Why Jay Electronica Can Go Choke On His Own Words

7 Dec
At a recent Hip Hop performance, Jay Electronica asked his audiences “Do women like to be choked during sex?” Apparently, he asks this question at every show, and is conducting an informal survey so that him, his DJ, and Nas, can decide a $20,000 bet on the issue on December 25th.
Nas says all women like to be choked.
TJ the DJ says only some do.
And Jay says, we all do, but in varying degrees.
I say, “they are all a bunch of assholes.”
They aren’t assholes because they like erotic asphyxiation. A whole lot of folks are into that, and I’m not hating. If this was a conversation about the range of practices that are pleasurable for women, then as a feminist, I would be down for that conversation.
But there’s a bet on it, so I wouldn’t bet on it.
Jay, Nas, and the DJ are not at all interested in female pleasure. This is a battle over whose dick is bigger. Plain and simple.
Anytime money exchanges male hands in a contest over what women like in the bedroom, the potential for sex positivity and female empowerment becomes nil.
Yes, we should be able to talk freely about lots of different kinds of sexual expression, BDSM (bondage/sado-masochism) included. But Jay Electronica’s quip at a different performance that Redman says that some women like to be punched in the ribs, is troubling.
Recently, there have been a few feminist-identified Black men who are publishing work which claims that feminists of color, particularly Black women, are parochial on sexual issues, and that we see all forms of risque sexual practices as problematic. Undoubtedly, many of these brothers will watch this clip and conclude this same thing.
But this isn’t about sex positivity. Look at the terms of the bet. How can any three men ever determine what “all women” like? At the moment that this becomes about generalizing female sexual practices under one banner, it no longer becomes about women, but about men’s idea and projection of who they would like us to be. Moreover, clearly Jay, Nas, and TJ the DJ  are having a Lil Wayne moment, RE: they just “wanna fuck every girl in the world.” Because that’s the only way they could reasonably determine the truth of their statements.
Jay also engages in a troubling fetishization of foreign women. “Women in the states” don’t like choking. But women “overseas”  love it. Really?
Back in Seattle, Jay polls the crowd. Only a few women admit to liking the practice. But almost all the men in the crowd do, a disparity to which Jay responds, “it’s a whole lot of women getting choked against their will.” And then…raucous laughter.
A courageous sister yells back, “that’s not funny.” (3:25) Jay and the crowd immediately silence her. He says, “it’s not supposed to be funny,” as he’s catching his breath from having a good laugh on stage.  Then he quickly organizes a crowd chant, “we know it’s not funny. Relax.”
How many women have been gently coerced into sex they didn’t want to have under an insistent chorus of “just relax”?
The dismissive, mocking reaction to that sister’s disruption of the space, tells us all we need to know about what our reaction should be. She proved the point. Some sisters don’t like it…and Jay’s inability or lack of desire to hear her point of view after he had just invited audience feedback, suggests that he and his boys are interested in a very particular narrative of female sexuality.
Jay also admitted that there were underaged folks in the crowd, and then he recklessly proceeded to promote irresponsible sexual messages like
a.) women don’t really know what they want in the bedroom
b.) it’s up to men to help us “figure it out” [and a little financial incentive wouldn’t hurt]
c.) and many of us are lying anyway, given the disparity in crowd response
Sounds like a recipe for rape.
Or at least some misguided, tragic, unfulfilling teenaged sex. If the sexual plot line in the Black male coming of age tale, The Wood is any indication, betting is a critical part of male sexual socialization. And it seems harmless.
But there are a whole lot of young women and grown women, who are the literal conquered booty in these conquests, who beg to differ. I am one of them.
The bottom line is that Jay needs to do better. He should apologize. And since it is the season of giving,  he and his two stooges should put their money where their mouths are, and donate that twenty thou to some initiative that empowers women and girls who are sexual violence survivors. Bet.

87 Responses to “Why Jay Electronica Can Go Choke On His Own Words”

  1. Brandi December 7, 2010 at 9:33 AM #

    I plan on sending this on to some of my classmates. We were having a dialogue about sexism in the media and while media is a big world the focus soon narrowed to hip hop & rap. I made a statement that sexism is the difference between the two. Though nowadays it is very hard to see the distinction between them. Has hip hop (ex. Common, Talib Kweli, Black Thought, Mos Def, Lauryn Hill..etc) become just as sexist as what I would consider rap (ex. Kanye West, Drake, Lil’ Wayne, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj..etc)?

  2. jalylah December 7, 2010 at 10:28 AM #

    Thanks for this incisive reading of the issues at hand. Just one point of clarification, the courageous woman who speaks up and back at Jay E is in the crowd at his Bumbershoot performance in Seattle (where I’m from!).

    A few choice excerpts:

    “How can any three men ever determine what “all women” like? At the moment that this becomes about generalizing female sexual practices under one banner, it no longer becomes about women, but about men’s idea and projection of who they would like us to be.”

    “Some sisters don’t like it…and Jay’s inability or lack of desire to hear her point of view after he had just invited audience feedback, suggests that he and his boys are interested in a very particular narrative of female sexuality.” !!!

    “The bottom line is that Jay needs to do better. He should apologize. And since it is the season of giving, he and his two stooges should put their money where their mouths are, and donate that twenty thou to some initiative that empowers women and girls who are sexual violence survivors. Bet.” (GREAT IDEA!)

    • crunktastic December 7, 2010 at 11:09 AM #

      Thanks for the correction. Fixed.

  3. Renina December 7, 2010 at 10:45 AM #

    The dismissive, mocking reaction to that sister’s disruption of the space, tells us all we need to know about what our reaction should be. She proved the point. Some sisters don’t like it…and Jay’s inability or lack of desire to hear her point of view after he had just invited audience feedback, suggests that he and his boys are interested in a very particular narrative of female sexuality.’
    I didn’t think about how the woman was treated in the audience as being analogous to how women are and may be treated in bed.

    Awesome connection.

    And a great closing!

    • crunktastic December 7, 2010 at 11:08 AM #

      CF, I changed the font size and color, even though I can’t change it in the comments section. Hope that helps your eyes. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      • Renina December 7, 2010 at 6:27 PM #

        Oh and thank you. Old four eyes here #oldLadyrap. #ummhmm.

