WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

When Good Columnists Go Misogynist

lmarshalls Icon Posted by Lucinda Marshall

June 27th, 2006

It’s always difficult to be critical of someone who you’ve always thought of as one of the good guys. For the most part, I look forward to Leonard Pitts’ op ed pieces, they are usually an island of sanity amidst the innane drivelling of some of his counterparts. In particular, he usually has a good handle on appropriate coverage of violence against women issues. The piece that ran in my morning paper today promised to be a rightous read, and for the most part, it is a good analysis of the rappers who are upset with Oprah for not promoting their misogynist lyrics.

Unfortunately, for just a paragraph, it seems that some evil male chauvinist misogynist pig gremlin must have taken possession of Pitts’ mind and keyboard because all of a sudden he is telling these rappers that it is ok to do exactly what it is that Oprah is calling them out about,

Go drink some Cristal, buy some bling, pimp some hoes or do whatever it is you do for amusement, but please, cease, desist, shut up already about how Oprah Winfrey has hurt your feelings.

Pimp your hoes??? Have you become a Rush Limbaugh wannabe? Earth and women to Leonard–gee sorry, we don’t find the buying and selling of women’s bodies to be some kind of legit entertainment for anyone, be they rappers or otherwise. You might want to take a remedial women’s studies course where you might find out that every year thousands of women are sold into sexual slavery. This isn’t entertainment, it is a human rights violation. Now that might make a good column…

As an aside, and this is something I’m still trying to get a handle on, this is the second time in as many days that with no effort I’ve caught instances of the mainstream media belittling the human rights of women. And my guess is most people won’t even notice these little blips on the media screen, they just don’t shock us anymore.

It is nauseating to see words like ‘pimp’ become acceptable every day language. It’s become ok to use this word in a tv show title, and then next thing you know… my son’s high school yearbook even had a page about kids’ cars entitled, you guessed it, “Pimp my ride”. This normalizing of misogynist language is something that we should be very concerned about, particularly in how it impacts our youth and we surely don’t need otherwise responsible journalists like Mr. Pitts further legitimizing this sort of damaging linguistics.

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