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» babble   » walking the talk   » labour and consumption   » More sexist violence from Bell. Now with racism!

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Author Topic: More sexist violence from Bell. Now with racism!
audra trower williams
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posted 01 August 2005 01:30 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Bell Mobility is selling a series of cellphone ringtones called PimpTones that make light of prostitution and refer to women as "bitches," "skanks" and "hoes."

The short messages can be downloaded from the Bell website for a $2.50 fee and programmed to sound whenever the cellphone rings.

In one clip, an actor speaking in a deep baritone says, "You have an incoming message from Master Silk Macktastic's hand to your face," which is followed by a slapping sound and a muffled cry.


Full story here.


I'll be writing a press release about this later on. I am so fucking angry.

You can listen to one of the rings here.

[ 01 August 2005: Message edited by: audra trower williams ]


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 01 August 2005 01:35 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post
That is in-f**king-credible, audra. *stunned silence*
From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 August 2005 01:48 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Class-action suit (all the women of Canada)?

Lower the hate-legislation boom on Bell?

They have to pay for this. They just have to.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 01 August 2005 02:04 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Do it. These fucking morons need to have their asses handed to them

This makes me so angry because this seems to the nature of capitalism these days; brutal and abysmally stupid.


From: Qubec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 August 2005 02:08 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Do I recall that James actually managed to get through to the president or somebody about the ad with the scissored body parts? *paging James*

Yes, folks: Bell also does scissored body parts.

And as audra says: Now with racism!


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 01 August 2005 02:10 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A Bell Canada spokeswoman said the clips were offered in response to customer demand.

"We have a lot of different consumers out there who are looking for different things," said Nessa Prendergast. The motif that PimpTones use is "a huge phenomenon," in pop culture, she said.


what the fuck is this woman talking about? there's a big growing pop culture out there in which the central theme is to put down women? and this is the pop culture they are selling to?

she almost makes it sound like bitch and hoe are synonyms for woman. this is the way things are now, you know, this is how kids speak these days, and we have to cater to that. the trendy term for woman is bitch now, and we have to accept this. stupid, stupid, stupid.

it probably is more offensive to women in the sex business than anyone else, but it is offensive to the dignity of any self-respecting woman. it's a slap in the face to the feminist movement when these pricks use and encourage the use of only debasing words to describe women. women should not have to put up with this kind of abuse.


From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
charlieM
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posted 01 August 2005 02:28 PM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There is a big demand for this type of stuff for many cell phone users, as many cellphone users are teenage males who idolize pimps. I do not personally believe this to be as offensive to all women in general as it is to prostitutes, which can be either male or female, (though i realize the trade is dominated by females). I, as a male, am not offended when people call gangsters, pimps and thugs (all male dominated criminal trades) parasites or pigs. Bad judgement on Bell's part. There have been MTV shows and T-shirts sold that glamorize "pimps" and "pimping", but those are shows aimed at a very specific demographic. I don't expect this "ring-tone" to last long.
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Nikita
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posted 01 August 2005 03:18 PM      Profile for Nikita     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of course this is offensive to all women. Guys who buy into the pimp lifestyle or those who idolize it don't distinguish when they use words like 'bitch' or 'ho' - they use it in reference to all women or girls, not just female prostitutes.
From: Regina | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 01 August 2005 04:54 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hip hop music planted the seed. Bell ate the fruit.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 01 August 2005 04:56 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it probably is consumer-based. That is, I think lots of young kids think it's cool to be identified with rap lyrics and the image of being a player.

Corporations direct a lot of effort at getting young people to identify with their corp, early on, because it is thought that purchasing habits, once made, endure a lifetime.

That's why tv shows are so youth-directed; there is nothing more desirable than the 14-20 year old group.

So, the culprit here is the market. When Bell was a monopoly, they wouldn't have bothered.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
marcella
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posted 01 August 2005 04:59 PM      Profile for marcella     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hip hop did not plant the seed. Misogyny did.

Do we have any updates?? Any suggestions on what one could do...is this just another letting writing campaign thing? or should i try for an article in a paper?
I really think we need to make a huge deal out of this, especially considering Bell's history with womyn.


From: ottawa | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 01 August 2005 05:06 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That is, I think lots of young kids think it's cool to be identified with rap lyrics and the image of being a player

And it's really sad that not enough adults talk to young people honestly and openly, and tell them that this trend is ugly. I certainly undertstand the rebeliousness of youth, but all of this is not a real, creative expression of anything. It's just an "in your face" sneer that attempts to get one reaction, any reaction from an adult population which doesn't seem to care, one way or the other, about young people.


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Michelle
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posted 01 August 2005 05:28 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think that's a stupid excuse and a cop out for Bell Canada, to claim that the reason they're making misogynist ring tones is because it's now "popular". Great, let's try to corner that all-popular bitch-slapping woman-hating market.

What next? Will they next try to corner that all-elusive but popular racist-uncle-joe-at-the-holiday-table market by marketing a series of "keep those (enter racial/ethnic slurs here) out of our country" ringtones? Or, how about that neo-nazi undercurrent where they can sell clips of Adolph Hitler's speeches?

What unbelievable bullshit.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 01 August 2005 05:33 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
I can imagine yet another assault on my delicate sensibilities in public: "Hey, niggah, you phone's ringing! Pick it up, biotch!"

Oh, Bell...you've crossed the line on this one.

[ 01 August 2005: Message edited by: Hinterland ]


From: Qubec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 01 August 2005 05:37 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post
Heehee, the ad on this page is for Bell Canada Hosting. Click away.
From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 01 August 2005 05:44 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We could ask them if they also plan to cater to the pedophilic market group.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Amricain galitaire
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posted 01 August 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for Amricain galitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Bell says it did not create the content for the PimpTones, but acquired it from a supplier.

Ok check that out because I have a funny feeling they bought it from the same people who advertise these ring tones very heavily on US cable nets at all hours of the day and night. I can't watch certain channels without seeing these ads for these tones.

Here, the phone companies don't offer that kind of content - only the sleazy cable tv advertisers. I can't believe Bell Canada would do this. What the hell were they thinking?

Isn't there any collective responsibility for anything in the business community anymore?? Michelle your point about Hitler speeches is well taken, but if they tried that they'd get fried so fast your head would spin.

It seems advocating violence against women doesn't turn one head in Bell Canada's corporate boardrooms. And people come here and seriously ask do we still need feminism?


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 01 August 2005 05:56 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It seems advocating violence against women doesn't turn one head in Bell Canada's corporate boardrooms.

Imagine yourself at such a meeting. For the life of me, I can only picture an entire board-room of people doing lines of blow and saying...Fuck, yeah! PimpTones! What a great idea!


From: Qubec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 01 August 2005 06:15 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Amricain galitaire:
Michelle your point about Hitler speeches is well taken, but if they tried that they'd get fried so fast your head would spin.

Yeah, that was kind of the point. That they wouldn't dare try something like that, but somehow advocating violence against women is a-ok because there's one small segment of society that thinks it's the in thing.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 01 August 2005 06:20 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post
Woowee, google 'pimptone' -- zillions of hits. Then I googled 'ringtone market'. A lot of different figures given for the worldwide market, none less than $1 billion a year!
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audra trower williams
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posted 01 August 2005 06:26 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two things:

1. For those who don't remember, Bell also brought us this ad, which skdadl mentioned:

2. According to the PimpTones website, Rogers and Fido also carry their rings.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nikita
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posted 01 August 2005 06:55 PM      Profile for Nikita     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh holy Jesus. That is the most offensive advertisement I have ever seen. I'm seething right now. I can't believe this.

AHHHH!


From: Regina | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 01 August 2005 06:59 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
You know...the more I think about this the more I believe my trow-away comment about lines of blow is probably not that far off the mark.

