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P. Diddy's Misogyny And Misogynoir Are The Red Flags His Victims Ignore

What part of Diddy's, rap and hip hop artists' disrespect and hatred for women as objects and 'hos' lead them not to *expect* partner abuse?

Oh my, will you look at that. Rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs assaulted his girlfriend in a motel hall back in 2016.

Warning: It’s graphic!

Combs assaults and kicks then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura and proceeds to drag her out of view caveman-style. Way to go perpetuating ugly stereotypes about Neanderthal black men, Diddster!

Ventura sued him in 2023, alleging years of abuse. Her story is as stock as everyone else’s by a popular celebrity: Young, dumb and full of—naivete.

Inexperience allows the man to control her. Marilyn Manson thrived on clueless young women.

Naivete doesn’t explain everything. There’s a cost benefit analysis factoring into a woman’s decision to tolerate abuse by anyone, and especially the status that accompanies being the ‘bitch’ of a glamorous celebrity. Given popular music’s bloody, black-and-blue history, it’s clearly the price you pay to be with him. As noted by Manson.

Kat Rosenfield has penned an interesting analysis defending violent rap lyrics and other misogynist content against charges that it allegedly promotes and encourages real-world violence. She correctly argues that many artists write about violence without ever murdering anyone, unlike the female author who murdered her husband after writing an essay on how to murder your husband.

Not everyone who raps, sings, writes, or creates violent content is necessarily an abuser or killer in progress, as Rosenfield notes, but what she doesn’t address is that which amounts to red flags.

In other words, are the violent, abusive words coming from the heart or as commentary?

I support Rosenfield’s contention that violent content shouldn’t be censored. Wannabe authoritarians invariably use it to justify censorship, including against non-violent expression, as exemplified by the woke left who claim alleged group harm as an excuse to ban critical content and pushback it doesn’t like.

What bothers me far more about Sean Combs, other rappers and hip hop artists accused or convicted of domestic violence, is why, as I’ve wondered so many times before, women, and particularly black women, are so willing to enter relationships with these guys. Do they not listen to their albums? Watch their videos? Do they not grasp the misogyny and gross disrespect for women that saturates gangster rap and hip-hop? Do they not notice how much black women are mistreated, hypersexualized, and objectified by these artists in their videos? Most especially, the criminal records of so many popular artists, the rap sheets longer than their discographies, the bodies piled in cemeteries from real-life rap battles and rival eliminations?

Mom Dukes cryin', baby moms full of grief
How she gonna tell her son his daddy is deceased?
Now she got beef with them bitches up the street
All because I used to creep with her girlfriend Sharese
She knows, I keep the hoes, from nation, to nation
On every radio station, Goodfellas in rotation, uh
-Diddy, What Ya Gonna Do

Red flags, red flags, red flags, ladies! What part of ‘Don’t get involved with men who hate women’ don’t you understand?

“See, we date 'em like we hate 'em,
See 'em like we don't need 'em
Treat 'em like we beat 'em,
And never give up freedom”
The World Is Filled - Diddy & the Notorious B.I.G.

And what about Diddy himself? Or Puffball Daddy, P Diddley, or whatever the hell he calls himself now? Did he offer any kind of clue that he might be the kind of guy who would beat and kick a woman in a hallway? Could anyone have possibly seen this coming? I mean apart from his loooooong history of violence against women stretching back to his college days?

Combs has quite a checkered history. Since Cassie Ventura’s lawsuit, three other women have come forward similarly alleging abuse and revenge porn. His home was raided by Homeland Security in March investigating for alleged sex trafficking. He’s been charged with assaulting a record label manager and several others over the decades; he was implicated in a gunfire incident in Manhattan in 1999; a 2024 lawsuit alleges Combs drugged and sexually assaulted a music producer and forced him to have sex with sex workers; and that he paid to cover up a story of his son Christian allegedly assaulting a woman on his yacht. And ex-classmates at Howard University allege then-student Combs publicly beat his girlfriend with a belt.

If only his victims had had some sort of clue.

Violent content is a massive flapping red flag

The difference is in how the artist ultimately treats the violent acts they depict. How serious do we think they are?

The Dixie Chicks song Goodbye Earl is a funny, clever video I simply can’t take seriously as a violent call to action against abusive husbands. It’s obviously a silly revenge fantasy that clearly would not likely go down so successfully in real-life. Like it didn’t for the essayist who actually murdered her husband. Also, I have no reason to believe the Dixie Chicks ever supported actual violence against men.

Just as I don’t suspect Anthony Hopkins or Christian Bale of being serial killers.

The red flag is whether the content subtly expresses suggestion such behavior is okay. Or that the artist supports it.

And therein lies the problem for Combs, R Kelly, and others who sing or rap boastfully about violence against women and others without any sort of moral signal that this isn’t poetic license, but what they believe and have internalized.

