From the Houses series, by Lebbeus Woods, 1979.
Anonymous said: I don't want to say that every male rapper degrades women (this includes women of color esp.) but like?? Kanye?? degrades women (the video for Monster, umm). You listen to his music and support him socially as well posting something the other day about how white people are uncomfortable with his success because he is black and apparently not because he's actually just a shit person. Confused is all.
yes i love kanye + support him to the end. he means + represents a lot to me. i like to think kanye’s entire existence is a commentary on black bodies and the reactions to him + those commentaries are so very telling
i think first things first
- misogyny is not just a hip hop problem, so i’m glad you don’t want to say every male rapper degrades women because that’s a pointed observation. misogyny and the degrading of women come from all genres and artists (see lily allen)
- it is important to understand as a black woman i have two oppressive structures working against me, whiteness is afforded over everything, our (m + woc) bodies + humanities are in danger constantly. when discussing race + gender, it is important to realize racial privilege will always come first. white women still have many privileges above black men
- misogyny in the black community correlates directly with slavery; watching the female slaves be raped, beaten, treated as low as possible and in many cases being forced to follow suit, that has been deeply rooted and carried with our culture (see: black men who do not want anything to do w black women)
Monster is a HEAVILY riddled commentary about black men, black women + anti-black racism. it is cynically mocking the vilification of black men, the hyper-sexualization of black women and ways in which the media depicts white women as innocent victims (esp ones who associate/ are abused by black men) do i think there are problems within the video? sure. but i think what it brings to light outweighs the issues. let’s dig deeper, shall we?
the song takes us on the plight of WoC’s struggles to tackle the virgin/whore dichotomy with nicki’s verse. in the video she is very literally antagonizing the “pure” barbie version of herself who is tied to a chair in her stealthy sexualized costume, which ends in her being silenced and nicki screaming “i’m a motherfuckin monster” with her ass to the camera, depicting the struggle that no matter how hard WoC try, they will always be seen as dirty/sexualized by society/ the media. we can never be the “good girl” (see: rihanna = “whore”/miley = confident feminist)
kanye + jay-z are to be the murders of the white women in the video, attesting to the archetype that black men are savages, dangerous, and rape white women.
"There is the tendency (identified most notably by bell hooks in the late 80s/early 90s) for white/mainstream media to act as though the misogyny in hip hop is unique to black culture (i.e., caused by/evidence of black men’s monstrosity), and not emblematic of and thoroughly imbued in mainstream/white American culture." (c)
It is NOT a new story in Af.American history that black men were/are unjustifiably convicted/accused of being rapists/dangerous to/of white women just because they were black (see: 14 y/o emmett till?????)
their repetition of “everybody knows i’m a mothafuckin’ monster” is a blatant sarcastic point to the stereotypes of their character.
kanye isn’t afraid to say anything (ie “geoge bush doesn’t care about black people" to which i respond: tru) by bon iver saying "i crossed the line" @ the end of the song, we are talking about how POC aren’t allowed to do what society deems inappropriate for them to do. in response to your reference of the post i reblogged; yes white people are uncomfortable by his success, for the very reasons i just stated. he is rare as hell, he is unapologetic, no one is safe from his critiques. society likes rich black people to be well behaved and conforming OR throwing some kind of ball around. they are turned off by his self assurance + confidence.
kanye is not innocent and you will never catch me saying he is but he is SO important to me and rightfully so. it might be easy for a white woman like yourself to boil this song down to misogyny/garbage but i can imagine because you don’t have any of these tropes placed on yourself bc of the color of your skin it isn’t of interest to you to look deeper. and it’s easy for you alike other white people to boil kanye down to a “shit person” and for that i feel bad for you because he is a fucking genius.
i like how cis people act like it would be the worst thing in the world not to assume people’s genders i mean we don’t assume people’s names what if you just met someone and you were like “hey emily” and they were like “thats not my name its megan” and you were like “oh well how was i supposed to know. you look like an emily to me. i guess i can try to call you megan but its gonna be hard because i just see you as such an emily”
you ever notice a lot of stuff is considered poor and gross unless its upper middle class (white) people doing it
food trucks in the 90s were the realm of taco trucks and fairground food and were always considered unhygienic and nasty until all these rich city kids started opening food trucks and now they’re “trendy” and “innovative”
riding your bike to work is only considered geofriendly if you can also afford to drive a car but don’t want to, then you’re saving the earth, everyone else isn’t somehow??
recycling old cheap stuff to be used as furniture and wearing really old clothing is a sign of poverty unless you’re doing it a certain way or wearing a certain kind of old clothing
double standards are gross and you should expose them in your life as much as possible