Reaction to the Images of Women in Hip-hop Panel
Early this week myself, Jay Smooth, and Funkdigital attended a panel discussing the images of women in hip-hop, a heated topic that has been aired out by Essence Magazine all this year.
After the event we hopped on AIM to discuss what we saw. Read below for the convo:
Hashim: What is the purpose of a panel like this, and did this panel reach that goal?
JgambleDOIT: hmm...The purpose of the panel was obviously identify problems relating to images of wome in hip hop. Why women, for the most part are deemed as sexual objects throught the lens of vids. I don't feel this panel acheived its main goal ( and how could it) formulaing solutions.
Jay Smooth: Well, I don't think it's my place to define the purpose of the panel, but in general i hope events like this can encourage dialogue and get people thinking. And what this event clearly showed is that there is a great deal of passion in the community about these issues, and we need a lot more outlets where that passion can be aired, and where we can work toward that dialogue. Because at this event, frankly there was so much passion that this medium couldn't handle it and it descended into chaos.
I think the event succeeded in dramatizing the need for us to explore these issues, but it failed to provide a safe space where we could actually start that exploration. It's a topic that sparks so much passion, that in order to have a constructive comversation about it, you need a solid structure set up to keep all that passion in check, so we can communicate effectively. And this event was just not moderated well enough for that to happen. So if anything, the biggest lesson tonight mght be that we all need to improve our communication skills, to be able to come together and have meaningful dialogue on the though things that really matter. Because let's be honest, that panel was a mess!
Hashim: I believe the purpose of the event was to spark discussion even beyond this night, which I think it will. Many are going home tonight talking to their friends and family about what happened. I think they also hope to raise new understanding which they didn't do. The same cliche arguments were aired.
Funkdigital: I feel that since so few men were there, the discussion didn't live up to the potential to make young men and adult males think about the images that are out there and understand the point that we too are affected by these images. However, its great that many young wome n were there. Essence put the word out and some organizations came strong. Lots of young people.
Hashim: Which leads to the next question- The panel was mostly female. Is the absence of men in thediscussion a good thing or bad?
Funkdigital: For good or bad, these young girls heard differnt perspectives. So that part was a partial success.
Jay Smooth: Yeah I thought it was GREAT that so many young women were there, and like I said great to see the passion everybody had.. I think there is a place for discussion that lets women have center stage. And in this case I'm damn sure glad that Stanley Crouch wasn't there, because between him and Remy Ma thre would have been a straight up riot. It would have looked like the Garden after the Bowe Golota fight. I mean, in the future there needs to be dialogue that brings men in as well, but there's plenty of time for that, especially considering how the male viewpoint already dominates all of hip-hop, in general
Funkdigital: I think I mentioned to Hashim that having Tabiti as the mod may have been a bad move, but he did his best to be firm and tried to cool Remy down. didn't really work though. I was proud to see so many young women speaking up
Hashim: Women have more power in the industry and society than is flexed. I think it's good the dialogue is starting with them. So with unity they can demand what they want from the male power structure in hip-hop...
Funkdigital: 15 and 17 and 20soemthings lending there voice. And to get back to Remy for a sec. She spoke with some experience but not enough diversity only her limeted perpective. It was troubling at times
Hashim: Cuz right now many women defend what's going on and don't realize the effect
Hashim: Remy Ma was the dominate voice on the panel. Her opinions alsoseemed to differ greatly from Essence Magazine's main views. Was she an asset to the discussion?
Funkdigital: She was an asset because she was a draw, however she is still so young herself, 23. I think her opinions may change down the road. I hope. She said alot that made sense but much of it was just a jumble. She contracdicted herself more than a few times IMHO.
Hashim: I also think that after a few more years in the industry Remy may chabge her opinion. Once her label wants her to undress more, she'll see what's up.
Jay Smooth: Remy Ma had a perspective that needs to be heard, even thogh I may disagree with her. The Problem with Remy was she did not know how to present her views coherently and concisely....
Jay Smooth: She had some valid points, but she just kept rambling on and on, bullying everyone else out of the conversation and going off on tangents, after a while it was like trying to listen to grandpa abe simpson tell a story. So i think it was good that someone with remy's perspective was there, but she just wasnt able to represent it in a way that allows constructive dialogue. And then the moderator failed to keep her in check, so that could happen
Hashim: any final words guys?
Jay Smooth: I want to give props to everyone who put the event together, even though it could have gone better.. especially akiba solomon who really held it down when she had a chance to. And i hope they keep carving out space for this dialogue, cuz we obviously need it real bad.
Funkdigital: Akiba was on point. I need to get in touch with her
Hashim: thanks fellas. I'm out. Peace
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