Thursday, January 29, 2015

Usher!! WHAT are you DOING???

I guess Usher has sold out. In his latest release, "I don't mind," which is an ode to a stripper, he sings that it's ok for her to objectify herself for money as long as he retains sexual possession of her.  He praises her and encourages her for making money exploiting the men who come to the club.  This encourages women to become strippers, and men to patronize them.  Is everybody ok with this?

Theres a double standard in our culture because no sane parent would encourage their own daughter to dance provocatively for money and yet someone is buying this album and listening to it.  Praising women who pole dance and writing SONGS about it--this is creating a culture that accepts and encourages exploitation of sexuality in men and women, fosters unhealthy relationships to sex including obsession and compulsion, fosters a culture that VALUES self-exploitation and materialism above humanity.  There is a price that men and women pay who participate in sexually exploitive transactions that makes it a careless, degrading and harmful choice for all involved.

I guess Usher has never claimed to be a feminist or an advocate for people of color or for disadvantaged or impoverished communities in this country, but I guess i'm disappointed in his lack of sensitivity to the pervasiveness of  inequality in our culture.  I know, some people claim that stripping is "empowering" for the women who do it, but OFTEN women who choose this occupation have compromised emotional and psychological health as the result of abuse, making it that much more exploitive and an extension of the abuse.

There is not a SINGLE man i have spoken to who has said, "YES, i'd LOVE it if my daughter worked as a stripper" but none of them can articulate why.  They claim that its OK to patronize strip clubs and objectify the women who work there because its the women's CHOICE.  Many men have said that they would definitely NOT date a woman in that profession.  Why?  None of them can tell me why this double standard is acceptable to them.  Its definitively unacceptable to ME.

Here's why:  The stripping industry harms men and women.  Exploitive behavior harms everyone involved.  Objectification harms everyone involved.  Legal, encouraged and serenaded objectification creates a culture that exploits men and dehumanizes women.

Why do i feel like i need to speak up about this?  why can't i just let it go and say "well, its their choice"?  BECAUSE it harms me and the people I love directly.   Commodifying the objectification of women makes it culturally acceptable to commodify women and women's sexuality.  This dehumanizes women and contributes to a culture of disrespect toward ALL women.  a culture that accepts this transaction does a disservice to its men by blurring these boundaries and cultivating mixed messages, and disrespect for women as a cultural standard.  Usher's song cosigns the dehumanization of men and women and therefore, Usher actively participates in the oppression of women and the exploitation of men.  I wish he felt ashamed.  Instead he is proud of his success, praised by all who benefit materially from the production of this song and the listeners who finance their own dehumanization.

This song is an act of terrorism.  Its a burka.  its casting a veil on the humanity of women and enslaving them to the role of servitude forever.  its a cultural disaster and it makes me so, so sad!  The lack of compassion that it takes to ignore all these deeply harmful side effects is beyond irresponsible.  Until we recognize all women as our daughters, and cherish and respect them by treating them as valuable human beings, we participate in our own oppression.


  1. Thank GOD i'm not the only one noticing that this is happening!!!

  2. not to mention Caroline Heldman. THANK you Caroline!! check out her Ted Talk:

  3. and Russell Brand