped-off area, holding rainbow-colored signs and moving to the music that was playing.  every time someone came to join them inside the roped-off area, they cheered and welcomed the person in.

i stood there watching them dance together, that colorful conglomerate, and i almost joined  them.

i've learned this semester that i should redefine the way i talk about same-sex attraction.  i've had one view put to me since i was little, and while i've chosen not to abandon that, i have chosen to be a bit more open.  

what i mean is simply this: no matter if we agree or disagree, we must remember that the people who identify with the queer community are just that--people.  by denying anyone access to housing or funding or whatever else because of your hangups about their sexual preference, you are treating him or her as less than human, and treating yourself as better than they are.*  and no matter what your stance is, you should agree that this is not ok.    

looking back over this post, and back over this topic and how i feel about it now, i realize that i should have had no problem with being a part of the Flashmob.  it would have been an act of love.

*things get a bit hairier when you discuss these things in relation to the church (as usual).  feel free to bounce ideas and opinions off me, but try not to get too technical because i'm not too well versed in the intellectual side of things.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Instrumental Paradox

(Now Playing: "Bright Morningstar" -- Tiesto)

I love how some musicians can sing so much meaning without using lyrics.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

wmh (Whipping My Hair)

(Now Playing: "Whip My Hair" -- Willow Smith)

I'll be honest.  When I first heard that Willow Smith came out with this song, I was skeptical.  I didn't know what would happen when I pushed play.

What happened was actually pretty amazing.  This song made me want to get up and dance.  And it made me wonder what I was doing with my life--I mean, this girl is 10 and she's already a huge hit; when I was 10 my mom was doing my hair, and I certainly wasn't whipping it back and forth afterward...I was playing with Pokemon cards and American Girl dolls.

Of course, with every new sensation, there's criticism.  Take for example this article from my school's newspaper.  The writer's rather blunt opinion is that a woman's hair is "one of the most obvious signifiers of female sexuality," and that by flaunting it in this song, Willow Smith is "introduced into the world as a sexual object, as a mini-adult."  When Smith sings "I whip it real hard" in the song, the writer of the article says, "the post-pubescent listener certainly isn't thinking about the singer's tresses."

First of all, as a post-pubescent listener, all I was thinking was that Willow was positively killing this song.  I hate that the writer of this article automatically assumed that I or any other listener would analyze (or maybe sexualize) the song or the music video like that.  I feel that this is a fun song with an underlying message of confidence and empowerment for young girls.  God knows girls her age--and shoot, my age too--need to hear that they're beautiful, that they shouldn't worry about what others think of them.  If you try to learn that later in life, it's so hard to get rid of the poison that bullies, the media, and other "haters" feed you.  Believe me, I know.

We've had quite a few examples of introduction into "mini-adulthood" in entertainment.  Take JoJo, for instance. While I love her song "Leave (Get Out)," let's be real.  She was what, 14 when this song came out?  14, and she was already singing about her boyfriend cheating on her?  That made me raise an eyebrow, definitely.  I'm not saying that things like that don't happen, but the content of the song definitely made JoJo seem older than she was.  Compared to this, a 10-year-old with tack-on nails and brightly colored clothes looks like nothing more than, well, a 10-year-old with tack-on nails and brightly colored clothes.

This song, or Willow Smith's hair for that matter, is not what makes her into a sexual object--for the most part, the listener does that.  Personally, I think she's "just tryna have fun," and I for one am not going to stop her--at least not until her curfew comes around.

Forever wmh,