Sent to you by moya via Google Reader:
So I have been thinking of Nate Dogg in general but rap music in particular and the difference between how I as a Black woman and how White men relate to rap music.
While I understand that sexism and patriarchy is systemic, that we LEARN and are taught how to be "men" and "women," how to be racist, how to be sexist as well as how to Love, how to forgive.
What I am getting at is, to be crude, we don't pop out of our mommas knowing how to be men and women, we are taught from infancy on through blue and pink clothing, girls being told to sit a certain way that is lady like, boys being told crying is weak, and not manly etc.
I also know that there are several structural things impacting the lives of Black men and women such as archaic drug laws, mandatory minimums, three strikes, the underdevelopment of public education, gentrification, police who shot and kill Black people with impunity, and the lack of good grocery stores in working class and low income neighborhoods. All this shit matters.
Culture matters as well. Culture meaning, music, books, websites and films.
Culture is hegemony's goon.
Which brings me to Nate Dogg. The recent coverage of his death clarified for me why some issues that I have thought of about rap music but didn't have the language to articulate.
I am a little troubled over how White mens investment in Black mens misogyny in rap music isn't interrogated. And how that shit impacts me and the women who look like me.
Society is organized by and for men.
And our lives in the US are hyper segregated racially.
By and large Black people don't live around White folks, so most White men can experience the pleasure of singing "and you even licked my balls" in the comfort of their cars, homes and apartments, whereas a young Black man said to me nearly two years ago on 125th street that he wanted to "stick his dick in my butt."
On the street, in broad daylight.
That shit was so absurd I thought HE was singing a rap song initially. No, he was talking to me.
Consequently, largely, White men are not subjected to the kinds of violence and sexism that is sung about in the songs that Nate sang the hook on. As a Black woman, I am.
As a woman, as a Black women who Walks like she has a right to be in the street, this means my ass is toast.
For example, there is an officer in my neighborhood that harasses me so fucking much that I am now on a first name basis, Peace to Officer Anderson. Typically he stops me because there is apparently a 11pm curfew in DC for children under 18 on week nights. He normally asks me from his car, "Hey, how old are you." Dead ass, the second time he did it, I responded saying I was grown. o.O