Ah yes, the so-called hip-hop “female empowerment anthem:” Generally well-intentioned, but hardly ever well-executed. Seattle rap OG Draze falls into the same institutionalized pit of chauvinism that our favorite of-the-moment rappers like Drake happily occupy. “Seattle Sweeties” gets it wrong from the very start (see: song title), but has its heart in the right place (it’s a vehicle for raising funds for survivors of domestic violence).
Here’s the thing, fellas (and mind you this word to the wise is coming straight from the horse’s mouth: a heterosexual male who trades in misogyny by virtue of my very existence on planet earth): Women don’t need men to affirm their beauty and intelligence.
The best part of the current wave of feminism — at least as it’s manifesting itself in popular culture — is that it reinforces the notion that there is truly no wrong way to be feminine (see: Adele, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling, et al). Just as there’s no wrong way to be Black, Asian, Latino, gay, straight, or transgender.
The marginalized — and I’m counting myself and Draze among those — need allies in the fight against our oppressors.
Men: We need to stop projecting our values of worth (particularly as it pertains to physical beauty) onto the people we’ve traditionally held power over — that shit is tired and reductive. We need to start taking up arms alongside them. Teach your sons and daughters how to be feminists, not the bankrupt game of respectability politics.