Boitylicious: The new sexual revolution

2014-03-09 10:00

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Her entire stance of full backside was so modern and of this age, she made the two other women look coy and so 1989

I hear you can take a master’s degree in Beyoncé in the US.

All I’m thinking is where do I sign up? From Beyoncé to Boity Thulo, and every other young woman who chooses her pout and cleavage as a selfie over her face, women are rapidly redefining the new sexual rules of engagement. Should we be excited or uncomfortable?

“Politicising Beyoncé” is a course New Jersey’s Rutgers University is including in its women and gender studies class.

It will use her music to look at race, gender and sexual politics, according to Time magazine.

Is she or isn’t she a feminist, feminists have been asking for years.

‘Politicising Beyoncé’ is a course New Jersey’s Rutgers University is including in its women and gender studies class. It will use the pop diva’s music to look at race, gender and sexual politics, according to Time magazine

I don’t really care. I’m just excited by this new phase of sexual freedom she seems to be spearheading in her uniform of pum pum shorts.

They will most likely be closely studying her new album, simply called Beyoncé. It is a compilation of pop songs and accompanying videos that are so sexually enticing, they would turn the pope on.

They say the first sexual revolution was pushed forward by the pill in 1960 because for the first time women could be in charge of their fertility – not their parents, husbands or churches.

Soon, single women could let loose, no longer needing the guise of marriage to have sex.

Today, sexual self-expression is moving beyond just the ownership of the body and I find it exciting how it’s reinvigorating the ideas around sex and power. And because of mainstream pop culture, it’s forced to make space for questions around black feminism.

In mainstream pop music, titillation has gone sky-high. Everybody seems to want to be a stripper – ironically taking on the persona of one of most reviled women, a prostitute, a peddler of sex. Rihanna’s explicit Pour It Up will melt your eyeballs – and you’ll like it.

I’m especially in awe of the big-booty revolutionists. From Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj to Kim Kardashian and Boity. Some of these women’s currency rests in their behind. It sounds silly, but when you think many black girls (myself included) grew up thinking a flat bum was a prized asset, you’ll understand why it’s so powerful.

In the 1980s and 1990s, you believed glamorous was white women in high-waisted neon bikinis whose rumps were not much different from their fronts. Even black women had to have flat bums (Whitney Houston, for one).

In his column in City Press a couple weeks back, Percy Mabandu called Boity’s nude feature in Marie Claire’s Naked Issue our new “Saartjie Baartman moment”. It isn’t, and for many reasons, chiefly because she took part willingly to boost her celebrity profile (and to save the children, was it?) #BoityReaction for me was a letting up of appreciation for a thing of beauty, in which Boity let us partake willingly.

There’s immense power in that. Her entire stance of full backside was so modern and of this age, she made the two other women, with their coy, “tasteful” poses look so retrospective – so 1989.

“Let me sit this ass on you,” is the first thing Beyoncé says in Rocket, expressing a modern sexual power. She not only has full ownership of her body, she can wield it at will. “All up in your face,” she continues, and even those of us who take the moral high ground can’t help but look. YouTube the video or search for that hashtag.

If the pill helped in the first sexual revolution more than four decades ago, the internet is the driver today. And I see this in the “look at me” imagery of young girls on social media.

It does worry me, I must admit, because sex and power are a bit more slippery in the hands of a teenager. Time magazine says selfies are just modern-day forms of self-expression. Maybe.

But still, like that Kim Kardashian white-swimsuit Instagram moment, I can’t help feel uncomfortable. But I’d prefer talking about it more, and exploring and studying, instead of judging.

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