Kanye West Is Not a Feminist But…..

January 24, 2011
By

By Ronald B. Neal

I’ve been thinking about Kanye West and gender politics for quite some time. It began back in ’05 when his pop ular song “Gold Digger” was in heavy rotation on urban and Top 40 radio stations. In the song’s head turning refrain, which is clearly one man’s awareness of progressive gender politics, West plays with a common female stereotype without giving it real credence: “Now I ain’t saying she a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ wit’ no broke niggaz.” Depending on who is listening and what kind of gender consciousness is at play, Kanye West can be easily written off as just another Hip Hop woman hater. To be sure, Kanye West is no feminist. At no point in his short career has he paid homage to any movement among women, black, white, etc. And there is not a single song or skit on any of his albums where anti-progressive male attitudes towards women are challenged directly. However, it would be unfair to say that he is anti-women or that women are treated like indentured servants or worse, three fifths of a person, when they appear in his lyrics and videos. This includes songs and videos from his most recent album (see “Power” and “Runaway” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) where women are omnipresent. In no way can they be compared to songs and videos such as Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’” or Nelly’s “Tip Drill.”Rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Too Short, and the late Pimp C, have Mr. West outmatched where “guerilla pimping”is concerned.

Although a real distinction can be made between Kanye West and the legacy of someone like pornographic Hip Hop pioneer, Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell (Don’t Stop, Get it, Get it), West is clearly not a feminist. However, unlike many of his Hip Hop comrades, Kanye West has a complicated relationship with women which cannot be reduced to misogyny. Like most of his rap peers, it is not hard to find less than progressive gender sentiments in his art. Similar to rappers like Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, echoes of male entitlement and status recognition, on the part of women, are evident in his work. However, these ego-driven aspects of his art are overwhelmed by entire songs and thought grabbing verses that are not born out of thoughtless hostility toward women, where masculine vulnerability and emotional transparency take center stage. Simply stated, Kanye West has no problem with breaking the dominant code of masculinity in Hip Hop by expressing his fears, insecurities, anxieties, failures, and even frustrations when it comes down to his relations with women, particularly at the level of love and romance. As far as Hip Hop as a genre is concerned, what West has articulated in songs such as All Falls Down (College Dropout), Flashing Lights (Graduation), Runaway (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) and an entire album, 808’s and Heartbreak, is taboo. He is among a small number of artists, which include Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest, Andre 3000 from Outkast, Common, and most recently, Drake, who go against the grain of masculine invincibility and emotional underdevelopment which plague too much rap music. Although hardcore rappers such as 50 Cent and Plies have a penchant for making the occasional “song for the ladies,” radio hits, it is less than likely that either would devote at least half an album to their emotional adventures, highs and lows, with women. In relation to thugged-out love, Kanye West is quite the exception.

As far as gender complexity is concerned, what one finds in West’s art is in very profound ways similar to what one finds in the work of self-described Hip Hop feminist, Joan Morgan. It was Morgan, who more than a decade ago, articulated a version of feminism which was specific to the Hip Hop Generation. Her feminist text, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks It Down, espoused a very complicated and less than perfect practice of gender progressivism. In what was an exceedingly transparent work of prose, Morgan made it emphatically clear that relating to the other side of the gender world, while attempting to live out the most progressive values, is challenging work. In unambiguous terms, she made it strikingly clear that simplistic binaries such as “man against woman” and “woman against man,” only lead to separatism and loneliness. In the end, gender wars do not result in progress, only anger, frustration, and tears.

When I listen to Kanye West, I do not hear a man who is at war with women. When I listen to his music, what I hear is a man with a complex disposition with respect to women, a disposition which makes it difficult, at least for me, to label him a misogynist. I am reluctant to call him a misogynist because I do not think that he hates or dislikes women. Moreover, I do not think that he thinks that women are less than men. If anything, Kanye West is a less than perfect man—a megalomaniac—- who struggles with how he relates to women. He struggles with the question of what women want. He struggles, imperfectly, with how to respond to this question. And in very profound ways, his struggle is the struggle of men, feminist identified or not, who are concerned with the ethical treatment of women. And such a concern comes with a high degree of complexity that is hardly visible and articulated within and beyond popular culture. As an artist in a maligned genre of popular art, he gives such gender complexity much needed expression. As a popular artist in a genre that is stigmatized by guns, drugs, and prostitution, he gives Hip Hop a level of depth— at the level of gender— that it so desperately needs.  Again, Kanye West is not a feminist but given the gender struggle in his work he can hardly be considered a misogynist.

