Friday, September 21, 2012

The Bitch Series

So, last week I was questioned more than once about my use of the word Bitch, and why I think it is appropriate to use in daily conversation, in art, and as the name of my blog/movement. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to delve deeper into the social and cultural constructs of the word. I also wanted to get input from the HBIC community so I asked what women thought of it via our fav social networks Twitter and Facebook. I got a varied response on how women feel about the word, as expected, and the over-arching response was that women generally have mixed feelings (as do I) on this word. 

Some prefer not to be called a Bitch but they think it is fine to use it as a verb, say as in "stop your bitchin'!" Some think that it is ok for women to use the word, but it is not ok for men to. And some think that only some men (i.e. gay men) can use the b-word without stepping on toes. Most of the responses I received agreed that it was fine to use the word in certain contexts but would be considered offensive in other situations. For instance, it is acceptable when a women greets her girlfriends with a "Hey bitches!" (which is the connotation I attempt to use when addressing readers of this blog and followers on social networks) but not ok when a woman uses the word in a demeaning, condescending, or aggressive way towards another. And of course all of these rules change when it comes to men (especially when a man is called a Bitch and the complicated standards of masculinity that it reinforces). 

Since there are so many interesting nuances to this word, and I got such a varied response when asked about it, I decided I would put together a series of posts about Bitch, each representing and examining a different cultural context or industry and it's treatment of the word. I have a few friends who have agreed to write a guest post for The HBIC Movement in order to give this series some depth and breadth. There is no way I can consider every aspect of the word and it's constructs but I hope this series will help us gain a better understanding of the varied opinions about it, unpack some of the powerful emotion that arises from it's use and engage in a thoughtful and stimulating discussion about the socio-cultural implications of language, art, race and gender. I welcome comments, ideas and guest posts! Challenge yourself to think critically about this word and the role it plays in your culture, family, sexual identity, music, etc. and then share your thoughts with the HBIC community. Stay tuned for more posts on our favorite word -- BITCH! 

I highly encourage you to follow The HBIC Movement on Facebook and Twitter because I will share more videos, pics and articles there that will add to this discussion (and also other awesome and hilarious things). 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Help a Bitch out!

I really want to write a post about the word Bitch. I want to explain my history with this word, how the HBIC Movement came to be, and why I proudly let my Bitch flag fly now. But, I think this is a great conversation to have as a community, as women, as feminists, as self-described bitches and bitch-lovers. I really want to hear why you love or hate the word Bitch! Does it offend you? Does it empower you? Do you think that it has be redefined by contemporary pop-culture? Or is it's usage worse than ever? Do you know an interesting fact about the word's history? Does it play a role in your own history? Has it's meaning changed throughout your life? Would you say Bitch in front of your grandmother? 

Share with me! Share with each other! 
Either comment on this post, answer our survey and share your thoughts on our Facebook wall
or tweet me @WhatsUpMGB

P.S. You can buy the Bitch cross stitch set pictured above here. If anyone with cross stitch talent wants to make this for me I will love you forever! And pay you $20 ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chris Brown is an idiot.

Well, if you thought you could go more than a few days without ridiculous Chris Brown news, then you were wrong. Today the internet exploded with pics of his new neck tatt, which although unconfirmed by Brown himself, looks an awful lot like a battered woman's face.
Um what? Yes, see pic below...

Sources close to Brown claim that it is not Rihanna's face, you remember his ex-gf who he beat to a bloody pulp back in 2009 (in case you did forget), and any resemblance is just coincidental. Even if this is true, then the fact still remains that Chris Brown, and who ever he hangs out with and gives him advice or when asked how his newest tattoo looks, just says "ya dude, shit looks dope!" are all idiots. Even if this tattoo is of some Egyptian god, as some twitter users are claiming, the face still looks an awful lot like a battered woman and considering his past you think this fool would have taken a step back and said, "Wait, is this really a good idea? This stupid tattoo looks like a beaten face and I have a history of domestic violence and even though I have apologized and am trying to change my ways maybe I shouldn't plaster this across my neck? I wonder if this will offend any survivors or advocates or FANS who could quite possibly buy my records, or blog about me? Maybe I should ask my tattoo artist to revise the design so it looks less violent (and shitty)?" 

