I applaud Essence magazine's Take Back the Music campaign. My only concern is the editors/writers will assail against the rappers and hip-hop and not really focus on society at large. Misogyny is a cultural problem and is not exclusive to hip-hop (and rappers) only.
But I digress because all I want to do with this post was pass this article along to those who may have not seen or read this piece.
It's music journalist Mark Anthony Neal's insightful commentary on misogyny in hip-hop titled Hip-Hop Has A Gender Problem.
In a society that remains largely ignorant of the scholarly, political and cultural contributions of women like Anna Julia Cooper, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis ("oh yeah, the chick with the afro, right?"), June Jordan, bell hooks, Michele Wallace, Patricia Hill-Collins, Jewell Gomez, Joy James, Beverley Guy-Sheftall and Masani Alexis De Veaux, how can we expect hip-hop to do the heavy-lifting that hasn't been done in the larger culture? Despite popular belief, hip-hop is not the most prominent site of sexism and misogyny in American society, but a reflection of the sexism and misogyny that more powerfully circulates within American culture.
In many ways the images and lyrics used to objectify women of color in hip-hop videos serve as metaphors for the ways that American society actually treats those women. As Pough notes, "rappers become grunt workers for the patriarchy: They sow the field of misogyny for the patriarchy and provide the labor necessary to keep it in operation, much as Black men and women provided the free and exploited labor that built the United States." Remember, the black men on the screen are "performing" -- performing their notions of how American masculinity embodies power through force, violence and exploitation. (50 [Cent] ain't the only thug or pimp in the room -- there are more than a few in the White House and at the Pentagon.)
That is all. I'm not looking for a medal or looking to be crowned a hip-hop scholar.
I'm just passing this information along.