Sex and Self-Expression: How Dirty Computer Unravels Expectations

As a 46 minute compilation, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer often bears greater similarities to a science fiction film than a modern music video; as an “emotion picture”, the piece uses dystopian, futuristic brainwashing to pull at our heart strings and relay the importance of memory in a world that is constantly propelling forward.

Artwork from Dirty Computer

One of the most initially striking takeaways I had from Dirty Computer was Monae’s ability to send expertly intertwined messages of liberation, love, diversity, sex, individuality, and creativity through the familiar pop rhythms we more frequently hear pumping in the background of soulless summer anthems. From the start, the video’s first song “Crazy, Classic, Life” celebrates the individual and puts a twist on consumer expectations. The song begins with a recording of a sermon delivered by Dr. Sean McMillian*, blaring that “You told us, We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men and women are created equal…” before diving into the first sung lyrics: “Young, Black, wild and free/ Naked in a limousine/ Riding through the hood real slow/ I love it when I smell the trees.” These opening seconds set the tone for the entirety of Monae’s Dirty Computer memory sequence, as her limp body, dressed in white and surrounded by a whitewashed space, lay at the hands of dystopia. In contrast to the cold “computer” world, her memories explode with color, movement, and the reflection of her lyrics—illustrations of youthful exploration and self-expression. She reflects on her own experiences and shows no hesitation in making her racial identity known to the listener. The setup tells us who Monae is singing about, but doesn’t restrict who she is singing for. In all of its personal and political storytelling, placing marginalized and rule-breaking groups at the forefront, Dirty Computerhas the same flowery-catchy beats that we might expect from any pop album. Monae’s forthright self-ownership does not exclude those who cannot immediately relate to the lyrics’ content, but allows listeners to easily sing along as they determine what makes them a dirty computer. By reconstructing the traditionally whitewashed pop narrative to convey the perspective of a young, black, queer woman, Monae breaches the comfort zone of commercial music while still maintaining the genre’s accessibility and joy. What’s more, in being fearless with her own self-expression, Monae liberates marginalized audiences to engage directly with the mainstream.

The convergence of commercialism and marginalization has been a central theme in our discussions this semester. Whether it be Carmen Miranda’s commodification as an economic and cultural bridge between Latin and North America, or the commercialization of the AIDs crisis which silenced suffering communities and spread vast misinformation, our material this semester has oft demonstrated how capitalist society misuses the marginalized and denies these groups self-expression on a wide platform. Dirty Computer, on the other hand, represents a mass reclamation that has been occurring since bell hooks wrote her first sentence or Martin Luther King Jr. gave his first sermon. In her music and video, Monae gives her voice myriad names and faces, all working in pursuit of art that can be both genuine and successful.

Monae further subverts our expectations through her use of the erotic, reminiscent of Audre Lorde’s essay “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power”. Throughout Dirty Computer, sex tells a tale of the past and future. In the modern computer world, everyone is cloaked in white, signaling purity, and their wiped memories leave the characters void of past sexual and romantic relationships. Monae’s character, Jane 57821, who is a “Dirty computer”, is cognizant of her former relationship with Tessa Thompson’s character Zen, who is now “Mary Apple 53”, a memory-wiped puppet of the dystopian world. As the film progresses it becomes clear that there is a particular type of memory that must be erased from the “dirty computers” to make them acceptable in the new world: sex., further illustrated through the videos. “Screwed”, for instance, is lyrically about casual sex as a reaction to the world’s political and violent chaos. “Pynk” is both visually and lyrically about vaginas, as well as an ode to the color that is internally ubiquitous among humans, regardless of what’s on the outside. Like Lorde, Monae uses the erotic as a source of power in her lyrics and in her video, and the erotic is not necessarily always contingent on sex itself. As the video shows, “Screwed” might be more about finding confidence and determination in one’s erotic being than about actually being screwed. Likewise, Pynk is not about a physical act, but the reclamation of the vagina as a woman’s source of pride and power. Even Jane and Tessa’s relationship is not necessarily all about sexual tension and consumption, but the vivacity and beauty that can emerge from the erotic.

Shot from Pynk

As a whole, Dirty Computer is authentic and unapologetic. Its moral tells us that we might all be a little “dirty”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Instead, this difference is what injects our art, music, and life with color and movement. Janelle Monae serves as a pop renegade for both the marginalized and the mainstream, and her commercial success demonstrates how far we’ve come from the days of Carmen Miranda and Bo’s n Whistles.



