BlackBook talks about Beyonce’s amazing all-female band
One of the coolest things about Beyoncé’s live show won’t get nearly as much play as the impressive choreography or the light show or the ’90s-kid-Twitter-detonating reunion, and that is The Suga Mamas, Beyoncé’s all-female tour band, with whom she has been touring for years (as NPR’s Ann Powers helpfully pointed out, “not a gimmick”).
An all-female backing band may be part of her image and a very deliberate decision, but in an age where women playing rock instruments is still totally novel to a lot of people because most of America and the world is in a dumb time warp about stuff like this and women who are guitarists, drummers, etc. still have to “prove” themselves more than their male counterparts, to have The Suga Mamas on the biggest and most mainstream stage, performing to millions the world over, is really goddamn impressive, even if they were supporting one of the biggest names in music and of course they’d be there.
And leading this pack is Bibi McGill, who in addition to having a pretty incredible stage presence and complementing Our Bey well, can play like nobody’s business. It’s a shame people probably missed her playing because everyone was waiting so attentively to see if Destiny’s Child would show up, because it was boss. There were pyrotechnics. There was shredding. The planets aligned and all was well.
Rape has become endemic in South Africa, so a medical technician named Sonette Ehlers developed a product that immediately gathered national attention there. Ehlers had never forgotten a rape victim telling her forlornly, “If only I had teeth down there.”
Some time afterward, a man came into the hospital where Ehlers works in excruciating pain because his penis was stuck in his pants zipper.
Ehlers merged those images and came up with a product she called Rapex. It resembles a tube, with barbs inside. The woman inserts it like a tampon, with an applicator, and any man who tries to rape the woman impales himself on the barbs and must go to an emergency room to have the Rapex removed.
When critics complained that it was a medieval punishment, Ehlers replied tersely, “A medieval device for a medieval deed.”
- Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof