Monday, April 5, 2010

Erykah Badu: Video Only Shocking if You Grew Up in Non-Naked Home

I think that this video is only shocking if you grew up in a non-naked, shame-based home environment. I'm not saying that my parents were running around starking naked all the time (okay, not my Dad--my mother is pretty naked-identified), but nudity isn't really something that I equate with radicalism, which evidently was Ms. Badu's point. The song wants to equate JFK's assassination with the public assassination of certain musical artist's character and/or privacy. Personally, I'm tired of all the melodramatic "oh, we millionaire pop artists are so persecuted" meme. Just as I find Joyce's "Portrait of An Artist As A Young Man" and all of the writers writing about writers that followed mid-century tedious. Suzie has more HERE which I find interesting as she's from the Dallas area, where the video was shot and there's a more academically oriented piece here that tries to explore what Ms. Badu's performance piece says about Black, female bodies HERE.

In the latter piece, I did find one woman on the streets opinion shocking, she said: "I was thinking about going down there and whoopin’ her…but I was on the phone with the police, too…I called the police…I was very offended. There were too many kids, women, and children down there."

Apparently, she thinks its more shocking for children to see a naked woman then for someone to assault and batter a woman in public. Disgusting...oh, also, she thinks other women need to be protected from naked women. I get that not everyone is a-okay with nudity, but violence is much worse and to imply that violence is an appropriate response to nudity is indicative of how the female form and human sexuality has been vilified as if bodies are the problem, not actual sexual or physical violence.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts in the comments. I'm really interested to know how many people were bothered by this video or not at all. Also, do you think her "artists have it so bad" meme is valid or more navel-gazing without insight?

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