January 18, 2012

Now that he has a baby girl, Jay-Z will eschew the word "bitch."

Is that enough?

Is it even admirable? If you do something only when you've acquired a self-interest, it seems to me it would be more admirable to continue doing what you were doing before.

AND: Apparently, Jay-Z is taking my advice.

70 comments:

chickenlittle said...

Is it even admirable? If you do something only when you've acquired a self-interest, it seems to me it would be more admirable to continue doing what you were doing before.

Strongly disagree. I've had neighbors who sobered up and got a life after they had kids.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's admirable, but it is the right thing to do. The right reason for doing it is because his use of the word was offensive all along. If he were to come out and admit that, and apologize, that would be admirable.

Sorun said...

I have low expectations.

MayBee said...

So Beyonce didn't inspire him to stop using the word "bitch", huh?

Ann Althouse said...

@chicken If he thought it was good to say "bitch" when billions of women already exist, he should stick to his convictions. The entree of one more female in the world doesn't change the moral calculus. It's not a question of lack of sobriety and not having a life. He had a fine life before. He should have raised his game before it became a matter of protecting his own precious child. Then it would have meant something.

ricpic said...

Greatest car sticker I ever saw:

ESCHEW OBFUSCATION

Ann Althouse said...

What does it mean? I thought women were lowly and deserving of abuse, but then I had a baby girl, so I changed my mind. Which, btw, is pretty insulting to his wife.

traditionalguy said...

Vulgarity is like shouting to get attention when no one loves us. It never works.

But once a man gets his baby's attention, then he has no more need to demand attention with vulgarity.

The human drama of sport goes on with a once spoiled brat Vernon Davis of the SF 49s turning himself into a leader and a star this past weekend.

Human love is still the most powerful force around.

ricpic said...

A gangsta must never stop being utterly repulsive in thought, speech and deed or what kinda gangsta dat?!

Petunia said...

Jay-Z came out today and said the poem and claim are fake.

So apparently he's going to keep on using the word. Who buys his crappy music anyway?

mccullough said...

Jay-Z is married to the mother of his daughter. This is progress. Let's give the guy some credit for evolving.

edutcher said...

I give it a week.

Or at least until his next album.

phx said...

If you do something only when you've acquired a self-interest, it seems to me it would be more admirable to continue doing what you were doing before.

It's not about being admirable. If you turn it into an issue of being admirable or not you get that kind of confusion above.

It's about doing your best, IMO. What he should have done isn't important now.

MadisonMan said...

So he owns no female dogs?

phx said...

What does it mean? I thought women were lowly and deserving of abuse, but then I had a baby girl, so I changed my mind. Which, btw, is pretty insulting to his wife.

How is it better if he sticks to his guns? Because it shows more character? I think Althouse is likening it to a jailhouse conversion, which maybe it is. But why sit in judgment as if you know what's what with this guy? Judging people is a really dicey business.

chickenlittle said...

@Althouse: I'm not sure I follow your logic. If the guy actually learned something, why shouldn't he be allowed to change (assuming he's sincere)? It may be more consistent for him to walk around with his old opinions but I don't think it's admirable.

Amartel said...

All the other women are still bitches. HIS baby girl can't be a bitch, though. It's HIS baby and calling it a bitch would reflect badly on him. It's all about him. So the word is now banned.

If the baby was a boy he'd still be using the word.

Would be great if it was baby's first word, and she was looking right at him when she said it.

Chip S. said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson on line 1.

Mike Bruner said...

agreed

Superdad said...

We used to judge/evaluate/etc. (pick a verb) a person based on their conduct. Now we want to climb inside their head and judge/evaluate them based on their motives. Why?

Just be happy that one less idiot is calling women bitches and move on.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Is it better if he, at least once, liked to be tricky w/ that word?

"GROSS: And again, it's the clean version so a lot of the words are going to sound kind of...

JAY-Z: It's the second verse, the...

