What’s entertaining about women in lingerie hanging by their necks on chains? What’s artful about images of drugged, unconscious women about to be sexually assaulted?
It’s misogyny, graphic and simple.
Instead of artistic expression, political and social commentator Zerlina Maxwell described Kanye West’s music video for Monster as “a rape scenario set to a soundtrack.”
Yet that’s not what many commentators are saying about the gruesome and degrading images in the rapper’s video, which has yet to be officially released even though it’s all over the Internet either in full or in part.
West has suggested that the video’s necrophilia and brutality are aimed at generating controversy and sales. Still, there’s a profusion of intellectualizing and rationalizing about the video.
Much of that commentary includes attempts to absolve African-American men from criticism of their misogynist lyrics and the grotesque images of violence perpetrated on white women because of the history of slavery and colonialism.
Among the most inflated and convoluted praise for depravity as art comes from progressives. Salon.com’s Tracy Clark-Flory deliberately set aside the question of misogyny and wrote that the video “offers a fascinating Rorschach test of our current sexual culture.”
Writing on The Atlantic’s blog, Chris Jackson deflected the question of misogyny saying he couldn’t answer it given all the other examples in popular culture.
Instead he fatuously wrote: “Kanye is like [French Renaissance writer] Montaigne, who said of himself that he doesn’t record being, but passing … The most difficult and most intriguing aspect of Kanye as a rapper is that you never know whether he’s celebrating or satirizing an idea or doing both at the same time.”
However, it’s worth noting that Jackson’s Atlantic colleague Ta-Nehisi Coates disagrees.
Coates described the video as “boring racism, boring sexism that hearkens back to the black power macho of Amiri Baraka and Eldridge Cleaver at their worst … the work of a failed provocateur boorishly brandishing his ancient affects.”
…Far from breaking new ground, West’s video only sinks to a deeper level of depravity, bringing the mainstream closer to what’s come to be known as torture porn.
Sign Care2petition here.
Sign Change.org petition here .
‘So decapitated women are fine with you Kanye West?’ here yesterday.
’Prevent official release of Kanye West’s women hating “Monster” video’ on The Butterfly Effect blog .