The movie, Straight Outta Compton will premiere in theatres across the nation on August 14th, 2015. Straight Outta Compton is about the Hip Hop group, NWA that rose to prominence in the music world in the late 1980s and early 1990s. What seems like another movie, coming out in theatres is actually making controversy due to it’s cast calling that relegates dark skin women to a lower caste while relegating light skin Black women and non Black women to upper caste and for the blatant misogyny in many of the lyrics in NWA’s music. Hence due to the blatant colorism in the casting call of women for the film and misogyny in many of the lyrics in the music, watching and financially supporting this movie is like committing genocide against the interests of Black women.
Don’t watch this film!
Regardless of race, class and socio economic background, women face and experience misogyny and sexism in their lives whether it be in the workplace, interacting with men and even some women, healthcare, education, you name it. Many men feel entitled to go into women’s spaces and tell them what to do and how to think and can get away with it. Women’s bodies and sexuality are closely regulated by members in society while men get off even for grossly inappropriate behavior. While all women face misogyny, only a segment of women in society face misogynoir.
What is misogynoir?
Misogynoir is a racially based misogyny that directly targets Black women in society. While women face misogyny and sexism in society, Black women face both sexism, misogyny and misogynoir. Misogynoir was coined by Black feminist scholar, Moya Baily on Crunk Feminist Collective. While all women face sexism and misogyny, Black women have to deal with racially based misogynoir that is directed towards them. This racially based misogyny props up White womanhood and other non Black women’s humanity and relegates Black womanhood to the same stereotypes of the old that assigned them to Mammies, Jezebels and Sapphires. Hence misogynoir denigrates the same humanity in Black woman that society recognizes in every other woman on the planet.
Unfortunately, misoygnoir is very prevalent in society and in many segments of the Black American collective as well as in segments of Canadian society and other Western societies in Europe. Black women living in America and the UK find themselves catching hell from both non Blacks in wider society and Black men and even some Black women in their own communities. Anti Black misogyny is heavily ingrained and promoted in society and in Black communities across America, Canada and the UK. Unfortunately, these messaging that promotes and dehumanizes Black womanhood isn’t something that would go away anytime soon.
Back in 2007, many people were upset that Don Imus called Black female basketball players nappy headed hoes and demanded that he apologize. Later, Don Imus apologized. And many people in the media such as Chris Rock and Chelsea Handler have been racially charged remarks about Black women and got away with it. Earlier this year, Univison host, Rodner Figueroa made a controversial remark where he compared First Lady to looking like the cast from Planet of the Apes. Many people were offended by his comment and he was fired for his comment. As of recently, comedian, Amy Schumer was making fun of Black women’s perceived loudness and unconventional names in a comedy stand up. Her comedic stance upset many people however due to her name being prominent in Hollywood and being privileged, she was able to get away with it.
Here is a video of Don Imus calling Black female basketball players nappy headed hoes.
Here is a video of Amy Schumer making fun of Black women’s supposed loudness and unconventional names.
Misogynoir is just as common if not more comment in Black America and many other Western countries. In many Rap songs, there are lyrics that are specifically aimed at Black women’s perceived loose morals and lewd behavior by calling them bitches, hoes, thots and whatever derogotary name out there. Many rappers such as Lil Wayne, Yung Berg, etc rap about putting women down and sometimes even raping them. We have Black males like Tommy Sotomayor bashing Black women on Youtube videos and garnering views and attention from gullible people.
Misogynoir also shapes the dating preferences of many Black men as well. Many Black men express their ”preference” for women of races while putting down and denigrating Black women. There are many Black men in Youtube bashing and putting down Black women and calling them ugly, undesirable and hideous. Also this culture of misogynoir has drastically pitted the Black man and Black woman against one another.
What does this have to do with Straight Outta’ Compton movie?
Well, the casting call for women in the film had A, B, C and D levels of women who were going to be casted in the movie. You will see that the A level women were women who wore their real hair, had good bodies and between the ages of 18-30 but the real colorism kicks in here when type B girls were the light skin and ”Beyonce” type Black women and type C girls are medium to dark with semi good bodies. Worst of all, type D girls were dark skin, poor or overweight. Being a dark skin woman of slender built and middle class background, I find this casting call offensive. :
”SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80’s. Shoots on “Straight Outta Compton”. Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT – You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show – and don’t tell me you are willing to fly in.
SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES – PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY:
A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair – no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: A GIRLS
B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: B GIRLS
C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: C GIRLS
D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: D GIRLS”.
Along with the blatant colorism in the casting call for women in the film, many lyrics in NWA’s music has misogynistic lyrics against women. Some of these songs even promote rape culture and denigration as well. The songs off of their album, Efil4zaggin, glorifies beating, raping and putting down women and songs such as Kill A Hooker does the same thing as well. In fact, former NWA member, Dr. Dre was accused by a former lover, R&B singer and mother of his son, Michel’le of physically abusing her. Her bruises were so severe that she had to get surgery to repair any damage to her face. However much of the music of NWA and other Gangsta Rap groups of the 1980s and 1990s paved the way for blatant culture of misogynoir and sexism towards Black women in Black America that we see today.
Here is a picture of Michel’le.
Ultimately, misogyny and sexism isn’t exclusive to Hip Hop music nor is it the only music out there with misogynistic lyrics. However it is important to point out how misogynoir rubs it’s ugly head in the music we listen to, the movies we watch, the books we read and even the people we interact with because it is Black women who are financially supporting these entertainers. These same entertainers who call Black women out by their names in their music. These same entertainers who express their hatred and dislike of Black women. These same entertainers who just take our money and run with it while denigrating us at the same time. Hence, I believe it is time Black women stop financially supporting entertainers who publically degrade and put down Black women and start spending their money to more worthwhile causes.
Links of where I get information from: