Broadlyhttps://broadly.vice.com/en_usRSS feed for https://broadly.vice.comenSat, 15 Dec 2018 23:00:00 +0000<![CDATA[Daily Horoscopes: December 16, 2018]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/zmd8w4/daily-horoscopes-december-16-2018Sat, 15 Dec 2018 23:00:00 +0000The moon in Aries connects with Mercury at 1:48 AM, creating a busy and talkative energy. Venus connects with Saturn at 9:27 AM to create a supportive vibe—it’s not the most romantic, but still a good time to discuss plans and commitments. The moon connects with Jupiter at 12:12 PM, putting us in an easygoing mood, but we face some obstacles and set boundaries as the moon squares off with Saturn at 2:21 PM.

All times EST.

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Scorpio (October 23 - November 22)

Serious conversations arrive today, but it’s a relief to sort things out and make some plans! The moon in Aries finds you eager to get organized and accomplish your tasks.

What's in the stars for you in December? Read your monthly horoscope here.

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zmd8w4Annabel GatSara DavidCanceraquariustaurushoroscopesGeminiAriesleolibraScorpiovirgoSagittariusastro guidepiscescapricornDaily HoroscopesDecember 2018December 16, 2018
<![CDATA[Daily Horoscopes: December 15, 2018]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/wj3bxn/daily-horoscopes-december-15-2018Fri, 14 Dec 2018 23:00:00 +0000The moon in sensitive Pisces connects with transformative Pluto at 12:04 AM—the mood is very emotional, but there is potential for some big shifts to take place. Change continues to be a theme of the day as the moon squares off with the sun at 6:49 AM, asking us whether we really want to continue in the direction we're heading. The moon enters fire sign Aries at 7:44 PM, boosting our energy!

All times EST.

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Scorpio (October 23 - November 22)

The moon in fellow water sign Pisces connects with your ruling planet Pluto, making for some very deep conversations and connections. A shift concerning money or value takes place. The moon enters Aries tonight, encouraging you to tackle your chores.

What's in the stars for you in December? Read your monthly horoscope here.

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wj3bxnAnnabel GatSara DavidCanceraquariustaurushoroscopesGeminiAriesleolibraScorpiovirgoSagittariusastro guidepiscescapricornDaily HoroscopesDecember 2018december 15, 2018
<![CDATA[10 Casually Sexy Gifts for Your Cuffing Season Partner]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/mby4ap/gifts-boyfriend-girlfriend-cuffing-seasonFri, 14 Dec 2018 21:07:47 +0000It’s cuffing season, that time of the year when it’s just too damn cold to go out on the prowl. Luckily, you’ve hopefully met someone to keep your bed toasty—noice! But with gift-giving season around the corner, what’s the perfect present for a lover you don’t plan on keeping around once spring, AKA slutty season, rolls back around? Something that you can use too, obvs. Whether it’s a rubber duck vibrator, CBD-enhanced lube, or a silky soft robe, these gifts are great for sharing with the lover(s) in your life, while keeping the vibe 100 percent chill.

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Photo courtesy of Babeland

Horoscope Vibrator Set

Perfect for: Sexy witches
Sex toy emporium Babeland stocks these horoscope-themed gift sets in pretty triangular boxes—each is embossed with your astrological constellation and contains a gemstone necklace matching your sign, a little silicone vibrator, and a tin of “orgasm balm” made with fragrances that correspond to your Water, Air, Earth or Fire element. If this doesn’t make your favorite witch orgasm in sheer delight, nothing will.

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mby4apMichelle LhooqDanielle Kwateng-ClarkDatingHolidaysCuffing SeasonGiftsgift guides
<![CDATA[7 Holiday Movies on Netflix That Have Nothing to Do With the Holidays]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/a3mqza/7-holiday-movies-on-netflix-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-the-holidaysFri, 14 Dec 2018 20:39:44 +0000There are two camps of holiday movies: those with mistletoes, round men in red suits with white whiskers, and borish romances that convince no one of anything, and then there are those that simply carry the essence of the holidays.

We've reached December's mid-point, which means by now we've had our fill of The Grinch, A Christmas Story, and Love Actually. For those who simply cannot take anymore, we have compiled this list of alt-holiday classics for you to watch while you're high at home on your parents' couch until the new year.

