“Straight Outta Compton” is having great success and surprising many as it rakes in nearly $60 million during its opening weekend. While the movie is riding on its theatrical high, there are some pretty low downsides for Black women.
In Kimberly Foster’s Black Women Are Never Priority: N.W.A, the Politics of Misogyny and My Battered Body she brought up a valid point about the discussion of N.W.A. “One of the most discomforting truths about living as a Black woman is that there is no safety from said violence. Those who continue to profit from it spread the lie that being “good” offers protection. It’s the kind of falsehood people like 46-year-old Ice Cube perpetuate when they speak of “bitches,” “hoes,” “despicable females,” and “upstanding ladies.”
Before groups like N.W.A. hit the scene, hip hop as a genre was far less negative than it is today, especially lyrics regarding women. But at some point venting about racism, violence, gangs and drugs was intertwined with disrespecting our Black women. And while the murder of Black men seem to be (and rightfully so) the focal point of racist acts of violence such as police brutality, the misogyny woven in the lyrics of gangsta rap and hip hop terrorizes Black women and is never really confronted.
“The trouble is there are few real consequences for unmitigated misogyny,” Foster writes. ” Ice Cube can still call women “bitches” and “hoes” and Dre can still produce woman-hating music. Their legacies will not suffer.”
In many ways, writing lyrics about abusing and objectifying women is just as compromising as writing lyrics about killing people of your own ethnicity. It kinda makes you wonder if these negative concepts about women can ever be forgotten when a biopic about a pioneer group that started these concepts, and gangsta rap that promotes them, hits the big screen.
The next time you sing along to an N.W.A. song, listen to the lyrics. How can we as Black people strive together for equality as a community when we ourselves reduce our women to “b*tches” and “hoes?”
By Joshua D. Copeland
Posted by The NON-Conformist