Click Link

Ying Yang Hands In NYC

East Meets West in Therapeutic Swedish Massage.


Assism Is Not Feminism

by JAM



People need to understand that women who present provocative images of themselves are not automatically making a feminist statement. This isn’t to say that a woman can’t express herself, but when this self expression is deeply hinged upon supporting oppressive systems it is not a liberation moment. This is why Nicki Minaj can express herself and still glorify Nazi propaganda. Kim Kardashian can express herself #ALLDAY and still glorify the hypersexualization of women’s bodies. Provocative imagery does not automatically equate to activism or empowerment.

feministtheoryThis point of confusion was described by bell hooks in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center:

A central problem within feminist discourse has been our inability to either arrive at a consensus of opinion about what feminism is or accept definition(s) that could serve as points of unification. (p. 18)

This statement feels even more relevant in 2014 as it did in 1984, especially with the emergence of what some are calling “Millennial Feminism.” Across the digital sphere conversations are constantly springing up around feminism. Still, few are actually producing or referring to a substantial definition of feminism.

The fixation on women’s butts, I’ll call it “assism” is a well documented form of objectification, deeply rooted in the commodification of Black women’s bodies. Kim Kardashian accentuates this fixation, layering it with the benefits of whiteness to score on monetary profits. Though Nicki Minaj is Black she comes as close as she can to Kim K by combining anti-black sentiments with the commodification of Black phenotypes to yet again benefit monetarily. Additionally neither of them are bothered by classism as a form of oppression. They are not feminists. Stop trying to make fetch happen.

ButSomeOfUsFeminism is hinged upon an awareness of oppression in conjunction with working towards ending all forms of it. In All the Women Are White, All The Blacks Are Men: But Some Of Us Are Brave, Barbara Smith explains:

Feminism is the political theory and practice that struggles to free all women: women of color, working-class women, poor women, disabled women, lesbians, old women–as well as white, economically privileged, heterosexual women. Anything less than this vision of total freedom is not feminism, but merely female self-aggrandizement. (p. 49)

To refer to Nicki Minaj or Kim Kardashian as de facto feminist icons is to minimize the anti-oppressive backbone of feminism. It’s reductionist thinking. Neither of these women have exhibited any substantial work towards ending sexist, racial, or economic oppression.

While some may point to their open display of sexuality as a liberation moment, this thought process over looks the fact that their displays are based more on the history of women’s commodified bodies under the patriarchal gaze. Yes, they make a lot of money doing this but that does not necessarily translate into freedom. They are riding the constant wave of hypersexualized images of Black women’s bodies with no intention of challenging the status quo. In fact it becomes a competition of who can promote sexual commercial objectification more, who can more closely embody the mainstreamed fantasy of women in sexualized positions.

Yet none of this is new or shocking. It’s actually pretty underwhelming. Another day another booty. Where is the triumph in that? It’s an attention getting tactic but it is not a feminist manifesto or challenge to oppression. The recurring statement is that they were “free” enough to show themselves. However if the only way for them to gain the public’s attention is through a constant stream of butt shots what does that say about society? That’s a far cry from freedom or liberation.


Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda was an act of desperation used to counter the emergence of Iggy Azalea. Iggy then responded by appearing alongside JLo in a video for a song literally called, “Booty.”


Since the emergence of her sex tape with Ray J, Kim Kardashian has been profiting from racialized butt adoration for years.


The sentiment has been, “You want to see more? Here you go!”


Perhaps for her that’s winning. But is it winning for women overall? It doesn’t challenge the realities that women face everyday as constantly sexualized beings. This imagery plays up the dehumanization and never dares to deconstruct or even acknowledge it. This article is not suggesting a policing of women’s bodies. It’s about recognizing a thing for what it is. Nakedness can be a political empowering statement  but Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj are not examples of that. This may be provocative but it is not feminism.

We already have a plethora of mistruths floating around about feminism. Why add to the list? It’s very dangerous for feminists to automatically embrace commodified sexual images as feminist modules. There are levels to this. Where are the discussions about about intentions and context? It is a teachable moment. But it is not a grand moment in Women’s History.

Sorry folks but assism is not feminism.

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of & To reach JAM, email her at

Follow Jessica @TweetingJAM.
Follow OurLegaci at

News – Click the Image and Petition – Protest for change please…What goes in your son or daughters mind? You have no one to blame but yourself if you allow Urban Radio along with the largest black owned station ” Radio One ” to continue to feed poison to the ears of your children. Take A Stand and Sign the Petition.


