My great-great-great-grandmother who was born a slave was not an easy going woman. My great-great-grandmother who died during childbirth was not an easy going woman. My great-grandmother and my grandmother were not easy going women. My mother was not an easy going woman. My sister was not an easy going woman.
And when I was born and was in search for gender performances that most fit and served who I felt I was to be, I arrived at a healthy femininity. I had no use in being an easy going, agreeable, honey-dipped black femme man.
This is true amongst a lot of black people in the world that practice a feminine gender performance. Domination’s idea of femininity has long been confined to a space of inherent vulnerability and softness. The idea is if you practice any type of stereotypical femininity that you are inherently more kind, more soft and more vulnerable than those that do not. People would often assume my incapability to fight, physically and intellectually, because of my practiced femininity. On the contrast, I know black women of all different gender performances, experiences, and histories that have been pushed into spaces to be more delicate, more quiet and softer than what was true to their instincts. We’ve bonded over our shared experiences with domination’s desire to muzzle us and our shared transgressions.
On Remy Ma‘s scathing diss track to Nicki Minaj, “ShETHER,” she raps, “Bloodbath when I catch you” to her opponent. The Bronx, New York rapper released the song littered with rumors and references about Nicki Minaj, plus she included some of the most violent imagery she could have conjured up. She concludes, saying, “A real red carpet,” and the moment had the internet explode instantly. Discussions about who won and who would be the “Queen of Rap” now that Remy Ma so directly attacked the most prominent female rapper in the music industry flooded Twitter timelines and became think pieces for random publications.
The first thing I thought about when I heard Remy Ma’s deep, husky, New York-born-and-bred voice ride a relentless Ron Browz beat was that she was crafting images fit for a Wes Craven film. I thought about her reality television storylines where she chronicled her miscarriage. I thought about the tender moments she has shared with the public of her son and her husband. And to know that the same woman with that much softness and vulnerability was also able to locate a brutal brand of femininity felt wonderfully transgressive.