  4. Safia December 7, 2010 at 12:05 PM #

    He made these exact comments at an all ages show (in a square downtown, where anyone walking around could hear) I went to in Toronto in September. The organizers had to apologize for his statements after the fact, but it seems to still be a part of Jay’s stage act.

  5. Nicole December 7, 2010 at 12:50 PM #

    I’m @Nikkiloop on Twitter, and I re-tweeted some of this fools responses to this controversy. Its really sad. How that sista was completely blown off was extremely revealing. This man has a daughter. I wonder how Ms. Badu feels about this? (I have a strong feeling she ‘rides’ for her man no matter what)

    • Joan December 7, 2010 at 2:06 PM #

      It’s doubtful we’ll see an apology. @jayelectronica’s Twitter defense for his women want to be choked during sex concert schtick is…drumroll…”I always mention in every show that US Army Corp of Engineers COMPROMISED the levees during Katrina”. Somehow, Jay thinks that gives him a Misogyny Pass.

  6. Karine76 December 7, 2010 at 2:40 PM #

    Can I say how happy I am to have found a black feminist site? This article proves to me again that women need to own their sexuality because otherwise some fool will try to this kind of crap on them and they’ll go along when in fact they may not be into that kind of thing. And it’s sad to see black male privilege on display again.

    • Joan December 7, 2010 at 2:59 PM #

      In the spirit of teachable moments maybe we ought to hit up @jayelectronica on Twitter with some of our own facts: 17.6 % of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. Of these, 21.6% were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32.4% were between the ages of 12 and 17. #ChokeOnThis

  7. Renina December 7, 2010 at 6:26 PM #

    You know whats bugged out.

    Not only did I write about this on my blog last night, but I am SMACK DAB in the middle of the process of collecting interviews from Black women around sex and on reading 5011 articles and books on Black women’s sexuality.

    Shit honestly, if he wants to know what SOME women like, He can ask me. Luls. I suspect however, that he doesn’t. I have been transcribing interviews with women about sex and sexuality for 3 months now, lol.

    Oh. And I ain’t even know that the show was a mixed age crowd.

    Ain’t that some ___? #Ummp.

    @Joan When Jay pointed out Katrina, my mind instantly went to Clarence and Anita. Like ok “I call you on your sexual harassment and YOU turn around and claim a high tech lynching. What in the hell is going on here?”

    I may have to write about this again, largely because of my experience (Ta-Nehsi, John etc..) of how some Black men appear to respond in three ways when confronted with dominating or dismissing women a.) Silence. b.)A soft apology with Strong denial c.) Anger.

    • crunktastic December 7, 2010 at 8:57 PM #

      I totally feel you. And yes, he should ask you. And maybe he would, if he really cared to know. But you and I both know he doesn’t. Let me just say that I have been having some ridiculous FB discussions about this today. Even the brothers who I thought would get it are totally digging in their heels. My heart and my head are both hurting. Whoever thinks male privilege can’t kill you lied.

    • arieswym December 8, 2010 at 1:41 PM #

      I hadn’t thought of Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill but that’s a perfect analogy for the misdirection that Jay used as his “explanation” for his behavior.

  8. tmaismb December 7, 2010 at 7:12 PM #

    Wow. This really struck a nerve with me. I actually had a former boyfriend start choking me while we were having sex (without asking me how I felt about it; without giving me any warning; without mentioning that this is something he did/was into). At first, I thought it was an accident. I’m in my mid-30s and had *never* had anyone do something like that. I simply removed his hand. I found it shocking and disconcerting. Afterward, he said something to the effect of, “Did I surprise you?” He was very nonchalant; it was no big deal to him.

    I didn’t yell, but I told him in a very serious way how I felt about what he did (very pissed off) and why it’s not cool to do something like that *without talking to your partner about it first.*

    So, I don’t know if this is a new “thing,” but the thought of Jay Electronica, Nas, and whoever else normalizing this behavior and making it seem that its par for the course (and not something that needs to be consented to) makes me *very* uneasy. Especially for young women who may be less likely to speak up if they find themselves in a similar situation.

    And for the love of all that is good and right in the world, when, when, when will we begin to start framing sex as something that is about *mutual* pleasure…not solely getting your man or partner off?!? Ugh.

    (Side note: Thank you for fleshing out the whole story concerning this incident/issue. I first read about it on Clutch. They didn’t provide all the details you did, which, in my opinion, makes it harder for some folks to see why this is problematic.)

  9. E December 7, 2010 at 11:50 PM #

    i dont mean to be gossipy, but Jay Eletronica is a doushebag and a big of a groupie whore. im not surprised hed speak in this manner. i am surprised erykah badu fell for his bullshit tho.

  10. alisoncecilejohns December 8, 2010 at 12:35 AM #

    thank you thank you thank you! i hadn’t heard of this until now, through davey d’s twitter post on the subject, but you have a brilliant mind and tie things together neat and tight! i look forward to reading you.

  11. retrotek December 8, 2010 at 7:26 AM #

    I just can’t believe he does it every show. He gonna be choking harder than Wale when his album next year flops.

  12. TypoGuy December 8, 2010 at 7:46 AM #

    You have a typo. “Plan and simple”

  13. Sav December 8, 2010 at 9:12 AM #

    The hell? Why was this article necessary? What does the kind of sex people like have to do with feminism or women’s rights? some women like having their asses smacked, hair pulled, choked, called names, ect. So what if he asked it? his audience is grown. The women in the crowd are grown. What does a women’s education level or mental state have to do with her being turned on by her man being aggressive in the bed room?

    How is he objectifying women? how is it sexual violence? lol He’s not talking about strangling a woman and raping her. He’s talking about a light grip on the neck. Geez some of you need to lighten the hell up.

