- MISOGYNY is defined as: HATRED OF WOMEN AND GIRLS. No ifs, ands or buts. When I stated in an earlier post about DBR (damaged beyond recognition) behaviors prevalent in a majority population of African-American males (and many females) and how they hate AA women I got a LOT of denials. Misogyny is directed at women as a collective group. Of course there are nuances where a man might hate women of one group but be able to fawn over women of an entirely different group. Or parse it to like some while still despising others. Other variants include the Madonna/Whore complex. Honor killings, rape, violence and skin shade racism also fall under this.
Thus, Gates concludes, 2 Live Crew and other rap groups are simply pushing white society's buttons to ridicule its dominant sexual images. I am deeply skeptical about the claim that the Crew was engaged--either in intent or effect--in pursuing a postmodern guerilla war against racist stereotypes. Gates argues that when one listens to 2 Live Crew the ridiculous stories and the hyperbole make the listener "bust out laughing." Apparently the fact that Gates and many other people react with laughter confirms and satisfies the Crew's objective of ridiculing the stereotypes. But the fact that the Crew are often successful in prompting laughter neither substantiates Gates's reading nor forecloses serious critique of its subordinating dimensions. Gates' use of laughter as a defensive maneuver in the attack on 2 Live Crew recalls similar strategies in defense of racist humor. Racist humor has sometimes been defended as an effort to poke fun at, or to ridicule racism. More simply, racist humor has often been excused as just joking; even racially motivated assaults are often defended as simple pranks. While it may be true that the Black community is more familiar with the cultural forms that have evolved into rap, that familiarity should not end the discussion of whether the misogyny within rap is acceptable. Moreover, we need to consider the possible relationships between sexism within our cultural practices and the problem of violence against women.Violence against women of color is not presented as a critical issue in either the anti-racist or anti-violence discourses. The "different culture" defense may contribute to the disregard for women of color victimized by rape and violence, reinforcing the tendency within the broader community not to take intra-racial violence seriously. We must determine whether the practices and forms of expression are consistent with our fundamental interests. Although collective opposition to racist practice has been and continues to be crucially important in protecting Black interests, an empowered Black feminist sensibility would require that the terms of unity no longer reflect priorities premised upon the continued subordination of Black women.
So I try to advise my progressive Black intellectual peers especially to be wary of "King Gates" strategic offerings - his fish-hooks, if at all possible. And I'd like to address this especially to the up-coming younger generation of African- American intellectuals and scholars, particularly those who seek to fashion a progressive outlook for themselves. Finally, we progressive Black intellectuals especially do indeed have to perform the scrutinizing task in regard to establishmentarian and/or conservative Black intellectuals like Henry Gates, because no one else will. Above all, we progressive Black intellectuals still have a serious Black people agenda to attend to. Namely: Protecting, advancing, and redeeming Black folks' honor, both here in the United States and elsewhere in the globe.