home what'snew resources ask amy news activism antiviolence events marketplace aboutus
Ask a Question!
Meet Amy!
Amy's Resource Guide
Ask Amy Main
Most Asked Questions
Reproductive Rights
Sexual Harassment
Violence Against Women
Women's History

As a fellow feminist, I'm wondering about your opinions on feminist's reactions to the rap and/or hip hop videos that border on pornography.  

As far as I know, we are only talking about what should be done/ how we should change the lyrics/ etc.  I don't think that's the actual problem here.  Our teaching tells us that, in theory, men and women are equal.  We both have the right to vote and we have the E.R.A. But unwritten rules tell us otherwise.  We know that men and women do not receive equal pay in many jobs, men still rule the world, and women are still told to mind the house and raise the children.  

Is it this barricade that prevents us from truly being equal? Or are we just not confident enough to condemn the horrible words that rappers (and unfortunately now men) call women?  



I can only offer a bigger picture response, as I actually don't watch videos, not out of protest, just lack of time. It wouldn't be fair of me to offer an opinion, based on something I'm not immediately invested in. But I did read a great article "Claiming Jezebel: Black Female Subjectivity and Sexual Expression in Hip-Hop" by Ayana Byrd and it comes from The Fire This Time. This article does a good job of rationalizing how two things can be at play: we can enjoy something and simultaneously despise it.With these videos, I think it's hard for women in particular to come down hard on them because it becomes about pitting gender against race, at least that’s how others often interpret it. Also, it is partially justified on cultural lines and therefore, it is perceived to be an inappropriate condemnation, using our values to trump another persons.

So yes, I think it's complicated, and you get to something that I also think is at play, do women even feel entitled to ask for more? I think that many women are complacent with their status and don't know how to ask for more because they don't know how to imagine more. So my suggestion to eliminate injustices is often to fuel people with more self-esteem, we have to believe it before we ask others to.

Good luck,

- Amy