Post Feminism and Hip Hop Essay

Total Length: 1285 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

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Carnal teachings: raunch aesthetics as queer feminist pedagogies in Yo! Majesty's hip hop practice" by Jilian Hernandez, the essay explores the concept of 'raunch aesthetics' in the video for the song, "Don't Let Go." Hernandez also explore the notions of community cultural capital, color blind/new racism, and postfeminism through the performance of the women in the video. Hernandez's interpretation of queer and feminist teachings via these four concepts and through the music video provides a unique look, into analysis of text and visuals to gather and form ideas and theory.

The first concept to analyze is 'raunch aesthetics'. A term see in feminist theory, 'raunch aesthetics' describes the women in hip hop and the various ways they express sexuality via staging, choreography, and performance of lyrics. Women in hip hop that participate in 'raunch aesthetics' are thought to attempt to own their sexual identities as well as their bodies by performing these physical/verbal expressions. The women Hernandez discusses in her essay go by the name Yo! Majesty. They are based in Tampa, Florida and use lyrics depicting a sexual desire for women, openly and frequently.

Hernandez uses the video, "Don't Let Go" to provide readers with an excellent example of 'raunch aesthetics' by explaining how the woman in the video owns her body, enjoys showing it off, and encourages other women to do. Hernandez notes no men are present in the video, within the spaces the protagonist enters, and she is free to booty clap, titty shake, and enjoy herself.

She walks out onto the streets of a nondescript urban area in the UK. The video follows the woman as she spends the evening suggestively dancing with delight in unorthodox venues such as a nail salon, bridal dress shop, tanning salon, and yoga studio. She infiltrates spaces where women discipline their bodies to normative standards of attractiveness and infuses them with raunchy revelry.
(Hernandez 89)

This is in stark contrast to how women actually are in society and are expected to behave. "Sexuality was carefully confined; it moved into the home. The conjugal family took custody of it and absorbed it into the serious function of reproduction." (Foucalt 3) The woman's rebellion of the norm and of imposed standards is an excellent representation of 'raunch aesthetics' as well as a means of showing the world, women have a right to express themselves, lending to a postfeminism mindset.

What is postfeminism? It technically means 'after feminism' and can be seen as a positive term in the sense that women now live in an era that allows them more rights. For example, women can now vote, own businesses, and be political leaders. While there is a lot left to progress like the narrowing of the wage gap and eradication of rape culture, women like the protagonist in the video have the freedom to dance in the streets for a music video without worry that someone will come and harm her. Women can express themselves in a sexual way that they could never before thanks to the work of past feminists.

Even with the fight against homosexuality and abortion rights underway, groups like Yo! Majesty are free to say sexually charged lyrics and dress their video music actresses in proactive clothing that would have been made illegal offense decades before. The video and the music group is a positive result of past feminist efforts and movements and thus represents a prime example of a postfeminism era. It represents what has been accomplished in the time since suffragettes and the burning of bras.


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Works Cited

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Routledge, 1999.

- --. "Critical Queer." Web Server: Faculty,

Foucault, Michel, and Paul Rabinow. The Foucault Reader. Pantheon Books, 1984.

Hernandez, Jillian. "Carnal teachings: raunch aesthetics as queer feminist pedagogies in Yo! Majesty's hip hop practice." Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, vol. 24, no. 1, 2014, pp. 88-106.

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