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Ciara and Cardi B's success proves that Black women can be successful without being tethered to toxic relationships and misogynoirist standards of womanhood.

By Clarkisha Kent Everybody likes a good Cinderella story. Well, at least that's what people want you to think. Mostly because to fit the role of the titular heroine, one must have suffered long, been painfully obedient, oh-so-modest, oh-so gracious, and exceedingly humble. Only then can one assume that this alleged Cinderella figure is the ultimate pious, virtuous, and virginal woman. And only then, would they truly deserve happiness. Except...issa lie. All of it. And Cardi B's rise to fame (read: the existence of hoes) and the public, romantic ascension of Ciara (a former, single mother) proves it. Ashy Cryeses and PickMe Tinas around the world have been thrown into a tizzy this year based on the prosperity and opulence Cardi B and Ciara have been experiencing. Usually, I’d write this all off as basic jealously and hotepery, but it's a bit more complex than that, starting with this: 1. Cardi B breaks the rules according to Judeo-Christian ideas of purity translating into reward. The myth of the "good", pious, sexually-pure woman being THE premier woman (re: Purity Culture) is a myth that predates most modern societies and finds a lot of roots in Judeo-Christian beliefs. In fact, I could dwell on how this is probably the chief instigator of the Madonna-Whore complex but that’s a story for another time. Still. Said myth has always been tied to the implication that a woman must be exceedingly "pure" and "good" for them to experience success. And whether you are a believer or not, one must acknowledge that white supremacy has no qualms with utilizing such principles to keep women and non-men in line and has done so since the beginning of time. And one must also acknowledge that this weaponization of purity has always been disproportionately applied against Black and Brown women, even in our own communities. Which is why Cardi B, the walking contradiction, makes Ashies and PickMes so fucking mad. Let's be honest: Cardi has had an amazing year. She signed with Sony/ATV. Her song "Bodak Yellow" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She's been at every award show this year. She's been on magazine cover after cover. And she just got engaged to one-third of Migos

Week after week, the Outlander audience, almost half of which are middle-aged white women, rooted for Claire as they decided to condemn a strong woman in reality.

For three years, Diane Gabaldon’s world of Outlander has taken over the Starz fall lineup. The historical romance is about a WWII nurse who travels back in time to the era of the Scottish Highlander, doing so while vacationing in Scotland with her husband. The woman, Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe) meets one of the highlanders named Jamie (Sam Heughan) and a romance ensues. Their relationship then jumps between different timelines and is what dominates the show and engrosses millions of viewers each week. During those three years of the show’s existence, the show’s audience rooted for the traits of strength and independence in the lead character Claire, but then attacked those same traits when they appeared in a woman who sought the highest office the US. That woman was Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. I am a fan of the show, and one of 2.5 million women who Business Insider claims watched during the 2015 premiere season. The show is a favorite escape for women, with 64 percent more female viewers than male. The audience that formed for the show became middle-aged women. Middle-aged white women. They were almost half the female viewership that first season. The showrunners were watching and planning accordingly. They even had a theory as to why the audience was largely older adult women. According to Jethro Nededog of Business Insider, the reason for the female-centric audience is feminine touch throughout the show’s production. He quoted a person close to production who mentioned that the women see in Claire, “what a strong woman looks like, how a strong woman sounds and that women at any age can have full lives.” Claire continued to be this character through the next season.

The stupendous complexity of Hindu immigrants’ conundrum magnifies when they ‘attempt’ to celebrate Diwali in communities where Hindus are a minority.

By Nandita Godbole “If you date, find a Hindu fellow,” instructions from my doting father, as I left India for the United States in 1995. Given his long tenure in public service, he believed that sectarian differences were less contentious than religious ones, displaying and reading from holy books of different faiths at his work desk, offering a safe conversation space to those who approached him. Yet, he could not have imagined that although the premise of Hinduism appears inclusive, practicing it imposes subtle expectations on women. When one moves away, and becomes an immigrant, it intensifies their immigrant experience, affects their accent, attire, grooming, food, travel, etc. Along with these shifts of adjustments, the stupendous complexity of Hindu immigrants’ conundrum magnifies when they ‘attempt’ to celebrate Diwali in communities where Hindus are a minority. Until the late 1990’s the Georgian calendar did not include Diwali and I recall that friends would be taken aback by my ‘Happy Diwali’ reminders. What nuances remained veiled under enthusiastic celebrations in one’s home country, became targeted glaring differences in the new country. Outwardly, the vibrancy and essence of this unmistakably Hindu celebration filter through the lens of a new country and its commercial substitutions. Paraffin votives replace traditional clay lamps, floral wreaths replace fragrant floral doorway garlands, adhesive floor designs replace elaborate forms of rangoli, Christmas lights replace colorful ‘lanterns’, fireworks are limited. A quick trip to an ethnic grocery store freezer replaces the age-old tradition of handcrafting desserts, and spontaneous family visits become a trip to a ticketed ‘Diwali Mela’, if accessible and affordable. But these are not the problems.

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