Category Archives: Culture

“My Lethal Weapon’s my Mind”

Ice-T, Juan Williams, Tipper Gore, Jello Biafra and Nelson George, all on the Oprah Winfrey Show (circa 1990) discussing the influence of rap music on white teenagers.

Alright, alright.  That’s not what half of them take themselves to be talking about, but that’s what they’re talking about.

What’s striking to me about this is that I actually remember seeing this discussion around that time (I was in high school), and I can vividly remember being completely against Ice-T and thinking that he was truly evil.  (Did I mention I’m white and that I grew up in the South?)

But now I can’t watch this without really being astounded at the implicit white supremacy and complete erasure of the experience of young black men that comes through in what a lot of these people are saying.  It’s all over the discussion, but I especially direct your attention to the white male audience member who’s speaking at the break between the first and second video below.

The other angle is that there is a serious problem with misogyny going on as well.

So what is my opinion?  I honestly don’t know what to think about it.

I do think that criticism of misogyny in Ice-T’s music, as if he and other hip hop artists are uniquely or especially misogynistic, belies the implicit white supremacy I mentioned above.

Misogyny is everywhere in popular music going back a very long time.  See Johnny Cash (“I shot my woman down”), Led Zeppelin (“The soul of a woman was created below”) and countless other white musicians of all genres.

None of that’s to say that there isn’t and wasn’t serious misogyny in hip hop, but any justice minded person should worry when charges of misogyny are deployed from a white supremacist standpoint in order to silence black men.

I have to think that it’s possible to reconcile gender justice and racial justice.

So, yeah, watch this.  And wonder if we’ve made some progress since 1990.  Or if we’ve gone backwards.

Yes, it’s (annoyingly) in four parts.  Yes, it’s Oprah Winfrey.  Yes, it’ll take you about 45 minutes to get through it.  Yes, should watch it anyway.

But first, watch  Ice-T’s Lethal Weapon (the link is to the lyrics), which is – frankly – a work of genius.

And here’s the Oprah in four parts.


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Filed under Classism, Culture, Feminism, Injustice, Music, Politics, Racism, Religion, Sexism

The Purgatory Line

Alright, so I’ve got a blog-crush.

Music, Feminism, and Fiction.

Official Blog-Crush Song.

Sometimes I can laugh.  Other times I cry.
It ain’t exactly funny. My feet are both on fire.
I guess they’ll just burn for a while.
Waitin’ in this purgatory line.

Lovin’ you is so easy, but waitin’ here just ain’t.
I know I can be patient, but please don’t hesitate to cross my mind.
That’s all I’ve got for a while.
Waitin’ in this purgatory line.

Drive-By Truckers – The Purgatory Line – YouTube.

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Filed under Music

Ill Doctrine on Harassment

Must watch.

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Filed under Culture, Feminism, Sexism

This is wonderful!

blue milk

We have to get this film to cinemas. I want to see it.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over a popular “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film will explore racial identity in “post-racial” America while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.

Support it, spread the word.

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Filed under Culture, Movies, Racism

Next Post

Another feminist take on Prometheus.

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Filed under Culture, Feminism, Movies

Nerdy Feminist: Prometheus: We Miss You, Ripley!

I saw the film over the weekend, but I am still digesting it.  I will share some thoughts on it soon.

In the mean time, Here is some solid feminist thinking on Prometheus from a blogger I ran across.

The Nerdy Feminist.

Wait.  Nerd?  And Feminist!?

I don’t know.

That sounds dangerous.  Like a critical mass of coolness.

And it turns out that it is indeed an excellent blog.   Give it a click.

(Spoiler Alert for the linked page)

Without spoiling anything, I can say that the amazing character of Ellen Ripley, as portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in Alien does NOT have a match in Prometheus. In fact, I’m very disappointed that at least in this series, it appears we’ve quite regressed in the last 33 years. I was so disappointed and concerned that I actually started to jot down the following notes in the theater.

Nerdy Feminist: Prometheus: We Miss You, Ripley!.

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Filed under Culture, Feminism, Movies