The Music Video: Audience, Labor, Performance

I wanted to think more about the discussion we had after our last screening as a class as well as the specific selection of music videos we watched. In particular, I keep returning to our brief conversation about Beyoncé’s brand of feminism comparison to Janelle Monae’s brand of feminism, especially as they were invoked in their respective visual albums/music videos. We talked a bit about the different existing debates and criticisms regarding Beyoncé’s form of feminism in contrast to Janelle Monae’s; in their music videos, the differences can be found in their style of music, visual aesthetic, wardrobe choices, lyrics, themes, artistic direction, and so on. I find myself thinking of Alexandra Juhasz’s visit, during which we watched one of her earliest films that she made as a student. In reference to the film, which presented various facts and myths about AIDS, Juhasz said that the film wasn’t for everyone, and that it was okay that it wasn’t for everyone. The idea that certain forms of cultural production simply aren’t intended for everyone raises questions concerning audience and respectability politics that seem particularly relevant and even contradictory when applied to explicitly mainstream content like music videos.

Both Beyoncé and Janelle Monae can be categorized as mainstream artists (perhaps Beyoncé more so), and so it’s interesting to think about how their music is supposed to appeal to a wide audience in order to maintain a fan following and generate revenue, yet sometimes still presents more niche aesthetics that are not necessarily palatable to everyone. Take for example Beyoncé’s politically charged imagery of herself lying on top of a police car in New Orleans (“Formation” music video) or her use of Warsan Shire’s poetry elsewhere in Lemonade. Similarly, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer incorporates aspects of Afrofuturism, queerness, and alternative forms of kinship. Both artists also unapologetically address their identities as black women in their visual albums, emphasizing a position that not every viewer can relate to. But if some things aren’t and don’t have to be for everyone, then an interesting problem that arises is whether audiences who do not resonate with Monae or Beyoncé’s work should accept their disconnect or rather make an effort to recognize and question their own discomfort in order to figure out why a particular work isn’t “for them.”

I also wanted to bring in Racquel Gates’ Double Negative, specifically the section on labor, work, and performance. Gates points out that the issue of labor, both performative and invisibilized by production, is entangled in the world of reality television. Gates points to two types of labor common amongst women who appear on “trashy” reality T.V. shows like the Real Housewives or Love & Hip Hop franchises: “The women’s labor takes two forms: the women as employees of the production company, and the shows as platforms for business opportunities (Gates, 152).” Gates goes on to underscore how women on reality T.V. shows are still able to assert a certain degree of agency and “break the fourth wall” in terms of acknowledging the show as a performance/orchestrated production, despite the efforts of producers and editing that attempt to portray the events of the show as entirely “real.” I thought this was applicable to some of the music videos we watched, most notably Frank Ocean’s “Nikes” and Beyoncé’s Lemonade. In the music video for “Nikes,” Ocean acknowledges his conflicts with his record labels. Similarly, Beyoncé’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself” alludes to rumors about her husband Jay-Z’s infidelity. For both artists, the music video is a medium through which they comment on aspects of their personal lives, blending the personal with the professional (what they create as working musicians). Like reality T.V. stars, in their respective videos, Beyoncé and Ocean execute a performance that is choreographed, edited, and ultimately produced, but it is also their real lives that undergirds their onscreen labor.


Theatrical Capital Without Theatrical Meaning in This Is America

Childish Gambino’s music video This Is America comes as an immediate shock to anyone who sees it. From the guitarist shot execution-style at the beginning to the chorus getting mowed down at the hands of Gambino with an assault rifle, mirroring the mas murder at a Charleston church, the video very deliberately focuses on the constant violence against black bodies while awkwardly juxtaposing it behind entertainment and black art. Gambino’s point is shocking and provoking, but provoking of what? The video has many many layers of imagery to focus on the objectification of black bodies, from the fact that the entire video is shot within a warehouse (referencing the direct commodification of all that are trapped within the warehouse), to the confederate pants that Gambino wears, to the (referencing the close proximity to the end of slavery), to the Jim Crow-era exaggeration of black features that Gambino portrays in himself, black objectification is pervasive awkwardly throughout the entire video, to show that the facts of reality when laid bare are very awkward. However, where does the theme go beyond this?Image result for this is america

