This Week in Women: Female Excellence
We kicked off this week with an insightful creative installment from Beyoncé and then were catalyzed by a list of influential people with a record number of women, but of course celebrations of achievement are also often accompanied by a fair amount of gritty realness and at times, controversy. Here are the big stories in This Week in Women!
Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé & Accompanying Live Album Is a Revelational Experience
“I respect things that take work. I respect things that are built from the ground up,” says Beyoncé in her much-anticipated Homecoming documentary that debuted on Netflix on April 17.
In just a few short days, Homecoming has earned even more acclaim and adoration for Queen Bey, being lauded as “pure black excellence,” “an act of meticulous archiving,” “magic,” and “ambitious.”
Beyoncé voice-overs and footage in Homecoming give viewers an elaborate, behind-the-scenes look at the depth of her craft and the intention with which each creative decision is made. The documentary shares a raw look at the rehearsals and decision-making around the Coachella performance, as well as her pregnancy and postpartum journey that was intrinsically tied into the time leading up to Coachella 2018. Scenes from her landmark Coachella performances are seamlessly cut together, sharing footage of both weekends at the music festival.
Her #Beychella experience documentary is also accompanied by Homecoming: The Live Album, a 40-track complement to her headline sets. As former First Lady Michelle Obama most eloquently praised Beyoncé in an Instagram post, “Hey queen! Girl, you have done it again. Constantly raising the bar for us all and doing it flawlessly. I’d say I’m surprised, but I know who you are. I’ve seen it up close and personal. Girl, you make me so proud, and I love you. I also love that your new Netflix film ‘Homecoming’ is informed by the black leaders, thinkers, and poets who’ve paved the way for folks like us. I love that it’s both a celebration and a call to action. And I love that you’re using this film to inspire the next generation of history makers and record breakers who’ll run the world in the next years ahead. So to you my dear friend, I just want to say: Keep telling the truth, because you can do it in a way that no one else can.”
Notes From TIME 100’s Most Influential People Issue
Since 2004, Time magazine has rolled out its annual list of influential people with pioneers, artists, leaders, politicians, and icons from around the world. This year, the list included obvious choices, such as Michelle Obama, Sandra Oh, Gayle King, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jane Goodall, Brie Larson — all exemplary women who have moved the needle and the conversation for this year and for generations. In fact, it was the first time in the annual feature’s existence that women occupied almost half of the list.
While, the majority of the individuals on the list are much admired, the listicle also regularly courts controversy by playing with the word “influential.” This year the magazine correctly and deservedly listed Christine Blasey-Ford as an “icon” with a profile written by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California). “Her story, spoken while holding back tears, shook Washington and the country. Her courage, in the face of those who wished to silence her, galvanized Americans. And her unfathomable sacrifice, out of a sense of civic duty, shined a spotlight on the way we treat survivors of sexual violence,” wrote Harris.
However, notably listed in the “leaders” section is Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the impetus of Blasey-Ford’s testimony about sexual assault. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) wrote Kavanaugh’s bio citing resilience in the face of “unhinged partisanship.”
This is a prime example of minimizing survivor’s testimonies, and why sexual assault culture is still confusing and confounding in the face of affluent male privilege. Time is not giving us fair and balanced journalism, they are giving us a real-time example of why victims are afraid to speak out.
P.S. And having McConnell write Kavanaugh’s profile filled with his usual toxic, misleading rhetoric? Well, that’s just gross.
Featured image via Rolling Stone
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.