In every society, women are regarded to be the pillar of most cultural activities, whether traditional or modern culture. Most of the aspects that are undertaken in communities revolve around the welfare of women. When it comes to hip-hop culture, it is perceptively seen as a type of learning and movement, presenting their ideas through art. African Americans invented the religion, Latino Americans, and Caribbean Americans from Bronx, New York City. Hip-hop culture is displayed in the form of rap, where they communicate their message.
Ever since hip-hop culture was brought into life, women have not been actively participating in the art. Even though what the male artists have dominated in selling out the image of hip-hop culture, most of their norms revolve around treating women and especially black women in the correct manner. The central values that hip-hop culture is built upon are having social justice in the society, peaceful living, respect for everyone, honoring self-worth, community, and having fun. All the aspects are mainly looked at to ensure black women and children get protection in their society (Motley and Henderson, 243).
Rap music and the use of graffiti were the primary means that the black rappers used to express their views and ideas on happenings in their society. A female writer called Cookie Lommel went ahead to say that some of the rappers of the hip-hop culture came up with lyrics that celebrated the killing of white police officers, hating on women irrespective of the race, and taunting the image of rappers for the sake of their benefits. The hate upon the women happened because the male gender highly dominated the hip-hop culture. The domination of one gender gave a high chance of the rappers being against the values of black women in society.
In a news show called News and Notes hosted by Farai Chideya, various individuals come out to says how women have been treated in the hip-hop society. Participants of the show go-ahead to speak of how important the roles of women in the hip-hop culture has been. Ms. De Leon in the show claimed that ever since when history as a religion was invented, women have been great participants and creators of the values and art. The participant goes on to claim that there has been a lot of sexism in hip-hop art. It includes how women are treated poorly and how they are generally spoken of in society. Ms. De Leon says that rapping brings out a clear reflection of how sexism and gender bias is in the hip-hop culture.
In the modern days, the hip-hop culture still keeps on growing, and it's not only displayed in rap music but also the movies. Women's rights in hip-hop culture are always being put aside due to them being less dominant. In the film, they are used to portray the sexism of the black culture. Black women mostly instigate sex scenes in black movies. In recent years, there has been a new generation of female hip-hop rappers who have come out to make the voice of women in hip-hop to be heard in society. The rappers have changed the narrative of how hip-hop the value behind hip-hop should be upheld instead of oppressing women and their rights.
Despite all the negative happenings of how male hip-hop artists portray women, they have always been some good hope for women. After hip-hop came into popularity, there was a specific approach to how hip-hop could be used to promote the values of the blacks while at the same time respecting women. Some women communicated the political community from the side of hip-hop with the skill of embracing feminism in hip-hop. It has been steadily growing but slowly since the males remained to dominate the hip-hop culture. Generally, hip-hop feminism focuses mainly on encouraging women to come and speak out, patriarchy, and misogyny (Dawn-Elissa, 86).
Most of the hip-hop rappers who were feminists back in the days and even presently focused on promoting critical values in their artwork. The benefits that hip-hop feminism focuses on include racism, observing sexism, capitalism in the United States, and stopping on the systems of oppression (Stephens and Few, 48). In every society, women tend to focus on the bright side of issues that seem to harm the community.
Women come up with solutions instead of creating more conflicts when some social problems arise. In the case of hip-hop culture, women in the rap industry saw that men got dominance over them, and some of them used that opportunity to oppress them. Those women, although not large in number, have since come out to ensure that the rightful hip-hop cultural values are upheld by society.
The significant aspect of the hip-hop culture and women is a clear indication that it boosts the self-esteem of women in hip-hop society. Despite them getting discouraged and sidelined by their male hip-hop artists, they have been pushed by the values of their culture. It has enhanced the togetherness of women in the society of the blacks and hip-hop society. Hip-hop and rap music have also impacted black women, both positively and negatively. How much the music impacts the women depends on the content they create and how much they feel the male hip-hop rappers have not upheld the values in society.
Dawn-Elissa, Fischer, Hip-hop Within a Womanist Lens. Western Journal of Black Studies. Volume 36, Issue 1. Pp. 86-96. (2012). https://search.proquest.com/openview/ee94a98a417cce2585a1aef7d28abc35/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=47709
Motley, Carol M., & Henderson, Geraldine R., The global hip-hop Diaspora: Understanding the culture. Journal of Business Research. Volume 61., Issue 3. Pp. 243-253. (2008). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2007.06.020
Stephens, Dionne P., & Few, April L., Hip Hop Honey or Video Ho: African American Preadolescents' Understanding of Female Sexual Scripts in Hip Hop Culture. Sexuality & Culture. Pp. 48-69. (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-007-9012-8
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