_______________________________________________________________

Ronald B. Neal holds a Ph.D. in Religion, Ethics, and Culture from Vanderbilt University. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His research and writing interests include: religion, gender, and culture, religion, ethics, and politics, modern and postmodern philosophy, Third World Studies, and popular culture.  He is the author of the forthcoming book, Democracy in 21stCentury America: Notes on Race, Class, Religion, and Region (Mercer University Press). He is currently at work on an untitled book on religion, masculinity, and hip hop.

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72 Responses to Kanye West Is Not a Feminist But…..

  1. thefeministwire on January 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

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  2. thefeministwire on January 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

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  3. thefeministwire on January 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

    [New Post] Kanye West Is Not a Feminist But….. – via #twitoaster http://www.thefeministwire.com/2011/01/2...

  4. thefeministwire on January 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

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  5. crunch on January 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    so when you hear him rap about choking womyn, or see videos where he is holding a dead womyn's head for an entire scene or where there are womyn lynched or an anthem about womyn being gold diggers he is not at war with womyn? I'm sorry but just because Kanye is a great embodiment of the contradictions of the culture, in particular patriarchcal consumer hip hop, that doesn't erase the fact that he has lyrics with violent implications as it pertains to womyn.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you for your response to my post. A response to your criticisms is on the way. Cheers. RN

    • vaguelyhumanoid on February 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      1. The choking line was metaphorical, if you're speaking of Blame Game. It's speaking of the strangling nature of their relationship.
      2. The Monster video was indeed questionable in its use of women exclusively as victims. However, I don't think it was supposed to be titillating or cool that women are being murdered.
      3. "Gold Digger" was about *a* woman being a gold digger. This woman is not sexually objectified, nor is she called a bitch or ho. Where's the sexism?

      • Ron B. Neal on February 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        Thanks for reading and thanks for your reply. You are absolutely right, we must pay close attention to how we interpret texts: bodies and language. Everything should not be read literally. Thanks again.

  6. crunch on January 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    so when you hear him rap about choking womyn, or see videos where he is holding a dead womyn's head for an entire scene or where there are womyn lynched or an anthem about womyn being gold diggers he is not at war with womyn? I'm sorry but just because Kanye is a great embodiment of the contradictions of the culture, in particular patriarchcal consumer hip hop, that doesn't erase the fact that he has lyrics with violent implications as it pertains to womyn.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you for your response to my post. A response to your criticisms is on the way. Cheers. RN

    • vaguelyhumanoid on February 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      1. The choking line was metaphorical, if you're speaking of Blame Game. It's speaking of the strangling nature of their relationship.
      2. The Monster video was indeed questionable in its use of women exclusively as victims. However, I don't think it was supposed to be titillating or cool that women are being murdered.
      3. "Gold Digger" was about *a* woman being a gold digger. This woman is not sexually objectified, nor is she called a bitch or ho. Where's the sexism?

      • Ron B. Neal on February 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        Thanks for reading and thanks for your reply. You are absolutely right, we must pay close attention to how we interpret texts: bodies and language. Everything should not be read literally. Thanks again.