When I look at all of this, my immediate response is "Are you on drugs?"


From: Qubec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Amricain galitaire
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posted 01 August 2005 07:08 PM      Profile for Amricain galitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:

Yeah, that was kind of the point. That they wouldn't dare try something like that, but somehow advocating violence against women is a-ok because there's one small segment of society that thinks it's the in thing.


Yes I got your point and it just amazes me that, again, in the board rooms at Bell Canada, serious minds must have listened to these ringtones (tell me they listened to them at least before greenlighting them!) and then decided the money they would make would outweigh the damage they would do in the culture to women.

But then again, I remember the outrage over the ad Audra has reposted here. The pressure worked then, maybe it can work now. But with Rogers and Fido also marketing them, BC will probably say: "how can we cede this market to our competitors? Don't we have a right to grab our share of the b**** slapping market?


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
-=+=-
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posted 01 August 2005 08:38 PM      Profile for -=+=-   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
This kind of stuff is par for the course in commercial American hip hop. Its just starting to make its way into Canada now.

Here's what rap star Ludacris has to say about Canadian women in "Pimpin' All Over the World":




"I used to think that it was way too cold, `til I went to Canada and saw some beautiful hoes, now I hit the Caribana every year in Toronto."



From: Turtle Island | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 01 August 2005 08:39 PM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's their contacts page if anyone's of a mind to have a wee chat to them about it.
From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 01 August 2005 09:04 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Since Bell always tries to sell you "products" (modern-day code for useless crap), I think I'll call them to request a sales representative contact me regarding PimpTones.

Me: Could you describe the variety of PimpTones I might expect?
Bell: Well, we offer a standard range, going from Slap-my-bitch-up to Who you callin' ho', ho?
Me: Well, I'm not sure any of those appeal to me. But can you tell me more about the Slap my bitch up option?

...etc.

[ 01 August 2005: Message edited by: Hinterland ]


From: Qubec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Raos
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posted 01 August 2005 09:06 PM      Profile for Raos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I fail to see how anybody, let alone enough people to constitute a demographic, could consider everything to do with 'pimp culture' appealing. Who would want to emulate that filth?

[ 01 August 2005: Message edited by: Raos ]


From: Sweet home Alaberta | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Nikita
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posted 01 August 2005 09:18 PM      Profile for Nikita     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Unfortunately there are lots of guys who would be all over it. I know quite a few guys who have ###-7467 (###-PIMP) as their cell number.

It's so pathetic.

[ 01 August 2005: Message edited by: Nikita ]


From: Regina | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 01 August 2005 09:21 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Hinterland:
Me: Could you describe the variety of PimpTones I might expect?
Bell: Well, we offer a standard range, going from Slap-my-bitch-up to Who you callin' ho', ho?
Me: Well, I'm not sure any of those appeal to me. But can you tell me more about the Slap my bitch up option?

...etc.


Better yet, do that whenever you get a marketing call from Bell, Rogers, or Fido. "Could you tell me more about the pimp tones? I'm particularly interested in the ones that refer to women as "skanks". I just love that."


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 01 August 2005 09:30 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Raos:
I fail to see how anybody, let alone enough people to constitute a demographic, could consider everything to do with 'pimp culture' appealing. Who would want to emulate that filth?


Kids/adults who learn from media and other messages that females are sexualized, commodified at younger and younger ages. Kids/adults who get no reprisal for calling their mother/wife a bitch. Kids/adults of both sexes who feel a stomach-turning (it turns my stomach) pressure to fit in with a hyper-sexualized culture.

To steal one from MAD magazine, "Yecchhh." I am including a well-worded response to this with my just-enough-to-keep-my-phone-connected Bell payment.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jesse Dignity
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posted 02 August 2005 12:43 AM      Profile for Jesse Dignity   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm very angry about PimpTones. Let me say that first. Nothing about it fails to set me off.

But I want to caution those reacting negatively to them against unconscious, knee-jerk racism and stereotyping when pointing fingers.

Nobody quite out and said that black people are to blame for this, so I'm not going to quote anyone or name names. But watch yourselves. You don't want to even come CLOSE to KIND OF saying anything LIKE that ALMOST.

Focus on the parties who are really responsible. Don't lose sight of them.


From: punch a misogynist today | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 07:39 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, Jesse, I agree -- in fact, as the very title audra gave this thread implies, the "pimptones" are racist as well: this is a clear case of a bunch of square corporate farts in ugly suits appropriating and exploiting a culture that isn't theirs and that they don't understand.

That's where the racism lies.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 02 August 2005 07:56 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not sure how to say this, but...it seems to me that if the ringtones are popular and selling well (and from what I've heard on public transit, and from what Bell is saying, they seem to be popular), then it seems to me that those corporate farts understand well enough to know what will sell to young people who want to be seen as "players" and who think pimps and putting down women is really cool. Don't forget, those corporate farts use focus groups and the like to find out what the in thing is.

I mean, the misogynist pimpwannabe demographic is there. The question for me is, should Bell be catering to it.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 02 August 2005 08:05 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What you say is true, Michelle, but surely if a comparible section of the community (read: potential or current clientele) has something negative to say about the product, surely they'll have cause to consider the wisdom of the whole idea.

I was pissed off enough to complain. That link for their contacts page again.


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 08:09 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, no one would ever appropriate and exploit another culture if s/he didn't at least recognize that it had a market extraculturally.

That's not the point.

Does one oppose appropriation and exploitation in itself, and then even more vigorously when it is as socially damaging to others as in this instance? That, to me, is the point.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 08:12 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Suzette, thanks for the link -- but to whom on that page are you writing? The media-contact person? None of those quite look like customer-relations persons to me.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 02 August 2005 08:22 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, I wrote to the media contacts person. I searched around, hoping to find someone more directly connected to that campaign, but with no luck.

Edited to note that I was surprised how little effort they'd put into soliciting feedback on their site. Most companies of any size tend to have a dedicated feedback page and forms, etc. Y'know, make it easy for your customers to talk to you?

Perhaps if they listened to the public a little more they might be a little less keen to charge ahead with such ignorant campaigns. Actually, perhaps not.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Suzette ]


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 08:25 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A little later, I will try the phoning method -- maybe to get an executive number. Phoning through to Bell these days is such a nightmare -- argh. "Your call is important to us ..."
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 02 August 2005 08:29 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
"Your call is important to us ..."
Oh. man, so that line is international? Urgh. I almost laugh whenever I hear it. Almost.

From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 08:43 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of all the frustrating companies I deal with, Bell is the one that puts me through the very most before I get to that last option: you can't get there from here. *click* *dead air*
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 02 August 2005 08:49 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why do people capitalize on the most negative parts of hip-hop culture? Sheesh.

The female body ad was disgusting. But this one completely takes the line that was crossed and pisses on it. It is ridiculous. I mean, the words bitch and hoe is kind of a general term in modern culture. They have their meanings, but they've changed over the years. I just can't fathom...Man. My mind is doing circles.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 08:55 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, and imagine how you'd be feeling, PB, if you were a young black guy working hard at quite a different sort of life -- any other sort of life -- and it suddenly hit you: no matter what I do, white people are going to keep casting me as an aspirant pimp who talks and thinks that way.

It's stereotyping. And yes, a lot of people, sadly, give in to stereotyping themselves, but that doesn't make it ok for people with power in the dominant culture to entrench the stereotypes even deeper in order to rip them off.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Yst
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posted 02 August 2005 09:15 AM      Profile for Yst     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is certainly a tricky case of corporate ethics pushing the public tolerance for the marketing of amorality to its extremes.

