In my youth, I grew up with women. My mother, grandmother, and the majority of my teachers were women. In particular, a number of them were poor, some openly and others not LGBTQ and/or people of color. Yet I, for a long time, took no part in wanting to think about it. For me, I had internalized a sense of want in masculinity because for so long, being blue was pushed upon me. However, I would argue that I have improved from that stage of hypermasculinity and Audre Lorde’s “Learning from the 60s” and Janelle Monae’s album Dirty Monae remind me why us boys have a lot to learn from as Monae puts it the “pussy riot”.
Lorde in her essay acknowledges that we as people must acknowledge the diversity of blackness. Political correctness played a role in direct action during the 60s. For example, the choice of using Rosa Parks as to help support the Civil Rights gains. Rosa Parks, is etched in history as this passive woman who was tired when, she sat in the “White Only” seat but, as Thomas Raines cites from an oral interview, “I had had problems with bus drivers over the years, because I didn’t see fit to pay my money into the front and then go around to the back” (Raines, My Soul is Rested, 40). In fact women in Montgomery were long since protesting against the injustices faced on the bus station; an organization known as the Women’s Political Council. However E.D Nixon chose Rosa Parks because she was “morally clean, and she had a fairly good academic training” (Raines, My Soul is Rested, 43). This sense of political correctness Lorde is indicating to throw away. Lorde is stating that not all black people fit one category, like Rosa Parks or Booker T. Washington. Lorde states,
“In order to work together we do not have to become a mix of indistinguishable particles resembling a vat of homogenized chocloate milk.” (3) .
This ideology will instead lead to our disenfranchisement. When we consider how the FBI and CIA used the “intolerance of difference” to separate other oppressed groups. In fact, the film I am Not Your Negro shows a private document from the CIA that talked about his sexuality as a negativity and how he was menace to the rest of America. What we, as people with more than one identity need to do is be stronger, than the 60s, and stronger than the 80s. Monae makes this even clearer with her embracement of woman empowerment and embracement of woman sexuality in Pynk.
Monae in Pynk acknowledges the beauty of women and embraces the sexuality of all woman, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum of gender and sexuality. Monae states, “I just wanna, I just wanna paint the town/ I don’t wanna hide my love/ I just wanna hold your hand and be the one that you think of”. That part acknowledges relationships of the woman with the videography indicating woman all sorts of shapes and sizes living their best life. In an effect united, with, “the pynk”.
As such, us guys need to further create space for women. “Cause boy, its cool if you got blue” but we wouldn’t have blue if it weren’t for all the shades of pynk that Monae, Lorde, and the rest of the women in our lives gave to us.
So as I said in the title: Oh Lorde, Us Men Gotta Be More Pynk or else we are all doomed without the white and pink that made us want to be blue.