    • Nell December 16, 2010 at 1:11 PM #

      this doesn’t have to do with what type of sex people like to have. it has to do with the type of violence men promote through many practices, particularly sex. and considering the amount of sexual violence (or violence period) directed at women (especially women of color)at the hands of a man, this topic is not one to take nonchalantly.
      and considering our generation has made gods out of musicians and hip hop artists, their words have to be criticized when/if they can influence and/or help further the notions that aid in sustaining the amount of violence against women.
      asking a question and then concluding, without really listening to all of the audience, that all women like to be choked just in varying degrees gives men (especially the teenaged ones in the crowd) the okay to not only want to do this in bed, but to try it without giving the woman’s consent any merit, since….as he’s just concluded….all women want to be choked.
      yes, plenty of women like being choked, hair pulled, asses smacked, etc. but that is between the two partners engaging in that act. but having a celebrity convince most men that “all women” like it is something completely different. and no, some of the women in the crowd were teenagers, as was stated in the article.
      this article said nothing about objectification. it is not sexual violence. it PROMOTES sexual violence. we’ll lighten up when the rates of rape and sexual assault go down.

  14. moyazb December 8, 2010 at 9:53 AM #

    Crunktastic has done it again! Such an important conversation as it speaks to something bigger than Jay & company. I think we really have to examine how porn informs our sexual behaviors and tells us what’s sexy. I find it particularly disturbing the way our communities can be conservative regarding sex (kink negative, anti-choice, homophobic, compulsory monogamists, etc.), denigrating those who are opting to articulate and consciously engage said activities rather than furtively do things on the low, behind people’s back, and without consent!

    @tmaismb Thank you for telling your story! I am so glad you were able to say no and explain why a conversation is necessary!

    • tmaismb December 10, 2010 at 2:31 PM #

      You’re very welcome. It still bewilders me that someone I was in a relationship with thought that was cool. Seriously, it was mind boggling. It hasn’t always been easy for me to speak up about what I like/don’t like/will or won’t tolerate, but it has become much easier with age. I’m very concerned about how younger black men and women are relating to each other intimately.

      Your point about the pornification of sexuality is important, too. A lot of the porn in the “Ebony” category that involves straight/hetero intercourse (intra- and inter-racial) can be very disturbing in how black women are portrayed. Also, porn ideals/imagery have become so mainstream. For example, while in porn it’s common for the scene/sex to end with a man/men ejaculating on a woman’s face, that’s actually something you should ask your partner they’re okay with before you do it. I feel like Jay’s choking spiel exemplifies this mainstreaming. Choking is not “par for the course” or vanilla sex. Like MtnTopFeminism said downthread, it’s a form of BDSM. And that’s *certainly* something you don’t spring on your partner or assume that they like it because 2 out of the last 8 people you slept with did. And that’s what Jay, Nas, et al. are in the process of doing. Making something that requires consent seem regular, run of the mill, and a matter of fact during sex. And that’s not cool.

      • MB December 11, 2010 at 11:04 AM #

        yes!!! #preach!

  15. arieswym December 8, 2010 at 1:37 PM #

    This is the first time that I watched the video, even though I’ve seen it posted online other places/ I’m struck by the deliberateness of the woman who took the time to scream over everyone else at the concert to make sure that Jay Electronica heard her and knew that his comments were unacceptable.

    His laughing them off and completely disregarding her concerns signify a complete disregard in his mind for women to express their desires

  16. Tuttle December 8, 2010 at 2:23 PM #

    I am so thrilled to see this post. I was referred to this site by one of my mentors/dear friends. She knew I’d be interested in your article “Love is not enough” about Love, Feminism, and Jay-Z, as he is one of my favorite rappers, and I am often thinking about the disconnect between my love of hip hop and my womanist beliefs.

    When I went and saw Erykah Badu and Mos Def preform in San Francisco in September 2009, Jay Electronica opened up the show and asked the audience this very thing…. Excuse my outraged language, but what the fuck kind of twisted bet about women being choked needs to happen, period, let ALONE needs to go on for over 15 months?! I can’t believe I didn’t blog about this right after it happened, CFs, because I was certainly displeased. I remember looking over at my good girlfriend who I went with and looking horrified/disgusted… but that’s all. We discussed it in the car after the show, and wrote it off as another instance of disappointingly blatant misogyny within hip-hop.

    I was actually backstage later in the evening of that same performance and got to see Jay and Erykah’s beautiful baby, Mars, getting handed off to Jay after Erykah finished breastfeeding her. I just don’t understand how Jay can be comfortable instigating such sexist, demeaning essentialization and objectification of women on stage…. when he steps a few feet offstage and lovingly holds his baby daughter in his arms. How does he imagine SHE would react to him publicly betting of such a think??? How does one compartmentalize so completely??????

  17. ellewinston December 8, 2010 at 3:14 PM #

    So ironic….I just posted about this very same issue yesterday, criticizing Kanye’s most recent album. 🙂

  18. MtnTopFeminism December 8, 2010 at 6:27 PM #

    As someone who does BDSM studies through a feminist lens (and is in fact writing a paper as we speak on the subject), numerous ideas popped into my head when I saw this video. Of course I agree with your sentiments that this particular instance was not about sexual freedom and expression for women, but was an act of male dominance—further cemented by the shunning of the woman brave enough to call them on their shit—and most definitely a player in rape culture. I think everyone has touched on this topic to some degree so I will go on to my main point: BDSM and kink in the mainstream.

    You write: “They aren’t assholes because they like erotic asphyxiation. A whole lot of folks are into that, and I’m not hating. If this was a conversation about the range of practices that are pleasurable for women, then as a feminist, I would be down for that
    Anytime money exchanges male hands in a contest over what women like in the bedroom, the potential for sex positivity and female empowerment becomes nil.
    Yes, we should be able to talk freely about lots of different kinds of sexual expression, BDSM (bondage/sado-masochism) included. But Jay Electronica’s quip at a different performance that Redman says that some women like to be punched in the ribs, is troubling.”

    I agree with this statement. However, I feel it is more complex than that. While we do have to challenge ourselves not to have gut reactions against kinky or nonnormative modes of sex, that fact doesn’t get all forms of sex off the hook. It is critical that we engage in discussions that focus on the varying levels of sexuality and how pleasure cannot be restricted to vanilla norms. At the same time, it is also important that while we are open to new expressions of sexuality, we never lose sight of the dangers associated with them. This watering down of BDSM and kink culture can be dangerous. BDSM especially is not just about whips and chains and cuffs and violence (though those are some rather yummy parts of it ). At its core, BDSM is about relationships, though those relationships may not look anything like what we would expect. Within a BDSM relationship trust becomes the main component. It isn’t just about “I like to get slapped around.” There is much more there. Without that open communication and honest dialogue, many practices, including erotic asphyxiation, are highly dangerous and even deadly. Not only that, but it isn’t just women who like to have such things done to them…a fact which is often ignored. Without discussing the three main tenets of BDSM—safe, sane and consensual—we head toward dangerous territory by merely accepting any discussion on kinky sex at face value.

