If a person in a crowded grocery store came up to me and said, "Move bitch," I'd probably punch him or her in the face. But, start blasting Ludacris' song, "Move Bitch," and there I am singing right along. I'm a hypocrite. There, I've admitted it. But I get the feeling that I am not alone.
Members of the University of Richmond community and hundreds of students were shocked and insulted when the Kappa Sig "skeeza" e-mail was leaked to the masses last semester. Multiple people went blue in the face trying to get the student who wrote it kicked out of school. The funny thing is that I saw many of those same people dancing at the lodges (including Kappa Sig's) to music with just as much, if not more, derogatory language than was contained in the e-mail. So are we saying it's not OK for a man to say or write something chauvinistic, but if Mystikal wants us to shake our asses, by God we can and we will!
We need to make up our minds. Is it OK to sing along to music, calling Eminem's wife a hoe, but inappropriate for someone to call your mom one? I don't think so. I think we should be more conscientious of the music we enjoy and how it relates to our personal opinions on certain issues.
I'm not suggesting we start censoring music or even editing music for that matter. If radio stations started editing all their music, most Lil' Wayne songs would sound as if someone were murdering a litter of kittens.
When the film "Crash" came out in 2004, one of the stars of the film, singer/actor Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges went on the Oprah Winfrey show. On the show, Oprah questioned Ludacris about the use of the n-word in his music. If I remember correctly, I think Ludacris said it was a cultural word with a new and different meaning. By changing the original -er at the end of the word to an -a, the meaning of the word became completely different.
Is that what has become of derogatory language toward women in music? Is there a different meaning behind singing, "I wanna f*ck you," than saying it? I know plenty of girls who would kick a guy in the family jewels if he came up to her in a club and said that. So why don't we care when someone is singing it at us?
Is it because it isn't reality? Akon doesn't even know who I am, so he obviously doesn't mean it, right? If that were the case, then I could go around calling everybody fat and ugly because I didn't actually mean what I was saying.
The music industry caters to certain groups. Clay Aiken caters to his 40-year-old "claymates." The Jonas Brothers cater to teenage girls all over the world. With that in mind, I think it's safe to say that rappers and hip-hop artists do not sell records with the intention of catering to bitches and hoes. I'd even go as far as to say they don't generally cater to guys who use those terms in everyday dialogue. So why do we put up with the jargon?
Check out hip-hop artist Lupe Fiasco for instance. He doesn't curse in his music yet manages to sell millions of records because of his crazy beats and smart lyrics. With that said, it's not the cursing that bothers me (I use enough of it in my articles as is), but rather it's the swear words used to devalue women and the profanity that continues to support abuse that bothers me.
Maybe it is time for us to consider why we listen to what we do. Maybe springtime can inspire us to start fresh, to clean out our closets, our minds and our iPods.
Contact assistant opinion editor Liz Monahan at email@example.com
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