A collection of feminist essays on sex, gender, pop culture, politics, and friendship.
Originally founded in 2004 by three like-minded graduate students at Emory University, the Crunk Feminist Collective was revived in 2010 as a blog and outlet for the members’ opinions, cultural analyses, and personal stories in the age of digital feminism. Bringing together their most popular posts from 2010 to 2015, the book is a diverse assemblage of essays, missives, rants, and confessions. Though the pieces range in style and subject matter, they all mix a deeply passionate and intellectual backbone with informal, accessible language that addresses feminist issues of gender, politics, and race and racism. Before delving into these topics, the collection includes a mission statement, manifesto, and an introduction to getting crunk, which proclaim the group’s mission to “create a space of support and camaraderie for hip hop generation feminists of color, queer and straight, [with]in the academy and without,” and define crunkness as “our commitment to feminist principles and politics.” Their “mode of resistance” is to rail against patriarchal power structures, defend and humanize Black Lives Matter, and dissect African-American representation in the media. (There are several essays on Beyoncé.) The group also tackles sensitive personal subjects for communities of color, such as coming out, reproductive rights, and mental health. The writers of the collective exhibit an extraordinary breadth of intellectual range, but their critiques often favor anecdotal evidence rather than a more substantive argument. Nonetheless, there is plenty to provoke thought, and the collection serves as a call to action for enlightenment-seekers. The editors also include a “Crunk Glossary” to define relevant terms, including “genderqueer” and “misogynoir,” which “refers to the unique hatred that Black women and girls experience in American visual and popular culture.”
A valuable record of the collective’s contributions to a growing cultural awareness of feminist issues and criticism, particularly for women of color.