Ashley Judd seems to be releasing a lot of frustration in her new memoir, All That is Bitter & Sweet. Along with slamming her mother, country singer Naomi, Ashley Judd criticizes Diddy, Snoop and hip-hop for misogynist lyrics.
As an ambassador for YouthAIDS, Judd was appalled when the organization decided to use Snoop Dogg and Diddy as spokesmen to help fight the spread of the disease.
“Along with other performers, YouthAIDS was supported by rap and hip-hop artists like Snoop and P. Diddy to spread the message … um, who?” Judd says. “Those names were a red flag. As far as I’m concerned, most rap and hip-hop music — with its rape culture and insanely abusive lyrics and depictions of girls and women as hos, is the contemporary soundtrack of misogyny. The social construction of gender — the cultural beliefs and practices that divide the sexes and normalize the unequal treatment of girls and women, and incessantly sexualize[s] girls and women is the root cause of poverty and suffering around the world.”
Judd’s assessment of hip-hop is as disparaging as any rapper who uses misogynist lyrics. Blaming an entire music genre on the spread of AIDS and poverty proves that she is misinformed about what causes societal problems to become epidemics. Before any rapper chooses to write an irresponsible word regarding women or sexual conquest, his thoughts have been shaped by real-life issues that are more detrimental than any verse that could be spewed on a record.
The lack of sufficient educational structures in poor environments and a dearth of life-changing opportunities for success, can breed ignorance, hate and misogyny.
And while there are misguided rappers who receive prominent airplay, hip-hop has never represented one attitude or viewpoint. Judd was misguided in blaming Snoop, Diddy and hip-hop for poverty and suffering around the world. –a.r.