In today’s blog I would like to discuss the double standards women go through, particularly in the Hip Hop community. As long as Hip Hop music has been around there has always be a sexual double standard, which is defined as, “boys and men are rewarded and praised for heterosexual contacts, whereas girls and women are derogated and stigmatized for similar behaviors” (College of the Canyons, 2017:73). Men, especially in Hip Hop have always been praised and admired for songs that primarily exploit women. A prime example is Snoop Dogg’s song “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None).” The title alone shows the misogynistic thoughts men have towards women. In two lines Snoop Dogg says, “What you gon do? You really don’t know So I’d advise you not to trust that hoe/ Silly of me to fall in love with a bitch” (SnoopDoggTV, 2014) In just twenty-seven words Snoop Dogg degrades women twice, referring to them as a hoe and a bitch. If you look back into the 90’s Rap era you will see a lot of songs just like this, in a sense it was the culture of the community. The more you rapped about sleeping with a ton of girls or degrading them the more you were thought of as being “The Man”, which was a form of Masculinity in this culture. Masculinity is, “Social construct in that is varies by culture, race, class, sexuality, and gender” (Dr. Galta Module 4 Part 1 Lecture, 2020). While men in the 90’s were using their toxic masculinity to top the charts, some women decided to join the party and embrace their sexuality that these men were profiting from. Lil’ Kim came in the 90’s with some extreme lyrics. In her debut album, appropriately titled “Hard Core” Kim has a song called, “Big Momma Thang” (LilKimLyrics, 2015). The first line of the song goes, I used to be scared of the dick now I throw lips to the shit handle it like a real bitch.” This line is an example of double bind which is, “a situation in which a person is confronted with two irreconcilable demands or a choice between two undesirable courses of action” (College of the Canyons, 2017:74). She has taken the negative implication of the sexual act and instead owns it, as she said, “like a real bitch.”
The other sexist standards pitted against women in the Hip Hop industry is the expectation to look a certain way. In a clip from an E True Hollywood Story, Hip Hop legends Yo Yo and Da Brat talk about just that saying how women in Hip Hop are always reinventing themselves in order to stay hot. They are expected to be beautiful and not get fat, while men are able to be as fat as they want for instance; Notorious B.I.G. and Heavy D. “You always want to be f*ckable” says Da Brat. (E! Entertainment, 2019). The expectations of women to be a certain way have always superseded the expectations of men. While some would see Lil Kim as being a sort of champion for female Hip Hop, society lets their gender biases influence them calling Lil Kim, and other female artists alike whores or sluts because, “women don’t talk like that,” or saying they do not respect themselves, when in actuality these are businesswomen, with careers, kids, and families. These females are strong and resilient and with artists like Cardi B and Megan the Stallion taking the reins for female Hip Hop, society is going to have to conform to this not so new normal and give these women the respect they deserve.
I was able to obtain the information used from various sources on YouTube. The first video was Snoop Dogg’s song “Ain’t No Fun” the second video was Lil Kim’s song “Big Momma Thang.” I found both songs to be useful while discussing the different concepts of Sociology, though I don’t know how credible I would say they were mainly for the fact that they wrote them based on their own opinions not on facts. The last video was “Why Female Rappers Are Expected to Look Hot” which was created by E! Entertainment, although this was also based on opinions from females in the industry, I did find the source to be useful because they witnessed and experienced the double standards firsthand.
“Intro to Women’s Studies” (Links to an external site.) by College of the Canyons, 2017. CC BY Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
Dr. Galta. (2020) Module 4 part 1. [Video lecture]. https://tacomacc.instructure.com/courses/1947917/pages/module-4-lecture-part-1?module_item_id=46365085
SnoopDoggTV. (2014, November 8). Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None). [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiJiqHhe8AU
LilKimLyrics. (2015 May, 31). Lil Kim – Big Momma Thang. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8CQ41greSs
E! Entertainment. (2019, October 14). Why Female Rappers Are expected to Look Hot. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKh1wGmc13c