Feministing Jamz video of the week: The Body Electric by Hurray for the Riff Raff

In another case of a video which should have made the best of 2014 list but came out shortly after the list was published, we have “The Body Electric” by Hurray For The Riff Raff. The video and song, which tackle racist, gendered, and transmisogynist violence — while managing to be gorgeous at the same time — shook me to my core.

Featuring Katey Red — a New Orleans bounce music giant and a trans woman of color — at the center of a re-imagined Birth of Venus by Botticelli, the video “is a mediation of acceptance of violence and discrimination against women, people of color, and the LGBT community.”

The video premiered on NPR music and was named their political folk song of the year. Here’s what the Boricua, Bronx-born, NOLA-based songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra had to say about the song (lyrics here):

“I am mostly familiar with how the song has taught me there is a true connection between gendered violence and racist violence. There is a weaponization of the body happening right now in America. Our bodies are being turned against us. Black and brown bodies are being portrayed as inherently dangerous. A Black person’s size and stature are being used as reason for murder against them. This is ultimately a deranged fear of the power and capabilities of black people. It is the same evil idea that leads us to blame women for attacks by their abusers. Normalizing rape, domestic abuse and even murder of women of all races is an effort to take the humanity out of our female bodies. To objectify and to ridicule the female body is ultimately a symptom of fear of the power women hold.”

The video was crowdfunded, with all funds over the goal going to the Trayvon Martin Foundation and Third Wave Fund.

(H/T Latino Rebels)

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

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