Monday, November 27, 2006

Hip Hop Gives Women Another Black Eye

Only in Hip Hop can you call a woman a B-tch, parade her around on a leash, and get away with it...

by Shemia Miller

Let me first preface this by saying that in every industry there are women out there who have experienced sexism and people have turned a deaf ear. In addition there are women out there who truly do feel that they must use their sexual nature to get ahead, because this society is still a sexist society. And just like Racism, when you are oppressed after so long, you have low self esteem, and you exhibit other psychosis that you would otherwise not exhibit if you lived in a loving and egalitarian society. I use the analogy of the elephant in a circus(trapped) who has a small wire on his leg and can't go anywhere as an infant, becomes larger than the small wire and still believes that he can't go anywhere even though he is much more powerful. But only in Hip Hop is sexism acceptable and applauded. In other corporate cultures, sexism exists but it is hidden. There is shame attached to it. Hip Hop has become a bigot that has taken 10 steps back in progress.

Think I am lying? In Hip Hop a man can call Black women "B-tches", "Hoes", "Tricks", "Sluts", whatever degrading word that he can think of in his lyrics, and parade her around in front of everyone on a stripper's pole; and everyone applauds with such pride and no shame.

Just check out the most recent BET awards show if you think I am exaggerating. In Hip Hop pimps are celebrated, just ask Katt Williams; and whores are vindicated. Unlike everyone else who is so happy that the south now has a turn in Hip Hop, I am trying to figure out when did strippers become more regarded than women like Coretta Scott King. What the hell happened? Hip Hop has truly went south.

Turn on the television and you have Flavor Flav, a man that was in one of the most socially conscious rap groups of all times, Public Enemy, now parading Black women around like pieces of meat to fight over his affection. He finally after 2 more shows of ridiculous betrayal to Black women, picked Delishes who is the poster girl for every Black woman that has a backside. But I am not sure if she has any intelligence to go along with that beautiful face and smile. In fact she isn't the only one that rolled her dice in order to hit a lucky 7, 7 figures that is. At least I am hoping that is the real reason why she is embarrassing the Black community like she is. I have had plenty of experiences to show me that Black women and women of color are suffering from low self esteem across the board and believe that celebrity status can become their ticket of freedom even at the expense of pride. I can give plenty of examples of more "Delishes".

One incident in particular is a female that used sex as a means to levy power against other men in the music industry. She slept with different men to get various positions in the industry. It was sad, people talked about her, but she didn't really think anything was wrong with it. She slept with friends and so forth, in fact she explained that she wanted to be so good sexually for his friend so he could want her. I found it crazy. I couldn't believe how she felt this was normal behavior. But this type of thing has been happening for years. However in the Hip Hop industry it is unfortunately the norm.

Another incident is a woman who I saw on the video set who came in half-naked and then called Bitches and Hoes by an A-list rapper, on the set and she laughed it off as if that was normal. Those two incidents were probably the most disheartening. So when I hear about Kim Osorio being sexually harassed at The Source Magazine, I tend to believe her as opposed to the other parties. I believe her because this environment has made this an acceptable part of their culture.

Rappers believe that because they can call Black women bitches and hoes on their song, and we've allowed it, that we can then allow them to call us that in "real life". And unfortunately, executives support this type of blatant disrespect. And if you scanned the BET awards they celebrated it.

Yes Snoop Dogg can walk us around like dogs on leashes on MTV. Flavor Flav can parade us around like cheap buffoons on Vh-1. Young Jeezy can have us on strip poles on BET. And Kanye West can state that mixed girls are the most beautiful women he has seen in comparison to full-blooded Black women. Rappers can call Black women awful names in every lyric that they create. Men associate being a woman with being weak. This I guess happens in all industries. But only in Hip Hop, no one bats an eye. In fact, no one even says a word.

About the Author:

Shemia Miller is the author of The First Ladies Club series. This series has been called a powerful book for Black women all around the globe. This series explores Black women and their potential power in the music industry. "Deliciously addictive", Donna Scavella of E! Entertainment calls the book. Ms. Miller is currently a Vice President of a powerful record label.

Ms. Miller holds a M.B.A. in global management and her interests lies in community and economic development for urban populations.

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