i am glad that Jay-Z is quite literally taking this baby step towards accountability, and i'm sure this will have some ripple in hip hop community around fatherhood/manhood and misogyny... but he's gonna also have to swear not to have scantilly clad women depicted as brainless objects decorating his videos as well, and use his influence to send healthy messages to our children. his daughter may not hear him say b, but can still learn that she is supposed to be an object for male pleasure, and that her appearance is more important than her soul and intellect from his videos.
I also wonder what Beyoncé thinks about the fact that for however long as she and Jay-Z have been married, it took the birth of their daughter for him to make this step. What does that make her?
Tricia Rose breaks it down for really real, in a commentary in the Guardian.
Sean Carter, who performs under the name Jay-Z, has apparently vowed never again to use the word bitch in the wake of the birth of his daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. And while I celebrate and congratulate his new fatherhood, this vow didn't impress me.
It doesn't begin to address his role in contributing to and profiting from the global power of a hyper-sexist brand of hip-hop masculinity. I need to hear quite a bit more about how he feels about this legacy and its impact on millions of black girls and boys before getting all teary-eyed.
Sure, hip-hop didn't invent sexism, nor has it been the only musical genre to profit from promoting it. The vast territory that is popular music is a treasure trove of sexist ideas and images. And it is also true that racist, rightwing critics have targeted hip-hop as a way to continue the demonisation of black men while remaining silent on countless other sexist images, sounds and stories that define US culture.
also, Lisa Belkin from the Huffington Post brilliantly explores how "Jay-Z is not the first man to realize he has been a misogynistic jerk only after he has a daughter", chronicling stuff like male CEOs who decide to close the gap between higher paid male employees and female employees by a few more fractions of a percentage. She hilariously starts out her piece asking the question: "Ladies, do you feel more respected this morning?"
Well, i'm glad that at least its starting some good dialogue.
Update: Jay-Z says to New York Daily News "that poem and that story are fake." The UK Star editors however stick to their story saying that "It is not made up or fictitious at all. We bought the interview from a reporter in the U.S. who conducted the interview with Beyonce before the birth." The Huffington Post reports.
Wonder if an iota of introspection occurred with this very influential couple around this rumor. Best celebrity hoax ever. I'm still glad that it started some good dialogue.