But Bell is selling to a pre-existing market. And they're selling exactly what a fairly substantial demographic among young cell phone owners want to hear. That may imply that they have a weak sense of corporate ethics, in that they're willing to sell a detestable thing to a detestable demographic (aspiring violent mysogynists), despite its abhorrent nature, but this phenomenon has far deeper roots. This is among its most peripheral manifestations. Bell is just an amoral corporate entity seeing a fertile niche and casually co-opting the concept. This is one of a hundred different cookie jars it has its hands in. Send them a letter about it. Your letter may someday constitute part of the recycled waste on which they print their triumphal 2005 Ringtones Sales Growth Chart.

I don't hold out much hope that any attempt to impose ethics on corporate culture will succeed in this case, where I wish it would, simply because it has never succeeded before, when I hoped it wouldn't. Millions of Christians openly reviling the rise of gay culture in the west didn't stop its commercialisation and sale at large. The profits from the gay niche were worth more than all the spite Christian America could claim to hold against its vendors on account of it. Neither will critics of the violent, hateful mysogyny sold chiefly through the hip hop genre (with spinoffs like Bell's foray being the consequence) be able to faze the executives who see the profits it brings in. I dare say, active critics of blatantly sexist media haven't the clout the religious right have at present, and probably won't for quite a while.


From: State of Genderfuck | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 02 August 2005 09:17 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is why any "young" black guy - under 40 I mean is likely to get pulled over all the time for driving a nice car (either it is stolen or he is a pimp or drug dealer), even if he is a young professional or the car belongs to his parents...

It is terrible racist as well as sexist stereotyping, and worse still for Black women who are seen as bitches and whores. The expression "Black Bitch" should really be confined to Labradors...

No, they sure don't co-opt Lauren Hill or younger hip-hop women with a revolutionary and positive message... just the worst macho shit...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 02 August 2005 09:21 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Well, and imagine how you'd be feeling, PB, if you were a young black guy working hard at quite a different sort of life -- any other sort of life -- and it suddenly hit you: no matter what I do, white people are going to keep casting me as an aspirant pimp who talks and thinks that way.

Yes, I'm quite aware. I have friends who face this very problem. And that said, I've faced prejudice myself quite a bit in my short years. Nothing to compare to out and out racism, but I know the rough feeling.

Like I said, such things have fallen into the mainstream view...Since, oh I don't know, the 60s and 70s. I find it disturbing that the negative elements of an effectively neat culture are being capitalized upon.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Papal Bull ]


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
James
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posted 02 August 2005 09:51 AM      Profile for James        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Do I recall that James actually managed to get through to the president or somebody about the ad with the scissored body parts? *paging James*

[email protected]

which, oddly, doesn't appear on their "contacts" page, but is the *only* effective channel through which to accomplish *anything* @ Bell.


From: Windsor; ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 August 2005 09:52 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Papal Bull:
Why do people capitalize on the most negative parts of hip-hop culture? Sheesh.

The female body ad was disgusting. But this one completely takes the line that was crossed and pisses on it. It is ridiculous. I mean, the words bitch and hoe is kind of a general term in modern culture. They have their meanings, but they've changed over the years. I just can't fathom...Man. My mind is doing circles.


But there is a problems with this, modernization of the words bitch and hoe. One of them being that the meaning adopted by youth is not the one understood by older people. It might mean one thing to someone 25 and under, and might mean entirely another to someone older -- the meaning hasn't changed for them. When did the the feelings/understandings and views of people over 25 become irrelevant?

[RANT]Also, hip-hop, like so many Black American musical forms before it, has been co-opted as a markteting vehicle for corporations. In the process if has been drained of its more redeeming politcal features. In the begining words like "nigger," and "hoe" and "bitch" were used as part of direct political defiance against white culture, in the manner of "Fuck you, I am a nigger (or a pimp) and these are my hoes so you can just fuck off," or even, "So what if (you think) I am a hoe and this is my pimp, you can just fuck off!" The usage intended to both offend white cultural norms and to assert pride by inverting the meaning of nigger, hoe and bitch into postive attributes signifying black defiance against stereotypes.

Watching notable white-boy hip-hip prankster, and incorrigible whiner, Eminem mouth these words, as if the message of defiance is not culturally and racially specific is one of the supreme jokes of American pop-culture.

The original poltical message as evoked by people such a Public Enemy (Fight the Power, Fuck the Police, 9-11 is Joke, My Ouzi Weighs a Ton) and Bitches with Problems (Kill a Man, Is the Pussy Still Good) has been completely drained, so that gang culture explained as a means to an end in a ruthless society bred by necessity, has been replaced with mere glorification of macho themes to excite kids in the suburbs and get them to by plastic discs. Likewise prostitution is now glorified simply as prostitution, without the underlying politcal analysis and has led to a plethora of video productions where the cameraman rarely strays from his position 12 inches from a womans ass.

Of course numerous black artists have gone along with the whitification, producing lyric after lyric, punctuated by politically acceptable invective set to images of sexually stimulating cineamtography, but that has little to with politics except to say that those artist know what side their bread is buttered on, and that any entry into dangerous themes like ideas about black revolution against the state, will very likely lead to marginalization at the periphery of the record industry, and a lapsed mortgage.

The fact that these terms came into use as lyric in hip-hop, as defiance against white middle-class sensibility, directly intended to offend, juxtaposed against the way they have now been incorporated into middle class language to the point where they can be part of a tv ad, summarizes the case in point.

There is nothing revolutionary or interesting about these terms, they are now just purely offensive, especially as they are a cultural rip-off, and also a submersion of revolutionary culture in the mainstream pastiche.

[/RANT]

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 02 August 2005 09:55 AM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by James:

[email protected]

which, oddly, doesn't appear on their "contacts" page, but is the *only* effective channel through which to accomplish *anything* @ Bell.


Whoo hoo! Thanks James.


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 10:02 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks, James.

And that is an exceptional historico-cultural summary, Cueball. Thanks also.

Notice, though, that though the N-word went through almost the same historical progression -- and earlier, for longer -- nobody here can imagine Bell execs, or any white babblers, or anyone else in between, walking around dropping the word casually.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 02 August 2005 10:39 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cueball, I NEVER stated that people over 25 feelings were irrelevant. I said that the words have changed to become casual slang, the meanings have dumbed down a considerable deal. If I had said "Man, everyone who was born before 1980 can suck it because those are MY words, viva la youth!" or something along those lines...Yeah.

You didn't see me defending this. I said that this was causing my head to swim in circles because the entire thing that Bell would dredge up something like this for a few extra bucks in the pocket is completely flabergasting.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 August 2005 10:42 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes I see that. I think my desire to express that rant, which had boiled around in my head unformed for a while now, came out sounding more personally directed at you than it should have been. Sorry.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 10:57 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just out of curiousity, what is it that's so offensive when it's sold by Bell, and not so offensive when it's sold by some hip hop artist?

There's now another thread calling for action, in the form of a letter and fax blitz, to protest this. Why no protest when it's music?

I'm just curious why the millionth thing to be sold with the word "ho" is the sole offensive one.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 August 2005 11:02 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does your mind reset to zero at the begining of every day?
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
periyar
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posted 02 August 2005 11:06 AM      Profile for periyar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

From: toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 11:08 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm just wondering why it is that we weren't this collectively outraged when kids were being taught that "bitch", "ho" and "pimp" were good things to want or aspire to. But now that they want a ringtone that tells the world, we're upset.

I agree it's offensive. I also thought it was offensive before Bell offered it as a feature.

Can you answer that without any of your "wit", do you think?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Amricain galitaire
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posted 02 August 2005 11:08 AM      Profile for Amricain galitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cueball: spot on. I think somewhere out there in the corporate marketing canyons of Madison Avenue, there's a special group of ad hit-men who wait for some authentic manifestation of working class sensibility against the system and then pounce on it to neuter and commodify it.

I can still hear the Crew Cuts singing "Sh-Boom" (The Chords) and Bill Haley and the Comets neutering of Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll" so as to make it acceptable to the white mainstream.

