Congress Planning Hearings on Hip-Hop’s Exploitation of Black Women
Remember this guy named Don Imus? When that so-called scandal broke out it was like trying to find the chocolate chips in a dollar box ice cream to get a black person or hip-hop artist that would defend Imus’s right to make his little joke. On the comedy front, Patrice O’Neal mentioned on the Opie and Anthony Show that rappers were stupid not to defend him because they would be next on the list. “They’re coming after hip-hop next!”.. he screamed.
The line drawn from Imus to hip-hop was the question of where Imus got the idea and felt so comfortable calling a young black woman a ho in the first place. Which for rappers is hard to fend off considering the word is used like THE in some popular rap songs.
Here we are a year later, Imus has lost his job and guess what.. the focus is on *hip-hop*.
Not a back and forth in Al Sharpton’s radio show studio.
On September 25th, Congress is holding a hearing to look into the way African-American women are portrayed in hip-hop.
The hearing is tentatively titled: “From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degradation.” Rep. Bobby Rush, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, told Variety.
“This is not an anti-artist hearing, or anti-music or anti-youth hearing. I respect the First Amendment, but rights without responsibility is anarchy, and that’s much of what we have now. It’s time for responsible people to stand up and accept responsibility.”
“I want to look at not only the problem caused by misogynistic content in some Hip-Hop music but also some of the pain that emanates from this degradation.”
Bobby Rush intends to invite some women’s groups and executives from the top levels of the music companies - Doug Morris, Edgar Bronfman, etc. - to participate, but they’ve been resistant to the idea.
Bobby Rush expressed some confusion about this, “I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who’ve never taken a public position on what they produce. But it’s been surprisingly very difficult to get them to commit to appearing.”
Is it surprising they’d dodge it?
So far the only rapper who’s agreed to meet is Master P.
I’m not sure that I’d participate either.
Is this about forcing artists to talk about particular subjects, telling women they shouldn’t show up for video shoots and TV shows, telling people not to listen to certain songs?
As much as I lean towards good food, I’m not for banning anything. That’s not free speech.
It is about balance..
Then you let individuals make their own decisions.
You want to consume 100% crap? There it is all day long. Zone out.
Some artists and companies do intentionally use women’s bodies and low-grade subject matter, because they think that’s what sells. That’s catering to what they believe the audience wants. No one makes anyone buy something. Persuasion.. whatever.
A station like BET / VH1.. they decide what they want to broadcast. You decide to watch or not.
In an age of DVDs there are plenty more options - plus there’s TV1 😊
You can’t enforce taste or preference.
And come on, do we want to get rid of the lovely images of women like the one up above?
Nope. I’m heterosexual.
☼ What's Your Opinion? ☼
Per your last line, this has nothing to do with sexuality and everythign to do with misogyny and degradation of woman. Congress isn’t asking you to go out and hold hands with another guy. They’re asking you to not call women “hos” or “bitches”.
Apparently, Congress also needs to address homophobia.
Without Imus many would have gone a life time without knowing wtf this means. “Misogny? Oh yeah I know what bitch.” Now its a pop word. Btw, I have to question your taste based on that woo-man on the image above.
I used that picture because of the American flag bikini >> Congress. It kinda goes together.
Here’s a better look, same girl Zarena Whitfield
Homophobia? Congress? Who gives a flying shit about homos.
It’s great to see that someone is making sense out there nice piece Chris. This is censorship through social pressure. Let the market decide. The problems within the urban community is a system that denies the urban youth the same access to the facilities and resources available to the suburban youth. With the percentages of black and white populations completly the opposite in these communities it’s institutionalized racism. They should be holding hearings on that. I find it laughable that with all the crap out there “heavy metal music” as just one example we are now holding hearings on rap lyrics. It’s great to see that someone is making sense out there nice piece.
Now, see… this is all smoke and mirrors. They won’t censor hip-hop because that inevitably leads to the censorship of something else that America and the rest of the world loves. This congressional hearing is a platform for something else—something potentially bigger or maybe as simple as Bobby Rush’s attempt at another term (election year is right around the corner… how convenient is it that a black baby boomer who happens to be in congress would be seeking an opportunity to demonstrate why he should be elected again by a seemingly conservative older black vote using “mysoginistic hip-hop” as his platform?) Everybody has a gimmick. This is reminiscent of the bitter feud that broke between Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Tupac in the 90’s when she began a coalition to burn his CDs after he referred to her and Maya Angelou as hoes.
And now Patrice is running for president! http://www.patriceoneal.com
I am voting for his big black ass to win it all!
