Let me first preface this work 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 sexuality to get
ahead, because this society is still a sexist society. And just like the hammer of
racism, when a group is oppressed after so long, that group typically has low self
esteem, and you exhibit other mental ailments 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 - rewarded. In other corporate cultures, sexism exists but it is
hidden. There is shame attached to it. Hip-Hop has become a woman-hating bigot
that has taken 10 steps back in progress.
Do you think I am lying? In Hip-Hop a man can call Black women "b****es",
"hoes," "tricks," "sluts," and whatever other degrading word that come to mind.
In the lyrics and the life rappers parade these women around in front of the masses on a
stripper's pole with 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.
He now flaunts Black women as if they were pieces of meat to fight over his
affection. After two more shows of ridiculous betrayal to
Black women, he picked Deelishis 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, seven figures that is. At least I am hoping that a large sum of money 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
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. 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
Another incident I recall regards a woman who stepped on a video set
half-naked and, after she was called a b***h and a hoe by an A-list rapper, laughed as if it was the normal course of action. 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 b****es 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 Hip-Hop Awards
the stripper and hoe was outwardly celebrated.
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 stripper poles on BET. And Kanye West can state
that biracial mutts 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
in Hip-Hop, no one bats an eye. In fact, no one even says a word.
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. Ms. Miller holds a M.B.A. in global management and her interests lies
in community and economic development for urban populations.