"We stay clear of anything suggestive." - Bill Haley


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 12:22 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ironically, the ringtone Audra linked to in the first post is to a file called "Pimpjuice.mp3", and features a man saying "pick up the phone before my Pimp Juice gets warm".

Pimp Juice is an "energy drink" marketed by Nelly.

Anyone planning on protesting "Pimp Juice", or just Bell?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 02 August 2005 01:30 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Since PimpJuice doesn't provide my local phone service, I'd say the fact that I will never purchase that product is a decent enough protest on my behalf.
From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 02 August 2005 01:34 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Yst:
But Bell is selling to a pre-existing market. And they're selling exactly what a fairly substantial demographic among young cell phone owners want to hear.

you're right. bell is selling to an already existing sexist culture. but that's not the only problem. their marketing tactics also influence young impressionable minds. the younger kids will be buying into this sexist culture because it's the cool thing to do, because it's what the older kids are doing, and some of the moral responsibility for creating yet another sexist generation will rest with bell.

cueball, thanks for the cultural history.

i really detest calling bell. i always get 'emily' - their voice recognition system. and emily is not very bright. i know i enunciate all my syllables, i don't mumble. and yet, emily can't understand a word i say. surely, it can't be my ever so slight accent. it's really only my vees that i can't pronounce. i yell at her often, but she's always polite which drives me nuttier. once she suggested i try calling a different number. so i did. and it turned out that the number was not in service. gaaaah. oh, i hate her, i hate her, i hate her. you are absolutely right, suzette and skdadl. bell's customer service sucks. it really is one of the most difficult things in life to reach a real human being inside that corporation, and i don't say that lightly. (as an aside, in my list of people i abhor calling, bell takes second place to the Immigration Canada office in Buffalo - they have 7 different automated options, and each one tells me to go the website for more info. and they refuse to answer emails. fuckwads!)


From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 02 August 2005 01:47 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
They really are annoying, aren't they, ephemeral? When they start with the voice recognition bullshit, they usually understand me, but sometimes when I'm impatient I just keep hammering "0" until I get to a real person.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 02 August 2005 01:48 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
magoo, i'm not sure what point you're trying to make. should we let bell get away with sexism and propagating more sexism just because we never actively attacked hip-hop sexism in the same fashion? or should we get up in arms about hip-hop culture as a whole? how do we dictate to (some) talented hip-hop artists what words they can and can't use in their lyrics? or should we just censor all such artists who dare to use the words bitch and hoe. i can't really think of a game plan to go about achieving the censorship of hip-hop sexism, although the boycott of such is already being practiced by many. with bell, we actually have a clear channel to voice our protests and indignation, and because there is a clear direct channel to make a peacful protest, maybe we can have an impact, make a difference to how bell's boardroom members will think next time they are dreaming up a new marketing strategy. why can't you just let us get on with it instead of making us feel bad for being selective about who we attack?
From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 01:52 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
i really detest calling bell. i always get 'emily' - their voice recognition system. and emily is not very bright.

Have you tried calling her a 'bitch'? Maybe tell her you're an important 'playa' who doesn't have time to wait for some automated 'ho' to figure out what you're sayin'?

quote:
the younger kids will be buying into this sexist culture because it's the cool thing to do, because it's what the older kids are doing, and some of the moral responsibility for creating yet another sexist generation will rest with bell.

LOL. Ya, about 0.5% of the blame. With the other 99.5% resting squarely with the music that popularized the terms in the first place.

Good lord. Okay, nobody likes Bell. I get that. But we're halfway to pretending they invented the terms "bitch", "ho" and "pimp" instead of just bundling a service from a third party who themselves are only borrowing the terms from hip hop music where they've been happily describing women and the men who own them for years and years.

Here's a question though: If terms like "bitch" and "ho" are all about reclaiming language, how come it's always men saying them?

I can understand, for example, a gay man saying "I'm a fag" and thus reclaiming the term. So wouldn't we have to see lots of black women laying claim to terms like "ho" and "bitch", and not men doing it for them?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 02 August 2005 01:57 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
I can understand, for example, a gay man saying "I'm a fag" and thus reclaiming the term. So wouldn't we have to see lots of black women laying claim to terms like "ho" and "bitch", and not men doing it for them?

why black? last i heard, hoe could refer to any woman, black, white, brown, yellow, albino, pink, blue, green etc.


From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 01:58 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
magoo, i'm not sure what point you're trying to make. should we let bell get away with sexism and propagating more sexism just because we never actively attacked hip-hop sexism in the same fashion? or should we get up in arms about hip-hop culture as a whole?

If these terms truly offend you, they should offend you whereever you hear them outside of the context of personal reclaiming of language. If some male rapper tries to "reclaim" the word "bitch" on behalf of all the women in his life, I would think you might be offended, but I certainly can't tell you to be.

quote:
how do we dictate to (some) talented hip-hop artists what words they can and can't use in their lyrics?

How do you dictate to Bell what kind of ringtones they can offer? Or dictate to consumers what they should want? Rap music is just another industry.

quote:
or should we just censor all such artists who dare to use the words bitch and hoe.

Well, do the words offend you? Do they offend you less when Nelly wants to get some ho's to fuck? Is it OK if 50 cent calls women bitches, since he's black? I can't really decide this for you. I'm just pointing out that these terms have existed for quite some time before Bell offered ringtones.

quote:
why can't you just let us get on with it instead of making us feel bad for being selective about who we attack?

Do you feel bad?

Well, never mind. It's all Bell's fault for inventing those terms! Damn misogynists!!

Feel better?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 02 August 2005 02:28 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
magoo,

of course those words are offensive, no matter who uses them, and even when the terms are used flippantly. you missed my point by zoning in on the first few sentences that i used that actually led up to something, and ignoring what the sentences actually led up to. i don't buy nelly or 50 cents or whoever. i suppose i should now start writing to every record company in the world saying i refuse to buy nelly or 50 cents because they use the word bitch. 1. i don't have the time. 2. i imagine i would get laughed at, and nobody would pay attention to me. these artists already have a huge market, and i'm sure they already know there are people who don't buy into their music. i am confident that such efforts would be futile. i already explained why we have a slightly better chance with changing marketing strategies at bell.

but why should we allow corporations to spread the idea that women are mere objects of sexual pleasure? it's easier to nip something in the bud than to attack it when it's already hugely faddy. so, if we see a corporation trying to jump on the sexist bandwagon, it makes sense to attack them right away. oh, but wait, should we first write a 3000 page critique of the person who decided that the term 'bitch' should be used more for women than dogs before we openly start criticizing bell? sorry to say this, magoo, but your line of questioning here is really not very useful or helpful.


From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 02:44 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
i suppose i should now start writing to every record company in the world saying i refuse to buy nelly or 50 cents because they use the word bitch.

Every record company in the world? Why, that would be absurd.

Please continue focusing your energy solely on Bell, whose choice of a bad third party partner is surely more offensive than hip hop music.

quote:
i already explained why we have a slightly better chance with changing marketing strategies at bell.

Perhaps. And perhaps if Bell pulls the ringtones or abandons their partner, young people will only have ubiquitous music to reinforce the idea that women are bitches. In other words, you're not going after the real problem. Your "success" in fixing something that's really not a significant part of the problem will be debatable.

quote:
it's easier to nip something in the bud than to attack it when it's already hugely faddy.

Indeed. I think it was about 15 years ago that some female rappers had a song called "A bitch is a dog and a hoe is a tool" or some similar.

But at the same time, apologists insisted that rap was the authentic "word of the street" and the violent, woman-hating language was just "the way things are, on the street", and so now anyone criticizing a rapper for wanting to get some big-bootied bitch to fuck is, or can be construed to be, criticizing all of black culture at the same time. From a white position of privelege, no less! If only I weren't white, I'd surely understand that women are ho's!

