Origins of the #BlackFeministTwitterWar + The Best Of…

BbtR7PMCUAELv6aDid you know that Black women were at war? Yeah. Neither did I. But in an attempt to illicit a response from established Black Twitter intelligentsia and to prove its general “bout-it, bout-it-ness”, The Huffington Post went live with a story titled “Beyonce’s Album Sparks Black Twitter Feminism War”. Oh. Word?

In truth, B’s surreptitious album release has sparked a lively and meaningful debate among Black women regarding Beyonce’s claim to the feminist title . One faction regards her latest album as a feminist manifesto, embodied by the song “Flawless” which features a compelling call to feminism orated by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Others see “Flawless” as a feminist sample on an otherwise contradictory album that instructs women to “bitch, bow down” and features hubby Jay-Z delivering lines like  “I’m Ike Turner, turn up/Baby know I don’t play/Now eat the cake, Anna Mae.”

For many Black women, even those who don’t walk around spewing Bell Hooks, Beyonce’s brazen sexuality and uxorious lyrics don’t stand up to the feminist critique, and certainly not the Black feminist critique which rejects hyper-sexual representations of Black womanhood.

Personally, I think its fair to elevate Beyonce to cultural icon status without haphazardly slapping on the title of feminist just because she sang several songs with a girl-power theme. First of all, the implications of what it means to be Black and to be a feminist are constantly shifting so not one of us can definitely set the parameters. Secondly, as an artist Beyonce is entitled to contradictions that would more than likely conflict with her feminist status. And furthermore, I’m inclined to agree with the brilliant ladies  at Real Colored Girls  when they write, “Can’t we just love Bey as an amazing corporate artist without selling out the hard-won accomplishments of our black feminist and womanist foremothers? ”

Beyonce’s role or lack there of in advancing the feminist agenda can’t be argued in the 140 characters that Twitter allows and to be honest, few Black women have tried. To be really honest, the greater source of backlash against B’s new outlash has come from the mainstream feminist agenda, but that’s another story for another day.

Huffington Post’s story is just a brazen example of the media attempting to shape Black social dialogue across the internet, and because we’re not here for that, Black twitter used the HuffPo story as a launching pad for another amusing trend topic titled #BlackFeminismTwitterWar. The hashtag happened quickly, like within the time span of a good lunch break, but in that time BT’s finest tweeted urgent and often hysterical messages from the trenches.

 

‏@desusnice BREAKING: “Permed hair not welcome here” signs have began to pop up as peace talks have broken down #BlackFeministTwitterWar

 

@SKManuel ‘Then they came for the naturals, and I had no hairstyle to protect me.’ – Unnamed #BlackFeministTwitterWar survivor

 

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@SKManuel: I OFFER MY EDGES AS TRIBUTE! #BlackFeministTwitterWar

 

 ‏@nkjemisin The #BlackFeministTwitterWar is briefly paused while everyone takes off their earrings.

 

@tranettew Luster’s Pink Lotion flys in the air amidst the

#BlackFeministTwitterWar

 

@Ghettopatron *press barrage* #TeamSugarGritsWest “Please! My general has a statement. Fuck R. Kelly. Thank you.” #BlackFeministTwitterWar

 

@ayeshakfaines clashes over patriarchy at Popeyes #BlackFeministTwitterWar

 

 ‏@kayewhitehead And then they came and took away everyone who watches BET and I didnt speak up cuz who watches BET?!- A #BlackFeministTwitterWar survivor

 

 ‏@SKManuel “Then they came for the sew-ins, and I didn’t speak out because I had no sew-in.” – Unnamed #BlackFeministTwitterWar survivor

 

@rozzaboy #BlackFeministTwitterWar still starts on CP time tho…

 

@Karnythia I think that there will be a sugar grits skirmish within the #BlackTwitterFeministWar.

 

@Johnatjjpdotcom  #BlackFeministTwitterWar where are the ankh revolutionaries? The ones who talk about black power but date white women

 

@TheREAL_MBrooks Let’s talk about What We are going to wear.. Can I do a HBCU Shirt, Jeans and Timberlands, or no? #BlackFeministTwitterWar

 

@TheREAL_MBrooks Protective styles recommended. #BlackFeministTwitterWar

 

 ‏@BlairelyThere I wonder if waving a satin bonnet is the #BlackFeministTwitterWar sign for surrender…

 

‏@thewayoftheid  And a lifetime supply of shea butter. RT @xicacha: Bottomless mimosas for the winner! #BlackFeministTwitterWar

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