    We must also challenge the way we think of control and dominance in these discussions. With the example of erotic asphyxiation, it is the one being choked…not the one doing the choking….that should have the control at all times…absolutely…with no exceptions. Until we have redefined our ideas on activity, passivity, dominance and submission we must be having these discussions.

    I find a connection between this and women faking orgasms. There is such a push for women to be “hot” and “freaks” that their own sexuality and pleasure fades into the background. While it may seem as if focusing on women’s orgasm as key to sex is a positive, when it becomes a (or the) goal during sex, men feel as if they have concurred something if a woman orgasms (pretend or not) and women feel pressured into having/faking them, it still negates women’s bodies and their pleasures. This is true when it comes to kink sex. Imma call it here: fuzzy handcuffs are the new faked orgasm.

    • MB December 8, 2010 at 9:23 PM #

      snap for the kids three times!!!! You just gave me my life with this comment,@mtntopfeminism! Go in!

    • alisoncecilejohns December 9, 2010 at 7:42 PM #

      excellent points, mtntop. i used to be a Safe Sex Educator for Good Vibrations and was always cautioning people to get the basic BDSM 101 eduction in before they started throwing whips and ropes around. i for one would LOVE to hear jay electronica or NAS poll the audience about how many men would love to get their prostates stimulated, via dildo up their asses. i think that would be much more cutting edge and provocative.

      • alisoncecilejohns December 9, 2010 at 7:43 PM #

        as a matter of fact, if anyone wants to bet with me that ALL men love prostate stimulation, send me an email!

      • Mb December 9, 2010 at 11:59 PM #

        Brilliant!!! For real let’s start this bet/poll!

  19. dantresomi December 9, 2010 at 2:26 PM #

    dope piece.

    I agree, Jay is wrong no matter what reason he gives. I am sure that if a possible suitor were to ask him this about his daughter, he would pistol whip that person.

    but it’s okay to do it to other women?

    but here it is, THE BROTHERS need to call him on that BS. if we don’t , he will continue to think it’s okay.

  20. Steve December 9, 2010 at 2:33 PM #

    Can’t defend Jay here … as a father of two daughters I couldn’t see myself on stage just throwing out that question like that … He’s gotta do a better job of understanding how to broach that subject with better context…

  21. brittd December 9, 2010 at 6:39 PM #

    so glad you theorized on jay electronic’s comments. brilliant! i saw his opening act many months ago in dallas. i was perplexed/pissed by his commentary. i really didnt know what to make of it. thought i was alone in my discomfort 🙂 much love crunk feminist collective. it’s like ya read my mind

  22. Thought December 9, 2010 at 11:13 PM #

    It is odd when people wrap themselves around concepts, constrict and bend them out of shape. What Jay Electronica did was distasteful, but did not in any way, shape or form condone rape of any sort. As he is THE ONLY PERSON ANY OF THE COMMENTATORS RECOGNIZED (and consequentially can bring traffic to a blog behind) is also the only reason this was written. SENSATIONALISM. The response from the women (plural) in the audience, when asked, dispels ANY ideas of sex without consent. The “only a few women, but all the men” stance is problematic. I am a man and I have never choked a woman during sex. I have been called a fag for not being aggressive or making the first move though. I have been slandered for not being “masculine” enough to take control. It didn’t move me to alter my character nor write a scathing post about how confusing a woman’s sexual identity/needs may be. Why? Because sex should be private.

    As black people, our sexuality has been used to characterize us as being lusty beasts built for the pleasure of others. As a black man, I have been characterized as the potential rapist incapable of controlling my sexual urges. This furthers that public opinion.

    Pieces like this only serve to draw attention away from women who are literally being taken against their will. It troubles me to see a blog, which could be focusing on the rapes occurring worldwide, would take time out to focus on a rapper asking an audience about THEIR sexual habits. That’s Fox News style coverage. The type of story you expect Hannity or Bill O’reilly to use to scare white women.

    Ladies, I have a son. Do you understand? He has to grow up in this. I have to teach him about all the ways, all the unjustifiable ways people will view and treat him negatively throughout his life. This new trend of sisters NOT checking the sisters who actually enjoy those perversions in favor of placing the blame squarely on ALL the brothers has got to stop. If not, at least practice being fair and balanced in your assessment. It sounded like quite a few women in the audience were alright with it and the fact that you did not address them raises a red flag. Why can’t you see that?

    • crunktastic December 10, 2010 at 12:38 AM #

      Thanks for your comment. It sounds like we agree that eliminating rape is the ultimate goal.
      You said:
      Pieces like this only serve to draw attention away from women who are literally being taken against their will. It troubles me to see a blog, which could be focusing on the rapes occurring worldwide, would take time out to focus on a rapper asking an audience about THEIR sexual habits. That’s Fox News style coverage. The type of story you expect Hannity or Bill O’reilly to use to scare white women.

      I hope you will look through our archives, as there are several pieces on rape and sexual abuse, through which we have attempted to raise awareness.

      You are right that your son is growing up in a rape culture, and the only way to make sure that he doesn’t become a willing, but unwitting, participant in it is to raise his consciousness about the ways that messages which lead to rape get reinforced. The bet between these rappers reinforces those messages by suggesting that women don’t really know what we want during sex and that we are prone to lie about it. That kind of thinking is recipe for a young man who thinks that way to take advantage of a young woman, and that type of thinking has to stop.

      Finally, there is no need to hold women accountable, as women have not done anything wrong here. Some women acknowledged that they like choking; others said they didn’t. I don’t believe that erotic asphyxiation is a perversion. It’s a preference. My purpose here is simply to encourage rappers to promote responsible sexual dialogues, and to challenge the idea that women’s sexuality is something that should be negotiated through a financial exchange between men, since that is generally known as pimping. It seems to me that this is a fair and balanced argument.

