Muslim Woman Expertly Slams Rap Music’s Portrayal Of Women


It’s no secret that a lot of rap and hip hop lyrics are filled with sexism and misogynistic culture. Not to mention the ridiculous portrayals of women in the accompanying music videos. We’re not even gonna go there, and we don’t have to because a North Carolina student has expertly done it for us!

Madiha Bhatti, a student at Chapel Hill and also a proud Muslim woman posted this poetry slam in November 2012, but it has been generating quite a bit of heat online lately. In her rhyme, which we have transcribed below, she calls out the Jay-Z’s of the genre who are bent on portraying women as second class citizens, and says what we are all thinking: enough with the misogyny! If these musicians are talented regardless, why do they need to objectify women to rise to the top?

It’s a challenging question, and certainly a controversial topic. But Madiha’s words will make you think and question the next rap or hip hop song you hear, and that’s a good thing! Madiha is an English and Biology double major minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. She wants to have a career in medicine, focusing on women’s health. Clearly her education is having an impact on her in a profound way and for that we are grateful.

We are stoked to see this video getting so much attention on the internet right now, and we hope it will spark more important conversations in our everyday culture about sexism and gender equality.

Here is the full video, and we have also pasted the lyrics below. This is one video you must watch today and share with all your friends. It is worth it!

So I heard this song the other day
That objectified women in every way
That doesn’t narrow it down much
But it was pretty depraved
The feminists are probably still rolling in their graves
It reduced people to parts, objects to be acquired
Turned hearts and minds into mere things to be desired
And as parts of my body were assessed and sized
I thought,”What a way to be dehumanized,”
These artists seem to be playing a game
Of how many times they call us the wrong name
Cuz I’m not a dime, those come a dozen
No I’m really not interested in all your lovin
I’m not your shawty, hoe, or trick
Your baby, lady, girl or chick
I mean can someone explain to me
How this counts as music? When you
Chant, you pant about windows and walls
Talk about a woman like she’s a thing to be mauled
Oh she got a big booty so you call her Big Booty,
If she had a big brain would you call her at all?
But it seems like I’m the only one appalled
That music can make me feel so small

You may think they’re just words
That doesn’t give them immunity
Words start wars and break spirits
They’re still used with impunity
Just imagine a young girl, smart , funny, well rounded
Walks into a club and finds herself surrounded
By men acting like they’ve got something to collect
They’re just listening to the words
That tell them she’s just an object
And her objections catch in her throat
As she gets harassed unchecked
Treated with disrespect
She’s caught in the middle
And the lady doth protest too little
A few words have made her think she’s brittle
Do you see where I’m going?
It’s not exactly a riddle

I’m saying
Can we turn up the volume, but turn down the noise
Stop polluting the minds of our men and our boys
With all the rude misogyny and bland homogeny
Of rhymes and beats so crude and obsolete
Cuz our ears are bleeding from all these cowards
The time is ours, We are ready to devour
lyrics that make us feel empowered

Yeah I watched a video the other day
Of my girl, Beyonce
She was draped in feathers and furs and things
Exaggerated makeup and big chunky rings
She was dancing in the desert, hair whipping wild
And I thought to myself
What does this look like to a child?
To see a woman belt about her power
While thrusting her hips to and fro
How will she know she can wear the pants in the house
When her idol doesn’t wear them in a video?
I mean on so many levels it makes me go ballistic
That we’ve consented to be portrayed as animalistic
Cuz one hand you’re exotic, you’re fierce, do no wrong,
On the other you’re a female dog in every song
I don’t want to be serenaded by my individual parts
Unless you can look past the flesh and talk about hearts
I mean does anyone even know that Beyonce’s smart?
Cuz “If she was a boy,” even just for a day
She wouldn’t have to crawl on all fours just to crawl up the charts
Or shed those fine furs
To grace a few album covers
Does her husband have that problem?
Apparently he’s got 99 others

And it sounds dramatic; maybe my skin should be tougher
But consider the history of women of color
Not valued as wives, or sisters or mothers
But used by men as unwilling lovers
When you think of the slaves who were used like instruments
You realize that society is progressing by mere increments
Just imagine the bodies covered in raw welts
And tell me it’s okay when black women are dressed in animal pelts
All those women who paid with their bodies to survive
200 years later are portrayed as sex-crazed and deprived
Please forgive me if I think music needs to be revived

So I heard a song that caused me pain
The words were bordering inhumane
Cuz I’m not accustomed to boys yelling at me
Never had to face boys telling me to
Smack that, shake that, beat that up
These aren’t the ideas of love with which I grew up
Maybe the whole concept is new to me
But then he started whispering what he’d do to me
In a place where no one else could see
Without even asking if I’d agree
And I really had to strain to hear
The words came fast and disappeared
They were drowned out by good music, I’m not gonna lie
Cuz good beats are the noise behind which singers hide
As they beat a woman up inside
It’s easy to do once we’ve been demonized
And the devil’s greatest aid is my greatest frustration
It’s the most common appellation
To sweep the nation
Rhymes with witch
I’ll leave it to your imagination
And you may think there’s no correlation

But when a man loves a woman who won’t love him back
What if his first instinct is to attack
He’s got lyrics and blood pounding in his ears
And a helpless women faces her worst fears
She’s smacked, shaken, beaten, torn apart
Against all odds his bites as bad as his bark
He causes the kind of pain that leaves a mark
And before he leaves he turns to say his parting word
It’s on the tip of his tongue, comes out unslurred
Might have been left unsaid if it had been left unheard
But its been programmed he doesn’t twich
As his mouth fills with venom and he spits out

What can she do, to ease her strife?
Every song on the radio is the soundtrack to her life

So can we turn up the volume, but turn down the noise
Stop polluting the minds of our men and our boys
With all the rude misogyny and bland homogeny
Of rhymes and beats so crude and obsolete
Cuz our ears are bleeding from all these cowards
The time is ours, We are ready to devour
Lyrics that make us feel empowered
I know it’s a steep mountain to climb,
It might take a while, but until that time
I think I’d rather just spit my own rhymes

7 thoughts on “Muslim Woman Expertly Slams Rap Music’s Portrayal Of Women

  1. Is this considered published? It’s amazing and I’d love to use it in forensics. Let me know, please. 🙂

  2. ^ Same here! I wanna quote this in my paper! This shoul get published! Why do we never hear of people like this anyways?

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