Girl Talk is coming to Fling. Where are the flyers? Where are the outraged students? Where are the calls for discussion?
Girl Talk, who specializes in mash-ups and sampling, regularly samples from music with lyrics that are equally as misogynistic Tyga’s. However, thus far there have been little to no complaints pertaining to the misogynistic nature of his samples. I cannot help but suspect that race is at the heart of this matter.
Black male rap and hip-hop artists routinely come under extreme scrutiny when it comes to their lyrics and misogynistic messages, while white artists are rarely scrutinized in this same fashion. This piece is not intended to be interpreted as a defense of Tyga’s misogyny (or his racist sentiments), but rather, a critique of those who have so readily scrutinized him and not his white co-performer.
While Tyga’s lyrics have been posted around campus, Girl Talk’s misogynistic samples, like the ones shown below, have not gotten the same attention.
“Teach me how to dougie, all my bitches love me,” (lyrics sampled from Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” in Girl Talk’s “Oh No”).
“She can go lower than I ever really thought she could — face down — ass up! The top of yo’ booty jigglin outcho’ jeans, baby pull yo’ pants up!” (lyrics sampled from Ludacris’ “How Low” in Girl Talk’s “Triple Double”).
“Bitches ain’t shit but ho’s and tricks,” (lyrics from Dr. Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit” in Girl Talk’s “Give Me a Beat”).
These lyrics, and many more, sampled in Girl Talk’s music, much like those by Tyga, objectify and demean women. However, those who have been more than ready to subject Tyga to extreme scrutiny have not done so for Girl Talk.
When scrutiny is used unevenly in the name of persecuting misogyny I cannot help but view it as disingenuous. Tyga should be challenged for his offensive lyrics. However, Girl Talk and other artists coming to Penn should also be challenged and should raise the same concerns about Penn’s decision to endorse such performers. However, the fact is, white performers have not raised the same red flags.
The critiques against Tyga are largely reflective of a racial bias, imbedded in anti-misogynist sentiments and masked by a shallow layer of feminism. Misogyny should not only be vehemently opposed when it is coming from the mouths of black men, and it should not go ignored when it is coming from digitally altered tracks pumping through speakers at the hands of a white man.
When critiques of misogyny reflect racist undertones, they belittle the possibility of racial and gender equality as mutually supportive projects. This is both problematic for, and disrespectful of, individuals whose identities intersect these critical projects. The intense criticism of Tyga, especially in the face of the lack of criticism for Girl Talk’s samples, has bullied students, especially black students, to garner support for a shallow feminist argument that comes at the price of abandoning antiracist practices.
As a final note, I would like to urge Goshey and her supporters to, before scrutinizing Tyga for his misogyny, consider how their scrutiny is influenced by larger cultural biases against black men and how such criticisms may alienate black students on this campus.
Elise A. Mitchell is a College junior.