      Let me add as a last point that I did not at any moment in this piece blame all brothers. I critiqued the actions of three Black men, and by implication any men who think like them.

    • DJ December 11, 2010 at 8:09 AM #

      Thanks Thought,

      I was beginning to question myself for disagreeing with the sisters beatdown of Jay Electronica and his crew… ( Nas & his Dj ) . While I may be too prude to engage in or understand this choking phenomenom. I think sometimes we protest to loudly about some things while ignoring real troubling stuff. R. Kelly was prominent at the Soul Train Awards…..he should be shunned by the Black community for his ongoing violation of young women.
      A rappers stage banter ( I believe ) is poor subject matter for such a serious subject. Jay Electronica is not untouchable nor unavailable. How about contacting him and asking him about some of his ideas in relation to male/female relations. You may be surprised to find out he is not the ” Monster ” you are making him out to be.

      • crunktastic December 11, 2010 at 8:40 AM #

        We haven’t made him out to be a monster. We simply said that his comments were out of line, and we explained the reasons why. Furthermore, this blog post on Jay is only one post in over a hundred posts that have appeared on this site, in which we have dealt with a myriad of issues. When you have some free time, you should check some of those other posts out.

        We engaged Jay on Twitter and he didn’t respond, so apparently he isn’t open to dialogue. He’s a talented emcee, and it is precisely because he doesn’t usually engage in some of the ignorance that we see among others misguided entertainers that we’re holding his feet to the fire. R. Kelly is problematic and I’m sure at some point someone will have something to say about him, but in general we already know what he’s on, and I don’t think any of us buy his music. Jay on the other hand, purports to be on something different, and this makes his comments feel even more disheartening.

        Anyway, thanks for reading.

  23. danyasteele December 10, 2010 at 4:55 AM #


    Sad. Thank you for sharing.

  24. danyasteele December 10, 2010 at 4:56 AM #

    PS – you know what?

    This video, this crowd allowance, was sad.


    But I am SO GLAD you wrote something about it, that you’ve made it a conversation. THAT part aint sad at all – it is appreciated and commendable. I really do appreciate this post.


  25. Pollypureheart December 10, 2010 at 3:22 PM #

    Oh fucking please you all speak of empowerment but seem to ONLY want it expressed in the form of attacking black males!! You are not only hypocrites but servicing the bullshit and RACIST idealogies of the white MSM and culture. When thug and lowlife Charlie Sheen CHOKED his wife and held a knife to het throat black women didn’t say SHIT about it. Nor when he threatened and terrorized that prostitute till the point she was found hiding in the bathroom. But as always the media played ‘blame the victim’ while the holier than black female blogsphere stayed silent. The same thing you did when ultimate sleazebag Mel Gibson ADMITTED he slapped his ‘baby’s momma’ Oksana. And don’t even get me STARTED on all the countless violence and misogyny towards women in Hollywierd films most of them involving sex or having a female scantily clad. But apparently unless there’s an opportunity to bash black males black women don’t seem to give a fuck!!

    • crunktastic December 10, 2010 at 6:46 PM #

      -The article didn’t attack all black men. It questioned the specific practice of three Black men.

      -We agree that violence against women is wrong. Part of the reason that we discuss violence against women of color, is because EVERYONE ELSE discusses violence against white women. Black, Latina, Asian, and Native women don’t seem to matter, either to the mainstream or to Black men. But in our opinion they do matter. We matter.

      -And we invite Black men to stand with us, rather than seeing us standing up for ourselves as a move to stand against them.

      • B-yo December 11, 2010 at 7:33 AM #

        I think he’s looking at a pattern in the writing on this site (and others). He does make a good point about Charlie Sheen and others. If you were truly concerned about sexism, some of these cases would at least make a blip on the radar. I suppose having a number one rated sitcom coupled with a pattern of abuse (and throw in prostitution in the mix) isn’t enough to attract widespread attention from the black blogosphere. But a Jay Electronica can arouse your ire? There’s nothing wrong with critiquing his comments, which I too find offensive, but you should place them in some sort of context.

        You don’t have to indict all black men; it’s enough to indict them one at a time. Everyone will get the point. It does suggest that you are buying into the narrative that’s wholly consistent with white MSM (dehumanization of black people/criminalization of black men). That’s a shame too. We need more black people [men and women] who are not just content to dissect and destroy, but actually show genuine concern and compassion for one another even if–and especially if–we think they’re wrong. Instead, it’s always venom. It’s always blogs that are really more of a symptom of the disease rather than the cure.

      • crunktastic December 11, 2010 at 8:00 AM #

        We’re a feminist of color collective. Our politics are clearly stated in our mission statement. As feminists of color our commitment is to raising awareness about how sexism affects women of color. I don’t feel the need to justify our outrage at Jay Electronica. We consistently critique folks who engage in acts of sexism against Black women, and we stand in solidarity with feminist movements around the world, including those of our white sistren.
        Rather than trying to tell us what we should be writing about over here, can we have a conversation about the actual issue, namely that Jay Electronica’s statements were out of line and that they reinforce a rape culture that is detrimental to Black women? Yeah, brothers have no outrage over that. There’s all these excuses about why it isn’t a big deal. But you want sisters to be up in arms every time something pops off with brothers. And real talk, we usually are. That’s why it’s so problematic for you and other commenters to suggest that sisters who somehow dare to talk about the struggles and oppressions which affect us are race traitors. All the Blacks are not men, ya dig?

        Let’s also be clear the blog was placed in context. It wasn’t a full scale indictment of Jay’s talent or even Hip Hop in general. I specifically critiqued one set of comments. So it is extremely intellectually disingenuous to suggest that a specific critique is exactly the same as a fullscale attack. It seems that what you are really saying is that racism beats Black men down so much, that even when they do sh*t that’s clearly egregious, we should let it go, so that we don’t ally with THE MAN against Black men. And that argument is the height of whackness, not to mention the fact that it makes me think you’re living in 1970 and not 2010.

        We make no apologies for critiquing brothers when they deserve it, or for speaking unapologetically about the concerns of sisters. We also don’t buy the logic that our failure to speak about every instance of sexist activity in the mainstream undercuts the legitimacy of our feminist politics or makes us call Black men into question. If you had actually checked out the articles on this site, you would see that in the last week, the most viewed article was a critique of Regis Philbin for grabbing Nicki Minaj’s ass. And the comments that we got from many brothers was that she deserved it.