  7. crunch on January 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    so when you hear him rap about choking womyn, or see videos where he is holding a dead womyn's head for an entire scene or where there are womyn lynched or an anthem about womyn being gold diggers he is not at war with womyn? I'm sorry but just because Kanye is a great embodiment of the contradictions of the culture, in particular patriarchcal consumer hip hop, that doesn't erase the fact that he has lyrics with violent implications as it pertains to womyn.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you for your response to my post. A response to your criticisms is on the way. Cheers. RN

    • vaguelyhumanoid on February 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      1. The choking line was metaphorical, if you're speaking of Blame Game. It's speaking of the strangling nature of their relationship.
      2. The Monster video was indeed questionable in its use of women exclusively as victims. However, I don't think it was supposed to be titillating or cool that women are being murdered.
      3. "Gold Digger" was about *a* woman being a gold digger. This woman is not sexually objectified, nor is she called a bitch or ho. Where's the sexism?

      • Ron B. Neal on February 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        Thanks for reading and thanks for your reply. You are absolutely right, we must pay close attention to how we interpret texts: bodies and language. Everything should not be read literally. Thanks again.

  8. crunch on January 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    so when you hear him rap about choking womyn, or see videos where he is holding a dead womyn's head for an entire scene or where there are womyn lynched or an anthem about womyn being gold diggers he is not at war with womyn? I'm sorry but just because Kanye is a great embodiment of the contradictions of the culture, in particular patriarchcal consumer hip hop, that doesn't erase the fact that he has lyrics with violent implications as it pertains to womyn.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you for your response to my post. A response to your criticisms is on the way. Cheers. RN

    • vaguelyhumanoid on February 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      1. The choking line was metaphorical, if you're speaking of Blame Game. It's speaking of the strangling nature of their relationship.
      2. The Monster video was indeed questionable in its use of women exclusively as victims. However, I don't think it was supposed to be titillating or cool that women are being murdered.
      3. "Gold Digger" was about *a* woman being a gold digger. This woman is not sexually objectified, nor is she called a bitch or ho. Where's the sexism?

      • Ron B. Neal on February 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        Thanks for reading and thanks for your reply. You are absolutely right, we must pay close attention to how we interpret texts: bodies and language. Everything should not be read literally. Thanks again.

  9. ZenzilesWay on January 28, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Ron, I understand your point. Kanye has been written off as a misogynist, but it is important to acknowledge what he brings to the table by way of discussion. In a world (hip-hop community) where there is NO safety for men's emotions (outside of anger and lust) Kanye daringly brings them out. He is not a feminist, but his work does deserve examination for articulating what we don't want to/don't usually hear.
    The complexity of the work brings artistry back into what has turned into a pure industry.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      You got my point. The unethical treatment of women is terrible but emotional openness and vulnerability are good. Thanks for your reply. Stay tuned for more.

  10. ZenzilesWay on January 28, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Ron, I understand your point. Kanye has been written off as a misogynist, but it is important to acknowledge what he brings to the table by way of discussion. In a world (hip-hop community) where there is NO safety for men's emotions (outside of anger and lust) Kanye daringly brings them out. He is not a feminist, but his work does deserve examination for articulating what we don't want to/don't usually hear.
    The complexity of the work brings artistry back into what has turned into a pure industry.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      You got my point. The unethical treatment of women is terrible but emotional openness and vulnerability are good. Thanks for your reply. Stay tuned for more.

  11. ZenzilesWay on January 28, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Ron, I understand your point. Kanye has been written off as a misogynist, but it is important to acknowledge what he brings to the table by way of discussion. In a world (hip-hop community) where there is NO safety for men's emotions (outside of anger and lust) Kanye daringly brings them out. He is not a feminist, but his work does deserve examination for articulating what we don't want to/don't usually hear.
    The complexity of the work brings artistry back into what has turned into a pure industry.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      You got my point. The unethical treatment of women is terrible but emotional openness and vulnerability are good. Thanks for your reply. Stay tuned for more.

  12. ZenzilesWay on January 28, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Ron, I understand your point. Kanye has been written off as a misogynist, but it is important to acknowledge what he brings to the table by way of discussion. In a world (hip-hop community) where there is NO safety for men's emotions (outside of anger and lust) Kanye daringly brings them out. He is not a feminist, but his work does deserve examination for articulating what we don't want to/don't usually hear.
    The complexity of the work brings artistry back into what has turned into a pure industry.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      You got my point. The unethical treatment of women is terrible but emotional openness and vulnerability are good. Thanks for your reply. Stay tuned for more.