GROSS: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I will say that one of the words that isn't clearly said here because it's distorted - because it's the clean version - is the word bitch, which in the context of this part of the song means dog, because you're talking about K-9 dogs here.

JAY-Z: Yeah.

GROSS: Because the K-9...

JAY-Z: Yeah. And that was my – and that was the writer in me being provocative, because that's what rap should be as well, you know, at times. That was really directed to all the people who hear buzzwords in rap music.

They hear bitch or ho or something and immediately dismiss everything else that, you know, takes place. And everything has to be put in context. And when you put it in context, you realize that I wasn't calling any female, besides the female dog, a bitch on this song.

GROSS: And is that in spite of the opening part that says: If you're having girl problems I feel bad for you, son. I've got 99 problems but the bitch ain't one.

JAY-Z: Yeah, that was to lead the listener down the wrong path if you were looking for that sort of thing."

dbp said...

When you are wrong, it is better to change your mind eventually than never.

Jay said...

I'd happily call his baby girl "bitch" if I ever saw them in person.

I bet he'd just shrug it off like some many others are supposed to.

Right?

Sigivald said...

Petunia asked: Who buys his crappy music anyway?

Evidently some millions of people.

Not me, not because he says "bitch", but because he's not my style of rap. (I prefer technical New York style.)

Maguro said...

But will he eschew the word "beeyotch" as well?

chickenlittle said...

OK, I just reread the story. So why doesn't the author focus on the unrepentant instead of the new father? Why not focus her opprobrium on the ones still out there doing the abhorrent? Is she intimidated by them more somehow?

Her mode of thinking reminds me of people who love to beat up on Christians while ignoring much more intolerant religions.

Amartel said...

Like, yeah, man, it's not misogynistic, it's provocative, it's like challenging certain[racist] people to think from a different perspective, leading them down the wrong path if that's what they think they want to hear. Er. And, um, also maybe once I was referring to a dog. And stuff. Like. Yaknow. That.

. . .

C'mon, you GUYS, buy my product.

rhhardin said...

Bitch is a fine word, and should be used when appropriate.

It's finely honed to a human interest and situation.

Actually it's honed to a variety of them.

"I'm married to a bitch" is a precise explanation of time spent on the golf course, for example. You don't need more information.

PC is the enemy of language.

David said...

" Which, btw, is pretty insulting to his wife."

Yeah, but the little girl is his daughter forever. The marriage will be over before she is in first grade.

toby said...

We just adopted a black child and we stopped using "nigger."

David said...

The word "Bitch" used to be thrown around indiscriminately. This was an insult to women generally.

Nowadays the polite man will use the word sparingly, only when richly deserved and therefore to much better effect.

This is progress.

toby said...

Our neighbors just adopted a baby from Mexico, they stopped using beaner.

toby said...

My cousin just adopted a baby from war torn Iraq, we all stopped using towelhead.

phx said...
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phx said...
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Amartel said...

Exactly. Just try to use the word like you would use any other word, effectively. Not all the time, like a poser or someone who didn't get past the 3rd grade. Not as a greeting. Not as a reaction to random unpleasantness. Etc. etc. And don't stop useage just because it might reflect badly on you.

Lyle said...

Jay-Z is fronting to a certain audience of people, I think. Maybe he is becoming a more mature person, but it says something about people if they don't change until they have kids.

I total agree with Althouse.

phx said...

it says something about people if they don't change until they have kids.

I total agree with Althouse.


Sure, but she seems to be saying it's better if they never change. Is that how you feel?

R. Chatt said...

If life experience doesn't result in any kind of growth of character and deepening of understanding then life is merely a mindless repetition or variations of actions and activities.

Is that what some people want or think is desirable?

Jay-Z's rep's say he didn't issue that statement, and he'll continue using the word "bitch" in his lyrics. After all, he is a business man.

Does he use the epithet in his relationships with his wife and daughter? I seriously doubt it. The "macho man" is a fictional hero to men who are uncomfortable communicating with women, among other things.

