I picked up an interesting book at Barnes & Noble a few days ago. My initial hope was that it would be helpful for camp, but so far it’s been more intellectual than hands on and practical. Either way, there’s lots of food for thought in this one, so I figured I’d share some quotes and ideas that I’ve encountered so far.
You always hear women rant about how they are objectified, and I suppose that I have agreed with that to some extent in the past…I really haven’t paid it too much attention, though, to be honest. After reading the sections of the book that I have so far, it’s startling just how far hip hop has taken that when you really look at it. As sad as it is, it’s not even surprising to see exposed flesh in the media anymore…it’s not controversial any more (esp. if it’s a woman). We truly are a desensitized nation…or perhaps over-sexualized. I suppose for people who don’t care to see nudity, it’s desensitization…I mean, it’s in there for a reason – sexual gratification.
“Women are the weaker sex. …women’s bodies are made to attract and to please men. …now that women are equal, they should be able to accept being told that they aren’t, quite.” –Harvey Mansfield, Manliness
“Riled by … the rapper Nelly’s sexually provocative video “Tip Drill”
female students swapped volleys with Simmons. … He [suggested] that students just “turn off their television sets,” an increasingly used line by corporate representatives when directly confronted by critics of such programming. Simmons’ argument had the effects of identifying him more with his lucrative financial interests than with his audience. The students, of course, could have easily turned off their television sets. But they were more concerned about the millions of other television sets (79,999,998 to be exact, given BET’s recent market penetration) that were left on, and the unpleasant gender politics and sexual provocations that continually flowed from them.”
“He suggested that after acquiring the requisite material trappings of success – cars, houses, jewelry, and “all the p****” they wanted – many rappers still quite unfulfilled. … Audible gasps could be heard in the auditorium, almost filled to capacity. Simmons [had] exemplified for many the role that hip hop has carved out for young women. They were either “hot p**** for sale” – and hence Nelly swipes a credit card through a young woman’s buttocks in the now infamous “Tip Drill” video – or they were “p**** for the taking,” as Louisiana rapper Mystikal explains in “P**** Crook.”
“The list of social ills and sexual contradictions confronting the hip hop and millennium generations boggles the mind. The hip hop generation in particular is attempting to explore and affirm its sexuality in an era rife with pornography, the mainstreaming of strip clubs, and the sexualization of everything from blue jeans ads to prime-time television. They are also simultaneously running up against chronic unemployment, mind-numbing poverty, affirmative action backlash, police brutality, the growth of the prison-industrial complex, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the continued war on drugs, and increasing suicide rates, violence, and despair. It is no wonder that irreverence, that old standby of youth, and “girls (and boys) gone (sexually) wild” appear to be the hallmarks of hip hop.“
Regarding hip hop groupies:
“Of the many roles young black women play in hip hop, one of the most rapped about is the groupie. … Mass media and the mainstreaming of hip hop culture have teamed up to expose young black women’s willing participation in sex escapades. Lying prostrate or on bended knees, black groupies are an essential cog in the “playa-pimp-ho-bitch” gearshift of hip hop culture. Like wet wipes, they are convenient and disposable. Indeed, our generation has witnessed the steady emergence of a hip hop groupie culture as a crucial part of the larger hip hop culture. Unfortunately, many of these young black women see their versions of “girls gone wild” as the fruit of women’s sexual liberation.”
The sad reality is, I know that a lot of my girls would kill to be one of the video-ho “wet wipes” Sharpley-Whiting describes.