In an article by T. Denean Sharpley-Whitings’ article, PIMPS Up, Ho’s Down, she explores the engaging and heavily critical world of hip-hop and the canon of black females regarding their stereotypes of being “bitches, strippers, gold-diggers, and ho’s.” Sharpley discusses the hard bound truth behind the industry and the “greased up lens” that is causing so many young African American women to fall into the influential, if you will, trap of hip hop music.
This feminist response to the current pop culture world is also heavily influential in terms of empowering women to go out and make a name for themselves, rather than falling into the degrading world that surrounds this undeniably sexual industry. Unfortunately, she also discusses the concept that this degradation is very much tied to cultural aspects and it is hard to stray away from those ties.
One key selling point to her article is the fact that they did a study showing an insurmountable raise in consumption of drinking, drugs, and multiple sex partners, although the study only involved young women, in relation to the music industry. However, it is also important to look into the male aspect, because, as Sharpely states, males are very rarely taken into perspective and less emphasis is put upon them because “whats normal for boys is harmful to girls.”
Another point worth mentioning is the idea of women liking rap music but not liking the connotations involved within the music. This is seen often because women like to think that the words and demeaning culture of the hip hop industry may refer to other women, but of course “they’re not talking about me”. The same idea is conveyed in allowing African American men, rappers such as flava flav, to incorporate degrading content into their music, however if a white man were to convey the same message or language, it would be seen as morally and politically incorrect.
In general, the concepts behind the actual music hold various issues that lead into other problems, not just necessarily relating to feminist issues. In order to change the industry, we must take women’s and men’s rights, feminism, and cultural aspects into consideration and help change the industry into regarding these “pimps and hos” as improper and unacceptable terms to degrade women.