Wake up! Speak Out!

There has been a lot of controversy over the hip-hop industry and it’s degradation of women. It has been broadcast on TV and the radio and written about in magazines, books, and newspapers. Although I have been exposed to this subject dozens of times, I wasn’t that bothered by it until two days ago.
My high school put on an assembly for a seminar with businessmen in the music industry. They lectured us for a bit and then there was a question and answer session. Well, one girl stood up and asked “Why do rappers write songs that degrade women?”. I was very happy that she asked that question but that didn’t inspire this article, the reactions of the audience AKA my school mates did. They jeered and booed her and one guy even called her a “hater”. It is one thing to be completely indifferent about the degradation of women, especially black women, but to condone it is just plain wrong. It upsets me that the media and the rap industry has corrupted the minds of my peers so deeply that we celebrate the fact that black women are being made to look like whore and wenches in music created by black men. I have witnessed some of my peers and even some people older than me complain about white, latino or lighter-skinned girls being in all the music video instead of black women. As a black woman and a feminist , I wish that woman in general were not portrayed as they are in music videos, but I’m happy that black women aren’t as prominent in music videos as they used to be. Unfortunately it is obvious that some people would disagree with that statement and that’s why I chose to write this article. I wanted to speak out against this growing issue just like my classmate did and I hope all of you in cyberspace chose to do the same thing.


Anonymous | April 30, 2008 at 6:01 AM

Yes! I love this post. It was kinda short but had just the right about of info. I agree more needs to be said.

Gildersleeve | April 30, 2008 at 8:41 PM

The trend in mainstream hip-hop for a good while has been "gangsta rap," which in many ways is extreme masculinity. We live in a post-feminist society that subscribes to a lot of political correctness, and this kind of unapologetic misogyny may be successful due to a desire among alot of men to be completely sexist and treat women like objects.

Unfortunately, hip-hop and other forms of entertainment seems to be used to reflect the black community. I've found this tendency a bit bizarre since we don't identify entertainment with other groups. We don't think that asian people are like characters in kung-fu movies or anime, for instance.

As for your general thesis, I think you may have reason to ease your concerns. Hip-hop is evolving, and gangsta rap seems to be on the way out. Lupe Fiasco, The Knux, Kanye West, Tanya Morgan and The Cool Kids seem to be the hot thing right now and they're more likely to rhyme about skateboarding or aliens than smacking hoes and busting gats.