Recently, two members of FAAN Mail joined the Director of News and Community Affairs at Clear Channel for a taped interview to discuss our concerns about the onslaught of misogyny and lack of diversity and balance on mainstream urban radio. The interview aired last Sunday on POWER 99 in Philadelphia.
Tune in to the 10 minute podcast HERE.
Special thanks to Loraine Ballard Morrill from Clear Channel and Women’s Way for helping to facilitate this first step of dialogue. We hope to have more opportunities to continue this conversation with Clear Channel about what steps they will take to counter their misogyny with a more diverse and balanced reflection of our community, supporting their commitment to “treat people with respect, fairness and humanity”.
Check out our community dialogue on radio politics to learn about the barriers independent artists face and how we can change this by taking collective responsibility. Yes, audiences, artists and radio industry professionals have a role to play if we want to see change.
So please join us and tell Clear Channel your concerns in the comments below or tweet your concerns to @ClearChannel. We will keep you posted about our efforts and progress.
Lupe’s latest video is causing a stir and lots of people are “talking back!” Check it out:
Media Literacy Questions for Bitch Bad:
What is the message of this song?
What values & points of views are represented?
Who is the target audience?
How may different audiences interpret the message differently?
What is omitted (left out) from this message?
In what context was this song created?
What messages do we hear about race and gender?
FAAN co-founder Nuala Cabral compiled a range of twitter reactions to the song/video in this storify. And then there are a series of pieces analyzing “Bitch Bad.” Here are some we recommend:
Blogger daintyblackpegasus wrote a sharp gender critique of the song on Tumblr:
Overall, the issue becomes one of reinforcing patriarchy by making it a man’s place to “protect” a woman by defining her. The surface message is that Lupe is trying to elevate his Black sisters by teaching them to be beyond reproach and more than a regurgitation of what they’ve seen. However, what it really does is place significant blame on women for ever internalizing these images while ignoring patriarchal issues like the men who support the internalization of being hypersexual by women while simultaneously shaming it. (More here)
Ebony’s Jamiliah Lemieux’s had this to say to music critics who dismissed the song as “half-baked conscious hip hop”:
“IT’S BIT ABSURD FOR TWO MEN WHO CAN ENJOY RAP MUSIC WHILE EXISTING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE CULTURE THAT SUSTAINS IT TO DISMISS THE NEED FOR A CONVERSATION ABOUT “B*TCH.” (Read more here.)
Ádìsá Ájámú offered his concerns about men instructing women on their empowerment:
“I love the message in “Bitch Bad” more than the song. And I applaud any brother … But here’s my discomfort: With so much work for brothers to do on themselves within this patriarchal order I am still a bit uncomfortable with men instructing sisters on the finer points of womanhood, no matter how well intended.” (Read more.)
See Lupe discuss his intentions for “Bitch Bad” here:
What do you think? Weigh in. Talk Back. Comment here or go to twitter and tell @LupeFiasco what you think using the hashtag #BitchBad.
When Julia, a teenage activist from Spark Summit, petitioned Seventeen Magazine to show real (not photoshopped) girls in their magazine, a spokesperson from the magazine gave this response:
Seventeen celebrates girls for being their authentic selves, and that’s how we present them. We feature real girls in our pages and there is no other magazine that highlights such a diversity of size, shape, skin tone and ethnicity. (via Jezebel)
When Sisters Action Media (our youth media program) learned about Julia’s effort and read Seventeen Magazine’s response, they felt compelled to respond. So we took to a trip to the store and picked up the latest issue. In this talk back, Sisters Action Media calls out Seventeen’s claims to portray real girls and real diversity.
Join the dialogue on twitter at #talkback17. And sign Spark’s petition to Seventeen Magazine here.
In this talk back, FAAN Mail responds to “It’s Free- Swipe Yo EBT” a controversial music video produced by emerging artist, Chapter. The music video has reached over 400K views and received over 3,000 comments on youtube, including many charged reactions.
In this conversation, we consider key media literacy questions about this piece:
Who is the AUTHOR and TARGET AUDIENCE?
What is the MESSAGE?
How might different audiences INTERPRET this message?
What TECHNIQUES are used to attract audience attention?
In what CONTEXT does this message exist?
What are the EFFECTS? (i.e. who benefits or is harmed by this message?)
We also ask– is this music video an effective attempt at SATIRE?
If you would like to hear artist Chapter’s commentary about her piece, see here.
We have developed questions to send the artist Chapter in order to get a better understanding of her motives and point of view. However, in response to our interview request, Chapter’s PR Representative wrote:
“Chapter is an College Educated young woman. I reviewed your FAAN Mail Project -I found it to be misleadng being that you never had any reseach done about Chapter background, nor have you took the time to read the above post- The music video “It’s Free Swipe Yo EBT is Satire Chapter is playing a role in her music video-Keywanda. Please look over her web-site http://www.chaptersworld.tv she has also been on the news NBC ABC – please look under news on her web-site to gather facts about the artist. Please also watch her interview. Chapter is from South Central Ca, her mother was a Welfare Queen, she was abused as a child. Her mission is in her music.”
Is it possible to enjoy reality shows like Jersey Shore and Basketball Wives, while keeping a critical eye? We explore this question and more in this living room conversation.
FAAN Mail is a media literacy and media activism project based in Philadelphia.
So several of us from the FAAN Mail Project want to start filming our informal conversations about pop-culture, media, intersections of race/class/gender/sexuality–and put them online. Through these dialogues, we are modeling media literacy and making feminist discourse accessible to a wider audience. We are talking back.
So… here’s our first talk back. It happened after coming across a blog post about a recent Jay Z interview about his new book “Decoded” where he admits that he regrets his lyrics that disrespect women.
Now, goofiness aside, some interesting questions are raised.
We wondered… is this sincere or is this about publicity for his new book? does his regret matter? what does his growth mean for hip hop?
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