Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ludacris And Obama

Echidne writes this about the Ludacris song and here is my response:

I'm not sure how harmful the Ludacris song is. For the liberal/Democratic movement in general, I think it sows disunity, which is bad, but what's a bigger harm probably is Obama not picking Clinton for Veep. Clinton is a real obvious, simple choice, and the length of the Veep search is a bad sign that something is wrong. For the feminist movement, I think Ludacris' choice of words was just an off-the-cuff, informal, working-class kind of thing, and not even a message that definitely equals "Hillary is a woman, so the hell with her" or "I hate Hillary" although I could certainly see that people would be jumping to that conclusion. While some people might vehemently disagree with me, I think that while sometimes the word "bitch" is used in a really harmful misogynistic way, other times it's used it's a lot less harmful. I think we have to be able to take hearing the word "bitch" in the less-harmful sense every once in a while, and be able to focus on other things that are a lot more important than a word that even a very committed feminist man or woman might use every once in a while without even meaning it in a sexist way. Not every time the word "bitch" is used is something that is really worthwhile or praiseworthy for feminists to fight over. There are issues like rape in the military that are the real problems more than every somewhat questionable use of language is. All that said, it sounds to me like maybe the Ludacris song isn't a really great example of rap, despite his pleasing interest in liberal politics and in promoting Obama, although I haven't heard the song for myself yet.

Just from your summary descriptions, I think the orc book is probably worse from a feminist point of view. It sounds to me like it was written by a sexist or to promote sexism among the minds of people who read those kinds of books, since orcs are usually bad guys in the Dungeons and Dragons / LOTR world.

I guess the argument on the other side is that a lot of young women are going to hear Ludacris call Hillary (a model of a successful, modern woman) a bitch, and maybe take something bad away from that. Not a lot of people are going to read the orc book.

Here is something on rap in general and here is a follow-up to it.

Here is something on the "apology."