beyond forest and thighs
April 11, 2018 6:36 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever thought to yourself that hey, I really like the queer afrofuturist musical stylings of Janelle Monáe, but I wish it could be just a little bit more queer? Also, what's up with ehr and Tessa Thompson?

Well.
posted by MartinWisse (40 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love this so much. I bought the song yesterday for my drive home and even without the "oh MY" factor of the video, the song still makes me blush a little.
posted by Maaik at 6:49 AM on April 11


This is the absolute best!
posted by ellieBOA at 6:53 AM on April 11


oh MY
posted by chavenet at 6:53 AM on April 11


Also.
posted by ellieBOA at 6:53 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]




Yeah, I'm not watching this at work.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:55 AM on April 11 [7 favorites]


Ok...I've been saving the new album for when I really need it. I needed this. Awesome. She is the awesome. (Also! Infra-red photography too? Yay!)
posted by sexyrobot at 7:00 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Janelle I love you marry me.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:15 AM on April 11 [4 favorites]


Consider me one of the MeFites who adores Janelle Monáe, her music, and her artistry. Without being reactionary, this new MV feels like a reaction to Make Me Feel ("wow so queer" - "oh yeah? let's amp things up a little..."), which itself felt like a reaction to (some) fans saying Janelle Monáe would never do anything (overly) sensual. I really like the new song, the new MV, Tessa Thompson's reappearance, Grimes musical involvement, but there's still something I've been pondering...

It feels kind of odd to me that Janelle Monáe seems to center womanhood on certain body parts. Or at least emphasizes those lately.

It has been a part of Django Jane before ("Let the vagina have a monologue") it's definitely at the core of PYNK.

Which is probably her prerogative as an artist, but this alignment feels a bit odd, seeing that she also paint herself as a trans ally. So those two things don't fully go together for me. Then again, the visual interpretation of the new MV also allows for some inclusivity.

So that's what I've been a bit unsure about, and I'd love your insights.
posted by bigendian at 7:17 AM on April 11 [4 favorites]


Looooove this.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:17 AM on April 11


It feels kind of odd to me that Janelle Monáe seems to center womanhood on certain body parts. Or at least emphasizes those lately.

Tessa Thompson got you covered:

to all the black girls that need a monologue that don’t have Vaginas, I’m listening.

Also, is it centering womanhood on certain body parts or more of a thirst for a specific woman's body parts?
posted by MartinWisse at 7:23 AM on April 11 [9 favorites]


It feels kind of odd to me that Janelle Monáe seems to center womanhood on certain body parts. Or at least emphasizes those lately.

IDK I am on the trans spectrum, lately identifying as genderqueer/genderfluid/demiguy. Janelle's stuff lately speaks to my experiences, which is someone who is masculine of center and gender nonconforming but doesn't necessarily have body dysphoria (but with a dollop of "black women will be said to be more masculine no matter what" which obviously isn't my experience but something I think worth listening to). Trans experiences don't always mean you're uncomfortable with your body, though clearly that will vary for different trans people. I don't read her work--talking about celebrating her vagina or her lovers' vaginas--as necessarily trans exclusionary.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:29 AM on April 11 [11 favorites]


This video is just so joyous. It makes me happy in several ways.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:38 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


bigendian, I did notice in the vid that as part of the scene referenced in the tweet you linked, there is a pink baseball bat that briefly is shown dropping between someone's legs. Since I basically always assume the best about JM, I took that as a "yep, trans folks too" kind of moment.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:42 AM on April 11 [12 favorites]


I lost my damn mind when I watched this yesterday (yes, at work!). LOVE YOU, JANELLE!
posted by rtha at 7:56 AM on April 11 [4 favorites]


I love this video and I love the reaction various women friends of mine have had. It's a nice song and a lovely video. Should you need some of the imagery in GIF form, Vulture has you covered.

This video reminds me very strongly of Lemonade. Is that just because they're similar genres or is there more specific things going on visually?
posted by Nelson at 7:59 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


This video reminds me very strongly of Lemonade. Is that just because they're similar genres or is there more specific things going on visually?

Well, there's the bat, obviously.

