Why rap songs portray black women as oversexed jezebels, gold diggers

Sunday, 6 February 2011 - 1:33pm IST | Place: Washington, DC | Agency: ANI
Dr Mia Moody at the Baylor University found that independent women in rap and rhythm and blues music are depicted as not being successful unless they are sexy, wealthy over-achievers.

A new study examines why the lyrics of popular rap songs stereotype black women as 'oversexed jezebels,' 'asexual mammies' and 'gold diggers'.

Dr Mia Moody at the Baylor University found that independent women in rap and rhythm and blues music are depicted as not being successful unless they are sexy, wealthy over-achievers.

And even if they are, they don't get much respect from male rappers, who often portray them as narcissistic or emasculating.

Many of today's popular songs imply that a woman should be gorgeous, physically fit, educated, moneyed and able to handle family, children and housework single-handedly, Moody said.

"If we do all that and pay the bills, it lets men off the hook," Moody said.

The study raises concerns that young people, especially teens, may try to emulate these standards.

Witness Drake's "Fancy:"

Hit the gym, step on the scale, stare at the number/ You say you droppin' ten pounds preparin' for summer/ And you don't do it for the man, men never notice/ You just do it for yourself you the (obscenity) coldest.

Male role models are not mentioned in rap lyrics, and the lyrics often ignore the fact that some women better themselves for personal gratification or to take better care of their children - not to impress a man or buy designer clothes, expensive hairstyles, manicures and pedicures, Moody said.

"Another sad truth is that women's aren't running record companies or are the major consumers of rap music. It's naïve to assume women can undo the spread of sexism on their own. It's going to have to be a mutual understanding between both genders," she added.

Parents and educators must work together to combat sexism and unrealistic messages, said Jessica Foumena, a Baylor graduate student majoring in international journalism.

"It is important to look beyond the beat and catchy words," she said.


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