Pharrell Williams has championed hats, formal shorts and now he wants to champion women. Seemingly cis women with vaginas like 'silver lined doors'. Pharrell has chosen to name his new album G I R L because: "Women have been so good to me over this entire career. Everything I've ever gotten is because they've paid for [it], so they're, like, my bosses - indirectly and directly - you guys are like my bosses. So for me, I wanted to analyze that for a second...I admire women in a lot of ways, but I needed to make sure that everyone knew that yea, O.K. cool on the surface, I do look and I do like them and I appreciate them in my little dirty ways here and there, but at the core...is a deeper appreciation."
In her Huff Post blog Alanna Vagianos responds to Pharrell's nod towards feminism positively: "Pharrell has his heart in the right place, he just needs a little more self-education."
One can ignite questions but not instant dismissal.
Boom. Well then.
Celebitchy is a little cynical: "As for his empowered-woman speech and how women are what drives him and they are what drive the economyâ¦ sure. That's true. But Pharrell is still going to ask them to get their asses out? Is this cognitive dissonance or can we live in a world where Pharrell is a mega-feminist who also enjoys video booty?"
The fact that we aren't automatically praising Pharrell for voicing a desire to touch on feminist sensibilities is good, we should also be wary of immediately slapping him down as a heterosexual man who is happy (hah) to highlight a certain female form in his videos and lyrics. One can ignite questions but not instant dismissal. Alanna Vagianos has a wise suggestion: "Pharrell, do your homework. I fully support your genuine pursuit to appreciate women as the wonderful people we are, but read a book, take one women's studies course or even listen to some Beyonce. If you do, your message will be much louder and much clearer."
Sometimes it is hard to decide whether or not to go with 'good enough, at least they mentioned it' or 'no! That is misrepresentation'. A lot of it depends on whether you think feminism is a life or death question. Those opposing anti-vaxxers don't settle back with the reassuring thought 'hey, at least they're raising vaccine awareness!' Because what they are saying about vaccines is incorrect and potentially dangerous not just for their unvaccinated children but other people. Is feminism life or death? You know what? Yeah.