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From the Bitch's Perspective

I, like many others in the class, was very impressed with Byron Hurt’s documentary, most explicitly the piece on “bitches?. I do take offense to the language used in hip-hop lyrics that refer to “bitches? and “hoes?. Someone who is a bitch to one person is a daughter, mother, sister, friend, or partner to someone else. It is all women at some point that the lyrics are referring to. Richardson states, “Being sexually attractive to males is culturally condoned for women and being sexually powerful is approved for males…slang of the street perpetuates and reinforces different expectations in females and males as sexual objects and performers.?(Gender Stereotyping in the English Language, p. 101). Language is very powerful. It is more than words; it invokes images, emotions, and behaviors. It, in large part, is responsible for the way the men were treating the women in the clip, women at clubs, and even women on a side walk in Minnesota. Society might debate this forever, but how can one fully blame the women themselves for their treatment? When looks are what society bases acceptance and attractiveness on, I can understand why some women show more skin than others. It can in some ways be compared to the humiliation that people volunteer for and even audition for to get on reality television. The women will allow themselves to be disrespected because they feel important that some famous rapper is singing about them. There is a certain status that comes with being objectified. Some of the women referred to as bitches get to be close to fame and fortune. When these women are seen on music videos or at the arm of a big rap name, other girls and women look to them to see how to achieve “success? and the perpetuation continues on.
No matter what, though, nothing gives someone the right to inappropriately touch another person against their will like what was shown. The line obviously has to be drawn somewhere. It’s very difficult to put full blame even on the men in the clip who are possibly caught up in the words of their favorite rapper and playing gender by attempting to come off as a tough, and ultra sexual (always looking for a conquest). I would like to think that the majority of people are capable of empathy, but the normalization of women seen as (sex) objects keeps are society rape-prone. Instead of feeling largely helpless like me, however, Byron Hurt decided to do something about it. He used video and the all powerful word to bring these ideas into the conscious of society including rappers and women known as “bitches? or “sisters? (since they are the same in different scenarios).
I guess that this is exactly the reason why feminism targets the oppressive system as opposed to attacking individuals. It’s pointless, and I see that now even more blatantly clear, to attempt to place blame solely on individuals when the system is in part creating these individuals. A very uplifting thought to all of this is that if language is largely perpetuating this disrespect, it can reverse it with the voices of those like Hurt.

Comments

"I guess that this is exactly the reason why feminism targets the oppressive system as opposed to attacking individuals. It’s pointless, and I see that now even more blatantly clear, to attempt to place blame solely on individuals when the system is in part creating these individuals. A very uplifting thought to all of this is that if language is largely perpetuating this disrespect, it can reverse it with the voices of those like Hurt." - excellent quote
I think you get the readings and are seeing them come alive w/the media clips - that's the point! great post!