The Shining

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Many people have attempted to tell the story of Dracula, the most famous vampire of all, but none have done so with as much style and grace as Francis Ford Coppola in his rendition on the classic novel by Bram Stoker. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, we are transported to a truly magical world, captivating by grand costumery and extravagant sets. Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldham, and Wynona Ryder carry us through one of the most beautiful and everlasting stories about love, betrayal, and doom—encompassing everything you could want in a holiday film.

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a3mqzaLeila EttachfiniDiana TourjéeAmy Rose SpiegelCulturechristmasHolidaysNETFLIXmovies#Filmsthe shining
<![CDATA[What the List of Highest Paid Models Says About Racism in Fashion]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ev384m/highest-paid-models-lack-of-diversityFri, 14 Dec 2018 19:45:36 +0000On Thursday, Forbes released its list of the top 10 highest-paid models in the industry. Leading the troupe is Kendall Jenner, a 23-year-old former reality star who brought in an estimated $22.5 million over the course of the 12 months prior to June 2018. Signed to The Society Management, a division of Elite World, Jenner reportedly ranked a career-best from contracts with Estee Lauder, Adidas, and Calvin Klein, among others.

Following Jenner is Karlie Kloss at $13 million, Chrissy Teigen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at $11.5 million, Gisele Bundchen and Cara Delevingne at $10 million, Gigi Hadid at $9.5 million, Bella Hadid and Joan Smalls at $8.5 million, and Doutzen Kroes at $8 million.

Out of the 10 models on the list, none are considered plus-size by industry standards, none are differently-abled, none are transgender or non-binary, and only two, Smalls and Teigen, identify as women of color.

"Your social media page is your magazine of your life, so how you represent yourself matters," Ivan Bart, president at IMG Models, whose agency represents the majority of models on the list, told Forbes about social media playing a role in their success. "If you're going to cross over, you have to have a vision for it."

In a time when the lack of diversity in fashion is being critically analyzed and brands like Victoria's Secret—which all of the top 10 models have worked for in their careers—are under scrutiny for exclusionary casting practices, the importance of inclusion is top of mind for many.

As reported by The Fashion Spot, 27.9 percent of the models who walked the fall 2017 runways were women of color, the highest proportion recorded since the publication began tracking the data two and a half years ago. There have also been strides in plus-size, transgender, and non-binary inclusion on runways as well.

But a factor for all the women on the list making top dollar is their ability to garner contracts outside of runway work and maintain a social media presence to raise their profiles—which may point to the disconnect between the diversity on runways and the top earners in the industry.

"It's easier to make runways more diverse because you're casting anywhere from 25-50+ models for a show, versus maybe a handful at most that would get cast for campaigns," Tyler McCall, the deputy editor at Fashionista, told Broadly.

"Runways very often do not pay at all, or pay in something called 'trade,' which just means the brand gifts the models clothes for labor," McCall adds. "So while it's easier to have progress on the runway, that's not going to result in any big paychecks. Those ad jobs and contracts from big paying companies still by and large go to cis, thin white women."

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The issue of inclusion opens up an eco-system of grievances some in the modeling world have been vocal about over the years. Colorism, casting agents' bias, lack of hair and makeup products on shoots, and socio-economic barriers of living in major cities with infrequent work are some of the reasons why the industry lends itself to diversity issues. While change is slowly happening, pushed forward by multifarious representations of beauty on social media, fashion's diversity problem reigns apparent from the top earners' list.

McCall believes in order to diversify the top earners' list, there needs to be change on the part of advertisers, who are the driving forces on what consumers see, expect, and idealize. "To make the top earners list more diverse, advertisers would have to start looking outside the typical pool of models (usually ones who are already pretty famous or Instagram famous) for projects and long-term partnerships. "

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ev384mDanielle Kwateng-ClarkLindsay SchruppFashionmodelsdiversityKendall JennerBeautyinclusion
<![CDATA[Germany Introduces a Third Gender Category on Official Documents]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/59vq78/germany-introduces-a-third-gender-category-on-official-documentsFri, 14 Dec 2018 12:45:59 +0000Germany approved a third official gender category for gender non-conforming, intersex, and non-binary people on Thursday. In addition to the categories of male and female, citizens will also be able to self-identify as “divers”(which translates roughly in German to "miscellaneous" or "other") the Independent reports.