        So since many of you aren’t down for the cause, we are down for own. Unapologetically.

    • Tisha December 15, 2010 at 10:25 AM #

      I can’t tell you how much this argument pisses me off. Whenever someone steps out of the mainstream of society to collect, protect and speak about their own. They are attacked for not caring about the collectiveness of all. Well damnit where is the collective outrage as Nicki getting her behind smacked by a dirty white man? Where was Anderson Cooper on that?

      Why is it wrong for black women to come together and talk about things that effect us as black women? Why do we have to talk about things that effect all women. Why is it such a crime to have something to call our own. A place where we can come and break bread over issues that effect only us?

      I am not condoning any of those actions and yes someone should speak out about it. Someone should rage against the machine and call everyone out on their shit. But this blog has a stated purpose that is it concerned with the issues that effect black women.

      Have you gone to NOW’s website and asked them why they haven’t posted about the communal rapes of Native Alaskan women by the very men that are supposed to be protecting them?

      Yes we all need to come together to combat all forms of aggression, violence, sexism against all women. But there is nothing wrong with black women coming together and caring about our own.

  26. omi December 11, 2010 at 10:13 AM #


    well said.

    • B-Yo December 11, 2010 at 11:01 AM #

      I don’t care to tell you what to write about. I’m just telling you what I’m reading and you haven’t done anything to challenge that interpretation. I also didn’t ask you to justify your outrage. I’m saying you’re very selective in your outrage. Citing one example to the about Regis Philbin does not counterbalance the rest of your blog. It’s like Fox using Juan Williams as proof of their diversity of opinion. You don’t have to talk about every instance of sexism, but your failure to acknowledge even the most obvious examples makes it hard to take you seriously. You put up way too many sexist straw men arguments. I’m down for the cause, just not yours.

      • MB December 11, 2010 at 11:25 AM #

        I’m always perplexed by this line of reasoning, generally expressed by men in relation to sexism, “Well what about sexist/misogynist incident X. Where’s your commentary on that? I don’t see it.”

        1. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Do a google search, for women of color, Charlie Sheen and violence. Let me know what you find.

        2. And we aren’t selective in our outrage. We don’t pretend to be the only radical women of color feminists in the world. We are a collective and we are part of a larger movement that also has things to say, hence the blog roll, guest posting, twitter shout outs to other fam, etc. Their outrage is ours too.

        3. We can’t always be in reaction mode. We do these pieces when the “straw men” as you put it, break this bridge called our backs. Denouncing patriarchy all the time everywhere detracts from building the alternative and growing the world we actually want to see. You don’t have to be down with us but please don’t act like you know us b/c you read our blog entries one day and thought we should have covered something our work prompted you to think about.

    • alisoncecilejohns December 12, 2010 at 11:53 PM #

      i second that, crunktastic.

  27. jalylah December 11, 2010 at 12:56 PM #

    Lawd, Jah bless Crunktastic for having to suffer all these fools. What patience!

    • crunktastic December 11, 2010 at 2:10 PM #

      Girl, quoting Renina, “Jesus be…a fence.” 🙂

      • DJ December 13, 2010 at 1:29 AM #

        Thanks for replying to my response Crunktastic. I definitely agree with and support you in your ongoing efforts to educate and engage us about sexism. While I agree that the convo Jay Electronica engaged in is definitely beneath him and sadly speaks to the kind of sexist language/behavior that is common in the Hiphop world. I am at my wits end to try to think of a forum where Jay can be engaged and transformed. I often feel the same sense of frustration when talking to other brothers about sexist behavior and patriarchy. Sometimes the ignorance is so ingrained that it becomes part of the environment. I believe Jay can be moved away from the idea that this choking talk is somehow appropriate. The real work is in trying to find those safe spaces to uplift and educate us all.

  28. B-Yo December 11, 2010 at 1:00 PM #

    1.) Read closer. I clearly said I was offended by his comments. That part gets missed because some only care about pushing their agenda as opposed to trying to build partnerships that could actually address the problem. I did your search. The first two specific things that came up dealt with Charlie Sheen in relation to (or in addition to) Chris Brown. And I couldn’t find anything specific that simply talked about Charlie Sheen. Now try typing in “Chris Brown, women of color, and violence” or even use “Slim Thug” and tell me what you find. The point is not that you shouldn’t talk about any particular individual, but you should strive to be intellectually honest about what your doing and what your ultimate goal is. I don’t see that here.

    2.) I don’t want you (or anyone else) to always be in reaction mode. That’s the point. This blog is nothing but a reaction.

    3.) So Jay Electronica is the straw that broke your back? Again, you give too much power to such a minor figure and ignore much larger figures. Feel free to do that if you wish, but I don’t see how any of this leads to any tangible gains. It’s a fair point to say that I don’t know “you” (collectively speaking) but, from what I’ve read, that’s how I’d like it to stay. Let me be patriarchal by saying you can have the last word. :o)

    • crunktastic December 11, 2010 at 2:10 PM #


      You’ll note that Racialicious is and has been on our blogroll and that they found this piece important enough to repost, just demonstrating MB’s point that we support other blogs who raise awareness about a range of issues.

      Last thing, It doesn’t seem that you really were all that offended. You have many more words to say about what’s wrong with the post than what’s right about it.

      @MB: This right here is church!–“You don’t have to be down with us but please don’t act like you know us b/c you read our blog entries one day and thought we should have covered something our work prompted you to think about.”

    • Pollypureheart December 11, 2010 at 4:08 PM #

      My sentiments exactly!! If black women want the issue of domestic violence to be SOLELY about black men then come right out and say that and stop pretending you are speaking out about the issue itsself.

      • tmaismb December 11, 2010 at 5:36 PM #

        The thing is, the majority of relationships (and therefore, relational/domestic violence) in the United States are intraracial. The majority of black women (or men) being abused by partners/spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends/significant others are experiencing it at the hands of other black/brown folks. So, yes, we live in a society were violence against women is a pervasive problem. I believe the authors of this blog are focusing on issues that affect black women, though. And from what I’ve read over the past year or so, they do address systemic issues as well.

