White Feminism was officially irrelevant. Kanye stormed a Video Music Awards stage in defense of Beyoncé, White Feminism wouldn’t even dignify him with a response. We all knew he was right: “Single Ladies” was one of the best videos of all time.
As White Feminism stopped paying attention, something happened in hip hop. Beginning in 2010, a woman spit the flagrant machismo of gangsta rap. Sure, we had seen femme rap icons in the past – Lil Kim, Trina, Queen Latifah – but this was about creating a femme hip-hop dynasty on her terms; a Black woman rivaling Jay-Z, Suge Knight and Dr. Dre in her visions of corporate empire. In the absence of representations of women that matched us in the mainstream media, her swagger emerged as an anthem for the legions of feminist voices that you call ‘oppressed’. Minaj told the world what we already knew: “You could be the king, but watch the queen conquer.”
We tried to go about our business, to revel in the flipped script of hip hop in peace, but last year your animosity became harder to ignore.While we mourned the loss of Trayvon and reeled from the absolution of his killer, you responded to our pain by telling us that Questlove, and by extension all Black men, really ain’t shit. You hated on Beyoncé for flaunting her magnificent breasts in a sheer bodysuit. You hated on Rihanna for everything including the endangerment of the Slow Loris. Miley Cyrus twerked her way into epic cultural appropriation to the applause of white feminists and the horror of the Smith-Pinkett family. Lily Allen and Lordecame out with racist, shit-show “critiques” of hip-hop. By the time Ani Difranco publicized, cancelled, and issued her faux-apology for attempting to host a music retreat at a slave plantation, the message was clear: White Feminism had nothing to do with me.
White Feminism, it’s 2014 and it’s time to admit that for many contemporary feminists, making it rain on strippers, performing a lap dance for a business partner, and giving your husband a public BJ is what empowerment looks like. It also looks like honoring work and the werkin girls’ hustle that got us here, singing freedom music for CeCe, and lamenting our struggles and sacrifices as our own brand of gangsta.”