Female Sexual Scripts In Hip Hop Culture

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The introduction of female emcees into hip hop masqueraded itself as a major paradigm shift in the world of hip hop. Finally, a male-dominated genre infamous for its misogynistic lyrics was being infiltrated by the very women the music affected the most. From MC Lyte, the first solo female rapper to release a full album in 1988, to today's female emcee megastars like Nicki Minaj, women in hip hop have been celebrated for breaking barriers and using the very genre that oppressed them to reclaim their sexuality. At the very beginning, a lot of female emcees did just that; rappers like MC Lyte and Queen Latifah united women and brought up important social issues facing black women in their music. However, as time has progressed, female emcees …show more content…
In Hip Hop Honey or Video Ho: African American Preadolescents’ Understanding of Female Sexual Scripts in Hip Hop Culture, authors Dionne Stephens and April Few explore how hip hop created black female sexual scripts that reinforce stereotypes about young black women. Stephens and Few describe how from hip hop emerged “the Diva, Gold Digger, Freak, Dyke, Gangster Bitch, Sister Savior, Earth Mother, and Baby Mama unique sexual scripts” (Stephens, Few 51). The Diva refers to a black woman who appears independent but relies on men to boost her social status. The Gold Digger refers to a black woman who uses sex to gain material and economic rewards. The Freak refers to a black woman who “decides to forego financial gains and only seeks to satisfy her own sexual desires” (Stephens; Few 52) and the Dyke refers to black women who exclusively enter sexual relationships with women and take on a more masculine role; the effects of these scripts go beyond simply pigeonholing and dichotomizing young black women, they actually influence behavior in black youth. A study conducted by Stephens and Few found that, “African American female adolescents who had greater exposure to hip hop videos with high levels of sexual content were twice as likely to have had multiple sexual partners, and 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease” and that the stereotypical images of black women in hip hop media were “positively related to justification of violence against women” (Stephens; Few 53). While we can hold male emcees accountable for helping to promote these scripts, female emcees are not exempt from critique. Similarly to how their male counterparts almost always engage in a thug-masculine performance, almost all successful female emcees capitalize on one or more of these scripts in order to sell their

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