  29. Pollypureheart December 11, 2010 at 4:03 PM #

    You all say you aren’t being ‘selective’ then why is it ALWAYS rappers and black males you talk crap about then?!! I found Antonie Fiqua’s treatment of Halle Berry is ‘Monster’s Ball’ to be not only VERY sexist but troubling as well. That also goes for D.L. Hughley’s assinine comment about Don Imus and the Rutgers team where are all the 5,000 posts about that?! Plus the point is is that even when you all are griping about how black men supposedly treat us so badly you engage in your own form of tearing down. This attitude of the black male predator has been around for the longest and protest as you might a lot of commentaries on these blogs only exist to renforce that mentality. And I don’t knwo what white women YOU are talking about but every time a white female accuses a white male of ANYTHING she comes under the most fire. And just because she already HAS people watching her back means that there is some justification in the silence of black women? Last time I checked ANY form of violence towards a woman should be met with vitrol from EVERYONE and to turn something like domestic violence something that I take verys eriously into a one-up’s manship of who has ‘more’ concern for their well being is complete bulls**t and smacks of petty jealousy. Who gives a DAMN if she does no man has any business putting their hands on a woman wrong and I certainly don’t remember white people rushing to defend Brooke Mueller. If black women put even HALF of the outrage that you claim to own into positively supporting the ‘sisters’ then where was all the outrage for the teen girl who was held down by one WHITE cop as another WHITE cop punched her in the head?!! Or Megan Williams who was rape,brutalized,tortured,stabbed,scalded with hot water,forced to eat feces,and forced to perform sex acts by her ex WHITE boyfriend’s hillbilly family. Or when Biggie’s widow Faith Evans was thrown through a plate glass window by two WHITE cops and still has shards of glass in her back. Or the disgusting and shameful treatment of Mitrice Richardson who had a mental condition and was forced by WHITE cops out into an unknown area and was later found dead. and don’t even get me started on the 5 year-old in handcuffs you all talk of not being selective with that’s EXACTLY what you are being just like when you damn rappers for misogyny but defend a sleazbag like Bill Clinton I guess misogyny’s only becomes valid when a black man’s doing it. As for the Regis Philbin mention that hardly puts things on an even keel not that you all seem to care please.

    • crunktastic December 11, 2010 at 5:37 PM #

      Sis, I appreciate your passion against sexism. I think we share that. Many of the examples you mentioned happened in the last few years, but we only started this blog in March, hence the lack of commentary on Halle Berry, Don Imus, and some others you mentioned.
      Here is a post in response to the unfortunate incident against the young woman in Seattle, who was punched in the face by the police. I posted that piece back in June.

      I appreciate you for reading, but I think I’ve expressed my own sentiments on the issues at stake, and to the extent that we disagree so be it.

      In peace,


    • Delmar December 13, 2010 at 1:16 PM #

      I found Antonie Fiqua’s treatment of Halle Berry is ‘Monster’s Ball’ to be not only VERY sexist but troubling as well.

      [Antoine Fuqua] was in no way affiliated with Monster’s Ball. He was neither producer nor director. I think who you mean is Lee Daniels or Marc Forster.

      Carry on.

    • Nell December 16, 2010 at 1:41 PM #

      where are YOUR comments on these incidences? where is YOUR blog against supporting these types of practices?
      the fact is that acts of violence against women, especially against women of color, occur EVERY DAY. actually, i believe it’s something like every hour. not blog can cover and put out a concise article about every single issue of violence. however, they can (as this blog does), point out some instances in pop culture that speak to a myriad of issues.
      this topic comes from comments from a black man, yes, but this article is not about him, black men, or hip hop. it is about violence against women. we need to stop focusing on how this makes black men look. most of he comments about For Colored Girls i heard the day after the premiere were about how it made black men look. not about the violence (or the plethora of other issues of the film) against women. we need to stay on the topic.

      • Pollypureheart February 12, 2011 at 12:49 PM #

        The HELL it’s not about black men or hip hop and like I said on MY blog I go in on EVERYBODY! I understand you can’t be all places at once or speak to every incident but you all seem to not even make ANY attempt to speak out unless it’s a black man it that’s not being selective then I don’t know what is. And why is it whn I or anyone questions it you all want to shut me down yet you whine about not being ‘silenced’?! HYPOCRITES! By the way Stacy Dash just divorced her WHITE husband who she said was beating her.

  30. D-Chubb December 11, 2010 at 6:07 PM #

    This is the first time I’ve visited your blog and I have to say so far I like what I read. And to all you who have complaints, if you take so much offense to what is said here, START YOUR OWN DAMN BLOG. It ain’t that expensive. That way the the issues that you want to be discussed will be. Until then you got nothing to say.

    • Pollypureheart December 12, 2010 at 5:26 PM #

      Well when I do I’m going after EVERYONE and not only certain people.

      • Casey December 17, 2010 at 3:13 AM #

        OMG STFU

  31. a daughter of yemonya December 12, 2010 at 9:12 PM #

    I was quite excited upon hearing about JE’s signing with JZ (I am no fan of JZ’s music but when he speaks I do enjoy to hear him and knows he exhibits signs of simple brilliance…the dichotomy…hmmm). I thought the signing could be a push for more intelligible music, and interplanetary audible lyrics and images being heard in mainstream airwaves. I was born and grew up alongside hip hop and now that I am an adult I am looking back at not only my development through the years but hip hop’s as well… I am curious…

    I have just recently (yesterday) come upon Jay’s comment and have gone through a myriad of emotions and at the very root of it I am confused and concerned at the state of the world especially as it relates to women. My husband and I have been avid appreciators of J.E. and his music, lyrics and overall character (from what we of course are privy to). I too understand we are all human…however, I do find this situation very baffling on many levels but mostly unsettling metaphysically, karmicly (not sure if it’s a word but I hope my gist is gotten;)) spiritually and even generationaly…I digress

    My husband and I went to a Mos Def concert in ATL and JE opened for him, we were just as excited to see him perform…his energy was off the charts his flow was fluid and his charisma was aces. After his set he did something very different he led the whole audience in a non religious, universal yet sincere and divine word of non specific prayer. I thought the words he chose were poignant but the whole act quite different we both felt (after discussing on the way home that evening) that that prayer really set another tone for that evening and the crowd seemed more united (maybe it was just us). No one heckled him, told him to shut up…I fact many of us united hands, hearts and spirits. And I am unsure of whether he did it at each and every concert but that is a thought worth pondering. BTW both Mighty mos and JE ROCKED IT that night!!