So you may be right. Maybe it's here to stay. But you can certainly register the same level of condemnation of it that you do Bell Canada. At least.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 02 August 2005 03:03 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
fine, i'm not attacking the root of the problem. not enough anyway. and, the truth is, i don't know how. but, if you're so smart, please enlighten me on what i can do to eradicate sexism from our society, starting with hip-hop culture. maybe i should travel around the world delivering lectures to kids on the streets and the parents who raise them that 'hoe' is a baaaad word.

*mutter, grumble, gripe*

and again, why shouldn't we criticize bell? sure, if you look at the big picture, they're only a small part of the problem, but they're still part of the problem, no?


From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 03:53 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
fine, i'm not attacking the root of the problem. not enough anyway. and, the truth is, i don't know how. but, if you're so smart, please enlighten me on what i can do to eradicate sexism from our society, starting with hip-hop culture. maybe i should travel around the world delivering lectures to kids on the streets and the parents who raise them that 'hoe' is a baaaad word.

There's a veritable army of straw men in there and it's making my hayfever act up.

Clearly you don't like to look inconsistent and it bothers you that I'm pointing it out.

I don't expect you, or anyone else, to "eradicate sexism from our society" with a letter. But if you're saying any of this in good faith then surely you can see that while you cannot hope to single-handedly eradicate all that's wrong with the world, you needn't roll over and accept it either.

You seem, simultaneously, to have boundless energy to bring this up with Bell and hold them accountable, but the thought of sending a similar letter to a record company, or to MTV, you find laughable.

Is there any possibility that, even in the abstract, you're uncomfortable criticizing hip hop music (but have no similar discomfort criticizing Bell)?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 02 August 2005 04:09 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
*sigh*

Magoo, you seem to be unable or unwilling to understand what I think has been fairly clearly stated by ephemeral and others. We are consumers of Bell products. As consumers of Bell products, though obviously not the target market for this particular Bell product, we have power to potentially impact Bell's choices of services, products and marketing strategies by making clear our dissatisfaction.

I don't buy Pimp Juice. I don't watch MTV (I don't even have cable). I don't buy music by Nelly or 50 cent. I'm not their target market. So they don't really have much to lose by offending me in terms of sales, and thus probably don't care much. And I'm not about to go on a crusade to censor their music - partly because I don't think its an effective way to counter their message.

Not to say I wouldn't write to them about it, though I think public discussion is far more useful, but in terms of where I think I can have an impact in changing the behaviour of a company, Bell seems a much more logical choice. They may want to corner the coveted market of 12-25 year olds, but they are also well aware that the majority of their customers aren't 12 year old rap star wannabes. Reminding them that I do pay attention to what they sell and how they advertise, and that it impacts my choices as a consumer, is one small action that might make a difference.

I'm not afraid to enter into a discussion of hip hop and misogyny, or racism and marketing. But I feel no need to tilt at windmills by engaging in pointless acts to satisfy your accusations of white guilt when this thread deals with one spcific action by a specific company, and some of us are responding in kind. Get your own thread.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 02 August 2005 04:19 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
Clearly you don't like to look inconsistent and it bothers you that I'm pointing it out.

no, i'm just irritated because you keep bashing the idea of complaining to bell (and you do have a valid point), but you don't provide any alternative ideas/suggestions. so, go ahead and criticize all you want, but in the meantime, what are we supposed to do?

quote:
Is there any possibility that, even in the abstract, you're uncomfortable criticizing hip hop music (but have no similar discomfort criticizing Bell)?[/QB]

no, there isn't. i really don't like hip-hop music. i can find umpteen things about it to criticize.


From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 02 August 2005 04:24 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
no, i'm just irritated because you keep bashing the idea of complaining to bell

Maybe this is where we're off the rails. I'm not saying "Don't complain to Bell"... please do. Just don't let the root cause off the hook.

Here's why I'm still on this:

quote:
Class-action suit (all the women of Canada)?
Lower the hate-legislation boom on Bell?

They have to pay for this. They just have to.


No class action suit against record companies? If not, why not? Sure, maybe a letter from a non-fan would get cheerfully discarded, but if the legal grounds for a lawsuit exist, shouldn't that lawsuit be able to name EVERYONE who calls women bitches?

Why must Bell pay and nobody else? I'm sorry if you find this tedious, but it seems to me like suggesting that mopeds are the real source of smog, and totally ignoring cars. Or saying "well, ya, but we can't stop cars. Mopeds we can stop!"


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
brebis noire
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posted 02 August 2005 04:31 PM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well Magoo, my two cents would be that it's pretty much impossible to mount a protest against a cultural product THAT YOU DON'T PURCHASE ANYWAYS compared to an easier and more effectual protest against a telecommunications product/company that you actually use.

Edited to add: Cueball, loved your post.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: brebis noire ]


From: Quebec | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 August 2005 04:34 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What do you mean, "Don't let the root cause off the hook"?

What bleeding right do most people here on babble have to go invading communities of which we are not a part and instructing them on proper manners?

I can just see you in the late sixties, Mr Magoo, strolling up to Eldridge Cleaver and saying, "Hey, Eldridge -- it really bothers me when you and the brothers keep using the N-word. The rest of us have quit, so could you cool it maybe?"

I don't know who runs the record companies (some have always come from the communities concerned), but I don't especially care, either. They're not making a cent off me.

Bell is. Quite a few cents.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 02 August 2005 04:41 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm also not exactly sure why one off the cuff comment by another poster means you suddenly get to harangue ephemeral and dismiss any action that she or others wish to take against Bell.
From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 02 August 2005 04:56 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What bleeding right do most people here on babble have to go invading communities of which we are not a part and instructing them on proper manners?


Dont we do that as a matter of course to help others? Spousal abuse, subjugation of women, bride killings etc?


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 02 August 2005 04:59 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by ephemeral:
magoo,

of course those words are offensive, no matter who uses them, and even when the terms are used flippantly. you missed my point by zoning in on the first few sentences that i used that actually led up to something, and ignoring what the sentences actually led up to. i don't buy nelly or 50 cents or whoever. i suppose i should now start writing to every record company in the world saying i refuse to buy nelly or 50 cents because they use the word bitch. 1. i don't have the time. 2. i imagine i would get laughed at, and nobody would pay attention to me. these artists already have a huge market, and i'm sure they already know there are people who don't buy into their music. i am confident that such efforts would be futile. i already explained why we have a slightly better chance with changing marketing strategies at bell.


Actually, the marketing director would take your letter and frame it, adding the quote: "It doesn't matter what they say, just as long as they spell the name right."

But I don't think the words are inately offensive, as there meaning is context determined.

Also Magoo is wrong about women not using the words Bitch or Ho (are we spelling this way now, so that it is not mistaken for a gardening tool?) given that "the Bytches," AKA "BWP" AKA "Bytches with Problems" AKA "Bytches with Power," are all women. And the message is not at all self-defaming but empowered, taking the stuffing out of protestant puratanism with track like "Cotex" and "Two Minute Brother."

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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Babbler # 7791

posted 02 August 2005 05:04 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Originally posted by skdadl:
What bleeding right do most people here on babble have to go invading communities of which we are not a part and instructing them on proper manners?

This really surprised me, coming from a babbler I especially admire. Maybe I didn't understand the question. But I think any of us have the moral right to confront racism or sexism anywhere, anytime. I'll probably regret posting this.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 August 2005 05:10 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually I think the one thing I learned here is that imposition of morality is probably the most scurilous and effective tool of tyrrany ever.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 August 2005 05:11 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Imposition"
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 02 August 2005 05:12 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by swirrlygrrl:
[QB]Magoo, you seem to be unable or unwilling to understand what I think has been fairly clearly stated by ephemeral and others. We are consumers of Bell products. As consumers of Bell products, though obviously not the target market for this particular Bell product, we have power to potentially impact Bell's choices of services, products and marketing strategies by making clear our dissatisfaction.