IF THESE WOMEN WANT TO BE KNOWN AS VIDEO HO’S THEN LET THEM. NOBODY IS EXPLOITING THEM, THEY DECIDE TO SPREAD THEIR LEGS AND ACT LIKE WHORES THEMSELVES NO ONE IS FORCING THEM TO DO THIS, THESE VIDEO HO’S WILL DO ANYTHING FOR A BUCK. I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED SOMEONE TO STOP THIS. THIS IS FALLS JUST SHORT OF PROSTITUTION. ONE YEAR THEY GAE AN AWARD FOR BEST VIDEO VIXEN (BEST VIDEO HO). LADIES STOP THIS, YOU MAY BE GOOD TO LOOK AT BUT NO ONE CAN TAKE YOU SERIOUS IN LIFE AS A WIFE. CONGRESS SHOULDN’T HAVE TO STOP THIS FOR YOU.
The problem I see is that everyone leading up these causes against misogyny in hip-hop are men…black men…black polticians. Translation: they have an agenda. I really don’t think its about protecting black women at all…its a black elite thats “ashamed” of a younger, disruptive, gregarious youth culture called hip-hop. Their offended by the way black culture has been transformed and use the “abuse of black women” as a moral excuse to push their own agendas to reform black society AKA force whites to own up to their responsibility in perpetuating such a “shameless” black culture. These people are some politician’s constituents. He has to look good to all the Bill Cosbys of the world. Hip-hop is not the problem. Black male and female relationships are jacked up, yes. Does some of the themes and langauge of hip-hop add fuel to the fire? Probably. Can white media owners do anything about these issues? Not really. These same black men trying to meet up with Congress to solve their problems could just as easily form coalitions with black female empowerment groups and begin to tackle these issues affecting our community on the grassroots level. As long as hip-hop artists and video girls feel like pawns of a bigger political game, they will never see the utility of fighting for the cause. I don’t blame them.
On Al Sharpton’s show today he said that , there were people outside of the President of BET’s home protesting about the depiction of African-American women. I got excited because I was like YES! Finally, “the chickens have come home to roost”. But then, REALITY! It wasn’t Bob Johnson’s house they were at it was that woman, Deborah. This is what frustrates me. No one is calling Bob Johnson on the carpet or Jimmy Iovine or Bob Geldoff. They held and hold the real power to make change in the images and music we hear and see.
CENSORSHIP is CENSORSHIP. HOw can some of you be so foolish to think that it will stop here. Do you think that our community will be any better if we stop calling each of Ns and banned women from being video models??? You are of limited rationale and you do not speak for the intellectual class in our community. Take the emotion out of the argument - morality is subjective. I have never seen folks rally around any thing of substance. Instead of questioning Hip Hop MUSIC, why not question why our govt sold us out crashed planes into the the WTC so that we could instigate a “war” and take over Iraq. Why not rally behind the fact that you can get shot in the back multiple times by any police officer in any state in America and people will agree with their murdering of you because you ran from them/you probably did something wrong/you shouldn’t have been out at 2am on a Friday nite or they found small traces of weed in your system. RALLY BEHIND THAT…something that is a real threat and injustice. Rally behind the Jena 6. If you hate seeing women depicted in ill ways, turn your tv off, bury your head in the sand and pretend that you do not reside in this country where that sort of thing is entertaining.Oh- but don’t forget to blame your fellow young peers who spit their lyrical poetry as they see fit, just before you get that sand in your hair.
TRILLMANTIC, YOU BRING UP ALL VALID POINTS AND I AGREE WITH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM. BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT THESE CHICKEN HEADS (VIDEO HO’S), THOUGH ENTERTAINING, CAN NEVER BE TAKEN SERIOUS IN LIFE. THEY ARE WORTH MORE THAN THEIR HIPS AND WHAT THEY HAVE BETWEEN THEIR LEGS AND THEY NEED TO START ACTING LIKE IT. THEY ARE NOT BEING EXPLOITED THEY CHOOSE TO WIGGLE THEIR TALLENTLESS ASSES AROUND FOR MONEY. THEY HAVE NO RESPECTFOR THEMSELVES AND NEED TO BE TAUGHT BETTER. I DON’T KNOW IF YOU HAVE A DAUGHTER BUT IF SHE CAME HOME AND SAID THAT SHE WAS GOING TO “DANCE IN A VIDEO” HOW WOULD YOU FEEL? PLEASE DON’T CALL THEM MODELS. EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE SOME TRUE MODELS IN VIDEOS THESE AREN’T THEM. I HOPE OUR NEXT GENERATION GETS THE PICTURE. CHANGE FOR WOMEN IS NEEDED. I KNOW MY DAUGHTER WILL.
