May 13, 2009

Reflection of class

I think that the final exercise that we did in class where we talked about what we took away from this class was most helpful for me. I have said from the beginning that I feel as though I am a part of the hip hop generation, but doing that exercise really brought everything home for me. It gave me a chance to internalize and process everything that we have covered in class for the past few months and I haven't completely stopped thinking about all the ways that this class has opened my eyes and new doors in myself to new ideas concepts and just coming to the realization that I take a lot of things for granted. I understand more deeply the complexities of tropes of black masculinity/femininity and can pick out more easily when people exploit these tropes all around me (on campus, at work, etc.) and has made me more aware and more likely to speak up and voice my opinion when I hear things that are false or stereotypical.

I want to thank everyone in class for great discussions on all of our topics! They really helped me solidify my own thoughts and feelings about love, motherhood, and womanhood in the hip hop generation. I hope others feel the way I do too! Have a great summer everyone and take care!


May 8, 2009

Whiteness and the Hip Hop Generation by Diane White

An issue I have wanted to return to all semester long has been White bodies in hip hop and hip hop culture. Though hip hop has clear and definite connections to the Black community and experience, if someone that is White feels that their lived experiences coincide with this culture then can they identify as hip hop generationers? Or on the first day of class, what did it mean that the members were predominantly White women?

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May 6, 2009

Jackson Katz

I wrote about this guy in my response to Kate. He made a film called Tough Guise which talks about the problems that men have living up to the constructs of masculinity that society has placed on them. It is interesting. You can see some of it on YouTube and I will try to post some here for you to watch otherwise I will post the link. Check it out.


Todays class of group presentations was great. I especially was blown away by the video "NO!". The first 6 minutes were quite powerful. It was a hard reality to compare the popular hip hop videos along side testimony of sexual violence. When I saw along the side the testimonies it is little too much to handle. One can tell how todays popular media and how it sexually exploits women is a powerful image and an image that controls, causes and makes docile bodies. I automatically thought about men and how they are subject to these images as well. I wonder how they make sense of the world? If the one of the main examples of relationships they see are exploitive and violent nature how else are they to act? Women do not want it but they want it... respect or have manly or not...? All these forces collide on the male body.

Often in GWSS classes male victimization goes left undiscussed, which I find dangerous. Women seem to always be the subject of patriarchy...the ones being acted upon and rightly so. But what about men and how they move through the world and how masculinity is narrowly defined for them? Power, sex and violence is more than man vs. woman--it is societal. The fact that most men think that to be a man means to hold power over women and to exploit them sexually points to a larger issue of the ideology of masculinity. This is not to say men shouldn't take responsibility. In fact, they should take more responsibility for how they move through the world. Blaming men will not get us, as women, to that place. Something is wrong with the system. Let's identify that, be upset with that, and change it.

May 5, 2009

Sexual Politics Final Exam Study Sheet

Click here for your final review sheet.

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Event next Thursday

I <3 Consensual Sex event is next Thursday! the event will be held at the Varsity in Dinkytown. It will feature Kid Dakota, Adam Levy (from the Honeydogs), the Great Upset and Kelly Jo Mitchell. It's a 21+ show, doors open at 7, music starts at 8. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and they can be purchased at

Hip Hop Trivia Questions

Click here to view a sample of hip hop trivia questions that may appear on your final exam.

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Asher Roth

After our discussion of Asher Roth in class, I went on YouTube to listen to something by him other than "I Love College," so I could hear his more progressive music myself. The first thing I listened to was this one, the "A Millie Remix," which I liked, but doubt it will ever make it to the radio airwaves:

But there is also this, a response to the songs that Roth makes like "I Love College:"

Homeless- Arms (An Open Letter to Asher Roth)

A call to arms for all those who reside under the genre of hip-hop.

May 1, 2009

Final Blog

So this is a little late, but I wanted to expand on our discussion about misogyny, sexism, and homophobia in other forms of music besides hip hop. I'll just give a few examples of what I've found.
Rolling Stones - "Under My Thumb"
Some Lyrics:
Its down to me, oh yeah
The way she talks when shes spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
Shes under my thumb
Yeah, it feels alright

Under my thumb
Her eyes are just kept to herself
Under my thumb, well I
I can still look at someone else

There's a song by Kenny Rogers called "Coward of the County" about a man who avenges his lover's gang rape by killing a bunch of people. There's also one called "catholic girls" that is interesting.

