Thursday, April 17, 2008

Diva Feminism????

What is a Diva Feminist?  I often ask myself this question as I contemplate how I identify my personal politics and commitments to struggles for social, political, and economic justice and equity.  I came up with idea of calling myself a diva feminist in an attempt to recognize my "diva-like" persona ( I love fashion, eating out at wonderful restaurants, and jet-setting to relax my overworked mind) and my dedication to eradicating racism, poverty, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and other forms of socio-historical, political, and cultural oppression and exploitation.    Exhale, I got a lot of work to do!

For me, diva feminism exists in space somewhere between hip hop feminism, the black feminist tradition, "Third World" feminism, and perhaps "lipstick feminism".  I recognize the dangers of the objectification of black female bodies in contemporary popular culture, but also ponder if there is a possibility of "pleasurable objectification" for video models/vixens.  I am critical of campaigns that encourage "shopping" as a way to contribute to causes such as addressing the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, and yet, I acknowledge the positive impact that these consumption-driven philanthropic/charitable initiatives can have.  We are living in complicated times which require careful consideration of all potentialities and perspectives.

The theoretical lens of diva feminism openly incorporates the importance of pleasure, visibility, and profit, while remaining critical of the exploitation and dehumanization that evolve as a result of our contemporary global political economy.  Diva feminism engages popular culture as a vehicle for thinking through and devising solutions to pressing social issues.  Popular culture is far-reaching and often representative and illustrative of the state of our societies.  Using pop culture also allows me to reach a generation of "potential" feminists, because of how integral popular culture is in youth culture.

So that's diva feminism in a still-forming nutshell.  I will be posting reviews, rants, commentaries, observations, and blunt criticisms on this site, so definitely check me out!  I appreciate any and all feedback.

in the struggle for equality, justice, and peace
a diva feminist!? 

1 comment:

Ms. Word said...

I have to say; that it is such a joy reading this...I too am a feminist who attended an "elite private institution in upper Northwest Washington, DC" Yet, my angle is in the visual arts. We see so many images of women and hear so many stereotypes so my business is to re-define womanhood create herstory within the context of history. MayaJ introduced me to your work and I am secure in knowing between the both of you that I am not alone in eradicating misconceptions.