Trillmatic. I think we can rally behind it all. But I don’t see the congressional hearings as censorship. To me, it is merely a case of when crack was on the streets of LA in the early 80’s and destroyed communities and lives and then the government decided to pay attention when it hit the suburbs and wiped out and crippled a generation of their people and introduced other elements. Then, the laws became ridiculous with not treating the addict different from the dealer and THANK YOU BILL CLINTON who allowed legislation to be that the time served for a crack rock is higher than that of cocaine possession. So to me, this is how we are never proactive. I hope that this affects the next generation of women because this generation is already lost. And, I do think we are in a more conscious movement regarding family and morality. Yes it is very subjective but at the core of who we are as people you know when right is right and some of it just ain’t right. Not censorship but when you look at societies or let’s just call it like it is EMPIRES that fall it is usually because they reflect a Sodom and Gommorah type of behavior and I think that what America allows for the sake of a dollar and some bling.
(BlackPressRadio.com) - About two weeks after Black female journalists gathered in Washington, DC to protest the treatment of Black women in the media, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Bobby Rush, (D-IL) is sponsoring a congressional hearing on the topic. None of the members of Congress attended the event.
At the hearing is entitled, “From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degradation” and will be held on Capitol Hill on September 25, 2007, members of Congress plan to grill top major label executives about the “stereotypes and degradation” of women—- particularly African-American women in rap videos and lyrics.
“I want to engage not just the music industry but the entertainment industry at large to be part of a solution,” Rush told the Associated Press. “I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who’ve never taken a public position on what they produce.”
A study published this past May by Media Matters for America, a Web-based media watchdog group based in Washington, quantified the paucity of black women in popular TV news shows.
The group surveyed cable news programs that broadcast from 4 p.m. to midnight and found that all 35 hosts were white; 29 were male. Guest lists were somewhat more diverse but minority females were the rarest group to be found.
To read more about the Black journalists who participated in the Girls Empowerment Brunch visit http://www.myspace.com/blackpress
Everyone has to make their own decisions in life. As far as who should be heading up the cause against the exploitation of black women— no one is putting a gun to their heads and forcing them to do what the do in those videos. They don’t exactly get paid nickels and dimes for their “exploits.” Given the finacial freedoms they achieve appearing in music videos, what’s stopping them from going to school and learning how to run a model/fashion/video vixen/ agency? No one is stopping them. They’re making conscious choices. The futility in hooting and hollering in front of someone’s house will achieve nothing except get you arrested for harassment. And then what? Now you’re broke and in jail and the financially liberated albeit, “exploited” video ho won’t come to bail you out. That’s the reality.
White women are exploited on television all the time. Latino television exudes female sexuality all day and all night. There are no congressional hearings on banning “Girls Gone Wild” or “Sabado Gigante.” As a married black man, I don’t expect that any black woman on television or otherwise speaks for or represents my black wife. Shamefully, I think that as a collective, black people tend to hold each other down as [a Texaco executive one put it] crabs in a barrel; and we do that by way of taking up arms for fights within our communities that really don’t uplift us. In the face of a global community they don’t illustrate what we are or what we can really be about. To CHIEF 00’s point, we shouldn’t have to rally a cause for a group of people who aren’t seeking for help. At the same time, it should be observed that once your daughter is grown up and hopefully moved out of your house— the decisions she may make to become a dancer are her decisions to make. You may not respect it but as a parental figure if you love your child, then you should be able to respect her and give her the space and support she needs to either fail or succeed in her endeavors.
TO ADD TO FURIOUS GEORGES POINT, IF YOU HAVE A DAUGHTER YOU GUIDE HER AWAY FROM THESE THINGS. TELL HER THAT SHE WILL NEVER BE RESPECTED AS A WOMAN IF THIS IS THE LIFE THAT SHE DECIDES TO LIVE. THE SAD THING I KNOW WOMEN THAT ARE SAYING MY DAUGHTER IS GOING TO BE IN VIDEOS. THEY ARE SERIOUS WHEN THEY SAY THIS. CHILDREN NEED THEIR FATHERS…
How are you doing?
Strategic Audio Headrush: Hip Hop Club Bangers (WAV/MIDI) says:Where is Hip Hop going to go? Only time will tell. But like Mos Def said We are Hip Hop, Hip Hop is going where we’re going. So if you want to see a cahgne, cahgne yourself and the culture will follow. These are just my 2cents as a Promoter and a Hip Hop fan. P.S. This was a good read, definitely got me thinking.PEACE!!!]]>