Hip-hop feminism  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Hip-hop feminism is defined as young feminists born after 1964 who approach the political community with a mixture of feminist and hip-hop sensibilities. The term hip hop feminism was coined by the provocative cultural critic Joan Morgan in 1999 when she published the book When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks it Down.

Hip hop feminism is based in a tradition of black feminism, which emphasizes that the personal is political because our race, class, gender, and sexuality determine how we are treated. In the book Hip Hop's Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement Reiland Rabaka writes, "Seeming to simultaneously embrace and reject the fundamentals of feminism, the women of the hip hop generation, like the hip hop generation in general, have blurred the lines between the 'personal' and the 'political' by critically dialoguing with a culture that commonly renders them invisible or grossly misrepresents them when and where they are visible".

An important idea that came out of early black feminism is that of intersectionality. The term intersectionality was first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw and was first used in a paper where Crenshaw outlines how black women are often marginalized by both anti-racist and feminist movements, because their identity and concerns are not encompassed by only one group. Later in the chapter, Rabaka explains the connection between media, hip-hop, feminism, and intersectionality: "hip-hop feminism is much more than feminism, and it focuses on more than feminist issues, misogyny, and patriarchy. Hip-hop feminists use hip-hop culture as one of their primary points of departure to highlight serious social issues and the need for political activism aimed at racism, sexism, capitalism, and heterosexism as overlapping and interlocking systems of oppression"


Hip hop feminism is a different kind of feminism than "traditional" feminism; it is a way of thinking and living that is grounded in different lived experiences than the "traditional" feminism of the Women's Liberation Movement, which was a mostly white movement and was more interested in advancing women's rights than civil rights. The Hip-Hop feminism movement gained traction primarily because there was no avenue for young black women. As human rights activist, Shani Jamila states in her book, Can I Get a Witness, "As women of the hip-hop generation we need a feminist consciousness that allows us to examine how representations and images can be simultaneously empowering and problematic."

As many women and men involved in hip hop culture are not white, they will have a different way of viewing the world; a desire for intersectional change in the spheres of how both women and non-white people are treated in America.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hip-hop feminism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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