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But R. Kelly is an actual predator. It’s well documented. He has actual victims. That’s the other side. He confirms not just the suspicions around black male sexuality, but that of black women’s sexuality. Kelly’s victims are young girls. Had they been young white girls, the collective “we” would have been much more outraged, because their “virtue” is to be protected. Not only do we not care about black girls, we believe their sexuality is something over which they exercise no control. They are jezebels and vixens from an early age. Their sexual appetites are insatiable, and their desire to use their sexuality to “destroy” men is not repressed. They crave the attention. They aren’t human beings with healthy sexual urges or agency. They are hottentots incarnate.

R. Kelly beat the charges against him and went on to produce more music, win more awards, make more money, and establish himself as a pop cultural icon. In his path are the lives of young black girls, now women, that he abused.

Understanding the R. Kelly phenomenon — and then ending it, Mychal Denzel Smith, Feministing  

Mychal’s writing continues to blow me away. If you’re not already following him, please do. In addition to writing for Feministing, he also contributes to The Nation.

Racist Halloween costumes are nothing new. Each year, people try to push the envelope. They think they’re being funny, but really, they’re using the freedom of Halloween, the pass we all get to indulge our secret selves, to say, to people of color: “This is how we see you. This is how we think of you.”

Though it is infuriating that we still need to have this conversation about why blackface is unacceptable, there may be some comfort in the knowledge that when people put on the mask of blackface, they reveal who they truly are.

Roxane Gay, The LA Times

[P]laying the desirability of black female bodies as a “wink-wink” joke is a way of lifting up our deviant sexuality without lifting up black women as equally desirable to white women. Cyrus did not just have black women gyrating behind her. She had particularly rotund black women. She gleefully slaps the ass of one dancer like she intends to eat it on a cracker. She is playing a type of black female body as a joke to challenge her audience’s perceptions of herself while leaving their perceptions of black women’s bodies firmly intact. It’s a dance between performing sexual freedom and maintaining a hierarchy of female bodies from which white women benefit materially.

When Your (Brown) Body is a (White) Wonderland, Tressie McMillan Cottom

With statements such as “as a society, we haven’t been able to eradicate our Arab mentality towards women”, Femen positions women of the region as veiled and oppressed by their men as opposed to the enlightened and liberated women of the west who live in a developed and superior society where they have the “freedom” to remove their clothes…

…The role of feminists from outside should be to support the work of the women in the communities concerned, not add to the problem. International feminist solidarity is crucial but this is not the way to do it. A true ally does not use racism to attempt to defeat patriarchy.

Chitra Nagarajan, "Femen’s obsession with nudity feeds a racist colonial feminism," The Guardian