Right, but it’s not eating that makes us human. Lots of organisms can eat. What makes us human is making art and thinking the fancy thoughts that university professors think and achieving what Maslow called “self-actualization.” So saying that hungry or sick people cannot access “higher” needs is literally dehumanizing, because it claims the sick do not have access to the full range of human consciousness.
(I mean, Maslow literally put love between friends and family above the “basic needs,” and said that people who are hungry cannot experience love in the pure/true/real/unfettered way that unhungry people can.)
This paternalistic way of imagining need is in my opinion completely wrong. Yes, people who are starving report that it is hard to think about anything other than the desire to eat, but they also continue to write and love and read and have sex and do many things that Maslow associated with higher needs. I don’t think need is a pyramid at all; it’s a complicated web in which one need (like food) can transfigure another need (like love) without either negating the other.
I’ve read a lot of people on tumblr saying that she’s using women of colour as a prop in her Hard Out Here video and I didn’t not take it in that regard — I could of course be entirely wrong — as Allen’s video very slightly (VERY slightly) exaggerates the presentation of women in music videos to demonstrate just how ridiculous it is. She is not advocating for that presentation of women and makes it clear, or at least that’s my impression. Comments men think women would make about male anatomy (i.e. the Robin Thicke homage) are replaced with misogynistic assessments of the female anatomy. Women are part of the kitchen scenery, as much a show thing as a car or a champagne bottle and above all dancers made up of all but one woman of colour serve as a background to the main singer. This video is a criticism of music videos.
Another thing people are bringing up “Don’t need to shake my ass for you ‘cuz I got a brain” — and claiming it’s married to twerking and the image of the black woman shaking her ass. But look at that wording: Don’t need to shake my ass for you ‘cuz I got a brain. That for you is so important. Shake your ass if you want, whatever. But Allen is arguing against the Thicke-esque idea that everything revolves around a man’s worldview and physical relationship to women.
Just imo obviously.