Dr. Beads

Monday, May 23, 2005

You Want to Major in WHAT?!?

I recently heard part of a radio discussion whose participants included a woman identifying herself as an academic in hip-hop. That is, she isn’t just someone who enjoys hip-hop or feels that hip-hop is a valid form of art and communication, and, as far as I could tell, she isn't a musician or lyricist or singer. She studies hip-hop and teaches about hip-hop. (Don’t start on that “those who can’t, teach” canard, please.)

The discussion naturally touched on issues of exploitation and sexism, particularly in hip-hop videos. She started a sentence, veered off, stumbled, and finally said something along the lines of “Yes, not all the images are good, but we should be more accepting of ‘stripper culture.’”

People, what the hell is "stripper culture"?

Culture is a framework in which you live in the world, have dealings with other people, and raise your kids. It’s something you pass on to your kids for them to use and pass on. You could say that people are culture’s way of insuring the continued existence and development of culture, in the same way you could say that people are gametes’ way of insuring the continued existence and spread of gametes.

Arguments about safety and values aside, stripping is a job, and it may be a lifestyle, but it ain’t a culture.

Whatever that woman teaches, I don’t want anyone’s kids studying.


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