Are you not a consumer of the music industry's products as well? Maybe even some of the same labels as hip hop artists, even if you are not obviously the target market for that particular product by that record label?

quote:
I don't buy Pimp Juice. I don't watch MTV (I don't even have cable). I don't buy music by Nelly or 50 cent. I'm not their target market.

Do you buy products from the same company that produces Pimp Juice or by the same company that produces Nelly or 50 cent music? Because using this logic, you are not the target market for PimpTones either, and you don't buy them.

I think I agree with Magoo on this one. For feminists to concentrate our efforts on a few measly PimpTones without concentrating our efforts, for whatever reason, on the huge problem of misogyny in the pop culture phenomenon that spawns these ringtones - well it'll make us feel better, maybe, but I don't think it'll really change anything. And I think a lot of us who aren't part of the scene DO feel funny about criticizing misogynist hip hop artists, because we're afraid of judging from the outside.

But for those of us (and I include myself) who are afraid of judging and speaking out against misogyny in hip hop music because we're afraid of appropriating culture or whatever, isn't it kind of inconsistent to then say that we're going to zoom in on one teensy-tiny manifestation of the same scene - cell phone ring tones - and say, well, we're not going to go after the source or the real problem because that's too much of a hot potato, but at least we can go after the phone company even though it's not even going to make the slightest dent in the misogyny of hip hop pimp/ho/skank/slut/bitch discourse.

I get the impression that what Magoo is on about isn't protecting the phone company. He's on about the fact that hip hop music often gets a free pass on misogyny out of discomfort for criticizing an urban scene that we're not a part of, and which is the source for the offshoots like these ringtones, but for some reason, we feel free to go after the companies that offer these ring tones.

Do we think that record labels aren't run by white guys cynically appropriating hip hop culture to make money? If there are compelling reasons for leaving the hip hop scene alone, why don't those same reasons compel us to leave the ring tones alone since they're also part of the scene? And if there aren't compelling reasons for leaving the misogyny in the hip hop scene alone, then why are we wasting time on Bell when we have a whole record industry to take on?

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 02 August 2005 05:14 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I can just see you in the late sixties, Mr Magoo, strolling up to Eldridge Cleaver and saying, "Hey, Eldridge -- it really bothers me when you and the brothers keep using the N-word. The rest of us have quit, so could you cool it maybe?"

How about if I said "Go ahead and call yourselves ni**ers. That's your right. But don't call women bitches. That's not."

That would have been OK, wouldn't it?

quote:
I'm also not exactly sure why one off the cuff comment by another poster means you suddenly get to harangue ephemeral and dismiss any action that she or others wish to take against Bell.

I'm trying to be clear on this, but you'll have to do your part too. Nowhere did I say "don't take action against Bell". All I asked was "why no protest for anyone else?" And I'm sorry, but saying "Oh, those record companies, they won't listen to me" doesn't really fly. We protest the United States Government. We protest Israel's occupation. We protest against Coca-Cola, Starbucks, the Gap, and McDonalds (while simultaneously NOT buying their product), but suddenly a record company is a losing battle, so let's not bother?

If you're that offended, bother. Or come up with a way better reason for not bothering.

Again, this seems to me to be like coming down hard on mopeds for causing pollution, but ignoring cars and SUVs because "we'll never change them".

Also, the reason I quoted Skdadl's post was not because it's the lynchpin of my argument, but because it seems to encapsulate all the rage against Bell (and the rage against the music that started this whole "hos and bitches" fad is conspicuously absent). It also offers the solution: class action suit. If letters won't work, go big. If you can do it for Bell, why not EMI or Capitol or whoever?

quote:
What bleeding right do most people here on babble have to go invading communities of which we are not a part and instructing them on proper manners?

Well, if we're really just talking about a transgression of manners then what's all the anger about? Anyone's allowed bad manners, aren't they?

Funny though. When Bell partners with a company that offers a ringtone that simulates hip hop stars calling women bitches and hos, it's possible cause for a class action suit and "Bell must pay", but when it's the actual artists themselves, actually calling women bitches and hos, it's just a matter of manners and we should keep our pink noses out of it.

Which is it? Class action suit, or bad manners?


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
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posted 02 August 2005 05:16 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I see that but there are the tactical considerations.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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Babbler # 4722

posted 02 August 2005 05:23 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No there are not tactical decisions. If we complained to the record companies and bell, we would be showing that there are people offended to such sexist lyrics and that its not 'good optics' to go with this. If people just complain to bell, bell will jsut shrug it off and would win any class action suit by pointing out 'creative expression ' and a lack of action against the artists
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skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 02 August 2005 05:23 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
1. Magoo, the analysis of appropriation of voice is all over this site, probably more in the anti-racism forum than here, but it has certainly appeared during your time. I personally don't plan to do it from the ground up, not right now and not for you. You disagree. Fine.

2. Bacchus, I forget precisely how you put your question, but if you have followed any of my contributions to discussions on those topics you list, you will find that I don't usually waste my time on gasps of self-righteous indignation. If there are complex problems of distinct communities, that's where I go.

I complain UP and I denounce UP. That is the way to make decent change, IMHO. Otherwise, denunciation is just a game, or it's somebody's PR.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
v michel
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Babbler # 7879

posted 02 August 2005 05:25 PM      Profile for v michel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's simplistic, but my answer is that two wrongs don't make a right. Even if the rest of the world were going to hell in a handbasket, I'd still have a problem with these ringtones. I mean, you can't wait until all the problems of the world are solved before you take action on something that bothers you.

Sure, there are bigger fish to fry. But this isn't a zero sum game. There's an unlimited number of battles to engage in. Picking one and doing something is admirable, and if there's one less ringtone with a ho-slapping out there because of the battle you chose, then power to you.

You can tie yourself up in knots with ironic commentary and pointing out the hypocrisy in others. The well will never run dry in that regard. But at the end of the day, that usually ends up being an excuse to avoid action.


From: a protected valley in the middle of nothing | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8881

posted 02 August 2005 05:25 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Actually, the marketing director would take your letter and frame it, adding the quote: "It doesn't matter what they say, just as long as they spell the name right."

pessimist. i like to think there's a hope that a few dozen letters all complaining about the same thing will be taken a tad seriously. but, maybe you're right. but i don't want you to be right.

quote:
posted by cueball:
But I don't think the words are inately offensive, as there meaning is context determined.

sorry, i meant offensive to me, personally. they are words i, personally, wouldn't toss around casually. and i wouldn't be super-sensitive and get all irate if somebody called me a bitch in a friendly way without intending any offence, but i think i would get annoyed if they did it often.

quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
What bleeding right do most people here on babble have to go invading communities of which we are not a part and instructing them on proper manners?
-------------
posted by boom boom:
This really surprised me, coming from a babbler I especially admire. Maybe I didn't understand the question. But I think any of us have the moral right to confront racism or sexism anywhere, anytime. I'll probably regret posting this.

i feel the same way as skdadl about imposing morality, and my cultural values on another culture that i don't buy into. offence may not be taken by women in the hip-hop culture when they are referred to as bitches and hoes. i do feel uncomfortable telling them that they should be offended. just like it drives me absolutely bonkers when most canadians i've met insist that wearing a burkha must feel oppressive to the muslim women who wear them - and i know this isn't true because i grew up in the middle east, and in my 12-13 years there, i only met 2 teenage girls who actually resented wearing the burkha. so, people in the west are going to try and re-write the qur'aan so that arab women don't have to feel oppressed. i don't know if that was a good comparison, i hope you get my drift... and i hope this doesn't turn into a thread drift. imposing moral values should be a thread all on its own, i think.

edit: oh dear, i see i cross-posted with about 8 other posts, and some of them are long-ish. i must learn to think and type faster to keep up with all of you.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: ephemeral ]


From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 02 August 2005 05:28 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I usually agree with the voice appropriation argument. In fact, I might even agree with it now.

