Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

22
Feb
12

Thoughts on Nicki Minaj (Kalie Gipson)

To get the preliminaries out of the way, let me say first that hip-hop music has never been a strong market for women. Regardless, the foundations of rap music does include some incredible female acts who are still revered today (at least by real hip-hop heads), such as Queen Latifah, Salt ‘N Peppa, and MC Lite. Over the years, many female rappers have come and gone. Some deserved their claim to fame, while others did not. Missy Elliott released a whole set of chart-toppers throughout her career. Lauryn Hill proved women could rap and sing on the same album, and she did it beautifully. Eve, an affiliate of rapper DMX, dropped consistent albums that unfortunately went under the radar. However, others like Khia, who made their name known by crafting horrible songs that essentially degraded themselves and over sexualized women as a whole. Did anyone actually enjoy “My Neck, My Back?” Speaking of degradation and over “sexualization”, one female “artist” has exploded onto the scene over the past few years and is being quickly held as the best female rapper alive. Nicki Minaj is in no way, and never can be, the best female rapper alive.

Let’s pretend we live in a society where an artist’s lyrics are important for popularity and airplay. This may be a difficult concept to grasp, but hang with me. Now let’s also pretend that a person’s image is important for the media. The media likes a woman who is conscious and self-respecting in this fantasy world I’m crafting. Now where would Nicki Minaj be in this situation? Nowhere. She would be nowhere, because her lyrics are terrible, her image is terrible, and she is, overall, terrible. Her song “Super Bass,” goes like this: “I said excuse me you’re a hell of a guy, I mean my my my you’re like pelican fly. I mean you’re so shy and I’m loving your tie, you’re like slicker than the guy with the thing on his eye.” That’s what is winning awards these days. To me, it is kind of sickening. The lyrics don’t get better. Another song, entitled “Stupid Hoe,” is just insane. I can’t mention hardly any of the lyrics to this song here because they are completely inappropriate. Even further, her verse in the remix to Big Sean’s “A$$” is one of the most horrible verses I’ve ever heard in my life. Once again, stating the lyrics is out of the question. They’re not clever. They’re not enlightening. They’re gross. This is what young girls are listening to now. This is what they aspire to be.

The main reasons behind Minaj’s fame are how weird she is, her emphasis when she raps, and her affiliation with Lil’ Wayne. Her outlandishness gives her undeserved attention. She’ll change her voice up to be squeaky or bark-like, and this causes the listener to barely understand what she’s saying. And by being in Lil’ Wayne’s circle, you’re guaranteed fame and airplay regardless of your skills. This is what propels Nicki Minaj. She’s not innovative or creative. She’s not special in anyway. She acts different because it gives her the attention that the masses can’t help but pour on to her. It makes me wonder if people actually listen to her lyrics at all. Well, she’s played on the radio constantly and is always in the mainstream eye, so she must be a respectable figure, right? It makes me angry to know that female artists like Jean Grae are barely known, while talentless gimmicks like Minaj are running the show.

Maybe she does have a song here and there with actual merit and worth. I have yet to hear it. Nicki Minaj is just an industry puppet, acting out for attention because she can. She only furthers the notion that women are objects whose main goal in life is to vie for sexual attention. Where are the strong females in this society? I know they’re out there. They’re just not welcome in the media. It’s sad that Nicki Minaj is an example for young girls to follow. I hope her fame dies down soon and she can be seen for the joke she really is. Something tells me this won’t happen.

 

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15
Feb
12

Many Still Upset at Komen (Angela Holbrook)

Despite reinstating its annual grant to the Planned Parenthood foundation, many Americans are still livid that the Susan G. Komen organization cut funding in the first place.

On January 31, 2012, Komen cut its funding to Planned Parenthood, stating that its company policy would not let it fund any organization under federal investigation (Planned Parenthood is currently undergoing a routine investigation by Florida representative Cliff Stearns). Once it was discovered that funding to Penn State’s research department—despite the ongoing investigation surrounding the Sandusky affair—had not been cut, many cried that the cuts were politically motivated.

“When will people realize that Planned Parenthood is not a baby killing factory?!” raged Katie Schweizer upon hearing the news. “Their programs are often the only way lower-income women can get the health services they need, such as cancer screening, birth control, and STD testing!”

Numerous conservative, religious, and anti-abortion groups applauded this move by Komen, but many others cried foul. More than $400,000 from approximately 6000 donors was gifted to Planned Parenthood in the first 24 hours after the decision was announced.

Many safe sex and women’s advocacy groups pulled their support to Komen in the aftermath, leading the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors to reinstate Planned Parenthood’s funding on February 3, only four days after the original decision was announced. Komen also released a public apology to America for the cut and promised to amend criteria for cutting investigations to involve only investigations of a criminal nature.

Many blame Senior Vice President Karen Handel for the funding cuts. During her 2010 run for the position, Handel publically stated, “I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood,” and announced her plans to eliminate all fundings for the breast and cervical cancer screenings Planned Parenthood provides.

Despite the days that have passed, the waters have yet to calm.

“I don’t care about their apology,” insists Schweizer. “I am ashamed of and saddened by [Komen’s] spineless behavior. I’m actually starting to believe the conspiracy theorists saying that the government hates and is out to get women. It seems to be true.”

“I don’t believe a word of that apology,” says Tristan Wheeler. “They were just trying to cover their own behinds and get their funding back. If they truly believed that, they wouldn’t have cut funding to begin with!”

The future of Komen is unknown, as their reputation may be permanently tarnished following this scandal. Online bloggers across the Internet have already voiced their opinions and have called for a boycott of Komen support, citing the fact that there are a multitude of other cancer-support organizations that also support medical services for the poor.

“Komen will never recover fully,” Celina Kon believes. “Their soiled underbelly has been exposed, and it ain’t pretty. Not only will they be forever linked to this debacle, but their finances will be more fully scrutinized by those suckered into buying pink M&M’s for the ‘cure’.”

Handel resigned from Komen on February 7, 2012 for reasons unknown, although most speculate it was a direct result from the pressure the scandal produced.

It is speculated that controversies like this are just the beginning of what is to come throughout this election year. After President Barack Obama’s decision to keep Plan B off of drugstore shelves, the pressure on both him and Republican candidates between the pro-life and pro-choice spectrums is expected to rise. Although Komen hoped their retraction would relieve the tension, it seems likely that pressure from both sides will only continue to grow as November nears.




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