A few more additional thoughts on Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

I think Byron Hurt did get men to look at themselves.  The reason is that first and foremost, he provided a context to the hip-hop music that people don’t necessarily see.  He did research and interviewed people on how hip-hop affects them and what rappers are really saying in their music.    I feel that if people listen, they will reconsider what they are listening to and watching, and examine whether the effect is has on them is good or not and what they should do about the effects of hip-hop on them.  The documentary clearly shows that people mimic the attitudes and behaviors expressed in hip-hop and many of those attitudes and behaviors are negative such as sexually harassing women, being violent towards another man because “he looked at you the wrong way,” or any type of behavior that is harmful towards other people or oneself.  I believe that Hurt’s documentary will hopefully encourage people to think for themselves and not allow the media to influence them negatively because he shows people the objective effect that hip-hop has on them.

Needless to say, sexism is everywhere in our culture.  Men and women are both perpetrators and victims of it.  Women are often objectified and are often pressured to conform to limited roles such as being a wife and mother.  Despite the fact that women work far more often than they did in the past, women still are expected to balance motherhood and their careers.  Many say that a woman can’t be a wife, mother, and have a career, and be able to do it well.  Men don’t seem to have this struggle to nearly the same extent.  People rarely, if ever, talk about how men are unable to be a husband, father, and have a career.  I suppose the reason is that women are expected to be children’s caregivers while men are expected to support their wives and children financially.

A trend I have noticed in combatting gender discrimination is that women who reject traditional gender roles have more support than men who do the same.  For example, in high school, I noticed a handful of girls who dressed as boys do, and they were generally accepted by the school at large.  However, I once heard of a boy who came to school dressed as girl, and the reaction was less than favorable to say the least.  In society in general women are often trying to defy traditional gender roles because they are constricting and subjugating, but men who do the same are often frowned upon probably because of some latent hatred of femininity.

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