"No" Still Doesn't Mean NO

Blame it on the Alcohol (Jamie Foxx) is the song that assures me that “No” still doesn’t mean “NO.” An early image in the video is a woman shaking her head “no” as Jamie Foxx patronizingly shakes his finger at her. The video immediately cuts to the image of a woman/whore pole dancing (insinuating that the woman saying no is actually a whore inside). Not only does the singer insult the woman he’s addressing with “I was unaware how fine you were before my buzz set in,” but he tells her that the more she drinks the more she’ll know that she wants to have sex with him. Arrogant lately? This song makes me furious with a mother tiger anger for all party rape survivors. It also disappoints me that Jamie Foxx is depicted coming out of a limo with a power list of celebrity man friends including Ron Howard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Cedric the Entertainer, Forest Whitaker, Samuel Jackson and Quincy Jones, who are all depicted in the drunken haze of flashing red lights, passively nodding their acquiescence. As I write this the story of the gang rape is playing on NPR. Ten men and boys gang raped a girl coming out of a Homecoming dance while many others stood by and watched, some of them calling friends on cell phones and inviting them to come over.


Akon gives mixed messages in his song Sexy Bitch. He nods to dignity by singing “I’m trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful,” yet the best he can do seems to be “sexy bitch,” stating that “every girl here wanna be her.” Not only is the derogatory term sexy bitch being portrayed as a complement, but all women are supposed to envy that category and are asking men to put them in a misogynistic role. This is damaging, this confusion between beautiful (as in the Akon song Beautiful) and the slut/stripper/whore image. In Beautiful, a series of well dressed men study fashion models as they parade down the isle like merchandise for sale. Akon says, “I’mma spend them grands, but after you undress/not like a hooker, but more like a princess/Queen, empress, president.” Like so many words in our culture, these words are being twisted to portray something powerless and objectified. Flo Rida echos it in Right Round, “From the top of the pole I watch her go down/she’s got me throwing my money around/ain’t nothing more beautiful to be found.”

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