TWEET ME Field Negro – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Not their brother's keepers. Race and ethnicity can be a tricky and nuanced subject.

    I was watching a pundit (Chris Matthews I think) lament the fact that the two highest profile Hispanic republicans are against amnesty for immigrants and immigration reform. He thought it was "weird". "Why aren't these two men empathizing with other Hispanics?" One of the other pundits at the table reminded him that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are of Cuban descent, and, as a result, they do not have any empathy or connection to Mexicans and Central and South Americans who illegally come to the United States. 

    That exchange brought back memories of an old high school classmate of mine. I attended a boarding school in Jamaica and one of my classmates was a kid named Franz Newman. Franz was Jamaican, but if you saw him you would think that he just got off a Lufthansa flight from Munich and was just in Jamaica for a vacation. Dude was blond-haired with blue eyes and had the whole Aryan thing down.

    But Franz had never left Jamaica, and in many ways he was more Jamaican than most Jamaicans I knew. I never saw him as anything but a Jamaican.

    Once Franz got in a fight with a classmate over something which I don't remember what right now. The kid was African American who was born and raised in New York and his parents (who I think were Jamaican)sent him to Jamaica to attend high school. They went at it pretty hard and I remember thinking at the time that I wanted Franz to kick his ass. (Which, if I remember correctly, he did.) Franz was my friend and the American kid was not. 

    I understand now that Franz (who currently lives in Canada) will benefit from privileges that the other kid will never have throughout his life. At the time, though, my friendship and the shared ethnicity I had with my fellow countryman trumped any connection I might have had with the other kid because of our shared race.

    I suspect that senators Rubio and Cruz do not consider themselves Hispanics like those other Hispanics who come to America from poor Third World countries. They don't share the same reality as some poor family coming to America for a better way of life. They are already living the American dream. They consider themselves Americans first, and in their world amnesty for illegal immigrants will destroy America.

    "Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday continued to slam President Barack Obama’s move to shield nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, saying the president was getting into the business of counterfeiting.

    “For 4 to 5 million people here illegally, he’s promising to print out and give out work authorizations — essentially, he’s gotten in the job of counterfeiting immigration papers, because there’s no legal authority to do what he’s doing,” the Texas Republican charged on “Fox News Sunday.”' [Source]

    I wonder how Franz feels about amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

    Finally, now that the Benghazi conspiracy theories have been debunked (by republicans no less) I am guessing that the wingnuts and the folks over at FOX VIEWS will not spend a lot of time telling us how wrong they were.

    Wait....just as I suspected; less than 30 seconds.

    Of course this will not be enough for folks like Lindsey Graham. Poor Lindsey has spent a lot of time helping folks who play the Benghazi drinking game get drunk, so this is bad news for the senator.

    "Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning that last week’s the House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi report, which hollowed out a number of Republican arguments on the incident, was “full of crap.”

    Guest host Gloria Borger asked whether Graham was accusing the House Intel Committee of lying.

    “No, I’m saying the House Intelligence Committee is doing a lousy job policing their own,” he said. “I’m saying that anybody who has followed Benghazi at all knows that the CIA deputy director did not come forward to tell Congress what role he played in changing the talking points. And the only way we knew he was involved is when he told a representative at the White House, I’m going to do a hard review of this, a hard rewrite.”'

    *Drink... drink.... gulps.*


Hip97 – Rhythmic Oldies

Download our app – Rhythmic Oldies

Latest Tweets – Rhythmic Oldies

Hip97 – Today’s Soulful House

Download our app – Soulful House

Latest Tweets – Soulful House

Hip97 Listed Site

Essence – Hot Right Now

Essence – Fashion Closet: Tracee Ellis Ross

Essence Atkins Enters Dance Competition in ‘Girlfriends Getaway’

Essence – Fashion Closet: Workwear To Werk

Essence – Street Style Spotlight: Kimberly Goldson

Essence – How to Prep Your Hair For Fall

Essence – 7 More Things We’re Talking About

Essence – How To Get Eye Shadow Highlights For Natural Hair

New & Next: Meet Alternative Pop Singer, Deqn Sue

Behind the Scenes: ‘American Horror Story: Coven’

NFL Star Cam Newton On When A Woman Is At Her Sexiest

Powered By:



Follow us:

Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus
  • Latest Tweets

Copyright © 2014 PD Media Entertainment – All rights reserved. Terms Of ServicePrivacy

Switch to our mobile site