The video portrays blatant violence against black bodies, obviously as a point to provoke and shock the viewer, but further than that, where does it go? Gambino also uses the dancing of himself and black children as an awkward juxtaposition of two things that we are wildly saturated with: violence against black bodies and entertainment from black bodies. Both being strong forms of objectification that he is highlighting. The main relation being that the entertainment ironically overshadows the violence. Is the use of violence as a creative tool by Gambino complicit, or the point itself? Whatever direction that critiques of This Is America go, they all seem to converge at the possible analysis that this is the point; he’s his use of tactics that are common in popular media, though exaggerated, is the point he is trying to make. A critique of this overall creative method lies in a difficult space between Raquel Gates’s point, “[…] this focus on the alleged impact of reality TV on young people is a coping mechanism aimed at alienating feelings of helplessness or frustration in a world where structural racism still has material and political effects by assuring black people that the end of racism and oppression is as close as one “good” black character on television.” and Audre Lorde’s statement, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”; that is to say that the critique of Gambino’s theatrical toolbox being in bulk violence and objectification could simply be grasping at a portrayal that has negligible effects, or it could be validly pointing out a poor performance that could otherwise get across the same themes without using the same tools of sterilized black culture and bodies and the violences against them as theatrical capital. As a perspective of where similar themes are being portrayed, but in a very different emotional light, we’ll look at Flying Lotus’s Never Gonna Catch Me feat. Kendrick Lamar.

In this music video, the scene shifts shots by way of subject-to-subject transitions, all within the same scene, but giving the viewer a sense of omnipotent viewership of the scene of a small church, where a funeral of two black children is being held. As expected of Hiro Murai, the scene is surreal, by omitting sounds of the scene itself, but only using the sound of the song; there is no ambiance. The scene breaks its solid mood of mourning when the two children wake up. They start dancing, in an awkward juxtaposition of the moods of dancing, happy children, in a church full of family and friends mourning their deaths, where the mourners are completely unaware.

Hiro Murai Flying Lotus Never Catch Me The children shift from dancing to running, as they run from their own caskets, in a way like children running from an obligation, like a normal church service, rather than their own funeral. They’re having fun, celebrating their lives, giving the viewer an unexpected emotional experience out of this normally grim scene. As the children run away from the funeral, the scene opens up to the outside of the church, where they’re able to dance and enjoy the sunlight, with other black children, in a normal, happy neighborhood setting. The scene is now completely happy, with no reference to the previously grim scene that the children were just in, that is until they run to steal the hearse that was meant for them. As they steal the hearse, they’re still happy, celebrating their lives, and triumphing over the death that just loomed over them. The last shot, highlighting this the most, is the boy in the passenger seat of the hearse that was meant to transport him to his grave, feeling the wind in his face and smiling as he rides away.


Obviously, Flying Lotus’s music video has a much more uplifting, freeing overall message than Gambino’s video, however still juxtaposing the same elements, but in very different ways. The theme is still there: we must reconcile constant, unnatural deaths of innocent black bodies, but how each artist copes with the deaths are very different. Gambino’s video is full of shocking depictions of the deaths themselves, inciting discomfort and even rage, whereas the Flying Lotus video highlights the triumphs over death, or even specifically despite death. Flying Lotus gives us a celebration of life, and Childish Gambino gives us a disavowal of the environment that allows the death to happen in the first place, both being different stages of grief. Flying Lotus, however, gives us more to the theme than just simply the injustice of these deaths while children can have fun and dance. Flying Lotus’s music video is a celebration of life and the beauty that freedom in culture and life can create, all while using the same method of juxtaposing death with dance. Does Gambino have a point? Yes, of course, just as rage at a funeral can be just, but dwelling on this rage and going no further in the theme than simply highlighting fear and injustice is further perpetuating the injustice that has been done to the people that are being mourned and the more who will be mourned. Gambino shows us the deaths that must be mourned, thus being complicit in the mass bombardment of exposure to violence against black bodies, whereas Flying Lotus highlights the obvious injustice (simply in the form of the deaths of children) and pushes us further to celebrate the freedom  and beauty in life to triumph over death.

