Gender and Sexuality in Hip Hop
Mid Term: Annotated Bibliography
14 March 2018
Allison, Kalle. “Gender Portrayal in Mainstream Hip-Hop and Its Impact on Societal Behavior.”
Gender Portrayal in Mainstream Hip-Hop and Its Impact on Societal Behavior | PAX, 3 May 2016, pax.shc.edu/story/gender-portrayal-mainstream-hip-hop-and-its-impact-societal-behavior.
This article explains very well the difference between how men and women are treated in hip hop and their specific roles. It brings to light the idea that in hip hop, and in everyday life, that being a male is better than a female and how wrong it is that it is still portrayed in hip hop today, at an even more disturbing level, by which I mean, happening more often. Allison points out how the song by Ciara, “Like a Boy”, portrays the message that being a boy in a relationship is easier because they get to disrespect women and not worry about the consequences, meanwhile the girl is left to deal with all the burden of the emotional struggle. An important thing to point out from this article is that an emphasis on the lyrics of the artist who have a high level of influence on society, is made to portray how they are dictating gender roles in the lives of individuals who listen to the music. Allison mentions how the lyrics of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Ain’t Nothin’ But a She Thing”, was able to empower women because it made visible the stereotypes that women have to deal with and also push forward the idea of women progression.
Clay, Andreana. “Like an Old Soul Record: Black Feminism, Queer Sexuality, and the Hip-Hop
Generation.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, vol. 8, no. 1, Apr. 2008, pp. 53-73. EBSCOhost,
This article was the first article that I encountered that extensively introduced and went over the accomplishments of a hip hop feminist, known as Me’shell Ndegeocello and her impact on hip hop. The main point of this article was to point out how one artist’s effort could make such a difference for a group of people, in this case the LGBTQ community, and how it needs to be more appreciated because if it were not for these exact efforts, then there would not be as much representation for the issues of the LGBTQ community. Clay proves that Ndegeocello provides a space for the hip hop feminist to be able to find his or herself, through her lyrics. Throughout the article, a lot of lyrics are referenced to, it is evident that Ndegeocello aimed at specific issues in her community. For instance, the lyrics to the song, Leviticus: Faggot, are evident to be speaking about a black young man and his place in society as a member of the LGBTQ community. How can hip hop be considered a genre where males rule, I just learned about this female artist and the songs and lyrics I have learned in the short time researching her, prove to me women are always going to try and be the answers to the world’s answer.
Muñoz-Laboy, Miguel, et al. “The Hip-Hop Club Scene: Gender, Grinding and Sex.” Culture,
Health & Sexuality, vol. 9, no. 6, Nov/Dec2007, pp. 615-628. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/13691050701528590.
This was my first encounter of a research design that was successfully done on a subject like women gender and sexuality in hip hop. The study’s key point was to see how men and women determine gender roles on the dance floor. Hip hop is involved to see how male and females react to one another and who controls what when it comes to the dance floor. This article is important because it outlines how different type of females feel about different types of males when it comes to being around hip-hop. Some girls from the study, that included in-depth interviews of young females and males, knew that there is a specific type of boy/man that you do not dance with; the ones who sexual intentions are very clear. The young males who were seen as a threat or someone not to dance with, probably act how they did because of harsh and demeaning lyrics that they were listening to. It is evident that the lyrics in hip hop, can affect a man’s perception of what a female is supposed to do when they are on a dance floor; hip hop tends to makes the female a subject and it is thought that the female will be at the whim of the male, but this is not always the case as we see. Women utilize their power saying no and simply continue to try and enjoy themselves and not spread hate; which is why it is important to remember that women are hip hop because without their way of looking at certain aspects of life, hip hop would not be as advanced as it is today.
The three articles deal with the power that hip hop as on a group of people. Hip hop is such an inspirational topic of discussion because since it’s birth women artists and MCs have been there helping it grow. Some recurring themes that I found throughout my research was the importance of lyrics and their effect on society, the changing definition of a feminist, and how there is more inclusivness towards the LGBTQ community because of the efforts of artists like Me’shell Ndegeocello. Sexual scripts came up a lot also, which was interesting to learn about and how individual’s lives get attached to a sexual script from a early age; all because of the society that surrounds us and the norms that exist within a given time. Overall my articles, further proved that women have always been there since the inception of hip hop and continue to give it their all, in hopes to one day end the stigma of women in hip hop.
Two of my sources came from scholarly journals. One came from an article on a website. I feel like I could have gotten at least one more scholarly journal just to have points and have back up evidence to support any claims. I feel like I was limited with the research I was doing because we could not pick certain articles if our group members had it. Next time I do this, I will go to a librarian, because I have used one before to get help on good scholarly journals, but for this time I wanted to see how I did trying to research on my own. I’d say I did a good job of finding some solid sources that go back to feminism and involve sexuality in hip hop. I would like to research more female artists that break stereotypes and gender roles.