According to a study at Baylor University, male and female rappers have two different perspectives about what defines an “independent woman.” While male rappers see this type of woman as one who can pay her own bills and is educated, female rappers see “her” as someone with sexual prowess. Also, female rappers almost never discuss domestic skills.
Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Arts, Dr. Mia Moody, conducted the study published in the spring issue of the American Communication Journal. Moody said, “Both groups use misogynistic language to describe women.”
The study analyzed songs, corresponding music video, and viewer comments of six rap songs by Yo Gotti, Webbie, Drake, Candi Redd, Trina, and Nicki Minaj.
In her study, she found four main messages:
- Wealth equals independence
- Beauty and independence are connected
- Average men deserve perfect women
- Sexual prowess equals independence
Moody found female rappers viewed sex as a tool for obtaining independence through controlling men and buying material goods. While male rappers viewed the independent women as one who is educated, pays her own bills, and creates a good home life, never did they mention settling down and often noted that a women should not weigh them down.
In fact, Ya Gotti described his ideal woman as a church-going college graduate, who has perfect credit score and gives good back rubs, but never once does he speak of reciprocating in any way.
One thing Moody found was that both sexes were obsessed with materialism, and that double standards and conflicting messages were rampant.
Female rappers often discussed buying their own things, but then praised a man who spent money on them. And male rappers see two polar opposites in women. One the one hand they see independent women, and on the other they see women as gold diggers. Rarely do they note an in-between and typically label women into one of these two categories.
Moody said parents and literacy programs should teach that beauty, materialism and unrealistic domestic standards are not necessarily part of independence; that independence standards may vary based on personal circumstances; and that independence may become secondary for those wanting relationships and families. She said rappers must infuse positive messages into their lyrics to downplay materialism, sexism and bias by lighter-skinned people against darker-skinned ones within the same ethnic group.