Azealia Banks is a lovely young individual. She is tactful, helpful, thoughtful and intelligent. Wise beyond her 24 years, this rap artist has a keen sense of the history of oppression. She acts according to her conscience and, in so doing, is a beacon of light for women of color and for those in the LGBT community.
When Ms. Banks tweets an astute message on her Twitter account that compares the LGBT community to "gay white KKKs," I think to myself: Wow, how helpful! This young woman has so much to teach us!
She writes that she wants to "spray a gay man in the face with pepper spray" and dreams that a gay man will "be murdered and stuffed under a truck somewhere soon." How refreshing! Words like these are doing so much to advance women and the LGBT community.
When she re-defines "faggot" for her own purposes to avoid being defined homophobic, I must shout out, "Yes! Let's make up our own individual meaning for every word! Then we will not be responsible for anything that comes out of our mouths! Yes!" Thank you! She is an armadillo! (Note: I have decided that "armadillo" now means "strong, brave woman," so it is now an expression of admiration!)
This week, she told a 47-year-old British actress to "Botox those frown lines. Juvederm those lips. Get a tan. YIKES!" This young rapper is amazingly helpful to those artists who are older than herself. As a 50-year-old, I will follow Ms. Banks' sharp, insightful advice in order to improve my own...
STOP! Wait a moment, I have to take my tongue out of my cheek.
I had originally planned to write a post about this bratty young woman and her outrageous, angry tantrums, but I attempted to take the high road instead. Ms. Banks thinks that she is somehow advancing the cause for women of color and bisexual women, so I wanted to be as kind and respectful as possible. But it is difficult to maintain positive thoughts toward someone so mean-spirited.
If Ms. Banks were to read this, I am sure that she would lump me into the category of "gay white male bloggers" and dismiss anything I have to say because of my "gay male misogyny." So why bother? I am not famous or influential enough for her to attack me on Twitter anyway. She has started media feuds with dozens of celebrities in the past few years. She posts outrageous messages on social media to get noticed. Her insults advance her career. She is the Donald Trump of rap.
She has a Trump-sized ego. She believes that her use of the word "faggot" has ignited the entire gay male community into a manic frenzy. She credits herself with exposing our weaknesses. She assumes she has been given "so much power" because of the firestorm created when she barked "fucking faggot" at a flight attendant this past week. She has even stated that she "INVENTED femininity, OK?" Anything that is "fabulous, feminine and clever"? She owns "AWWWWWLLLLL of this. It's mine."
Media attention is not power. She did not invent anything. She does not "own" fabulous. There are many other women who are more fabulous, more clever.
Before this week, I did not know Azealia Banks from Iggy Azalea, or from an azalea plant. I would venture to say that many Americans have never heard her music. She is a minor celebrity with a big mouth. If she wants to be an activist, she might re-think her tactics because she is apparently alienating some her own fans.
It is a waste of time to write about why Ms. Bank's rants are ignorant to the history of oppression that she believes she is relieving. She is too young. Too brash. Too full of herself. I am a college professor and I have worked with young people like this before. She knows everything and is not prepared to learn anything.
Maybe when she is 47 years old and some up-and-coming opportunist rails against an old and ugly Azealia Banks, maybe then she will see things from a different perspective. But that will be in the year 2038, so I will not hold my breath. In the meantime, we should not bother giving this young woman much attention. She is purposefully provocative in order to advance her career. We do not have to take the bait.