I don’t care if you don’t like me; I love me *wink*

'... don’t be too pushy … because you have to be likeable. And I say that is bullshit.' PREACH, Chimamanda. Preach!
‘… don’t be too pushy … because you have to be likeable. And I say that is bullshit.’ PREACH, Chimamanda. Preach!

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who first came to my attention when her novel, Americanah, became a New York Times best-seller, and when audio of a speech of hers ended up in the Beyonce song, “Flawless,” is, as Blavity puts it, *everything.*

I’m such a fan of her feminist views. And, of course, the excerpt in Flawless is the kind of thing that should be required reading in the 5th grade:

“We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls,
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man.”
Because I am female
I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that
Marriage is the most important
Now marriage can be a source of
Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes”

I can’t help but think of my five-year-old niece when I read her views. This latest one, which, in a perfect world, is taught to every little girl in the world, is from a speech she gave at the 2015 Girls Write Now Awards in New York City, where she was named the groundbreaker honoree.

Via Blavity:

During her speech, Adichie spoke less about her stellar accomplishments and more about why young girls and women shouldn’t care about being liked when trying to pave their paths as writers and storytellers.

“Forget about likability,” the 37-year-old exclaimed. “I think that what our society teaches young girls — and I think that it’s something that’s quite difficult for even older women, self-confessed feminists, to shrug off — is this idea that likeability is an essential part of the space you occupy in the world. That you’re supposed to twist yourself into shapes to make yourself likeable. That you’re supposed to kind of hold back sometimes, pull back. Don’t quite say, don’t be too pushy … because you have to be likeable. And I say that is bullshit.”

And, with that, I’ll leave you with one of the best little girls to ever grace Vine:

BodyVOX! at Fordham

BodyVOXFordham University professor Aimee Lee Cox has organized an amazing program for young women!

BodyVOX is a performance activist piece that confronts the sexualization of girls, and represents a unique collaboration between students in her African American Studies class, theater majors, the viBe Theater Experience, and the national organization, SPARK Movement.

The original dance-theater-activist performance is written and performed collaboratively by young women. BodyVOX! explores the curvy lines between “sexy” and “sexualized,” and demands that we not just critique the media messages forcefed to girls but that we take action and ignite change.

Created in an express 4-week process, an intergenerational team of artists, dancers, writers, activists and performers use performance to share our creative strategies to end the sexualization of girls, a root cause of violence against women and girls.

Sunday May 12 at 7pm
Monday May 13 at 7pm
at the Veronica Lally Kehoe Studio Theatre
Fordham College at Lincoln Center
113 West 60th Street (at Columbus Ave.)
A,C,B,D,1 trains to Columbus Ave

*Special lobby installation created by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture

FREE!

BodyVOX! is written & performed by: Amee, Courtney, Erica, Nicosie, Mia, Mia, Quien, Stephanie & Tanzina, with Emma, Nadia and Aja & the SPARKteam.

Directed by: Aimee Cox & Dana Edellis, BodyVOX! is a collaboration between The Department of African and African American Studies and the Theatre Program at Fordham University, viBe Theater Experience, and SPARK Movement.

Have you ever met a MALE feminist?

url -1When was the last time that an artist put out music for women?

I’m talking about songs with lyrics that are in no way degrading to or focused on sexualizing a woman, but a series of songs that touches on issues that affect women today.

New York City’s revolutionary rockers, OUTERNATIONAL, created a buzz in 2009 with their anti-war anthem ‘Sir, No Sir,’ a protest to Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan.  In 2012, they gained acclaim for ‘Todos Somos Ilegales: We Are All Illegals‘, the bilingual concept album set on the US-Mexico border (with collaborators: Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Residente of Puerto Rican super group, Calle 13).

Valentine’s Day 2013 and they’re taking it a step further.

They are releasing an EP in conjunction with One Billion Rising..

The V-Day event’s goal is to end violence against women and girls around the world, and the cause is backed a multitude of artists.

“We are releasing the Here is The Rose EP right now, in time for One Billion Rising and International Women’s Day, because right now millions of people, and millions of women in particular are speaking and acting out against their daily oppression – patriarchy, rape culture, sexual objectification and dehumanization,” said Outernational guitarist Leo Mintek.

Listen to the first single of the EP, “Here is the Rose,” at Paste. And download it. It’s free in honor of One Billion Rising!