  13. [...] the editors will not agree with an individual writer’s posture.  The recent article, “Kanye West is Not a Feminist But…,” has sparked quite a bit of interest.  Because of this, TFW has invited guest contributor, [...]

  14. [...] the editors will not agree with an individual writer’s posture.  The recent article, “Kanye West is Not a Feminist But…,” has sparked quite a bit of interest.  Because of this, TFW has invited guest contributor, [...]

  15. [...] the editors will not agree with an individual writer’s posture.  The recent article, “Kanye West is Not a Feminist But…,” has sparked quite a bit of interest.  Because of this, TFW has invited guest contributor, [...]

  16. [...] the editors will not agree with an individual writer’s posture.  The recent article, “Kanye West is Not a Feminist But…,” has sparked quite a bit of interest.  Because of this, TFW has invited guest contributor, [...]

  17. Langston Wilkins on January 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

    "He is among a small number of artists, which include Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest, Andre 3000 from Outkast, Common, and most recently, Drake, who go against the grain of masculine invincibility and emotional underdevelopment which plague too much rap music."

    -what makes these artists any more vulnerable than anyone else. I would suggest that Pimp C, whom you slight, has exhibited more vulnerability than Kanye West throughout his career.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, I agree with you, Pimp C had a penchant for letting his feelings hang. It was evident when got out of prison and denounced incarceration as soulless. It was evident in some of UGK's least popular records, where he and Bun B did social commentary. But when it came down to women in his raps, he came up short. Thanks for your reply.

      RN

  18. Langston Wilkins on January 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

    "He is among a small number of artists, which include Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest, Andre 3000 from Outkast, Common, and most recently, Drake, who go against the grain of masculine invincibility and emotional underdevelopment which plague too much rap music."

    -what makes these artists any more vulnerable than anyone else. I would suggest that Pimp C, whom you slight, has exhibited more vulnerability than Kanye West throughout his career.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, I agree with you, Pimp C had a penchant for letting his feelings hang. It was evident when got out of prison and denounced incarceration as soulless. It was evident in some of UGK's least popular records, where he and Bun B did social commentary. But when it came down to women in his raps, he came up short. Thanks for your reply.

      RN

  19. Langston Wilkins on January 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

    "He is among a small number of artists, which include Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest, Andre 3000 from Outkast, Common, and most recently, Drake, who go against the grain of masculine invincibility and emotional underdevelopment which plague too much rap music."

    -what makes these artists any more vulnerable than anyone else. I would suggest that Pimp C, whom you slight, has exhibited more vulnerability than Kanye West throughout his career.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, I agree with you, Pimp C had a penchant for letting his feelings hang. It was evident when got out of prison and denounced incarceration as soulless. It was evident in some of UGK's least popular records, where he and Bun B did social commentary. But when it came down to women in his raps, he came up short. Thanks for your reply.

      RN

  20. Langston Wilkins on January 29, 2011 at 9:31 am

    "He is among a small number of artists, which include Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest, Andre 3000 from Outkast, Common, and most recently, Drake, who go against the grain of masculine invincibility and emotional underdevelopment which plague too much rap music."

    -what makes these artists any more vulnerable than anyone else. I would suggest that Pimp C, whom you slight, has exhibited more vulnerability than Kanye West throughout his career.

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      Yes, I agree with you, Pimp C had a penchant for letting his feelings hang. It was evident when got out of prison and denounced incarceration as soulless. It was evident in some of UGK's least popular records, where he and Bun B did social commentary. But when it came down to women in his raps, he came up short. Thanks for your reply.

      RN

  21. DDLM on January 31, 2011 at 8:04 am

    "Kanye West has no problem with breaking the dominant code of masculinity in Hip Hop by expressing his fears, insecurities, anxieties, failures, and even frustrations when it comes down to his relations with women, particularly at the level of love and romance."

    so he's capable of limited modes of self-expression. tell me how this has anything to do with kanye west's relationship to women.

    kanye west is not a misogynist, but lyrics about shoving his cock down and bruising a woman's throat, skits about reupholstering one woman's pussy for the next , and images of mutilated/strangled/monsterfied women DOMINATE his latest creations. no, that's not a man who hates and fears women, not at all.

    he receives the lion's share of credit for espousing "complexities" in his "art" but come on let's be real. he gets such ramped up accolades for good production and lazy lyricism because he is slightly more introspective than the average industry rapper. in other words, people think he's oh-so-complex because the rest of the popular rappers out there are TERRIBLE. F**KING TERRIBLE. so i guess the moral of the story is you have some quantity of talent and have somehow managed to make it to the top of the charts, your misogyny will be defended as "complexity" by those who want to defend their appreciation of your art.

    and i would love love loooooooooooooooooooooooove know how "his struggle is the struggle of men, feminist identified or not, who are concerned with the ethical treatment of women." no really…how could you have conveniently not elucidated how kanye west is "concerned with the ethical treatment of women"??

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you for your vigorous and spirited reply. I will respond to many of your concerns in a coming post. I agree with you, Monster is not a good look for West or anybody for that matter. However, I request that you examine the lyrics and video for Runaway. Then take a look at the other material that I pointed to in my post. This material prompted me to say that he is complex.

      Transparency is good for female-male relationships. It is good for all human relationships.

      Kanye West is self-absorbed, but he does wrestle with the question of what women want. It's not a perfect struggle but it is in his work. Men who have no regard for women whatsoever, are not concerned with this question. The question of what women want is an ethical question. Men, for whom this question is important, feminist identified or not, are concerned with the ethical treatment of women. Thank you for reading.

      RN

  22. DDLM on January 31, 2011 at 8:04 am

    "Kanye West has no problem with breaking the dominant code of masculinity in Hip Hop by expressing his fears, insecurities, anxieties, failures, and even frustrations when it comes down to his relations with women, particularly at the level of love and romance."

    so he's capable of limited modes of self-expression. tell me how this has anything to do with kanye west's relationship to women.

    kanye west is not a misogynist, but lyrics about shoving his cock down and bruising a woman's throat, skits about reupholstering one woman's pussy for the next , and images of mutilated/strangled/monsterfied women DOMINATE his latest creations. no, that's not a man who hates and fears women, not at all.

    he receives the lion's share of credit for espousing "complexities" in his "art" but come on let's be real. he gets such ramped up accolades for good production and lazy lyricism because he is slightly more introspective than the average industry rapper. in other words, people think he's oh-so-complex because the rest of the popular rappers out there are TERRIBLE. F**KING TERRIBLE. so i guess the moral of the story is you have some quantity of talent and have somehow managed to make it to the top of the charts, your misogyny will be defended as "complexity" by those who want to defend their appreciation of your art.

    and i would love love loooooooooooooooooooooooove know how "his struggle is the struggle of men, feminist identified or not, who are concerned with the ethical treatment of women." no really…how could you have conveniently not elucidated how kanye west is "concerned with the ethical treatment of women"??

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you for your vigorous and spirited reply. I will respond to many of your concerns in a coming post. I agree with you, Monster is not a good look for West or anybody for that matter. However, I request that you examine the lyrics and video for Runaway. Then take a look at the other material that I pointed to in my post. This material prompted me to say that he is complex.

      Transparency is good for female-male relationships. It is good for all human relationships.

      Kanye West is self-absorbed, but he does wrestle with the question of what women want. It's not a perfect struggle but it is in his work. Men who have no regard for women whatsoever, are not concerned with this question. The question of what women want is an ethical question. Men, for whom this question is important, feminist identified or not, are concerned with the ethical treatment of women. Thank you for reading.

