What If Women Ran Rap?

By Rebecca Fierros

If women ran hip hop

the beats and rhymes would be just as dope,

but there would never be a bad vibe when you

walked into the place


That’s what Anay de Leon says. Because right now bad vibes are all too easy to feel if you’re a woman in the middle of a rap.

Or as Bridget Grey declares:

Now unless I’m dreaming I could have swore,

right after you called me a “bitch” you called someone else a whore,

and at this point I’m trying to process a few things…


What were the original words to that song?

and you want me to do what with my thong?

And I’m trippin’ cause nobody is acting like anything is wrong.


Testosterone-fueled hip hop is the air that we breathe. We groove to the put downs. ‘Cause we see women the way men see us. It’s okay. It’s cool. We might grasp – for a second – a spiteful riff aimed at us. And then press “repeat.”

de Leon says:

If women ran hip hop 

there would never be shootings 

cuz there would be onsite conflict mediators 

to help you work through all that negativity &


If women ran hip hop 

men would be relieved because it’s so draining 

to keep up that front of toughness & power &

control 24-7

And the men look so cool as women crawl at their feet, to be taken and left. Tough men don’t need a woman ‘cause they can always get another. Women are bereft

… and disposable.

Women in rap materialize hyper-sexualized because “sex sells.” Strong women rappers — Salt-n-Pepa, Roxanne Shante, Queen Latifa, MC Lyte — know it ain’t what you look like, it’s how you spit (rhyme).

If women ran rap, says de Leon,

& females would dress sexy if we wanted to

celebrate our bodies

but it wouldn’t be that important because

everyone would be paying attention to our minds,


In my own vision:

If women ran hip hop

the verses would flow perfectly

and they’d make you think better of yourself as a woman.

Women would have a voice and speak for themselves

and speak about what we want without the approval of a man.


No ho’s or bitches here because we wouldn’t be brainwashed

into thinking that any women was one, or that it’s okay to be one.

Women would be uplifted and not degraded.


Men and women would respect themselves and each other.

No one would need to feel superior.

So no one would look down on another

because of some clichéd version of who we think they are.

Rebecca Fierros is a student of mine who wrote this piece and gave permission to post it.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on September 14, 2012, in feminism, gender, psychology, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Adrene Garabedian

    I will admit, I listen to that raunchy rap music which talks about women in a bad perspective and I hate to admit that I like it. However, I support all the female rappers a 110% in their battle to be better performers than the male rappers of our generation. If women rappers were in control of the rap music industry, the music this generation approved of would be a lot different. Of course male rappers would continue to rap about the way they like their women, but there would be a difference. In my opinion, the women would discuss more real life issues like relationship issues, family issues, what life is really like for a woman, and so on and so forth. Maybe one day we will see a woman rapper who really takes control of the rap music industry.

  2. I think females put the sensitive vocabulary into rap with the exceptions of some women who find it to be attractive to rap like men. And call other women names that they would not use around their mothers. You see the most sensitive side of an individual around their elders such as their mothers or grandmothers. They could be tuff on the streets or on radio, through media but around their elders they’re like babys.

  3. I enjoyed reading this a lot . I really liked the way it flowed. I agree with this post one hundred percent. Although it is true that there are some female rappers who are just as bad as the male rappers. If man had never started it with the calling names, and degrading women, women would have never felt it okay. Some women, and a lot of men really have been brain washed into thinking that it is okay to call a woman a ho or a bitch when it is just unacceptable. Because it is not the same for men.

  4. I found this reading very interesting and i enjoyed reading this a lot. I honestly believe that if women ran hip hop it might just be the same. A lot of the women in rap, rap just a badly and vulgar as the men do towards men and women. At one point Im sure people rapped this way just because thats what was selling but now I think this is really the lifestyle they want to live and how they want to be seen.

  5. That’s refreshing. TLC are a girl power kind of group who spark some controversy because of what they say in their songs. They also wore condoms with some of their outfits. Although their lyrics made you think. Some of their songs were like Ciara’s song “Like A Boy”. They discussed how guys get mad when women do the same things that they do. How it’s okay for guys to do these things but not okay when women do them. If women ran Rap we could say what we wanted to say without being afraid. I wrote a rap for class in college and it felt good to express myself in that way. I was letting people know how I felt and my voice was being heard. There should be more women out there rapping about issues that we face or whatever they feel is important. It is empowering! We need to stand up for what we believe in. In a way words can change the world. People are listening to what you have to say.

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