I guess my point is to agree with our discussion in class that these sorts of offensive lyrics are not just in hip hop/rap. If you search for misogyny in music though, you're likely to find a bunch of information on hip hop and misogyny.

April 30, 2009

Videos to think about (Final Blog)

First off after class today and talking about whether or not there was any new and uplifting progressive rap and it made me think of this video that I read about by a kid at NYU, it's really awesome!!

If this is what heard and starts to "infiltrate" (for lack of a better world) the mainstream media I think rap and hip hop can have so much to offer and go back to the idea of using rap as a way to rebel, speak out, motivate, and being more conscious.

This is the link. (Sorry, I don't know how to do videos in the blog-o-sphere)

One last think I'll mention is that I guess there is a new movie coming out that is staring a pornstar and it's a film about an escort and her relationship and how her business is. It looks interesting, I don't know how I feel about it, but it brings up some good discussion I think.

Anyway, so I hope people find the above interesting.

Also while I was reading Gawker I also came upon some other stories that people may find is a show on PBS is discussing the injustice going on with rape kits and how many of them aren't being used and just sit in freezers or something. Here is the link for that story.

Final Blog

As a final blog, I wanted to comment on the last full book we read by Keith Boykin. I was impressed with the amount of work that went into digging up all of the facts and statistics that went into Boykin's arguments on the spread of HIV/AIDS and its connection, or lack thereof, to the down low and to African American women. His arguments gave insight into the real important aspects of the transmission of AIDS; it's about protecting yourself, regardless of your partner's status or identity. We need to stop hiding behind labels and labeling other people by accepting the responsibility of talking about sex. Sex education needs to be more than abstinence only and it needs to be a requirement of schools. With better education of EVERYONE and open discussion about sexual acitivities and knowing how to get tested and protect yourself, the whole "down low myth" will disappear, whether or not people still continue to live on the down low. Living on the down low has little to do with the spread of the HIV virus. We need to be advocating for better sex ed. for schools and easier access to protection for safe sex as well as easier access to clean needles. Prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS is a more pressing issue than stopping drug addicts because dirty needles obviously do not stop the addiction. We need to start changing our focus and work to make a difference instead of placing blame.

Nelly defends tip drill

I also found this interesting video on the web . We watched this yesterday at our presentation also. It is interesting because we were just talking about how rappers will sometimes do things that are good things, like Nelly talking about bone marrow donation, but on the flip he is also causing many black women pain. Why doesn't he answer any of the questions? What do you guys think? Here is the link-

No! Presentation

I wanted to let everyone know that we had a great presentation on Tues. We did have three guests, one of which was a man! We were able to get into a really good discussion about violence against black women. We talked a lot about how media and music influence this type of violence. The guests that came had also never seen the tip drill video so we watched a part of that as well. Tyler, who was the one guy that came, talked about how men need to really think about how they use their aggression and how that affects women in a larger context. We also talked a lot about how the history of black women plays into the rape and abuse of women of color. One of the guests, her name was Samantha, said that she has never thought about being white and then being a women which is one thing that was mentioned in the film. Many women of color are taught that they are black first and women second and that really impacted Samantha. I am excited to talk to the class about the experience and I hope you all at some point have a chance to see this great film!

April 29, 2009

"Hip hop has run out of ideas"

Hey I was browsing on MSN and came across this article today from the root.

It is about hip hop has set the cultural agenda for African Americans, but has now ran out of creative ideas and been lacking. He offers giving black rock a chance (as well as other black music) "To reclaim our place as musical innovators, we need music that's up to the task. We need artists who have the courage to explore new sounds and ideas. But there's no way today's artists can do that if their grasp of music history only extends to the latest ‘80s record Diddy sampled.

Its a really good article...nice, short, and to the point.

If you do read it, I'd be interested to hear what all of you think about it.

the link is:


April 27, 2009

Aurora Center Event

Just to let all of you know about our last event for Sexual Assault Awareness is a panel discussion on sexual violence on campus and what we as a community can do to prevent it and to create a supportive environment for survivors. It is going to be in Wiley Hall Room 20 (West bank), from 7 to 8:30 PM and there will be refreshments served afterward.