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Women Can’t Criticize Rap?

Why should women put up with insults?

Why should women put up with insults?

It’s perfectly fine to insult women.

And women shouldn’t complain — because they might offend someone.


Not all rap is sexist. But when I talk about sexism in gangsta’ rap some of my students start squirming. Read the rest of this entry

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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