Monday, January 3, 2011

Blog Post # 1 in response to Question A-Jmn77

Bell Hooks created her own terms, “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” to form a language that would remind people of the “interlocking systems of denomination that define our reality”.  She wanted to emphasize and use this phrase to say that not just one specific issue, for example race or gender, is important but that all these are simulatenous aspects of our lives. Hooks believes that people are more reluctant to account for identity, and thus they have a harder time recognizing when this occurs- especially through certain medias such as film, television or popular culture.
One example used by Hooks of how the media furthers various forms of oppression involves rap music. She states that rap music is extremely diverse in its theme, context and style. However, the rap music that is most popular “perpetuates misogyny, sexism and is the most obscene in its lyrics”.
It is the young white male consumers that are purchasing rap music. Hooks believes that they are the ones who are most energized by misogyny and eroticism, and therefore that form of rap is making the most money. Young black men, who typically are creating this music, know that they can make a lot of money talking about sexual acts with women. Whether or not these young men believe in what they saying, it is still going to have an impact on many people. Specifically, it will negatively impact the relationships between black men and women as well relationships between many other types of couples.
This situation is a perfect example of the power of representation. Although people want to deny the “direct link between representation and how we live our lives” one can conclude that after enough rap images and lyrics have been heard, this type of male behavior towards women will become acceptable. Unfortunately, because of the media and rap singers concerned with only making a profit there is no end to the negative impact and fallout that could occur with relationships between men and women and the treatment of women because of rap music.
I believe that Hooks is absolutely correct in her assertion that rap music and the media furthers various forms of oppression. Everyone has their own style of music, but in the end some aspects of rap music are detrimentally affecting our society. Rap promotes women in a very sexual way and portrays men as being very dominant towards women. As long as money can be made, the media is certainly not going to help correct the situation anytime soon and only time will show the exten of  much of a negative impact rap music will have on American culture and society as whole.


  1. Hey jmn77!

    I totally agree with what you wrote! Especially when you wrote "one can conclude that after enough rap images and lyrics have been heard, this type of male behavior towards women will become acceptable" because even bell hooks, herself, admitted this when the segment involving "fucking a woman to death" came up. Bell hooks mentioned that there would probably not be a direct link, but an indirect one (i.e. females would become more likely to accept violence from men or something).

    Also, when you wrote "because of the media and rap singers concerned with only making a profit" I was also reminded of the Madonna segment and how many people believe that she "sold out" in favor of patriarchy in order to reinvent herself and earn more money.

  2. Great post. Unfortunately I think that rap music and the deadly cycle it poses is negatively affecting our society. The young men creating the rap music know what appeals to crowds, and know that rapping about something that would shock the audience is much more interesting than rapping about something less shocking and abrasive. This is another example that Bell Hooks talks about, the greed of pop culture. This music in particular appeals to men that possibly may be less educated and less likely to see that. Since the rap songs make the topics of domestic violence and women as sexual objects more common, the listeners may think that these viewpoints are acceptable and common among others- when they should not be.

  3. Nice post--I enjoyed reading! Sometimes it is even hard to imagine a much more progressive arts and music scene because contemporary entertainment is all about catering to the capitalist market place.