      RN

  23. DDLM on January 31, 2011 at 8:04 am

    "Kanye West has no problem with breaking the dominant code of masculinity in Hip Hop by expressing his fears, insecurities, anxieties, failures, and even frustrations when it comes down to his relations with women, particularly at the level of love and romance."

    so he's capable of limited modes of self-expression. tell me how this has anything to do with kanye west's relationship to women.

    kanye west is not a misogynist, but lyrics about shoving his cock down and bruising a woman's throat, skits about reupholstering one woman's pussy for the next , and images of mutilated/strangled/monsterfied women DOMINATE his latest creations. no, that's not a man who hates and fears women, not at all.

    he receives the lion's share of credit for espousing "complexities" in his "art" but come on let's be real. he gets such ramped up accolades for good production and lazy lyricism because he is slightly more introspective than the average industry rapper. in other words, people think he's oh-so-complex because the rest of the popular rappers out there are TERRIBLE. F**KING TERRIBLE. so i guess the moral of the story is you have some quantity of talent and have somehow managed to make it to the top of the charts, your misogyny will be defended as "complexity" by those who want to defend their appreciation of your art.

    and i would love love loooooooooooooooooooooooove know how "his struggle is the struggle of men, feminist identified or not, who are concerned with the ethical treatment of women." no really…how could you have conveniently not elucidated how kanye west is "concerned with the ethical treatment of women"??

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you for your vigorous and spirited reply. I will respond to many of your concerns in a coming post. I agree with you, Monster is not a good look for West or anybody for that matter. However, I request that you examine the lyrics and video for Runaway. Then take a look at the other material that I pointed to in my post. This material prompted me to say that he is complex.

      Transparency is good for female-male relationships. It is good for all human relationships.

      Kanye West is self-absorbed, but he does wrestle with the question of what women want. It's not a perfect struggle but it is in his work. Men who have no regard for women whatsoever, are not concerned with this question. The question of what women want is an ethical question. Men, for whom this question is important, feminist identified or not, are concerned with the ethical treatment of women. Thank you for reading.

      RN

  24. DDLM on January 31, 2011 at 8:04 am

    "Kanye West has no problem with breaking the dominant code of masculinity in Hip Hop by expressing his fears, insecurities, anxieties, failures, and even frustrations when it comes down to his relations with women, particularly at the level of love and romance."

    so he's capable of limited modes of self-expression. tell me how this has anything to do with kanye west's relationship to women.

    kanye west is not a misogynist, but lyrics about shoving his cock down and bruising a woman's throat, skits about reupholstering one woman's pussy for the next , and images of mutilated/strangled/monsterfied women DOMINATE his latest creations. no, that's not a man who hates and fears women, not at all.

    he receives the lion's share of credit for espousing "complexities" in his "art" but come on let's be real. he gets such ramped up accolades for good production and lazy lyricism because he is slightly more introspective than the average industry rapper. in other words, people think he's oh-so-complex because the rest of the popular rappers out there are TERRIBLE. F**KING TERRIBLE. so i guess the moral of the story is you have some quantity of talent and have somehow managed to make it to the top of the charts, your misogyny will be defended as "complexity" by those who want to defend their appreciation of your art.

    and i would love love loooooooooooooooooooooooove know how "his struggle is the struggle of men, feminist identified or not, who are concerned with the ethical treatment of women." no really…how could you have conveniently not elucidated how kanye west is "concerned with the ethical treatment of women"??

    • Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you for your vigorous and spirited reply. I will respond to many of your concerns in a coming post. I agree with you, Monster is not a good look for West or anybody for that matter. However, I request that you examine the lyrics and video for Runaway. Then take a look at the other material that I pointed to in my post. This material prompted me to say that he is complex.

      Transparency is good for female-male relationships. It is good for all human relationships.

      Kanye West is self-absorbed, but he does wrestle with the question of what women want. It's not a perfect struggle but it is in his work. Men who have no regard for women whatsoever, are not concerned with this question. The question of what women want is an ethical question. Men, for whom this question is important, feminist identified or not, are concerned with the ethical treatment of women. Thank you for reading.

      RN

  25. [...] find myself both intrigued and troubled by Ron Neal’s recent TFW post, “Kanye West Is Not a Feminist, But…” Neal is absolutely spot on that Kanye displays a level of emotional vulnerability and complexity [...]