Is that the difference between a strong and a weak man

Amartel said...

Uh oh. Newt's ex on teevee attempting to sink campaign. My guess is Newt will not be eschewing the word "bitch."

Amartel said...

See Drudge. ABC News debating the "ethics" of airing the video of the Newt ex-wife interview before the primary. Which means they're debating what would Obama want them to do. Bet they call the WH for direction. Ethics.

Lyle said...

phx,

I don't think Althouse is saying that. I think she's pointing out Jay-Z's fronting... which is to say he hasn't matured or changed, but is just saying it now for whatever reason, and that it would be more admirable of him to not pretend he was somebody other than who he is... and that's Jay-Z the rapper who is like bitch this and bitch that.

JayZ said...

Yes,

I took the advice of this law gal from WI.

Word to your mother.

[You can't see it but I'm displaying menacing hand gestures.] [And, my pants hang low.]

phx said...

@Lyle gotcha

Quaestor said...

Some fans were quick to question the poem's authenticity.

Authenticity? Never mind the sentiment or authorship, what I immediately questioned was the meter.

Ann wrote:
Is it even admirable? If you do something only when you've acquired a self-interest, it seems to me it would be more admirable to continue doing what you were doing before

I agree. Jay-Z changing his tune is tantamount to those fashionably green liberals on Martha's Vineyard who loudly praise wind-generated electricity power yet hire expensive attorneys to block turbine farm projects that might spoil their vistas. A moral code that hinges on self-interest -- e.g. women are bitches, except my daughter, who is not a bitch because she's mine; wind power is morally superior to coal-fired generation except when the turbines spoil my view of the regatta course -- is hardly a moral code at all. It's merely pretense, and thoroughly reprehensible.

Gangsta is the lowest form of "performance art" I can think of with little redeeming value, and its practitioners are contemptible in my estimation. Yet a rapper who sticks by his rhetorical guns is slightly less contemptible.

My 2¢ worth.

Scott M said...

Ditto chickenlittle

Doubling down on wrong is double wrong. I'm surprised at your sentiment in this regard, Ann. Your response to CL's original point doesn't seem to negate it, in that there are people who's lives changed for the better after having children and, for a concise way of putting it, grew up themselves.

You can't put yourself in his head, so you can't know his thinking prior to becoming a father.

chickenlittle said...

A moral code that hinges on self-interest ...-- is hardly a moral code at all.

Well, there is a bit of self interest in the Golden Rule, though it is beautifully reciprocal.

Evolution also preaches or relies on self-interest, though it's hardly a moral code. A code, yes.

I see a subtext to Althouse's thesis which I might state as "it's wrong for people to mature after having children or perhaps to even change one's way of thinking." This may just be a concocted defensive posture to coddle grown adolescents who think they know better, or as well, about parenting.

Penny said...

This is a bogus story, per TMZ.

But what if Jay-Z embraces instead of eschews the message of the bogosity?

LoafingOaf said...

I don't know jack about Jay Z or his music. But, in general, I suspect many ageing rappers feel lucky their careers lasted more than an album or two but with that comes the problem, perhaps, of being a prisoner to your public image.

When you're young and raw off the streets, you can naturally have a "I don't give a fuck" attitude. And if you're rapping something hella offensive, you can say this is the world you came out of so it's not even your fault. You're just spitting out what's in your mind in an uncensored fashion, without reflecting on whether it's right or wrong. And that excites people about rap music.

But it becomes silly when an ageing and wealthy and now-sheltered rapper whose had time to reflect on things stays stuck in that image as if he hasn't evolved as a human being. If you don't have that evolution in your music fast (like, say, The Beastie Boys) you might fear your fanbase demands it and you'll be replaced if the fans think you've become a pussy.

So, maybe a lot of these rappers who are surprised to find they have long careers often wish they could get away from some of the stuff they spew, but they're scared. So they wanna find a way to be freed from it while offering a macho explanation. They might see a way to do that as that they're trying to be a Real Man to their kids.