Religiosity and Dystopia in Dirty Computer

Even if Dirty Computer never specifies the intricacies of sociopolitical identity in Janelle Monae’s created world, there is visually no question who holds and abuses power in an oppressive system. In “Pariah and Black Independent Cinema Today: A Roundtable Discussion” by Kara Keeling et al, the roundtable explores the portrayal of black queerness. Pariah addresses black queerness (and queer blackness) in a far more straightforward and realistic way. Neither method is more or less effective inherently, and oftentimes comparing media in an already underrepresented genre functions to impose unachievable expectations on any piece of media that endeavors to bring a new voice in. That said, using analysis of Pariah to examine Dirty Computer is, indeed, interesting. Jennifer DeClue says, “The visibility of black women attracted to one another in Pariah produces witnesses who see loving black lesbians who do not lose their blackness even though they may be threatened with losing their families”. We see this in Dirty Computer. The bond between Monae and Tessa Thompson feels tangible onscreen, even though neither one was explicitly out at the time of release. They aren’t threatened with losing their families in the traditional sense as explored in Pariah, but they are threatened with having their minds wiped and their personalities erased at the hands of an oppressive, totalitarian state.
Another common thread that we can apply to Dirty Computer is Pariah’s overarching religiosity. Religion is a primary antagonist in Pariah, because it is a primary antagonist in the real world. Religion has consistently been weaponized against marginalized identities. Dirty Computer has no recognizable religion, but the overtones are unmistakable. Towards the end of the film, Thompson’s character meets with a matriarchal figure called “Mother Victoria”, whose religious connotations cannot be missed. Mother Victoria also cuts her off immediately the second that she suggests she and Monae were in love. Mother Victoria shuts her down and Thompson chillingly obeys, “yes, Mother”. DeClue’s entry in the roundtable discussion also references the religious antagonism in Pariah and the representation of “pathological sexuality”. The “dirty” of “Dirty Computer”. In erasing Monae’s sexuality in the eyes of the church and state, one erases her entire being.
In Pariah and Dirty Computer, we see two very different stories of the intersection between queerness and blackness in a state where religious authoritarianism is rampant. In Monae’s dystopia, a religious institution tries to strip dissenters of their identities and repress any instinct that threatens their hierarchy, and it somehow doesn’t feel a whole lot different from the real world represented in Pariah.

Color and painting in Zama

I was especially intrigued by the use of color in Zama, especially how color is used on the body. The beautiful scene at the start of the film shows a group of women covering their bodies with mud, rendering their skin all a similar shade of grayish-green. There are still differences between the women in how they embody different racial identities and speak multiple languages, emphasizing the multiethnic makeup of the population. The mother of Zama’s child is seen dyeing fabric, and during one conversation with him, we can see that her arms are dyed a dark greenish color. Later, when Zama and the group of men he is with are captured by a group of indigenous men, their skins are all tinted red. This attention to color reinforces the overall painterly quality of the film and the bodies it captures. There is such a depth to each image, with each frame having figures in the foreground and background that demand your attention (like the llama wandering around the office). Slavery is also extremely present, though often an unspoken topic, as characters like Malemba command our attention without a single word. Even with the shallow focus of some scenes and the semi-blurred backgrounds, Zama himself is almost an afterthought, at least visually, just a single person in the rich landscape.


I admit to not know much about the possible cultural significance of the indigenous tribe painted red, but I am also interested in the racial implications of painted bodies. Don Diego embodies an anxiety about what it means to be an “Americano,” versus a European having been born in Spain; in one of the interviews we read, Martel talked about the “nostalgia for our true land: Europe” in how many Argentinians believe Europe is where they belong. The dyed skin or mud can be contrasted to other more unnatural instances of body painting. At the party where Zama first encounters Luciana, we see her garish blush and lipstick. The wigs that the colonial magistrates wear, along with the gaudy clothes and makeup of the men and women (I noticed both Don Diego and the governor wearing red nail polish?), contrast with the beauty of nature—the colonial society is semi-grotesque. They perform some version of “Europeanness,” though Zama was born in the Americas and Luciana admits having little memory of Europe anymore. In the final shots of the film, Zama is drained of color and stripped of all this artificiality—he is missing his arms, and his skin is clammy and a sickly shade of gray. Yet the vegetation on the river is a shocking, vibrant green. It almost looks like a surreal painting, but a painting that we must remember is still moving. While the colonial figures may paint themselves to remain static, and render themselves pinnacles of some European identity, the indigenous peoples’ paintings are living ones, organic parts of their lives.