Its parliament also passed a change in the law that will allow for citizens to retrospectively change the gender on their birth certificates to reflect their identity. The legal change was approved after Germany’s highest court ruled last year that it was unconstitutional to make people identify as either male or female in official documents.

The law was put through by German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition of conservatives and social democrats following a campaign from group Third Option that backed the changes. In a statement published on the Daily Mail, Third Option described it as a “major step with regard to visibility and legal equality.”

However, it’s not all positive news. Under the new policy, physicians will have to certify a person’s “gender variations” in order to change their birth certificate. Third Option criticized this aspect of the change in law, describing it as contrary to the court decision, and called for the medical approval clause to be withdrawn.

In Denmark, Malta, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, and Norway, trans people can self-identify and retrospectively change the gender marker on their birth certificate without medical approval. In the UK, a government consultation recently asked for the public to give their views on allowing a similar policy of self-identification for trans people.

Germany passed the new law after an intersex adult brought a case to Germany’s constitutional court in 2017, arguing that the state should not force intersex people to choose between male and female on official documents.

It is the first country in Europe to have approved a third option for official documents. (Countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Nepal have already introduced similar legislation.) It is also the first European country to allow parents to register their babies as a third gender after a separate category was introduced in November 2017. Previously, parents of intersex babies had to leave the gender box blank on birth certificates.

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59vq78Sirin KaleZing TsjengGermanyukEuropeactivismlawGenderLGBTQPowerintersexnonbinary
<![CDATA[Daily Horoscopes: December 14, 2018]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ev3q3z/daily-horoscopes-december-14-2018Thu, 13 Dec 2018 23:00:00 +0000The moon in Pisces connects with Saturn at 2:31 AM to create a grounding energy during an otherwise dreamy day. The moon meets with Neptune at 11:35 AM, boosting our intuition and creativity. The moon meets Mars at 9:19 PM—passion is in the air.

All times EST.

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Scorpio (October 23 - November 22)

The moon in Pisces finds you in a creatively inspired mood today, Scorpio, and romance is in the air. Sometimes, Pisces energy can mean that things don’t get done, but that's not the case today!

What's in the stars for you in December? Read your monthly horoscope here.

Want these horoscopes sent straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up for the newsletter.

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ev3q3zAnnabel GatSara DavidCanceraquariustaurushoroscopesGeminiAriesleolibraScorpiovirgoSagittariusastro guidepiscescapricornDaily HoroscopesDecember 2018December 14, 2018
<![CDATA[The Psychology Behind Stalking]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/3k94wj/psychology-of-stalking-treatmentThu, 13 Dec 2018 20:44:59 +0000 Unfollow Me is a campaign highlighting the under-reported issue of stalking and domestic abuse, and amplifying the voices of victims and survivors. In the UK, we have partnered with anti-stalking charity Paladin's calls to introduce a Stalkers Register. Follow all of our coverage here.

It’s comforting to believe that we can easily spot a stalker. They’re the skeezy, crazed strangers in trench coats who do obviously disturbing things like follow women home and track down their personal details. Right?

Actually, people who exhibit the obsessive behavior associated with stalking—including following someone, sending unwanted gifts or communication, and staking out at someone’s home or work—vary much more widely than cultural tropes portray.

Partially because of misleading stereotypes, Gary Walker (whose name has been changed) didn’t admit to himself that he was a stalker until an ex-girlfriend used that word about him. Only then did the 25-year-old realize that the things he’d done in their relationship and others—like calling excessively when it was clearly unwanted and contacting his girlfriend’s family—were obsessive.

“The thing about this obsessive behavior is it's equivalent to a panic attack. It’s an existential crisis,” Walker says of moments when he’s fixating on someone who isn’t reciprocating. “It feels like someone you love just died.”

According to Michele Galietta, a clinician and psychology professor at City University of New York who focuses on therapeutic treatments for stalkers and other groups, “There’s no such thing as the typical stalker.” Galietta has worked with people ranging from a high-functioning judge with borderline personality disorder to a person who silently stalked his victim for two years before attempting to kill her.

