Saturday, December 02, 2006

Guardian in the Dogg House

Sometimes you open the paper and then go back to the front page to check the title. I mean is this article about rapper Snoop Dogg really from The Guardian? It makes no mention of the fact that his idea of a song title is "Break A Bitch Til I Die", featuring lyrics like "Hos come, hos go, hos runnin ya slow, So keep her foot up in her ass, unless a dick in her throat". Instead The Guardian (yes, I know, The Guardian...) refers to him as "pimpalicious"?! Meaning what exactly? That there's something good to be said for making money from human traffiking, co-erced sex and prostitution? Please.

3 Comments:

Blogger Iceman said...

Mass-market rap and hip-hop is mostly purchased by middle-class white kids. The artists deliberately try to be as extreme as possible, because that's what sells millions of copies in suburban malls. "Rebellious" white 13-year olds want to hear rappers who treat women as sex objects or who glorify gangster violence, not rappers who urge men to respect women and avoid violence, or who rap about social issues in inner-city communities. What do most white teenagers want to hear - songs about gin-and-juice or gentrification? And so which rapper becomes a multimillionaire with TV shows and Guardian articles, and which one plays to crowds of 50 people in Harlem or Brixton?

"Pimp" has come to mean the noun "guy who gets loads of women" or the verb "to really work on something and then show it off" - e.g. a pimped out car. You might think that using the word pimp as if it's something harmless or good trivializes the sexual exploitation of women. I don't care what they call it as long as they do something about the massive injustice of women forced into the sex trade and then horribly exploited.

6:19 pm  
Blogger Cruella said...

Sure but are they doing anything about exploitation in the sex industry? No. Are they glamourising the industry and thus increasing the likelihood that the next generation of young women will be lured into it and the next generation of young men will tolerate and support it? Yes.

The gay community has been enormously successful in getting homophopic acts banned from the world stage. We need to do the same with misogynist rappers like Snoop Dogg.

Arguably we also need to ask ourselves how we have created a society where as you point out: "white 13-year olds want to hear rappers who treat women as sex objects "

6:47 pm  
Blogger Iceman said...

"Sure but are they doing anything about exploitation in the sex industry? No. Are they glamourising the industry and thus increasing the likelihood that the next generation of young women will be lured into it and the next generation of young men will tolerate and support it? Yes."

A good start would be to pressure music video channels to refuse to show videos with "pimp" imagery or which depict women in degrading ways. Or at least not to have them on shows which they know have an underage audience.

How to actually stop the trafficking of women from Eastern Europe and the Third World into the sex trade in rich countries is another issue. Since so much of the sex trade is out in the open (escort advertisements in phonebooks or in phone booths, visible and well-known red light districts, massage parlors which are obvious fronts), if it was a real priority for law enforcement to crack down on it and jail the people responsible for kidnapping, defrauding, threatening or exploiting these women then they should be able to make a real difference in the problem. I only assume that it isn't a priority, or that people are paid off, or that politicians and communities would like to pretend "oh, we don't do that here" rather than acknowledge and confront the problem.

"Arguably we also need to ask ourselves how we have created a society where as you point out: 'white 13-year olds want to hear rappers who treat women as sex objects'"

We have to teach boys to respect women and girls...easier said than done when so many messages from music, movies, television and lads mags teach them the opposite.

8:19 pm  

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