Don’t Call it a Comeback: Misogyny in Modern America

"Misogyny" courtesy of nessie666.deviantart,com

“Misogyny” courtesy of nessie666.deviantart,com

I started this post with the intention of posing a definition of misogyny, providing a couple examples, and wrapping it up. But, when I went onto UrbanDictionary.com to look up the definition for misogyny, the first thing that popped up was “Vampire Ass: an ass so juicy you just can help but sink your teeth into it.” Nevermind the two blatant misusages of grammar, this is a perfect example of how misogyny has infiltrated our every day thinking.

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Progressive Classics: On Yeezus and Black Feminism

image courtesy of Myspace.

image courtesy of Myspace.

 

Editor’s Note: While we like to keep profanity, violence and misogyny to a minimum on our blog, Kanye West’s Yeezus is explicit in nature. Please be aware that the lyrics re-printed here may be very offensive to some people. 

The self-proclaimed Michael Jordan of rap is gearing up to work on the “second half” of last summer’s critically confusing Yeezus, so we’re going to take a look back at our feminist deconstruction of the blasphemous collection of songs.

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Lighter Skin a Fast-Track to Hip-Hop Success?

Rihanna-Drake-J-cole

Photo courtesy of drizzydrake.org

Is my black beautiful? This is the question that plagues Black people across the globe, young and old. Although J. Cole recently asserted that his success is attributed to his complexion, I disagree with this statement when studying the way the African American male is perceived and valued as successful within not only rap culture, but also in mainstream media as a whole.  There have been a plethora of artist, in particularly in the hip-hop community, that have failed the, “paper bag test”, and have still been able to obtain success .Diddy, the Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, Tupac, Outkast, and so on and so forth. Often times for African American males their dark skin helps to personify their image as thuggish and dangerous and acts as an affirmation that they are stronger and more powerful than the average man (an assumption that is not reserved solely for Black men) while their fairer counterparts often perceived as being “soft” or emotional.

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On Yeezus and Black Feminism

kanye west yeezus

Editor’s Note: While we like to keep profanity, violence and misogyny to a minimum on our blog, Kanye West’s Yeezus is explicit in nature. Please be aware that the lyrics re-printed here may be very offensive to some people. 

The self-proclaimed Michael Jordan of rap, Kanye West released his sixth solo album last week to much internet fanfare. Yeezus, Kanye’s newest album places the rapper at the height of his fame and has been heralded as many things: Pitchfork gave it a 9.5 rating, it was called “boundary cutting” by NPR and Rolling Stone says of it, “Yeezus  is the darkest, most extreme music Kanye has ever cooked up, an extravagantly abrasive album full of grinding electro, pummeling minimalist hip-hop, drone-y wooz and industrial gear grind.” Yes Kanye’s done it again! As a constantly tormented Black feminist AND hip-hop lover I went through several listens to his album and I did the same thing I usually do when I listen to most mainstream rap albums: I tried to disassociate myself from the offensive, woman-hating lyrics because I love a good beat, ’80s synths and Motown samples. This time though, Kanye made it impossible to do that. While I’ve never produced beats for the hottest rappers, sold out stadiums or kicked it with Beyoncé, I still think that I can offer suggestions to Kanye on how to be less of “d***” to women.

While I admit that Kanye’s never been the most feminist of artists, I do believe he’s a smart, clever guy who’s not afraid to question gender dynamics by openly wearing pink, showing his vulnerability on 808s & Heartbreak, or making astute cultural observations on awesome songs like Late Registration’s “Crack Music” or The College Dropout‘s “Spaceships.” I would like to enjoy his music again because his creativity and innovation as a producer and musician is admirable, but I’m tired of compromising my principles in favor of music that makes me want to slow twerk. So, Kanye, I think I speak for many women when I say I’d like to live in a world where North West doesn’t have to grow up with mixed messages about how to express her sexuality or feel alienated by her father. Unfortunately, Kanye’s not really making it easy when he makes an album in which women are only portrayed as money-grubbing hos, money-grubbing exes and sexual objects – with no regard to their own sexual desires. Here are some of his biggest lyrical offenses:

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