Rather than a disorder in itself, stalking is a behavior that falls under the umbrella of symptoms for various disorders. According to a 2012 study published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior, “Motivations for stalking include a delusional belief in romantic destiny, a desire to reclaim a prior relationship, a sadistic urge to torment the victim, or a psychotic over-identification with the victim and the desire to replace him or her.” And stalkers can fall under a variety of diagnoses, including psychotic disorders; personality disorders, such as narcissistic personality disorder; and delusional disorders, such as erotomania—a belief that another person, often a prestigious person, is in love with you. (Walker believes he has borderline personality disorder in addition to ADHD, although these haven’t been diagnosed. He also considers himself to be narcissistic.)

According to Galietta’s research, people with substance use disorders are also often prone to stalking. One study that Galietta co-authored, which used a pool of 137 stalking offenders on probation in New York City, found that about half had a substance use disorder, and half had a personality disorder. Over a quarter, however, didn’t have any sort of personality, substance use, or other mental disorder.

Despite this variance, there are certain characteristics that pop up again and again among stalkers, according to research. For instance, in a 2014 survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of stalking survivors reported that they knew their stalker in some way. There’s also some evidence that stalkers are often men in their 30s, and their targets are frequently women in their late teens and early 20s—although not always. Other studies have found that anger and insecurity, often stemming from childhood, are also common among stalkers, as is impulsiveness.

Galietta says she’s also observed that stalkers generally have “very narrow interests, very little leisure activity, variable other social interactions; so these tend to be their primary relationships.”

This has been true for Walker. “Me, I had no idea what I was doing with my life,” he says. “Socially and intellectually inept. No life experience, no guidance other than my critical mother. I had nothing going on and no friends. What was left to do but obsess over this?”

Even someone with all of these predispositions, however, may never engage in stalking. Rather, stalking behavior is often triggered by a life event that’s difficult to cope with, such as a breakup, firing, arrest, or rejection.

“During one of the breakups I remember—it’s painful to think about this—knocking on her dorm room door for at least... too long,” Walker recalls about an ex-partner. “I felt creepy then, too.”

What’s the difference between being stalked by an ex-partner versus by a stranger?

Representations of unhealthy relationship dynamics in pop culture can blur our understanding of the difference between romantic persistence and threatening obsession. Rom-coms teach us that it’s desirable for guys to, say, hire a private investigator to track us down (There’s Something about Mary), blare music late at night outside our windows (Say Anything), and generally follow women until we finally agree to date (Saawariya and other Bollywood films). As the stalker at the centre of Caroline Kepnes’ bestseller, You, says to justify himself: “I have seen enough romantic comedies to know that romantic guys like me are always getting into jams.”

But in reality, stalking is a form of abuse. And current or former intimate partners are both the most common type of stalker and often the most dangerous. An estimated 60.8% of women who responded to the 2014 CDC survey reported that they were currently or previously in a romantic relationship with their stalker. And research shows that up to 80 percent of people in abusive relationships have been stalked within that relationship.

Stalking of a former partner also tends to be more persistent: Most stalking stops after two–four weeks, but ex-partner stalking commonly lasts longer. Detective Inspector Lee Barnard, who runs the UK's Stalking Threat Assessment Centre told Broadly earlier this year that ex-partner stalkers are "potentially the most dangerous." One stalking study describes ex-partner stalkers as having “easily bruised egos, flimsy interpersonal boundaries, smoldering rage and jealousy, and relentless tenacity.” They also typically have intimate knowledge and, often, access to their victims’ lives.

Walker has only stalked partners and former partners. For him, these impulses—which might start with obsessive text messages, then grow—have been connected with anxiety and jealousy during, or just after the end of, a relationship. He also struggles with beliefs he admits might be considered misogynistic—such as that women are inherently liars who can’t be trusted— and he often believes that his former partners have been sending him mixed messages. For instance, when one ex didn’t ask him to delete nude photos of her, he interpreted it as a sign that she didn’t consider him dangerous, rather than a sign that she was avoiding further contact. “She called me a stalker then didn't treat me like one,” he says.

Troy McEwan, a clinical and forensic psychologist at Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology, strikes a note of caution when considering the prevalence of ex-partner stalking, however. He tells Broadly: “While ex-partner stalkers are responsible for more violence during stalking, and form the single largest stalker group, they are not the majority of stalkers out there in the community, and stranger and acquaintance stalkers’ behavior can be just as, if not more, persistent and damaging as that of former partners, even if it does not involve physical violence in as many cases.”