“Life, Not Lifestyle”: Framing the closet, AIDS ACTivism, and Empathic Response

“[W]hat we want the right to exist—not the right to privacy; the right to a life, not to a lifestyle.”[i] I read this line of Maxine Wolfe’s from Women, AIDS, and Activism many times over. Usually I reread to break down—to take stock of what I know and what blanks must be filled in later. For this singular line, though, I reread to accumulate—to develop new feelings and to imagine under what conditions people were living to feel compelled to articulate a threat to life.

Notwithstanding my own attraction to the excerpt’s message, it raises a critical question of whether we define life as something higher than the ways people live it, and whether the answer to that question is circumstantial, as it would have been for, say, a queer black male during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

The onset of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and its height in the 1990s is a source of great fascination for scholars in fields ranging from medicine to feminist and queer theory, for producers of culture, and, most importantly, for those who survived it. All told,  I’m none of these; I’m neither a medical professional nor recognized sociological authority, still trying to figure the best way to take a good selfie, and was born in 1997. That said, our unit on HIV/AIDS activism and memory in this course has provoked quite a bit of thought over the last few weeks.

The most intense period of the (ongoing) HIV/AIDS epidemic seems to be such a unique chapter in American history because it existentialized differing identities in a way that had not been done so overtly before. For example, urban housing crises have disproportionately affected communities of color for our the entirety of our nation’s history, resulting in conditions that threaten health, and thus undermines the possibility of achieving longevity parity between people of color and white people. As sad as I am to say, however, there are enough dots one has to connect in this example that some do not bother thinking through its intersectional oppressions, and the physical harm that socio-economic stratification eventually causes. While I wish not to entrench the myth that the queer community was or is the only affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the fact that queerness (particularly male homosexuality) was so commonly associated with AIDS, and that “AIDS = Death” was not an opinion, meant that the epidemic created two Americas in the American imagination. One was queer and the other was straight. In the former, people were dying and in the latter they were not. In the former, life was lucky. In the latter, life was a right. The gulf between the worlds was (is?) a traumatic one, and oftentimes seemed non-traversable from either side

As Thomas Keenan notes in “The AIDS Crisis Is Not Over,” there is both the catastrophe of death, especially within networks formed around identities, “[a]nd then it happens again, when the value of the witness in the testimony is denied, and there’s no one to hear the account, no one to attend or respond.”[ii] The beauty of activism, the most renowned of which was done by ACT UP, was not just the light it shed on the “shrouding of information” by institutionalized authorities, but also that it produced information relevant to the “convenient populations” within which the epidemic was most rapidly spreading.(3)[iii] “People are hungry for information that respects their lives,” Diana Diana wrote.[iv]

This hunger, however, can empower groups of varying motivations. As stated, it empowered activists to force truth through whatever cracks in mainstream media and insulated politics they could find. But for those that viewed homosexuality as a (poor) choice, and who viewed homosexuals as evil, duplicitous, and cowardly,[v] queerness disrespected their lives (hey, @mike_pence). So there developed a craving among those who possessed this ideology for information that respected their prejudices. The precise size of this base is not determinable and only somewhat relevant, for it is the intensity of the demand, in this case for information, that defines the force and quantity of the supply. “The biggest problem with even thinking about audiences is that one usually begins with some completely absurd fiction of generality,” Bordowitz said. “The general public is a market, a [phantom] market,” Crimp extended.[vi] Invalidating the identities of those who bore witness to the catastrophe, those who are associated with the AIDS community, necessitated their replacement with those who were not connected to it—witnesses from the phantom audience.[vii]

I do not feel compelled to dwell on why I think problematic the substitution of actual witnesses to the AIDS catastrophe with those who could parrot back headlines about the public health crisis it produced. Deserving of more analysis is the allocation of empathy and the firming of identity politics. In moments when queers were given airtime, their “characters” were discredited (I ask out of genuine curiosity: Was there another possible result?). In conceiving of a phantom audience-market, the invalid witnesses’ “characters” were substituted out for valid “witness” identities so audience members would recognize themselves in the “authorities” on issues at hand of life or death. But for whom, really, was this life or death?

