Jessie Reyez, Body Count | Female Sexual Freedom
First and foremost *loud rambunctious applause* for Jessie Reyez for her latest single, and poetic verse, Body Count! Check the video and my breakdown of the symbolism below!
Elements I noticed about the video:
This video contains no black women. This is a good thing! I interpret this to mean that SOMEONE finally recognizes that sexual freedom is not currently being taken BY black women, moreover, that women of African decent have been disproportionately effected by sexual exploitation and suppression! There are black and white men in the video; and white women. Does that mean white women are upholding suppression and persecution of women? That depends on whether or not you feel wives of husbands who have carried out these practices for centuries have some responsibility to speak up. This video shows a modern American demographic, set in an early American setting, and the fact everyone in the video is against her freedom (except maybe the young people who appeared to find hope in her power) speaks to who in modern America is holding these beliefs in place. In this day and time, it might seem Black men are just as invested in women being a dumbed down version of sexuality as other men, to generalize; certainly there are white and black men who do not buy into misogyny…
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The video highlights the American witch hunts and the burning of women who were seen as overtly sexual, or utilizing her feminine power in ways that alarmed society. This, of course, was an actual phase of our history that many do not want to discuss today. In fact, when we think of Salem witch hunts, we may or not place that here in the USA, Salem, Mass. But yes, women by the thousands were burned and tortured simply based on the idea that they might be orgasmic, attracted to more than one man, or having affairs with married men… also for utilizing spiritual techniques outside the normative Christian standards.
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Women undressed and prepared the witch (Reyez) for the fire. This speaks volumes about the way women currently feel about other women who are freer than themselves. Often women are the culprits in deeming other women names such as whore, slut and hoe, also in upholding the values of the patriarchy. This symbolism in the video, while somewhat disturbing, should alert those who even latently shame women for her sexuality that #timesup – we are done with the concept that what a woman chooses to do with her body is somehow negative or wrong. Women deserve pleasure, can choose how and with whom she will be pleasured and should not apologize to anyone about her choices.
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Singer claims she dodges dick on the daily. This is an urgent message for a society wrought with the pain of men who call themselves Involuntary Celibates or #incel – these men are suffering from the very ailment this woman is singing about! If women were free or even honored for choosing sensual engagement with whom she chooses, as she chooses – including multiple men – more men would have more sexual opportunities! As long as our culture degrades women who make choices to be sensual at her whim, men will be subject to women who are not in their natural, sexual, element; simply protecting her reputation!!!
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The video alludes to female self pleasure, a topic that should be an alternative taught to girls who are urged to be abstinent. Furthermore, touch between students is not allowed in most schools, not even hugs! It’s urgent we teach girls and women to enjoy themselves sensually, at the very least – and that we teach all youth the importance of touch! Here Reyez is opting to share the fact that self pleasure is her choice and at given times, preferred! This is a revolutionary message, one that will free many minds.
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Jessie actually burns in the fire, leaving her heart beating as a sign that her message, the heart of it, lives forever. Many wanted to see her ‘get away’ from the fire. However, this symbolism, in my view, simply notes the fact that girls and women are still shamed for their sexual choices, our society is still bound by outdated and irrelevant mores around female sexuality and thus, she burns. We all burn, daily, until we have fully uprooted the misogyny and cultural lies that bind us.
Can you find more symbolism? Do share in the comments section below!
Are you a woman who would like to explore life without shame, sensuality without judgement, and a release of your old patterns, ideas, and chains? Do join my Blue Butterfly Women’s Group — Allow yourself to be supported by an army of free women there! We will support you each step of your journey out.
Love and Delight to you!
Kenya K Stevens, CEO
JujuMama Love Academy