I really love rap music. I love the bass, I love the rhythm, I love the beat, but mostly I love the lyrics. I grew up in a place during a time where people hated me just because of the way I looked, the way I sounded, the way I moved. I didn’t have words for what I was then, but I did have rap music. I could identify with the oppression, and the rage that lies just beneath the surface of the lyrics. Rap music became my refuge. It also became an outlet for feelings that I didn’t understand. Each misogynistic rhyme was both satisfying, because I had an outlet for the way I was feeling about the women around me, and also horrifying because I am also one of those women.
I understand that much of the internalized homophobia that I experience stems directly from the same hate that continues the rampant objectification of women in today’s society. I know what it’s like to be an objectified woman, and I also know what it’s like to objectify the women around me. I also know the comfort and support I feel from the connection of shared oppression.
So what do I do?
The truth is, I think I just live conflicted. I will always both be comforted and offended by the lyrics that I love. I think the best I can do is be mindful of my own actions, and attempt to do as my grandmother said, “to treat those around me as I would like to be treated.”