With the glamorization and mainstreaming of language from the underbelly of the street. The word whore is softened by the street pronunciation as ho’---making it not only more acceptable for the mainstream, but more acceptable for broadcast media. Whether comedy or news, Imus’ remarks would have cut him off the air instantly had he said the “square white man’s version” of the word, “Nappy Headed Whore’s.” It’s more of a derogatory and demeaning statement to all women, no matter what the hair type. Since the significance and outrage is on the word whore itself.
With societies adoption of this exploitive gutter language, he along with many others have been convinced that the terminology is cool. But it is not cool….thus the outcry by those that know better in the media and entertainment industry. The issue lies with the degradation of girls and young women in today’s culture.
I lost my childhood due to early sexual exploration and exploitation. And thought at 21 when I left the exploiter who was 20 years my senior, that I was leaving all the negative connotations and verbal abuse behind. But not so….as it has meandered from the slimy sidewalks into our living rooms. And it shouldn't take Imus’ comments for us to find outrage about the language used on our young women. Maybe it’s a blessing, for the discourse it’s created maybe we can share with the society that has welcomed it in….that ho’, whore and bitch, is unacceptable no matter what the color of a woman’s skin, as it is a direct violation against all womankind.
When I hear those words.…it turns me inside out with anger. The n word and faggot have caused equal reactions....it’s time that the softness of whore = ho' be taken as seriously offensive as its disrespectful and hurtful cousins mentioned above. And bitch, since it's not the modern day endearment of Darling, should be addressed and discarded too.
For the last eight years I’ve been trying to speak about the demeaning and exploitive language of Rap and Hip Hop music. The discomfort I’d feel daily while hearing snippets of it when flipping through channels on the television or changing the dial on the radio. As someone who knows the repercussions of this language, being assaulted with it for over seven years, I know first hand how damaging it can be psychologically and emotionally.
Most of the time this street language is used in unison with physical violence. Because there is no respect for women (ho's) in the street no matter what their race....and it is this exploitative, demeaning, abusive language used in the street as part of mind control by pimps, so as to keep the women with a low self-esteem.....afraid to leave them.
This street language and its negative attributes has infiltrated main stream not only because it's been glamorized and introduced through music, but because the self-acclaimed pimps, Snoop Dog and gangsta’ rappers have become the rappers pimping an entire culture, not the poets as Russell Simmons declares.
The young, urban fatherless boys emulates their local pimps from the 70's and 80's, as they were the black cultures version of Joe Cartright in Bonanza. And in essence began to sing what they knew...pimps and life on the street. It’s hardly poetry---but more profitable than pimping, and resulted in what we have today with Hip Hop and Rap. In 2005 I sat in angst and disbelief as I witnessed an Oscar being given to a new song, "It's Hard Out There for A Pimp" from the movie Hustle and Flow. Even the Academy has been seduced into believing it is cool to honor pimps. And I am astounded that the media rewards Snoop Dog’s exploitation with his own fatherhood reality show.
It was a struggle for me to sit idle while this verbal rape occurred on a generation of innocent women, but unfortunately the women’s magazines aren't ready to discourse the issue. When I attempted to emphasize the infiltration of language from the street and its dire consequences to editors…it fell on deaf ears. Maybe as Imus' statement slices deep as a knife into the heart and psyche of women as a whole, we can begin back peddling and correct what has been wronged.
I am not an advocate for censorship but, "Each one of us are socially responsible for the betterment of humanity." And right before our eyes we are losing a generation of young women. Because of their inherent need to be loved and accepted, they are sacrificing their self-empowerment and self-esteem---to be what men and boys want them to be. And it is through education, at home and in school, that we need to teach our children love, peace, respect, responsibility, all the healthy and positive aspects of life. Not the negatives; hatred, violence, racism, exploitation and abuse.
As adults we must be aware that children also eat with their ears and eyes---that the mental stimulation of positive music, video's and movies can teach them how to grow into healthy functioning adults. And as they digest this repeatedly---they'll emulate and learn the goodness about themselves, others and life. That will be....humanity at its finest.
Copyright 10 April 2007 R. B. STUART, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of this blog in any form.