The true meaning behind the tattoo is actually not that important, how it is perceived by the public is, however. This is magnified a million times over because Brown is a hugely famous artist with millions of fans who look up to him and are influenced by him (whether he likes it or not). His seemingly non-chalance in regards to violence against women has ripple affects throughout the world and he needs to start acting like a more responsible public persona and think about his decisions. There is already an alarming acceptance of violence against women throughout the world and when celebrities seemingly make light of such serious situations (say with an ugly tattoo) it is ok for society to follow. Case in point, thousands of pro-violence tweets in response to Brown's Grammy's performance this year...

With his woman-beating actions he told his fans, it's ok to be abused by someone you love, or someone who is rich and good-looking, or that love and violence can intermingle once and a while. Chris Brown is not responsible for the actions other people make but he is a celebrity, who owes his success to young, impressionable, people and he needs to start acting like he understands his position in the world. Imagine what he could accomplish if he responded to the women from the tweets above with an apology and explanation about domestic violence! Take some responsibility and stop acting like an idiot.  Also your tattoo sucks. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The HBIC Resurrection

Ok so it has been like 2 years since my last post, sheesh times flies. Why has it been so long? I don't know, life started to happen, I got busy, blah, blah, all of those typical excuses. In the past few years life has changed a lot, my professional career has expanded, I've changed jobs (more than once), I've relocated back to my hometown of Denver, I've become obsessed with social media. But a lot hasn't changed for me either; I am still a committed feminist activist, I still love dogs and hip-hop and fashion and my friends and family and I still have a constant swirl of thoughts and opinions and questions running through my head that I want to share and discuss and argue about. After some recent career changes and realizations I have decided to recommit myself to this blog (with a few changes of course).

I have continued to have the urge to blog, post, and share my thoughts with others but felt like I had to confine my blog to one specific interest or issue (like feminism and pop culture, which is how this blog got started) but I, as a multi-dimensional bad ass am not only concerned with, nor do I only have compelling thoughts on, one issue. Along with feminism and pop culture, I also want to share my love of hip-hop, fashion, animals, the things I learn while I remodel my new house, or how to be an urban farmer or how to can fruits and veggies, or how my life has changed since I become dairy and gluten free, or new research in social media and web 2.0 innovations etc, etc and the ways that they all connect for me.  So today I say fuck it, I care about all of these things and have opinions on all of them, and more, and even if the only person who reads this blog is my mom, I am still going to write about whatever I want to. And thus today marks the HBIC (blog) Resurrection!

However, while the topics of this blog may be expanding, the core values and mission still remain. The HBIC Movement aims to reawaken and unbridle the awesome strength of our individual and collective womanhood. As women we are multi-faceted and have many areas of interest and concern, it is what makes us global citizens and part of a larger human network. It is our challenge to look at our world, take notice of what we do not like or approve of and work to change it, and subsequently take notice of what we love and approve of and support and nurture those things as well.  When we act upon the things we want to support and the things we need to change, we are actively participating in this Movement. Women all over the world have been doing this for ages, standing up for what we believe in, sharing information with each other and supporting each other's innovations, caring for one another. If I have the ever-nagging feeling to share my thoughts with the world wide web then I shouldn't ignore them or give myself excuses as to why I shouldn't act, but instead remind myself of all the other women throughout history that were probably unsure or scared of doing something, borrow a bit of their courage and just do it. Plus, it's not like I am risking life or limb here, I am just writing a blog, sheesh.

So I hope you enjoy the things I write about. Find them interesting, or compelling, or maddening or they just give you something to do for those first 15 minutes when you get to work and you just can't check your voicemails quite yet. I welcome ideas and questions and comments. Let me know what you are doing to move forward and be an active citizen.

I post a lot of good articles, videos and other info on Facebook so check me out there: 

  Pura Vida bitches! 
(On a recent trip to Costa Rica I learned, and continue to try to embody the national phrase "Pura Vida" that everyone says about 100 times a day to each other. It literally means, Pure Life, but colloquially means "Awesome!" "Great life!" "This is living!" "I live in Costa Rica and surf everyday and am always happy!" - you get the idea. The point is that Costa Ricans constantly remind each other of how wonderful life is and that each greeting and farewell should be marked with happiness and a smile. So Pura Vida to you!)