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Minaj for Equality

December 10, 2010

Onika Tanya Maraj, better known as Nicki Minaj, has recently become the best female rapper since the days of Lil’ Kim. She first appeared in other artists music and random mix tapes under the help of rapper Lil’ Wayne. In august of 2009 she signed with Young Money Entertainment and since then has sky rocketed to fame. She won “Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, Best New Artist, and Best Group (Young Money)” from the 2010 BET Awards. Drake, another popular rapper, named Nicki “the best female rapper alive.”

Growing up, Nicki Minaj had a hard family life. She was surrounded by constant fighting and trouble between her parents. To help escape reality, she created an alter ego for herself, and this is where she created her stage name “Nicki Minaj.”

What sets Nicki apart from other Hip-Hop artists of our generation, is that she raps more about women empowerment and having a good time v.s Sex and drugs. She wants to be a role model for young women and wants to let them know that it takes more then looks to get you places, it takes talent. Therefore she limits the scandalous outfits in order to set an example.

 

So why is any of this important? John Stuart Mill stated “Therefore, in many cases if a woman acts as an aggressor it is looked down upon, but if a man in the same position acts this way it is seen as a sign of strength and confidence.” In a recent documentary on MTV called Nicki Minaj “My Time Now,” she expresses how women are looked down upon for speaking their voice, but a man is congratulated for it. She also expresses how she wants people to treat her with respect, and thats why she has to be assertive. She said ,“When I am assertive, I’m a bitch. When a man is assertive he’s a boss. He’s bossed up. No negative connotation being bossed, buts lots of negative connotation behind being a bitch.” I encourage you to watch the whole clip (it’s roughly three minutes), but watch from 1:47 to the end.

 

What Nicki Minaj is going through is exactly the point the John Stuart Mill was making, women are viewed differently and it is unfair. Women are viewed differently, viewed as feminine. Men are viewed as masculine and because they are masculine, society believes that it is okay for men to act more aggressively.

I commend Nicki for standing up for herself in order to better her life, and her families life.

 

*Works Cited :www.theboombox.com,www.wikipedia.com,www.youtube.com

 

5 Comments
  1. December 10, 2010 8:29 PM

    I’m sorry but I have to interrupt your applause. Nicki Minaj is being given too much credit for her contribution to the feminist movement. While she is doing a good job competing in a male dominated field (rap industry), her methodology is more damaging to females than her success. Although, she does currently bare the pressures of being a poster child for female rap artists, who are the minority, she should maintain some integrity. Her accomplishments are retrogressive as opposed to progressive, constantly reinforcing women have to take multiple steps back in order to move forward, which is not an effective way to bring about social change. She uses her Barbie image as a trademark, promoting said personas: air-head, materialistic, glamour, fashion, superficial, sex, body image. She is advocating hegemonic femininity, the way in which females are expected to act according to social constructs. Her success is questioned, considering the amount of male influence that plays a role in her career. She and, prominent male rapper, Weezy have established a mentor-protégé relationship, in which he markets her according to his standards. It is widely agreed that she is a female version of Weezy, lyrically. His involvement signifies the need for male validation and stamp of approval in such an industry. In an industry known for exploiting women, men treat their female artists with the same regard, determining how female rappers will be viewed and demanded by the shared audience. She even advocates using men in order to advance i.e. her nickname Nicki Lewinsky. In addition, her liberated sexuality is criticized. She is feeding into the stereotype that women have to be sex symbols to be respected or even acknowledged. Many wonder, if she has truly earned respect from her male counter parts in relation to her skills or if she is just sexually attractive. Also, it is argued that she is setting a narrow precedent for upcoming and existing female artists to conform to for success. . Since this is the popular image, any other female rappers who do not conform to this prototype have no chance as survival. Is she choosing this route because she has no choice? Or is she just using an oppressive situation to her advantage? She is opening some doors for female rappers, yet she is keeping others shut, as she perpetuates negative female stereotypes.

  2. johnkeller91 permalink
    December 10, 2010 9:55 PM

    I agree with with the previous comment. Although Nicki may have tremendous lyrical talent, her means of using it has become counter-productive for feminists in my opinion. Rap is one of the most male-dominated forms of art, arguably one of the reasons why many of its lyrics are considered demeaning to women. Since it is such a male-oriented industry, it is no surprise that an up and coming female artist needs male validation. Ever wonder why Nicki features on so many other male artists’ songs but has few solo singles? Or why every female rapper seems to have attractive features? Granted Nicki is still a relative rookie in the hip-hop industry, hopefully she will be able to gain enough status to stand on her own not only as an artist but as a role model.

  3. December 10, 2010 10:40 PM

    To comment on every female rapper having attractive features, that is just plain ridiculous. Missy Elliot is not an attractive woman to say the least and a much more talented one. Missy elliot was a pioneer for women in rap and she had her own unique style. What has nicki ever done. Thats complete bs to say that nicki minaj doesnt use talk about sex in her raps. Its basically the complete subject of most of her songs. There is no point of commenting on the fact that Nicki Minaj dresses in a sexual way because you obviously have never seen or watched anything she has ever done. Has anyone even looked at her rap name? What do you think the Minaj is talking about? Its good that she inspires young girls to try and be better people and to work hard but lets not get carried away. She isnt an amaziing role model and really isnt a very rapper.

  4. whitneyspain permalink
    December 11, 2010 1:42 PM

    I see the points that you all are making, but my blog post wasn’t about any of that. It was strictly about how when men are assertive, its OK. When women are assertive, it’s frowned upon. Nicki Minaj set forth an example of that. If you were to watch the hour long special you would see the kind of person she is. She is giving, loving, and a very hard worker.

    Furthermore, just because someone wants to display the image as a BARBIE doesn’t make her an “airhead.” Applying such stereotypes to this situation is just another example as to why women have a hard time making it in society. Why is a women who has beauty and looks discriminated against so much? If she wasn’t beautiful and just talented, would that make people less critical of her? I would have to say so. Tagging her as an airhead just because of her BARBIE doll image is proof that women have much to overcome in order to be viewed equally as men.

    If you were to tag a man with the image of KEN, that is okay. Society judges much less of a good looking smart man, then that of a good looking smart women.

    John Keller said: ” Ever wonder why Nicki features on so many other male artists’ songs but has few solo singles?”

    For out the age of music, men and women have both collaborated with one another to create great music. Just because Nicki Minaj is feature on male songs, doesn’t make her any less of an artist. In fact, Nicki just released her own album entitled “Pink Friday” on Nov 22.

  5. whitneyspain permalink
    December 11, 2010 1:44 PM

    Through out*

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