I giggled when I saw this, it was hilarious and yes, so joyful!
posted by emjaybee at 8:11 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


rtha, where do you work?? Can I get a job there? LOL

I watched this from the safety of my own home.
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:16 AM on April 11


I appreciate the throwback nature of the related posts at the bottom of this page. Anyone try out Napster yet?
posted by Emmy Rae at 8:19 AM on April 11 [7 favorites]



It feels kind of odd to me that Janelle Monáe seems to center womanhood on certain body parts. Or at least emphasizes those lately.(...)

this alignment feels a bit odd, seeing that she also paint herself as a trans ally. So those two things don't fully go together for me.


there is no reason trans allies -- or trans people -- should feel a special obligation not to name or talk about vulvas and vaginas. if those are even the "certain" body parts you have in mind; hard to tell. all women are discouraged from doing that and all the reasons for it are bad. for one thing, cisgendered women aren't the only women who have them. for another, violent and passionate hatred and denigration of those parts, objectified and explicitly specified, has existed for a long time, has been expressed without shame for a long time, and is intimately bound up with the history of hatred of women and the specific history of the hatred of women of color. which has been affected very little by the fact that some people who have those parts aren't women and some women don't have them.

for another, transphobia is intimately bound up with the conviction that any woman's body is a wrong thing. wrong by nature, wrong in essence, wrong in substance. hatred of trans women is not fueled by love of any other women or other women's bodies, even when it comes from other women. people who try to explain their transphobia as originating from physical love of (other) women are obvious liars. those who believe a woman's body can be wrong because of her gender assignment at birth do not believe it can be right under any circumstances. I can give you a few thousand years of citations if you want but it will take a while.

one is permitted to make a specific defense against specific attacks. one is permitted to be specifically proud of what other people have specifically despised. one does not need to tactfully elide "certain body parts" that have been the objects of contempt and violence for centuries. and still are.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:46 AM on April 11 [58 favorites]


'Pink like the folds of your brain...'.

To me the song is a celebration of feminity. In all flavors. With relish.
I am thrilled.
posted by freya_lamb at 8:53 AM on April 11 [6 favorites]


Pussy riot, literally. (A+, will watch again.)
posted by progosk at 8:57 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Re: vaginas and women, from Janelle Monáe's twitter:

Thank you to the incomparable & brilliant @TessaThompson_x for helping celebrate US (no matter if you have a vagina or not) all around the world ! We see you . We celebrate you . I owe you my left arm T . Xx 👄💞#PYNK💗
posted by harujion at 9:00 AM on April 11 [15 favorites]


> Tessa Thompson got you covered:

to all the black girls that need a monologue that don’t have Vaginas, I’m listening.


I finally got around to clicking this - be aware that there is some horrible TERFy bullshit in the replies there. Don't go in the thread unless you need that in your life (and really, who does).
posted by rtha at 9:30 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


I think my response to any pearl-clutchers over this will be to point out that a mega-film-and-sculpture installation about testicles was widely hailed as the greatest work in a century and given MOMA space. You can do four and a half minutes about vulvas.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:13 AM on April 11 [13 favorites]


Janelle Monáe is one of the few people who can always be relied on to make the world better with everything she does.
posted by homunculus at 11:33 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


VAGINA PAAAANTS
posted by Rinku at 11:39 AM on April 11 [9 favorites]


So very very fabulous.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:25 PM on April 11


Seriously, thank you, all of you (and especially queenofbithynia!) who took the time to address my uncertainties and helped me get a better understanding of the situation!! Very appreciated. <3
posted by bigendian at 1:06 PM on April 11 [7 favorites]


Yes, the video is amazing. I want to just say (AGAIN) how much I love JM's unique afrofuturistic SOUND. This is what I always dreamed the music of the future would sound like when I was a sci-fi adoring kid.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:41 PM on April 11 [6 favorites]


Is it just me, or are there real echoes of Yazoo's Only You in this song?
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:31 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


I saw someone on Twitter point out that in the lineup of women in giant vagina pantaloons, all the vaginas were different and some women didn’t have them at all. So, yay representation.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:28 PM on April 11 [6 favorites]


Vulva pantaloons.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:04 PM on April 11 [7 favorites]


Those pants. You need those pants yo.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 4:12 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice (NYT mag)
posted by rtha at 10:00 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]




The Pynk scene in the full Emotion Picture features a new bridge that isn't present in the standalone music video or the album version of the song. It is everything.
posted by Gordafarin at 2:22 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


It's timely because we're trying to get a BPQ group up and running here, and I JUST got confirmation that we can use our desired meeting space, and she JUST drops that beautiful video and album, and we JUST said two weeks ago, "why don't we talk about Janelle Monae." It's BPQ Christmas!
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 8:29 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Yes! I love the added bit in Pynk! Although I’m not sure if it would work as well in isolation with it as a stand-alone song vs the context of all of Dirty Computer.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:03 AM on April 28




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