But you're being inconsistent, skdadl. In one case, when hip hop artists do the "ho/pimp/bitch/skank" thing and sell it through a record label, you say you don't want to police them for "bad manners". When they do it and sell it through cell phone companies, you want to start a class action suit on behalf of women everywhere.

I just don't get it. In one case, it's cultural appropriation and in another case it's not?

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 02 August 2005 05:31 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Michelle, I have never in my life listened to a hip-hop recording. I know just enough about recording companies to know that even there, people have risen through social ranks that I often know nothing about.

They are not Bell. Bell is a culture I can address, for many reasons.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 02 August 2005 05:33 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I also, by the way, don't subscribe to the idea that if you're not doing something about everything, then you're being inconsistent by doing something about one thing.

But that's not what's happening in this case. In this case, the same people who are explicitly against criticizing the misogyny in the hip hop scene from outside of the culture, are the same people who want to take Bell Canada on about this. How come?

We keep hearing that we should follow the feminists from within the communities that are experiencing the misogyny. Are we following the feminists from within the hip hop scene here? Most people on this thread have claimed that they are not part of the scene and don't buy the music. Are you leading the charge or following the feminists from within the scene as THEY lead the charge?

ARE the feminists from within the scene leading the charge against these PimpTones? Who is appropriating whose voice here?

Skdadl, you're telling me you've never bought music from a record label? You've never supported the music industry in any way? You've never listened to mass-produced music from record labels that might also be producing hip hop?

So you've never bought hip hop. You've never bought PimpTones either, have you? Or even a cell phone? But you buy other services from the same company. Maybe you really HAVEN'T bought any music from the music industry and that's the difference for you.

But I'll bet you're a pretty lonely exception to that rule, and that everyone ELSE on this thread has bought mass produced music of some kind, at some point in the last 20 years.

Why do we think that it's interfering when we want to tell people in the hip hop scene to stop buying misogynist hip hop music (or to try to pressure the record labels not to produce that music), but it's not interfering when we want to tell people not to buy misogynist ring tones, and for the phone company not to sell them?

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 02 August 2005 05:38 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
ARE the feminists from within the scene leading the charge against these PimpTones? Who is appropriating whose voice here?

Huh? I don't follow that.

People work from where they are. That I follow. Whether there are feminists qualified to work from within the hip-hop scene, I wouldn't know. I don't do everything.

But I can do Bell.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 02 August 2005 05:41 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, you can do Bell. But my question is:

quote:
Why do we think that it's interfering when we want to tell people in the hip hop scene to stop buying misogynist hip hop music (or to try to pressure the record labels not to produce that music), but it's not interfering when we want to tell people not to buy misogynist ring tones, and for the phone company not to sell them?

And ephemeral, if this is true:

quote:
i feel the same way as skdadl about imposing morality, and my cultural values on another culture that i don't buy into. offence may not be taken by women in the hip-hop culture when they are referred to as bitches and hoes. i do feel uncomfortable telling them that they should be offended.

then why do you feel that trying to impose your morality and cultural values is okay when it comes to trying to get PimpTones off the market? Would we ever have even noticed PimpTones, at least any more than we notice hip hop music, if we hadn't read this thread, even as Bell Canada customers? In fact, when I was looking through the Bell site yesterday, I was specifically LOOKING FOR offensive PimpTones and couldn't find any. Does this really affect us any more than misogyny in hip hop music does? Is it okay to tell women who hang around with guys who buy PimpTones to be offended at the misogyny? Isn't that what we're telling them when we say that we don't want them to have PimpTones available for purchase?

I don't like any of this misogyny. But I think it's kind of weird to use a "cultural appropriation argument" when it comes to criticizing hip hop music, but then to say that it's okay to criticize hip hop ring tones.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 02 August 2005 05:42 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bacchus:
No there are not tactical decisions. If we complained to the record companies and bell, we would be showing that there are people offended to such sexist lyrics and that its not 'good optics' to go with this. If people just complain to bell, bell will jsut shrug it off and would win any class action suit by pointing out 'creative expression ' and a lack of action against the artists

If you track through this thread, I think you will see that I have actually not mentioned sexism once. In fact I lamented the use of these words as marketing tools a means of subverting revolutionary language through cultural expropriation.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 02 August 2005 05:43 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ahh my bad then

sorry cueball!! (though the original post still holds against everyone else)


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 02 August 2005 05:44 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by ephemeral:

pessimist. i like to think there's a hope that a few dozen letters all complaining about the same thing will be taken a tad seriously. but, maybe you're right. but i don't want you to be right.


A dozen letters would no doubt be a cause for a party after work. Eminem's career was built on shock value and scandal.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 02 August 2005 05:46 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I get the impression that what Magoo is on about isn't protecting the phone company. He's on about the fact that hip hop music often gets a free pass on misogyny out of discomfort for criticizing an urban scene that we're not a part of, and which is the source for the offshoots like these ringtones, but for some reason, we feel free to go after the companies that offer these ring tones.

That's exactly it. I have no love of Bell. In fact, we switched to Sprint at one point out of dislike for Bell. Then we found Sprint is just as stupid. Now I'm sourcing some cheap Dixie cups and string.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 02 August 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, Michelle: if you wanna do that, then do!

In answer to one of your earlier questions, since about 1970 I have probably only ever bought classical or folk records, and not so many of those.

My closest association with the current debate would be Motown, a spectacular instance of black capitalism.

Am I a critic of capitalism? Yes. But was the Motown story complicated enough that other people were way better qualified than I was to address it? Yes also.

I do Western imperialism and corruption and cronyism and that kind of thing. I also have a bit of a background as a student of the deregulation (read privatization) of the telecom industry since the 1980s (see the Macdonald Commish), and I am perforce a Bell victim. So I wake up to issues like this.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 02 August 2005 05:50 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
We keep hearing that we should follow the feminists from within the communities that are experiencing the misogyny. Are we following the feminists from within the hip hop scene here? Most people on this thread have claimed that they are not part of the scene and don't buy the music. Are you leading the charge or following the feminists from within the scene as THEY lead the charge?

And my point was that some, not all, feminists within the Latin and Black ghetto communities of the US have appropriated the language of opression to disempower it. This then becomes a problem in terms of the record industry because those elements of defiance still linger in hip-hop music, and also are part of the mechanism (fame) that some people use to excape the opression of the ghetto (which isn't really true now either given that most rap and hip-hop artists are coming from the middle-class now.)

On the other hand Bell is merely exploiting without any payback.

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 02 August 2005 05:51 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In answer to one of your earlier questions, since about 1970 I have probably only ever bought classical or folk records, and not so many of those.


Then you have bought from the same people. There are very few record distributers and some are even owned by the same entity (like sony and rca, etc)

Unless it was foreign made, then you might be in the clear


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Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 02 August 2005 05:53 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
On the other hand Bell is merely exploiting without any payback.

But the record labels are not?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 02 August 2005 05:55 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The artists are in partnership with the labels.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 02 August 2005 05:56 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The artists are in partnership with the labels, the labels would be in partnership with bell, to license the use of the music and tones
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 02 August 2005 05:59 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
1. There are two parties (at least) to the making of a recording, the "artists" and the recording companies. The artists in these cases are emerging from a culture that is not mine, that I may be interested in, concerned about, but which I am not qualified to criticize.

That is why most left social critics would stand back and hope for better than they could do themselves, why they would recognize the self-regarding nature of knee-jerk denunciation.

That was true in the sixties and it is true now.

Maybe everyone else here has a firm grasp of who the record execs are and where they came from, but I don't.