    I feel that had I gone to his concert in Seattle and he began or ended his set with the question he is NOW posing to audiences worldwide, I would have felt entirely different, not to mention the energy of the crowd. I know I would have left the building until Mos came on and then maybe would haven’t even stayed for his concert only feeling he could be “guilty by association” especially if it was polled at every concert…again I digress a bit…

    After the concert, a friend of our was good friends with Mos and wanted to introduce us which was an added bonus of the evening so we waited outside and while we were waiting we were graced by JE…he wasn’t talking to everyone either, but he came and spoke to us (a group of sisters and my husband) and we inquired about his daughter and her well-being and he beamed a ray of light and broke out his cell phone and shared pictures and a brief story about Mars. Being a mother of two, a wife, daughter and aunt I felt his joy radiate and was touched to be a part of that moment with him…So fast forward to the present when I heard, read and meditated on the poll/bet he is posing I found my disturbance in these points here…
    (Like you I know that consenting adults do what they like when they like and that’s one thing so rough sex, violent sex to each their own) BUT when attending a concert and having the person I am coming to see pose a question of this nature: 1.knowing there are minors present (he make his disclaimer in the video of him in Seattle) 2.knowing women are present and I am assuming this next point (based on the words he prayed at his previous concert) but 3.knowing the seed you are planting by stating a question of this nature in the minds of the public, the universe over and over again really upset me, saddened me and also alarmed me, at the lack of respect and consideration for the women from whence he came from and fathered. It alarmed me also because I had just seen a clip of Kanye’s new video Monster and there are many images just in the 40 second preview of women (mannequins) hanging from ceiling and Kanye kissing dead looking women, while fondling their genitalia, and knowing the connection between KW, JZ and now JE and praying that this is not the next level of abuse on women. I really am not against nor in support of the conspiracy theories but I am aware of my ancestors and spiritual guides and the knowledge of the power of words and ritual and I do stand firm in stating that this is a dangerous thread to “gamble” with…I know for a fact if his under aged daughter went to a concert and this was a topic of discussion AND GODDESS forbid a choking/sex incident like this occurred to his under aged daughter IT WOULD BE NO LAUGHING MATTER.

    I am aware as adults we are all given choices and it is up to us as individuals to make our choices (right or wrong) and deal with the outcomes (positive or negative). The reasons as to the “whys” of this question are mute to me…was it a pub stunt, is it an initiation, was it “male” humor, is it really just a bet, is it linked to a song or was it simply a joke. However, the repercussions are what concern me.

    I know we all make thoughtless mistakes and because I know of second chances I am prayerful that JE will step up and admit to his irresponsibility of this poll and right the wrongs that he has set into motion…and if he doesn’t I can no longer support this brother based of the fact that I am a woman, daughter, sister, wife, and come from a divine line of women.

    I am grateful to you for this blog and posting and making a united stand.

    Peace, love and positive motion with the ocean by the light of the moon goddess…
    a daughter of Yemonya

    • alisoncecilejohns December 13, 2010 at 1:27 AM #

      Daughter of Yemonja – I really appreciate what you had to say, the detail and the thoughtfulness.

  32. NA December 12, 2010 at 11:39 PM #

    I appreciate this blog generally, but esp. this post. I don’t have much of anything to add, except I hope it opens up further discussions with young women about consent, safety and respect, as it has for me. Oh and peace to the woman who spoke up at the concert if you are reading this or come across it one day. I don’t know if I would have been as courageous…

  33. a daughter of yemonya December 14, 2010 at 10:46 PM #

    Peace to all, based upon the discussions and energy here with this topic (along with other situations of varying degrees) I am putting out a call to all women of all backgrounds, ages etc to join myself and several other women across the world in a very special healing full moon ceremony.

    The full Moon is a time when women would come together to celebrate themselves and the Spirit of Great Mother Moon. It is a time to give thanks for lessons and blessings since the last full moon. In this case this being the last moon of this cycle, it is time to reflect and give thanks for things received throughout the year and also to put prayers into the Universe for the upcoming year. Our ancestors new and worked with collective energy doing rituals and prayer circles together to add ashe, Spiritual power to the energy. We have the power to use that same energy to bring balance and harmony to our lives right now.


    At 11:15 pm EST on December 21, 2010, we would like every woman to go outside, read aloud the group affirmation of unity, wealth, success and prosperity. While facing the moon lift your largest purse up towards the heavens and open it up asking the Moon to please fill up our bags with unity, wealth, success, prosperity and all good things for our collective upliftment While your purses are held high say fill them up 3 times.


    We come to you humble this evening and in prayer for the upliftment of our communities and for our families, children and for our own spiritual preservation. We ask for guidance to help direct our minds, and spirit in reconnecting with our truest selves, to know and to believe that our bodies are sacred vessels, that our wombs are the homes of the souls returning ,that we are not without fault but we must begin to forgive ourselves and others for any transgressions known and unknown. We pray for healing of our bodies, our spirits, and our minds. We pray for the upliftment of the children, that they will be protected, nurtured and loved.

    Please fill us up with joy, good health, hope, happiness, peace of mind, good character, gentle character, self love, self determination, moral courage, self-worth,& unity please fill up ours purses with prosperity, wealth, and abundance. Then say: (fill them up, fill them up, fill them up) (your confirmation statement)


    peace love and positive motion of the ocean by the light of the moon goddess

  34. mike December 15, 2010 at 2:53 AM #

    yeesh. y’all are too sensitive.

    • Casey December 17, 2010 at 3:14 AM #

      Piss off, Mike.

  35. maria December 28, 2010 at 11:56 PM #

    I read this and while I could comment on Jay’s truly sad and ignorant comments, I really would like to start a list of people who would have stood in solidarity with the woman screaming “THATS NOT FUNNY!”

    I WOULD.


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