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    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    It's Not A Man's Prerogative To Change His Mind

    Ludacris narrated that movie, The Heart of the Game, I mentioned the other day. Without his involvement, this great documentary about high school women's basketball (with feminist drama thrown in), may very well not have been released at a theater near you. And, make no mistake, this film is not sorta weakly feminist, it really goes for it and tackles some serious stuff: teen pregnancy, gender discrimination, gender roles, sexual assault.

    But that's no good because Ludacris has done bad things too.

    Once a person says something sexist, he better stick to it? I like it when sexist guys rethink and join our side - am I crazy?

    How the hell are we ever supposed to make allies when we refuse to give props where props are deserved? I, as a feminist, want to commend Ludacris for lending his celebrity to this project, and for working toward his goal:

    I want to empower the young ladies out there. It's about women's battles on and off the court.

    Thanks, Luda.


    Blogger Bella Sultane said...

    I agree. His actions *might* be hypocritical, but anytime a celeb stands up to support a feminist movie is fine by me.

    It seems okay to acknowledge both the good and the bad.

    4:31 PM  
    Blogger Michelle said...

    That's cool. Now, let's have Eminem speak at a gay pride rally.

    2:35 AM  
    Blogger EL said...

    If Eminem spoke at Pride, I think I'd die and go to heaven.

    9:37 AM  
    Anonymous B. said...

    Re: that shirt -- no Tennessee on the graphic? TN's where I was born, and let me tell you: they def. consider themselves "the south." Lots of confederacy nostalgia there.

    Or maybe there's an in-joke I'm not getting with the few states selected in that t-shirt?

    10:46 AM  
    Blogger EL said...

    b., I think I don't get the missing TN either.

    11:01 AM  
    Anonymous amy said...

    I doubt he's changed his mind. He's business savy, so there'll be more unfettered lyrics debasing women to come. No doubt. Those are the rules of the mainstream rap game for now. Eminem can give up bashing gays, sure, but no way can the image of the virile black male forsake noting bitches and ho's in verse.

    No matter - what's important here is that Luda is using his capital to bring attention to a noteworthy cause, and as El pointed out, we may never have had access to the documentary otherwise.

    Of course, I'm just explaining what you all already know. I guess I just wanted to back up the sentiment that it's okay to point out that a big name has used his power for good for a minute -- and just because we celebrate it in this minute, doesn't mean we're duped into thinking he's a changed man.

    One last thing -- if celebs got more praise and feedback for doing the right thing now and then, they might be compelled to do it more often. I wish more folks would make their approval known for this very reason...

    11:19 AM  
    Anonymous Luke said...

    Absolutely. wow, this is a big, big topic that I have always kinda struggled with.

    People expect the world of anyone who has money/influence and god knows i'm one of those critics...but the guy isn't going to drop his huge money-making gig all of a sudden. He's doing what a lot of mainstream types do (or what I hope they do): bite the bullet, make some garbage you know isn't right but it sells...then when you have clout, have money, you make important and conscious stuff. during 50 cent's G-Unit beef with The Game, they "reconciled" temporarily and during their rpess release, they donated a ton to a harlem boy's choir/youth center. so at the price of that org getting funding, they also project the hip-hop black masculinity fighting/macho posing culture....Ludacris, 50 and Eminem move units. MF Doom, even Talib do not. Latter might have bettermessages, but the guys with worse lyrics have more money to give back, more influence for broad-based change potentially as well as being more accessible. do those crap lyrics contribute to the misog/rac/homoph culture? no doubt. but i think change needs to occur from inside and out. can't win by just banging on the door.

    12:01 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Okay, yes, the post title is misleading. But I think that there's something just, I don't know, unbearable about actually criticizing someone for doing something good just because they also do things that aren't. I guess that was my point, not that Ludacris is a changed man who is going to be rapping about wage-equality on his next record.

    12:40 PM  
    Anonymous Rachel S said...

    Side note: I think Eminem would be more likely to show up at a gay pride rally than a feminist rally.

    I think other folks made some good points about Luda (personally, I think he's a really bad rapper, but if he has the clout to promote this that's nice)

    I doubt it signals any change in him...we'll see.

    7:47 PM  

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