I've noticed that from other rappers, anyway. Like, I'm still a gang-banger, but I got mouths to feed so I can't be stupid. Gotta be a Man to my kids. But I got so much money I'll still hire someone to kill your ass.

I dunno, just babbling now. But if he changed for his wife, he'd look "pussy-whipped". If he changed because of feminists in the media, he'd look weak. If he changed for his daughter, though, he can present it as more macho.

LoafingOaf said...

"NEW YORK (AP) - An ABC News executive tells The Associated Press that the network has interviewed Newt Gingrich's second wife and is likely to air the segment Thursday on 'Nightline.'"

I'll have my popcorn ready!

Uh oh, the political hero to some of the commenters here is pooping his pants right about now! LOL "THAT BITCH!!!!"

Penny said...

I'm not so sure that I would give credit to the gossip columns for that change in thinking if I were Jay-Z. It would be my daughter, Blue Ivy, all the way.

LoafingOaf said...

Oh, Romey's got money in the Caymans?

It's looking like the GOP might have to have a brokered convention and bring in someone entirely outside this sorry-ass field of losers.

Penny said...

Loafing Oaf, your glass is half empty.

Dontcha know that wherever there's a vote...there's a winner.

john said...

GESUNDHEIT.

Why has no one said this yet?

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny said...

No clue, John?

But you're excused for sure.

Nearly everyone is sneezing! It's flu season, for cripes sake.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

chickenlittle wrote:
Well, there is a bit of self interest in the Golden Rule, though it is beautifully reciprocal. Evolution also preaches or relies on self-interest, though it's hardly a moral code. A code, yes.

I don't clearly see self interest in the Golden Rule, though it may be there plainly to others more clever than myself, since the admonition "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is neither conditional, nor does it imply a guarantee of reciprocity.

Here are a few lines from Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons which illustrate my point somewhat --

Sir Thomas More (paraphrasing Augustine and Aristole): But look now, if we lived in a state where virtue was profitable common sense would make us saintly, but since we see that avarice, anger, pride, and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice, and thought perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.

We’ve had a shortage of heroes in this nation state lately, not that I would characterize the unrepentant use of bitch in the pejorative sense heroic. I mean to say that by his wavering Jay-Z reveals his misogyny to owe less to conviction, however ill-mannered, than to calculation based on the expectations of his audience, which seems to me to be belly crawling of the first order. Jay-Z may stalk around the stage like a tiger roaring and baring his fangs, but he's really just a another pussy.

chickenlittle said...

@Quaestor: The Golden Rule without self interest and implied reciprocity:

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto others"

That's a one word change. One could even shorten it to recite:

"Do unto others as they do unto others"

That's harsh and selfless.

William said...

There are stories in the papers about Blue Ivy's birth suite. She had the whole floor of a hospital. This is a child born into considerable privilege and entitlement, and I doubt if she will be given any encouragement to be self effacing. My guess is that in later years she will be hearing the word "bitch" quite a lot so it's just as well that her father teaches her about it.

William said...

Do one to others before they do one to you.

EMD said...

He imagined Blue Ivy was going to be a boy.

Penny said...

Oh for cripes sake. ha ha

Parsing the "Golden Rule"?

What pissed you off? The yellowy sunshine or the shit brown?

Tom Spaulding said...

I'm gonna judge Jay-Z by the content of his character.

chickenlittle said...

Penny wrote: What pissed you off? The yellowy sunshine or the shit brown?

The offer still stands. If you're still game.

sleepless nights said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

Now he's got 100 problems, and "bitch" is one.

gerry said...

He's a rapper. And remember, the "C" in rap is silent.

This is just more proof of the genre, such as it is.

Fernandinande said...

I'm glad to say that I don't know who "Jay-Z" is.

Kit said...

If someone were to enter recovery, from say, an addiction because their life was in the shit's and out of self-interest wanted something better...they stay in long enough to turn things around and become asset to society, instead of a liability, is this not at some level admirable?