  26. [...] find myself both intrigued and troubled by Ron Neal’s recent TFW post, “Kanye West Is Not a Feminist, But…” Neal is absolutely spot on that Kanye displays a level of emotional vulnerability and complexity [...]

  27. [...] find myself both intrigued and troubled by Ron Neal’s recent TFW post, “Kanye West Is Not a Feminist, But…” Neal is absolutely spot on that Kanye displays a level of emotional vulnerability and complexity [...]

  28. [...] find myself both intrigued and troubled by Ron Neal’s recent TFW post, “Kanye West Is Not a Feminist, But…” Neal is absolutely spot on that Kanye displays a level of emotional vulnerability and complexity [...]

  29. [...] following essay is a response to “Kanye West Is Not A Feminist But…”  For more information, please see the initial essay as well as the follow-up [...]

  30. [...] following essay is a response to “Kanye West Is Not A Feminist But…”  For more information, please see the initial essay as well as the follow-up [...]

  31. [...] following essay is a response to “Kanye West Is Not A Feminist But…”  For more information, please see the initial essay as well as the follow-up [...]

  32. [...] following essay is a response to “Kanye West Is Not A Feminist But…”  For more information, please see the initial essay as well as the follow-up [...]

  33. Rob Moore on February 12, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Ron, this is a terrific insight and one I applaud you putting into words. It goes very against the grain of the easy, tired cliche of the rapper as de facto villain in every interaction and pays attention to more than the most inflammatory things he's ever said. If we were all judged, for the better part of a decade, for the worst thing to ever escape our lips – how many of us would look particularly nice? It's a luxury artists don't have – and you're absolutely correct – Kanye leans into it and really acknowledges that complexity. Thanks again.

  34. Rob Moore on February 12, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Ron, this is a terrific insight and one I applaud you putting into words. It goes very against the grain of the easy, tired cliche of the rapper as de facto villain in every interaction and pays attention to more than the most inflammatory things he's ever said. If we were all judged, for the better part of a decade, for the worst thing to ever escape our lips – how many of us would look particularly nice? It's a luxury artists don't have – and you're absolutely correct – Kanye leans into it and really acknowledges that complexity. Thanks again.

  35. Rob Moore on February 12, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Ron, this is a terrific insight and one I applaud you putting into words. It goes very against the grain of the easy, tired cliche of the rapper as de facto villain in every interaction and pays attention to more than the most inflammatory things he's ever said. If we were all judged, for the better part of a decade, for the worst thing to ever escape our lips – how many of us would look particularly nice? It's a luxury artists don't have – and you're absolutely correct – Kanye leans into it and really acknowledges that complexity. Thanks again.

  36. Rob Moore on February 12, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Ron, this is a terrific insight and one I applaud you putting into words. It goes very against the grain of the easy, tired cliche of the rapper as de facto villain in every interaction and pays attention to more than the most inflammatory things he's ever said. If we were all judged, for the better part of a decade, for the worst thing to ever escape our lips – how many of us would look particularly nice? It's a luxury artists don't have – and you're absolutely correct – Kanye leans into it and really acknowledges that complexity. Thanks again.

  37. Pin Up Style Clothin on September 10, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I agree along with your points , fantastic post.

  38. Pin Up Style Clothin on September 10, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I agree along with your points , fantastic post.

  39. Pin Up Style Clothin on September 10, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I agree along with your points , fantastic post.

  40. Pin Up Style Clothin on September 10, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I agree along with your points , fantastic post.

  41. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you for the kind words. Please stay tuned for more posts. Best. RN.

  42. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you for the kind words. Please stay tuned for more posts. Best. RN.

  43. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you for the kind words. Please stay tuned for more posts. Best. RN.

  44. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you for the kind words. Please stay tuned for more posts. Best. RN.

  45. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more. Best.

    RN

  46. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more. Best.

    RN

  47. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more. Best.

    RN

  48. Ron B. Neal on January 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more. Best.

    RN

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