Thursday, April 21, 2011

Defending M'Lady

99 Problems - Jay-Z (mp3)
My Baby Loves Malt Liquor - Roger Alan Wade (mp3)

Ashley Judd needs no man defending her for anything she does. In fact, I get the distinct impression that she would probably despise a fella who tried for being the annoying egotistical Knight on a White Horse. She would likely ride him and that horse right into a Giant Sequoya.

But history is replete with tales of women not needing rescue but stupid men swooping in and trying anyway, and I’m precisely that kind of stupid man, so here I go swooping...

CNN includes the following write-up and excerpts from her new memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet:
While speaking about an AIDS awareness program she works with, Judd writes, "Along with other performers, YouthAIDS was supported by rap and hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg and P. Diddy to spread the, who? Those names were a red flag.”

Judd continued, “As far as I'm concerned, most rap and hip-hop music - with its rape culture and insanely abusive lyrics and depictions of girls and women as 'ho's' - is the contemporary soundtrack of misogyny.”

She concludes, "I believe that the social construction of gender - the cultural beliefs and practices that divide the sexes and institutionalize and normalize the unequal treatment of girls and women, privilege the interests of boys and men, and, most nefariously, incessantly sexualize girls and women - is the root cause of poverty and suffering around the world."
Because Ashley is a white lady from Kentucky, and because she failed to note that several rap and R&B males are much more into pedophilic abusive relationships rather than merely smackin’ up adult bitches and ho’s, her comments apparently raised some sort of ruckus. She’s apparently racked with guilt over this ruckus and is apologizing for her part in it.

Because Ashley’s much more business-savvy than I, maybe it was the right thing to do. She also rightly acknowledged that plenty of unfair stereotypes are laid at the feet of bluegrass and country music. And we all know those stereotypes are foolish, because those musicians hardly drink alcohol, much less sleep around.

But not a single word of what she said is any more incendiary or unfair than the things Aaron McGruder, creator of BOONDOCKS, has been saying for almost a decade. It’s not all that different than what Bill Cosby says, either, except it’s hard to use Bill Cosby as an example since he has his own womanizing issues and could arguably dismissed as an Oreo in the first place.

Some stereotypes exist because they’re true far too often. Country stars sing about drinkin’, screwin’, and drivin’. R&B stars sing about drinkin’, screwin’, and dancin’. The difference? Country stars sing about getting drunk and sleeping around on their wives or husbands (or being the victim of such activity), while R&B stars sing to an audience for whom marriage is a dying concept, so instead of affairs, they just sing about screwing anything and everything that crosses their path.

Don’t expect me to apologize for acknowledging statistics, and I’m not going to apologize for linking to just one of more than a dozen columns and articles that say precisely what I did except perhaps with a little more decor.

The cynic is then forced to ask a tough question, a question no true Ashley Juddite wants to ask himself: Is her apology merely an attempt to drum up publicity for a controversy that hardly exists in the first place? Is she trying to apologize for something no one was really all that upset about in the hopes that it might sell a few more books?

She might be half-crazy, but she’s also much smarter than your average bear. The hundreds of people who added their own comments to the mix, however (scroll to the bottom of the CNN article), are not smarter than your average bear. They are a reminder why the Web 2.0 is often a depressing look at why we are the society we are.


Sara C said...

I think Judd is a mediocre actress at best and likely would have ignored her memoir despite her apologetic attempt to bolster the controversy if you hadn't included that excerpt. Now, however. . .

"The contemporary soundtrack of misogyny" and "the cultural beliefs and practices . . . that . . . most nefariously, incessantly sexualize girls and women - is the root cause of poverty and suffering around the world" are some good, strong words. I may not agree with her conclusion entirely, but I certainly agree with the spirit of her points. Smarter than the average bear, indeed.

goofytakemyhand said...

Smarter than your average bear? Maybe. Smarter than your average Kentucky fan? Definitely.

BeckEye said...

Welcome to the new America, where everyone just sits around waiting to be offended.

Bob said...

I guess what's missing from the story is who she actually offended. Is Lil' Wayne up in arms? Is Nelly saying no more duets with Tim McCraw? Is Lil' Kim claiming she's disrespected female rappers?

Actually, I'd have expected the attention to be focused on her chronicles of being sexually abused and the poor parenting choices exhibited by both of her parents.