The following cross-post is from one of our favorite blogs over here at ordoesitexplode and actually an inspiration for us. The folks over at http://sonofbaldwin.blogspot.com always add the needed critique and spice to current events and art. Months ago, when the immensely talented Erykah Badu set the country a blaze with her video for the song “Window Seat” she also brought to the fore front an issue most Americans subconsciously act on but are usually blind to on a conscious level: the policing of the Black body and sexuality. When Badu, acting of her own agency and on artistic instincts, stripped nude in public for the video she met harsh criticism and some admiration. In addition to Badu, you can see this in the fact that singer Ciara’s music video “Ride” was banned when it was just three minutes of the singer dancing suggestively to the track. Contrast this to the constant barrage of womyn, as props we get daily in videos. And we’re not just limiting ourselves to discussing Hip Hop videos, which everyone loves to point at, following in the tried and true tradition of targeting and blaming the more oppressed layers of society for the ills that help to move the capitalist machine.
It is also especially important to note that Badu is a Black womyn. Her ethnicity cannot be left out of the discussion when we are talking about the courage and spectacle of it all. It is an extra strike to the sexist, white supremacist capitalist system and one that the system has conditioned the people to retaliate even harder against.
I always find it interesting to see this country debate expressions of sexuality and nudity in general because of the contradiction this country has with sexuality in general. While amerikkka is extremely scared of it’s own sex it is also a culture that oozes sex from every pore. The blatant exploitation and commodification of the female body is as amerikkan as apple pie. Only when the female owns her sexuality and has agency in it does amerikkka have a problem.
Without further delay, here is an except from the article followed by a link to the entire thing:
You would think that she murdered someone.
Actually, no. If she had murdered someone, we wouldn’t have batted an eyelash. We would have expected that and, therefore, would have accepted it. But because she exposed her body—specifically those parts we’ve determined are “dirty”—she’s considered “indecent.” We live, after all, in a world that exalts violence and demeans sexuality.