Monday, January 17, 2005

Got Misogyny?

I'm starting to think I'm the only person unimpressed with this publicity stunt disguised as a crusade to end sexism in hip hop. The "rampant misogyny" in hip hop has to be one of the most regurgitated topics amongst mainstream critics, right behind the "rampant violence" and "rampant commercialism". If anything, the flood of corny hip hop love songs clogging the airwaves is more of a threat to hip hop than the grossly overstated dangers of "misogyny". So while everyone else is dishing out undeserved kudos, I'll take this time to offer some questions to the sanctimonious editors at Essence:

What artists do you hold most responsible for the "narrow images" of Black women you see in hip hop? Because while I frequently hear complaints about the misogyny in rap, no one ever names any of these evil misogynists.

Is hip hop the only genre that offends your feminist sensibilities? What about R&B, which frequently has lyrics and videos that objectify women just as much as any rap single on urban radio?

Whats the standard for being called a misogynist,anyway? How many times can an artist say "bitch" or "hoe" on record before becoming a threat to the collective psyche of Black women? How many gyrating, bikini clad women can one have in a video before jeapordizing the global image of Black women?

Where's all the harm being done by the deluge of sexist imagery in hip hop? Despite tons of anecdotal evidence to the contrary, pregnancies are decreasing amongst Black girls. As a matter of fact, teen pregnancy in the Black community is at a historical low. Black women already outnumber Black men in college, and are well on the way to outearning Black men. So where's the crisis, ladies?