If you’re defending Boosie’s disturbing parenting remarks, this is for you
OPINION: Author, professor and TV host Marc Lamont Hill breaks down why the rapper's recent comments are steeped in toxic masculinity, misogyny and homophobia
Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual abuse and violence. Earlier this week, rapper Boosie Badazz stirred up controversy
Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual abuse and violence.
Earlier this week, rapper Boosie Badazz stirred up controversy when he went on Instagram Live and offered his views on raising children. In a disturbing display of homophobia, misogyny, and all-around sh*tty parenting, Boosie explained how he prepares his sons and nephews for manhood:
“I’m training these boys right, I’m training these boys right,” Boosie said during his live session on Monday. “Ask any of my nephews, ask any of them, ask my son. Yeah, when they was 12, 13, they got head. Yeah, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Hell yeah I got my f**kin’ son d**k sucked. You f**kin’ right.
READ MORE: Boosie draws the ire of social media after refusing to apologize for Zaya Wade comments
“Yes, a grown woman, grown, super grown…checked his ass out,” he added. “Checked all my nephews out, super grown. Is she grown? She check me out. I know what the f**k she did to them; she checked me out, that b*tch. I’m getting them prepared, man.”
As expected, the public responded with appropriate disgust and dismissal of Boosie’s comments. Not to be outdone, however, the sexual violence contingent of social media rushed to his defense. Here are some of the main points, along with my reaction to them.
I don’t see what the big deal is.
As it turns out, arranging for your 12-year-old son to have sex with an adult is a big deal. It is also rape. If you don’t begin from this premise, you should not read further. Also, you are probably a terrible person.
I see how what Boosie did wasn’t cool. But rape though?
At the legal level, the answer to this question is “absolutely.” A child cannot legally consent to sex with an adult, even with parental approval. There is no permission slip for underage sex.
I see how it’s illegal. But is it RAPE rape?
YES, nigga. And the question itself is a function of rape culture, which teaches us to normalize rape and other forms of sexual violence within everyday life. Rape culture is why we are taught to doubt victims, place the burden of not being raped on women, and ritually excuse the behavior of men who engage in acts of violence. And rape culture is also why we act like a grown-ass adult having sex with a middle schooler is a rite of passage rather than an act of violence.
[Free advice: Stay away from anyone who uses the expression “RAPE rape.”]
I thought rape culture was only against women
Rape culture is absolutely a function of living in a male-dominated society. All of our laws, institutions, and systems are designed to protect men from accountability for sexual violence against women. These systems also teach us to see male sexual domination as natural and normal.
As a result, we are encouraged to think of rape as something that only happens to women, girls, gay men, and others who we deem to be “insufficiently masculine.” So even our acceptance of sexual violence against men and boys is connected to the fact that we regard them as being like the women whose abuse we’ve already normalized. Patriarchy and misogyny win again.
Boosie’s son is old enough to know what he wants!
Three months ago, Boosie weighed in on Dwyane Wade’s support of his trans daughter Zaya. In his transphobic tirade, Boosie said: “That is a male. A 12-year-old. At 12, they don’t even know what they next meal gon’ be. They don’t have shit figured out yet.”
READ MORE: Boosie Badazz allegedly gets kicked out of Planet Fitness for comments about Zaya Wade
Given his own logic, I wonder how Boosie could be sure that this is what his son wanted. Also, in a world where Black boys are viewed as men, and Black men are seen as hypersexual, there is no space for a boy who doesn’t feel ready to have sex. Or one who doesn’t desire girls at all. Or one who just doesn’t want to engage in a ritual sex act arranged by his father.
Imagine how difficult it is for a boy to explain this to Boosie or any other similar father. We can’t say what Boosie’s son wanted, but there was certainly no room for him to say what he didn’t want.
Boosie just wants to make sure his son turns out straight.
This homophobic logic comes from the “masculinity is under attack” wing of the community. Rather than celebrating the (slow!) acceptance of LGBTQI identities within society, this group feels that Black men are being “turned gay” or “emasculated” as a plot to sink the race.
Fun fact #1: There have always been queer, trans, and non-gender conforming people within our society.
Fun fact #2: Forcing your young male children to have sex with grown women does not make them straight.
Fun Fact #3: Forcing children to have sex can create trauma, which makes them much more likely to develop unhealthy sexual attitudes and practices.
Mind your own business!
Two months after offering unsolicited parenting advice to Dwyane Wade, I’m sure Boosie understands that public declarations produce public responses. These responses are even more likely when you make an IG video telling the world about your controversial parenting philosophies.
Yes, people have a right to raise their children in ways that reflect their values and beliefs. But as a community, we have a right to intervene if we believe that something harmful is happening. What if Boosie had announced that he liked to starve his children? What if he said that he refused to send them to school? Or, more tellingly, what if he said he did the exact same thing to his 12-year-old daughter? No one would be telling us to mind our own business.
It’s also fascinating how selective we are when it comes to staying silent. Where are all the brothers who defended the right to check their daughters’ hymens? Where are all the dudes who were outraged at moms who do pole work with their daughters? Suddenly, the same men who feigned concern for the welfare of children are quiet in the face of Boosie’s recent revelations.
The responses to Boosie are telling. Many people don’t really care about protecting children. Instead, they are merely fighting to defend toxic masculinity and police the lives and bodies of women and girls. Boosie’s comments were a problem, but the public reaction exposes a far more dangerous one.
Marc Lamont Hill is the host of BET News. He is also the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University. He can be followed on all social media @marclamonthill.
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