I repeat: I do know about Bell.

2. This has become, to me, a curiously bullying thread. I admire your fortitude, Cueball, but I quit.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 02 August 2005 05:59 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And my point was that some, not all, feminists within the Latin and Black ghetto communities of the US have appropriated the language of opression to disempower it.

But it's not women saying "I'm a ho" to reclaim the language. It's men saying "women are hos".

I have a hard time believing that Latin and Black women are so happy to take one for the team, and so unable to speak for themselves that they need 50 Cent to reclaim the language for them.

I'll be heading through Chinatown in a few minutes. I wonder if I should stop and help a few Asians "reclaim the language" by calling them names that I think they should try to reclaim, with my help.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 02 August 2005 06:02 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:

But it's not women saying "I'm a ho" to reclaim the language. It's men saying "women are hos".


If you actually think this then you are not qualified to dicuss this topic.

Why is the Rap act Bytches with Power called Bytches with Power? I have now made this point three times in this thread. I rephrase my first question: Does your mind reset to zero every 20 minutes?

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 02 August 2005 06:05 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bullying? If this is bullying then what we do to each other on babble everywhere else is bullying (especially the ME forum I guess )
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
periyar
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7061

posted 02 August 2005 06:06 PM      Profile for periyar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I just thought i'd post this article by bell hooks for people who may be interested in a black feminist response to the sexist branches of hip hop.

"After this conversation, and talking with rappers and folks who listen to rap, it became clear that while black male sexism is a serious problem in our communities and in black music, some of the more misogynist lyrics were there to stir up controversy and appeal to audiences. Nowhere is this more evident that in Snoop Doggy Dogg's record "Doggystyle". A black male music and cultural critic called me to ask if I had checked this image out; to share that for one of the first times in his music buying life he felt he was seeing an image so offensive in its sexism and misogyny that he did not want to take that image home. That image (complete with doghouse, beware the dog sign, with a naked black female head in a doghouse, naked butt sticking out) was reproduced, "uncritically," in the November 29, 1993 issue of "Time" magazine. The positive music review of this album, written by Christopher John Farley, is titled "Gangsta Rap, Doggystyle" makes no mention of sexism and misogyny, makes no reference to the cover. I wonder if a naked white female body had been inside the doghouse, presumably waiting to be fucked from behind, if "Time" would have reproduced an image of the cover along with their review. When I see the pornographic cartoon that graces the cover of "Doggystyle," I do not think simply about the sexism and misogyny of young black men, I think about the sexist and misogynist politics of the powerful white adult men and women (and folks of color) who helped produce and market this album. "

rest


From: toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 02 August 2005 06:16 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bacchus:
The artists are in partnership with the labels, the labels would be in partnership with bell, to license the use of the music and tones

Fine, if that is the case.

But most importantly is the tactical consideration, which is that Bell actually gives a shit what Skdadl thinks, Warner does not.

I actually articulated a fairly strong attack against modern hip-hop earlier in the thread, and this thread is all about this issue. As far as I am concerned this thread is the legitimate protest. I think it (this discussion) has been effective and useful in broadening understanding of this issue, and the history and culture of rap and Hip-hop.

Writing letters to Warner is only going to make record execs rub there hands at all the ink they will be getting in the press, while Bell actually might be vulnerable to preassure.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 02 August 2005 06:17 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fair enough cueball
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 02 August 2005 06:20 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by periyar:
I just thought i'd post this article by bell hooks for people who may be interested in a black feminist response to the sexist branches of hip hop.

What the hell are you doing actually linking to articles written by the people we are talking about!

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
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posted 02 August 2005 06:22 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is it jsut me or does anyone else find the fact that the google ad for this thread is a ad for bell canada?
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
periyar
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7061

posted 02 August 2005 06:27 PM      Profile for periyar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:

What the hell are you doing actually linking to articles written by the people we are talking about!

[ 02 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


Well, i couldn't help myself. I have a low tolerance for ommissions.


From: toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
leftist-rightie and rightist-leftie
Babbler # 3804

posted 02 August 2005 06:27 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To be honest, I don't care whose "culture" it is. Sexism is unacceptable.
From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
maestro
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7842

posted 02 August 2005 06:39 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually, the problem may be self-solving.

Nothing destroys faster than the market. Now that 'pimptones' have made their way from a legitimate expression of frustration at an oppressive society, to a method for increasing profits of the self-same society, artists will probably begin to move elsewhere.

Nothing indicates that hip-hop is passe more than this little Bell play. If indeed hip-hop still had the politics it once had, Bell wouldn't have gone within a country mile of 'pimptones'.

I remember reading a Mad magazine bit from years ago where they pointed out how a 'new thing' in the culture started with adults, and gradually was copied by younger and younger. As that 'youthification' happened, the elders dropped it like a dirty diaper.

I think this also works with the privatization of cultural symbols. As the market absorbs them, the artists move on.

Anyone remember the 'acid' art used on posters in the 70's - Or 'Screaming Yellow Zonkers' popcorn?

Hip-hop is dead. Bell doesn't know that yet.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
brebis noire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7136

posted 02 August 2005 07:22 PM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by maestro:
Hip-hop is dead. Bell doesn't know that yet.


So your point is...? That Bell can have its misogyny, violence and racism, be out to lunch culturally, still make some money offa this - and we're just supposed to shrug because - ?


From: Quebec | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4270

posted 02 August 2005 08:29 PM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I just thought i'd post this article by bell hooks for people who may be interested in a black feminist response to the sexist branches of hip hop.

Thanks for the article, periyar. I wish you were here to post it far earlier on the thread!


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 02 August 2005 08:46 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Why is the Rap act Bytches with Power called Bytches with Power? I have now made this point three times in this thread. I rephrase my first question:

Ah. So then women of colour are all OK with it then?

I have a gay friend who totally doesn't mind being called a homo. Reclaiming the language and all that. But I don't think he can decide for all gay men that it would be ok for me to greet them with "hey homo".

While I'm sure some female artists, and perhaps female non-artists, don't mind, I don't think that makes it a done deal, nor do I think that the few female artists such as these are anything but tiny compared to the superstar male rappers.

And go ahead and tell me that when Snoop makes a porn movie full of bitches and hos that it has anything whatsoever to do with female empowerment or the reclaiming of language.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
periyar
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7061

posted 02 August 2005 09:38 PM      Profile for periyar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by shaolin:

Thanks for the article, periyar. I wish you were here to post it far earlier on the thread!


I hesitated before posting it cause i thought no one would bother reading it. I'm glad you found it useful.


From: toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
John_D
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5620

posted 02 August 2005 10:17 PM      Profile for John_D     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by vmichel:
You can tie yourself up in knots with ironic commentary and pointing out the hypocrisy in others. The well will never run dry in that regard. But at the end of the day, that usually ends up being an excuse to avoid action.

I have never seen a better, more concise encapsulation of Magoo's worldview.


From: Workin' 9 to 2 in the 902. | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 02 August 2005 10:34 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, making someone the meta-topic of a thread has to be a close second. Anyway, heard it all before.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
thwap
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5062

posted 02 August 2005 10:57 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post
Magoo,

You became an issue in this discussion of about 10 (tops) people because you're such an abnormally stupid idiot. Why the fuck is the campaign against this totally blatant insult towards womens' dignity a bad idea, (ie., wasting precious resources for the "big fight" [which you fail to provide advice for])? To me, it sounds like you're playing your usual role of attempting to suck the juice out of any progressive activist movement so that you can blather on about your [stupid] [and hypocritical] liberal "objectivity."

The day I listen to you about how to run an efficient campaign is the day THAT PIGS FUCKING FLY!!!!!

(caps added for humour in case magoo thinks i really take him all that seriously!)


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 02 August 2005 11:01 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
too long.
From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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