The other types of stalkers that McEwan is referring to include psychotic stalkers—like David Letterman’s stalker, Margaret Mary Ray, who told people she was Letterman’s wife and the mother of his child.

Psychotic stalkers are disconnected from reality and can have detailed delusions about being in relationships with specific celebrities, strangers, colleagues, or acquaintances. Galietta gave the example of a man she treated who met a woman in a coffee shop, where they exchanged just a few words. “The delusional thinking was, ‘I knew that she wanted to talk to me even though she acted like she didn’t,” Galietta explains. “I saw her car parked on the left side of the street instead of the right side of the street. That’s a special message to me.’”

Galietta explains that these delusional stalkers often don’t realize that what they’re doing is wrong, as they might be convinced that others are just failing to understand them. While their actions can be severely damaging and traumatic, they’re less likely to be physically violent than other kinds of stalkers. For one thing, they’re typically easier to spot than more insidious kinds of stalkers, as psychosis involves a break from reality and, often, unconventional behavior.

What does therapy for a stalker look like?

As most stalkers have limited interests, one therapeutic option “is just to build resilience, connection to other things [such as] hobbies,” says Galietta. “We often see that there’s this urge to contact someone—whether that is because of a psychotic belief or because of loneliness in someone, or something like that. And then, once they make contact, that feeling goes away for a little while, and so that’s a mechanism that reinforces it. So we want to break that—we want to teach them to recognize that, whatever that urge was earlier on—and get a commitment for them to try something different.”

This aspect of trying something different can be very hard for stalking perpetrators. McEwan’s clients tend to be in intense emotional states, whether negative or positive, when they engage in individual acts of stalking. But the relief or high that they get from stalking dissipates quickly. “For some reason, and we’re only starting to work out why, someone who stalks returns to that same emotional state rather than being able to move on,” McEwan explains. “This means they need to keep managing their emotional state, and they keep choosing socially inappropriate and potentially criminal strategies that involve intruding on the victim.”

Stalking treatment can be effective if very targeted, but generic treatment isn’t likely to accomplish much, given the diversity of stalking behaviors, says Galietta. There’s also limited understanding among psychologists, however, about how to make this treatment specific, she says. “Very few therapists are going to think to put stalking as the treatment target. They’re going to be like, ‘How’s things going? How are your relationships?’ They’re not going to be, ‘Do you have an urge to call the person? What do you do when you have the urge? What skill do you use?’” In her view, getting into the details of stalking behaviors and compulsions is more useful to rehabilitation than general supportive treatment.

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This treatment also needs to be accessible and affordable, however. Walker says he finds himself tormented by his own urge to connect. He’s diagnosed himself with personality and other disorders, without getting professional help. He says, “I have no one. And no, I’m not really getting help. I couldn’t afford that, and finding alternatives just leads me to get frustrated about how convoluted I feel life is. And for all the shit I need to do, like start exercising and actively improving my attitude, I still need people.”

If you are being stalked, you can call the Stalking Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime at 855-484-2846.

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3k94wjChristine RoSarah BurketreatmentstalkingPowerpsychologyintimate partner violenceUnfollow Me
<![CDATA[Members of Congress Can't Use Tax Dollars for Harassment Settlements Anymore]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/gy7kn9/congress-sexual-harassment-settlements-me-tooThu, 13 Dec 2018 19:39:18 +0000Lawmakers in the House and Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would require members of Congress to foot the bill for their own sexual harassment settlements, a contentious provision of the anti-harassment provision that held it up for months.

The new legislation upends the Congressional Accountability Act, which for 23 years had established the sexual harassment reporting process in Congress. Under the act, victims of sexual misconduct were required to undergo a 30-day period of counseling after filing their claim. After those 30 days, victims had to spend another 15 deciding if, instead of pursuing their claim, they wished to opt for mediation, an internal judiciary process that would end in a confidential settlement. Rather than coming out of the pockets of the accused, these settlements came from the Office of Compliance and were funded with taxpayer dollars.

Now, members of Congress accused of harassment will have to reimburse the Treasury Department for their settlements.

