VMAs 2012: The Moron, The Idiot, and The Master of Misogyny

I loath Drake. I cannot tell you how much. I despise the Young Money, Cash Money crew morons with Lil Wayne at the misogynistic helm of it all with a passion I can hardly express coherently without wanting to throw my computer at the TV or the Radio into the dustbin when they are on either. This was never music to me, this is an assault that makes me want to get my fatigues out and go to war banning this crap from the airwaves!

Last night, I watched the VMAs, when Drake the moron declared his award dedication to ‘any kid who ever walked alone..this one’s for you..BITCH!”  What does this mean? Why would ‘Bitch’ be an appropriate end to an otherwise sensible dedication for kids who were bullied or made to feel an outsider.

I swear I saw Rihanna mouth ‘Arseholes’ as the moronic clan trooped on stage to make this absurd declaration. She would be right. They are the worst kind of ‘edutainers’ polluting the minds of the young and the ignorant to perpetuate an attitude that really must be stopped, erased, wiped out of our society and consciousness. To further incense, Lil Wayne and 2 maybe 3 or 4Chainz (who cares how many chains you have?) got on stage to further provide an onslaught of misogyny under the guise of music; with full support of the frankly confused Nicki Minaj in tow….words fail me.

My brother used to send me (not anymore) music splattered with Bitch, hoe, and more imagery of violence than I can stomach in any life time, let alone the one I have. I had several strong sharp words but I am still astounded that even a boy with as much sensitivity and love as he, with 3 sisters who have loved him unconditionally, could be flippant about this verbal violence towards women. He knows better. Surely, he knows better? Then this article I was sent by a friend this morning clarified some of these questions for me. I am sharing it here.

There really are men out there who are conscious, honest about their experiences, who are raising sons and daughters with a consciousness of patriarchy that has shaped them and how they too ‘awakened’ are challenging those instincts in themselves, but more importantly that the challenge should also be directed amongst each other.

Following the controversy of Lupe Fiasco’s ‘Bitch Bad’ and the arguments one can leverage at his convoluted offering; I do believe this as an important element to begin deconstruction of patriarchy in the minds of boys as they become men; as well as men who might not be aware of the ‘default’ they subscribe to. Its not an easy road but pontificating about it within a closed group of intellectual women, who albeit right, isn’t going to cause a shift in their thinking. It needs to be out in the ‘playground’, boys and girls calling each other out and being empowered to do so with courage as ammunition that sometimes it is good to be the kid walking alone and no it doesn’t make you weak. In reality, the journey – any journey – begins internally, alone. In the dark corners of our minds where we are saying ‘No more. This is wrong’.

Let me know your thoughts. In Love and Light.

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Lupe’s Fiasco: Bitch Bad, Woman Good, Queen Better?

Before writing about Lupe’s new offering ‘Bitch Bad’ let’s take a moment to understand what he is addressing:

The negative reviews are overtly harsh and somewhat convoluted. It is easy to find fault in his words. He used the  B-word in juxtaposition to ‘Woman good, Lady better’. So what? Are we becoming a society too bogged down in semantics that instead of finding points to liberate from them, they only serve to blur the issues at hand, with no clear steps to resolution? As such, we bypass the super-objective in its entirety and forget to celebrate the direct and no-sugar coated open discourse on an issue that is shaping how young girls view, not only themselves, but how they are viewed by their male counterparts.

Would the lyrics ‘Bitch Bad, Woman Good, Queen better’ change the super objective. No. It remains the same. But, it would alter the negative noise around the word choices in the song; and all for the better because that focus misses the point entirely.

In context, the direction and what he addresses is spot on. Therefore, it might be worth considering also the audience he is attempting to address and why.  One cannot diminish its positive logic in the semantics of language. Language is not static. It evolves and morphs with the times. Not to digress, but not long ago we were up in arms about text language and its potential destruction of a literacy culture and heritage for the next generation. Well, isn’t that what Lupe is addressing here too? ‘Bitch Bad, Woman Good, Lady Better’?

For Lupe to address this denigration of Women, he should be commended not vilified. This song is about Value. The problem he highlights is one derived from the negative association with the term. “Bitch” in itself is not a bad word, it is the concepts tied to it that is bad, which is what he addresses in this song. It is the termination of the ideas embedded in the words that it embodies that we must abolish and fight against. It is the denigration and loathing of the Female self  (Black and White and all in-between) that he addresses and asks us (male and female) to move from. For this, he merits support. Because is it not the reinforcement of negative ideas behind any derogatory term what we collectively aim to diminish?

Fela’s ‘Lady’ –  from which I clearly and unconsciously coined my moniker and also because my initial is actually ‘O’ – can also be viewed with the same lens here. It addressed the discourse of African women wanting and demanding equality in a tradition that renders them subservient to their male siblings and counterparts at birth. Here too he juxtapositions the words ‘Woman’ and ‘Lady’ but in the context of Europeans bringing the idea of equality with men as a foreign and unwanted concept to the African woman, who as a result, wants to be viewed as ‘Lady O!’. As we know, there are many examples of amazing African Women, his own Mother and market women included, who rendered (and continue to render) this limited and limiting position obsolete.

The HuffPo piece is worth a read. I found this also, you can hear more of his thoughts about the record in retrospect:

Rather than shoot him down because he didn’t use ‘Queen’ or ‘Empress’ or even just leave it at ‘Woman’, let’s applaud without a semantical debate obfuscating the emancipating objective of his offering and the highlighting of how big this issue really is for both the Male and Female psychology and relationship. Well done Lupe.