November 14, 2014
Gender Roles in Hip Hop
It is obviously that women and men are being setting in different gender roles in the history, even in the modern society. Men have been placed into a masculine gender role as powerful and tough. Different with men, women are under control and being oppressed. It seems like people have accept the gender roles for a long time, so it is usual for people to find gender beliefs related in hip hop music. This belief always rotates around violence, power and masculinity for men. But the belief for female is usually about the appearances of ladies as sexual stuffs.
In hip hop, women are always being described as sexual objects instead of being preserved as highly regarded females. Just like what shows in the picture at the right corner of the glogster, a man is surrounding by ten naked women and it seems like he is the king and all the women surrounded are just slaves. According to Gender Ideology and Hip-Hop, Maria points out that “there has been a shift with males in hip hop and rap. Though this isn’t true for all circumstances, it is easy to find music videos and song lyrics where men are objectifying women and talking about sex, violence, drugs, alcohol and partying”. Rap and Hip hop have be situated put down as anti-female, specifically with the famous emotional exclusion of Bitches and Hoes by Geto Boys. In this lyric “These bitches I be doing in, hoes I be screwing, and if she talk about her friends, then I probably flew em in what's a man troubling, like fuckin in a bubble Benz with her hair in the wind, sitting up from the rim…”. Just like what Mark Anthony Neal argues in Hip Hop's Gender Problem, “Hip-hop has a gender problem. And for most of hip-hop's 30-something years, folks have been compelled to point out the sexism, misogyny and homophobia that finds a forum in the lyrics of the young black and brown men who have primarily influenced the genre, and the lack of a womanist perspective that could directly counter those lyrics”. Many hip hop are using critical titles for females to show stories and illustration subordination about the way men beat females up in order to show that male are stronger and more powerful.
Similar with Geto Boys’s Bitches and Hoes, in 50 Cent’s music video Candy Shop, wealth and sex are depicted through. Start at opening of the film, a man is driving up to a manor where a lot of females are decent provokingly. This film shows that the attendance of masculine supremacy is exposed by the limited male associated to huge numbers of female. Near the end of the film, this man, sitting in an expensive car, is taking an order from a woman clearly annoyed about the job. This could be a symbol that men have more power than women and they can have better job than female. This can also show that female are working at a lower wage than male and argues that sometimes women is just a sexual object for male. According to article Man of Action Heroes: The Pursuit of Heroic Masculinity in Everyday Consumption, “The men…what we call the ideology of heroic masculinity-to construct themselves in dramatic fashion as ma of action heroes. In addition, we show that these men pursue heroic masculinity…” Which means in hip hop music, women are usually being described as sexual tools and men are being showed as heroic masculinity.
However, there has been an important modification in gender beliefs during the course of the evolution of hip-hop and rap music. Hip hop singer such as Salt-N-Pepa Queen and Latifah have written openly feminist hip hop song of praise. In the lyric Ladies First, Monie Love raps about gendered assumptions “some think that we can’t flow / stereotypes, they got to go…With a little touch of Ladies First / Who said the ladies couldn't make it, you must be blind…Ladies first, there's no time to rehearse/I'm divine and my mind expands throughout the universe/A female rapper with the message to send the/Queen Latifah is a perfect…