“This is a bill that fundamentally changes the way sexual harassment cases are handled in the Senate and in the House,” Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the co-sponsors on the bill, told Politico Thursday. “The process we have will now protect victims of harassment instead of protecting politicians.”

The anti-harassment bill passed in the House in February, one of two pieces of legislation House members pushed through to address the #MeToo movement on Capitol Hill. When the bill made it to the Senate, however, some Republican senators stalled the legislation with opposition to the mandate that they be responsible for paying their own harassment settlements.

Some senators “feel very strongly that we went too far in our bill, and they want a much weaker process,” Alabama Representative Bradley Byrne, a Republican, told Politico in August. “I don’t think that’s what the public expects of us.”

Senators sponsoring the bill—which included Klobuchar, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, California Senator Jackie Speier, and Alabama Senator Bradley Byrne—and their allies tried a number of tactics to encourage its passage.

In May, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand took to the Senate floor to shame Senate leadership for allowing the bill to languish for what was at that point 100 days.

"While practically every other industry in the country seems to be taking this issue far more seriously, and at least trying to make an effort to change their workplaces, Congress is dragging its feet," Gillibrand said at the time. "Once again, a problem is staring us right in the face and we're looking the other way."

Months later, senators considered attaching the legislation to a September spending bill members of Congress had to pass in order to avoid another government shutdown. It didn't happen.

Klobuchar said the bill's passage is important, not just because of what it means for lawmakers on the Hill, but also because of the signal it sends to the rest of the country.

“Sexual harassment goes far beyond the cases you read in the headlines—it’s not just about the rich and famous, but also the nurse, or the teacher, or the line worker at the factory. Today, Congress sent a message that workplace harassment of any kind is unacceptable," she said in a joint press release with Blunt's office on Thursday. “The time has come to stop protecting politicians and to start supporting victims. All men and women deserve a workplace free from harassment.”

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gy7kn9Marie SolisLindsay Schruppsexual harassmentPowerCapitol Hill#metooamy klobucharKirsten Gillibrandcongress sexual harassmentharassment settlementscongressional accountability act
<![CDATA[The Professor Who Made Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' a College Course]]>https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/vbaqqy/the-professor-who-made-beyonces-lemonade-a-college-courseThu, 13 Dec 2018 18:09:26 +0000In 2015, Professor Omise’eke Tinsley made headlines with the announcement of her new course, Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism. While critics despaired over the inclusion of pop divas in academia, undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin happily showed up for the course in record numbers.

“I was naive about a lot of things back then, but one was how much Beyoncé means to Black students in Texas, particularly Black women,” Tinsley, who currently teaches the class as a visiting professor at Harvard University told Broadly. “That was clear to me on the first day.”

With the added reference materials of Beyoncé’s groundbreaking 2016 visual album Lemonade, semester-long dives into Queen Bey have now popped up on campuses internationally. Tinsley’s new book, Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism, expands on her popular course in a vibrant blend of memoir and cultural analysis.

The book opens on the queer, California-raised professor’s move to Austin in 2011. With her young daughter in tow, Tinsley returned to the South, a place her own immediate family had abandoned during the Great Migration. After marrying her husband, a trans man, she found herself suddenly passing for a straight, Texan mom.

Searching for models of femininity, Tinsley found alignment with one of her idols, who was raised in Houston. “Oh my god, here’s this other Black, Texan wife, and mother who uses gender and sexuality and race in creative ways. Beyoncé can show me where Texas and Louisiana can be spaces of possibility, and not just stories of why people left,” the professor explained.

Tinsley’s personal reckoning with the South inspired the course’s regional focus. But the class also delves into modern feminist theory with readings from Angela Davis, dream hampton, Rachel Griffin, Brittney Cooper, and Melissa Harris-Perry—to name a few.

The syllabus reads: In this course, we follow Beyoncé’s invitation to consider the U.S. South as a fertile site for Black feminist imaginations and projects. Beginning with close readings of Lemonade and Beyoncé, we enter into conversation with other Black feminist texts that engage Black women’s aesthetic, spiritual, erotic, and political traditions in Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama.

Fervent Beyoncé fandom, as well as demand for a Texas-centric primer to Black feminist studies, fueled student excitement over the course. The first semester, Tinsley was forced to find a bigger lecture hall.

