Since releasing his Voided Checks mixtape in 2009, Gordon Voidwell – born Will Johnson – has gotten some really positive attention and approximately one million comparisons to Prince. His latest mixtape, Bad Études, has continued to elicit these comparisons, but Voidwell himself would rather describe it as a postmodernist deconstruction of late ’80s R&B and 98.7 KissFM’s midnight mixes, “for the most part.” Call it whatever you will – this mixtape is full of incredibly catchy tunes that I danced to while making giant pots of soup to warm my freezing ass through all of February.
Though you might start listening to Gordon Voidwell because of his infectious jams, you’ll notice pretty quickly just how much depth there is to his art. His latest project is as deeply political as it is danceable, and when we found out he’s a fan of the site, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask him some questions.
If you don’t already, this Bronx-born and raised Minneapolis transplant, Afro-futurist music-maker, and smartypants is an artist that you should definitely get to know.
Well, this is depressing. ThinkProgress flags a new study that shows just how much the gender of the person doing the pitching affects what business proposals are invested in.
Researchers from Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Wharton School examined three entrepreneurial pitch competitions along with two controlled experiments. “[W]e find that investors prefer entrepreneurial pitches presented by male entrepreneurs compared with pitches presented by female entrepreneurs, even when the content of the pitch is the same,” they write. Good looking men were particularly persuasive, although physical appearance didn’t make a difference for women. This leads to what the researchers identify as “a profound and consistent gender gap in entrepreneurship.”
And it’s no joke that the gap is profound. Women-led companies got just 13 percent of all venture capital funding last year, are less likely to get small business loans, and composed a tiny 3 percent of the companies that went public in the last couple decades. Read More »
Welcome back, Academic Feminists! In a departure from our usual format – featuring the work of early career scholars – this edition of the AF features one of the foremost scholars, poets, and “troublemakers” of our time, Cheryl Clarke. Clarke is the author of four books of poetry, Narratives: poems in the tradition of black women (1982), Living as a Lesbian (1986), Humid Pitch (1989), Experimental Love (1993), the critical study, After Mecca: Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement (Rutgers Press, 2005), and The Days of Good Looks: Prose and Poetry 1980-2005 (Carroll and Graf, 2006). She recently retired from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and is currently raising money for the Festival of Women Writers in Hobart, New York. In this interview she discusses her introduction to feminism, her dedication to independent presses, and, of course, troublemaking.
1. I usually start out with a question about how you got interested in feminism. Posing this question to a person whose work is included in feminist anthologies and read in introductory women’s and gender studies courses is daunting! But tell us: What were you reading and who was inspiring you when you started writing?
This question is daunting for me as well. I really have to think. I didn’t really take feminism seriously as a practice until I started publishing my writing. I became interested in anti-sexist ideas in the same way I became interested in blackness when I was in college at Howard University from 1965-1969. During my black power days I considered “women’s liberation” (“wimmens lib”) a white fixation, a distraction from the “real struggle,” i.e., black liberation, until I learned some things from a close friend of mine who was married to a physically abusive man. She said, “I don’t know that black women can afford not to be concerned about sexism.” I was exposed to feminism later, in 1969, when I came to graduate school at Rutgers-New Brunswick. When I read Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation by Dennis Altman in 1972, I came to understand the relationships among systems of oppression, issues of power over and enforced powerlessness–like my friend in her abusive marriage; or like African-Americans living in Mississippi particularly prior to World War II; or gay people trying to avoid detection in a government job during the McCarthy fifties. I got more involved in feminist thinking when I first came out as a lesbian in 1973, when I met up with black lesbians in a group called Salsa Soul Sisters, and through white lesbian friends of mine in New Brunswick, N.J. Read More »
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