Unless you were born radical (hint: you weren’t), we have all, at some point, used identity to decide what information is important to us, and information circulation facilitated by technological evolution has only automated this tendency. Thus, we use our identities, or relational identifications, as Crimp would say,(8)[viii] to learn the information that exists and is most relatable. I’m guilty; I’m using my own queerness as a guide in reading these texts, watching United in Anger, and in writing this response.

Because identity is that thing of which we imagine ourselves to be most certain ,and because “it [was] difficult to maintain an identity in this crisis,”[ix] identities operated as stand-ins for understanding. The result? Many a conversation that would otherwise have moved beyond identities to shared values was aborted. Witness replacement described by Crimp and Bordowitz[x] during the height of the AIDS epidemic went a step further. General audience witness surrogates utilized identity as a means of creating information that was not there before through an entitlement to narration. “[T]his phantom—the general public—is the most traumatized of all. It’s having the nightmares, suffering from the flashbacks, uncertain about what has happened to it…but it can’t identify the event.”[xi] Just as most identities are formed through negation, so, too, are the narrations by those who hold the right to narrate. The implied for the replaced witnesses becomes: [Queers and POCs and any other group most heavily hit by the epidemic] are causing the nightmares, responsible for the suffering, and know what is going on. The right to narrate gives license for abdication of responsibility.

ACT UP, and other AIDS advocacy organizations, were right to identify the need to narrate based on the stories of authentic witnesses and subsequently inject those narrations into the veins of the phantom audience—to expose the cover-up. I don’t think that the rapidly identified need to control the narrative nor the deft deployment of strategies to do so is coincidental in the slightest. The closet is discussed primarily in relation to the AIDS epidemic as a site of tragedy, and correctly so. The shame induced while in the closet and the emotional harm inflicted by outings of people on their deathbeds killed spirits before the disease killed their bodies.

But the closet, from an activist standpoint, was also highly productive.  While in the closet, one doesn’t simply imagine a life with privilege, but lives one until their moment of reckoning—when they step or are forced out of it. Every queer person that became part of the movement, regardless of race or class, knew what it was like, at some point, to live a life where they had felt entitled to a narrative and, with hyper-caution, manipulated it. The collective familiarity among activists with navigating the dark space of the closet fostered dreams of a world where HIV/AIDS seropositive friends could live, where queer witnesses to the catastrophe could live authentically, and where they could participate in narrative formation after having been forced to choose between that right and living their living lives.

Losing privilege, and oftentimes health and sometimes life, for living an authentic life answers the question begged by Wolf’s one-line manifesta: under the circumstances of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and into the 1990s, rights—including that to life—were granted based on lifestyle. As a society, claiming to uphold a shared set of principles, we are still in desperate need of therapy to process the traumas we have wrought on and still cause one another. Even as wars being fought over narrative control only intensify on some fronts, other modalities of media may present opportunities for both individual catharsis and collective, cross-identity healing.

[i] Wolfe, Maxine. “AIDS and Politics: Transformation of Our Movement.” In Women, AIDS, and Politics. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1998.

[ii] Caruth, Cathy and Thomas Keenan. “‘The AIDS Crisis is Not Over’: A Conversation with Gregg Bordowitz, Douglas Crimp, and Laura Pinsky.” In American Imago. 48:541. 1991.

[iii] Hubbard, Jim and Sarah, Schulman. United In Anger: A History of ACT-UP. YouTube. Directed by Jim Hubbard. United In Anger, Inc. 2012.

[iv] DiAna, DiAna. “Talking that Talk,” In Women, AIDS, and Politics. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1998.

[v] Crimp, Douglas. “Right On, Girlfriend!” In Social Text. 33: 8. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1992.

[vi] Caruth and Keenan. “‘The AIDS Crisis is Not Over’: A Conversation with Gregg Bordowitz, Douglas Crimp, and Laura Pinsky.” 545.

[vii] Ibid. 546.

[viii] Crimp. “Right On, Girlfriend!” 12-13.

[ix] Harris, Gail. “AIDS and Politics: Transformation of Our Movement.” In Women, AIDS, and Politics. Boston, MA: South End Press, 1998.

[x] Caruth and Keenan. “‘The AIDS Crisis is Not Over’: A Conversation with Gregg Bordowitz, Douglas Crimp, and Laura Pinsky.” 547.

[xi] Ibid. 547.