“These students are coming to UT and really not getting affirmation that they, as Black women and queer people, have important things to say,” Tinsley said. “By unpacking the layers of Black feminist history, I can show how they come from someplace with a deep, abiding, and powerful culture.”

Sarah Ogunmuyiwa, a Black student who identifies as non-binary, agrees that they felt unsupported upon arriving at the large, predominantly white state university. Ogunmuyiwa is a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies and Philosophy. They credit Women’s Studies-affiliated classes, like Beyoncé Feminism, as the only forces encouraging them to stay at UT.

“They [the classes] were my safe space, and I honestly don’t think I would have survived without that,” said Ogunmuyiwa, now a junior. “If any experience is centered in a lot of UT classes, it’s that of white and male students. That would have pushed me away from the school if I didn’t have a community to retreat to.”

Tinsley sets emotive guidelines for a respectful learning environment within the syllabus: In this course, students engage texts that deal explicitly racism, misogyny, poverty, marginalized religions, unconventional sexuality, and racialized and sexual violence. While the professor will provide academic frameworks for discussing these issues, students may experience emotional responses as they confront their own privilege and oppression, ignorance and knowledge. The professor asks that students pay attention to such feelings and note where they challenge their ability to approach texts analytically. I also ask everyone to come to class willing to discuss difficult, complex topics with openness and respect.

Before taking the Beyoncé-centric class in the spring, Ogunmuyiwa was taught by Tinsley in an impactful introductory Women’s Studies course. Ogunmuyiwa described the content as “basically how to survive UT as a Black or Latina woman,” including discussions of how to make the school safer for women of color.

According to fall 2018 data, Black students make up only 4 percent of the total student body at UT, while the Black population in Texas makes up 12.7 percent.

Angel Ulloa, who took Beyoncé Feminism during the summer, especially appreciated the inclusion of class time at the end of the semester for a group discussion of university life. “It was supposed to be one day, but there was so much to say that it became two. We talked about if we’ve ever felt uncomfortable or like we didn’t belong at UT, and why. That was the first time I’ve been in a class where our professor actually cared about that,” said Ulloa, a Mexican-American student.

Tinsley is quietly legendary on UT’s 431 acres for donning sky-high platform heels, as well as blue lipstick or other vibrant accessories. The professor’s high femme identity plays into her new book, self-described as a “femme-onade mixtape.” Although Beyoncé herself doesn’t identify as femme or queer, Tinsley finds inspiration embedded into the imagery of Lemonade.

“[The album] shows a U.S. South in which Black women live on their own love, and that love sustains them,” Tinsley said. “Beyoncé allows us to see those possibilities, but also provides a mirror to the way that we construct over-the-top, unapologetic, no-holds-barred femininity.”

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Photo courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment

Devin Bowman, who admired the class online before even enrolling at UT, said Tinsley’s lessons allowed him to more deeply understand his love for Beyoncé as a feminist icon. He went on to take more Women’s and Gender studies courses as part of his Psychology degree, where he sometimes encountered the performer being dismissed for her feminine visual aesthetics.

Bowman also recalls Tinsley hosting a twerking workshop for extra credit on the week of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. “[Tinsley] didn’t explicitly say it, but basically she was like, ‘We’re shaking our ass in the face of Trump,’” the student said.

Tinsley started writing the book following the 2016 election. Parallel to her subject’s own roots (my daddy Alabama/ momma Louisiana), the author traveled through the South to interview family members. Personal memoir runs alongside a compelling overview of country and blues history in relation to Beyoncé’s oeuvre.

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“My family’s experiences as Southerners, as difficult as they were, give me strategies for survival and joy and pleasure in the present moment,” Tinsley said. “People of color and queer people need some of those lessons that our grandparents hadn’t bothered to pass down.”

The final section of Tinsley’s syllabus lands on a forward-thinking examination of #BlackGirlMagic, examining the plights of Amandla Stenberg and Blue Ivy. Both young stars appear in the visuals of Lemonade, which Tinsley summarized as “grown-ass Black woman magic” in an op-ed for Time.

“When Black women come to believe in our own love and beauty as fiercely as we believe in any other god, we become everyday alchemists and good witches, the Oshuns of fire hydrants and Nefertitis of box braids,” she writes. “And that, yes, is a Black feminist political act.”

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