Especially when one is dragging a woman through a hallway like Alley Oop.

Beat yo ho

Where does this misogynoir come from?

Black women suffer a higher domestic violence rate than other women. The National Center for Domestic Violence reports that 45% of black women experience intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or stalking in their lifetimes. IPV is also responsible for over half of domestic homicides for black women. Hispanic and white women follow, in that order.

Other research shows that black women under 30 are three times more likely to experience IPV than those between 30-40. And those living in poverty are three times more likely to experience it.

(45%? Seriously, black sisters? 45%???)

Power imbalance marks one of the primary elements of an abusive relationship, and it’s never so stark as when one is a rich celebrity and the other is not.

Evolutionarily, women are hypergamous, attracted to men with power and wealth. The survival strategy evolved for ensuring a man with sufficient resources to care for the woman and her children. The trade-off was he could do whatever he wanted, with whoever he wanted, and in some cultures keep multiple wives and mistresses to spread his seed (and the use of his resources to the detriment of the children of his other wives). It was a workable strategy for thousands of years, however lopsided and unfair, but we live in the 21st century now where women have more resources and opportunities than ever, as exemplified, for better or for worse, by single women getting pregnant in a clinic and raising the child by herself.

I keep warning women that the traditional “I want to marry a rich man,” strategy comes as a matched set with a very steep price, potentially having to tolerate abuse and infidelity just as in days of yore.

Not all rich men are abusive, nor may they have begun their journey to fame by being abusive, but money, celebrity, and entourages unwilling to tell them no can turn a nice guy into a narcissistic asshole.

Wanting to marry a wealthy man was Nicole Brown Simpson’s biggest mistake.

It’s the same mistake Cassie Ventura and so many other naive young black girls make, starstruck by a powerful, popular, rich man like Sean Diddy Combs, or his fellow IPV thugs NBA Youngboy, Dr. Dre, G Herbo, Bow Wow, Tekashi 6ix9ine, XXXTentacion, Flavor Flav, The Game, Chris Brown, Bobby Brown, Tone Loc, and countless other rap and hip hop artists who plainly treat violence against women as socially acceptable, and prove it by beating and kicking their own.

Hip hop has a very long and firmly entrenched history of normalized violence against women, and any woman who gets involved with one of these artists, whether he’s got an IPV rap sheet yet or not, is absolutely forewarned. Proceed at your own risk!

Sure, there’s the long, equally misogynist genre of rock and roll and even non-rock music. Remember Tom Jones’s Delilah? It’s a paean to partner homicide when a woman rejects someone for another man, cruelly. (Pro tip for women keen on avoiding getting murdered: Don’t laugh in the man’s face when he confronts you with your infidelity.)

The song is also a sad commentary on a man caught in a toxic relationship with a woman he knows ‘is no good for me,’ and is unfaithful, yet he feels trapped by his love for her. (He allowed her to mistreat him.) Delilah didn’t deserve to die the way she did but she was no tragic victim. And it’s right that the man is led off in handcuffs, when he could have resolved to simply find a better woman for him than, well, frankly, a heartless ho.

Black women often don’t report IPV crimes for many of the same reasons other women don’t, and for a few of their own: Like that there are already plenty of black men in a racist prison system, not always justifiably, and they don’t want to exacerbate the problem. Okay but—until black men are held responsible for their crimes against women, just like in any other demographic group—they will continue to hit, stalk, rape, and abuse with impunity until 45% of black women decide to force them to stop.

Fairly or unfairly, it’s always the victims who must drive change.

The Misogynoir That Dares Not Speak Its Name

One mostly-overlooked factor in the misogynist crimes black men commit against black women is historical African pre-transatlantic slave trade IPV.

Domestic abuse advocates and woke social just-us warriors like to emphasize the breakup of African families during the slave days, but that argument is holding less water with each passing day. As it turns out, post-Civil War, American black families stayed together more, were fairly conservative, and many mens had only one baby mama—his wife. What changed for the worse for the American black family was, ironically, the 1960s and the civil rights era, which denigrated traditional ‘square, Establishment’ married life and set up a world of ‘free love’ where men of all races could tomcat around as much as they wanted. While it also released female sexuality, sleeping around was more frowned upon for women and the traditional, historical, Establishment slut-shaming ensued, nor was it what many really wanted anyway.

Africa’s no picnic for wives today; studies on modern African IPV are sparse as they only began in the mid-’90s but so far they indicate a helluva lot more domestic violence than we’ve got in North America, complicated by the fact that many African women live in rural parts of their country where they’re subject to traditional African law which accepts the ‘natural’ subordination of women. This is the part of the world that, so far, holds the distinction of having invented female genital mutilation first. And several African countries can’t seem to shake the human slave trade lucre.

Ancient pre-slave trade tribal customs and treatment of women snap at modern-day African women’s heels like hungry dogs. Traditional (and hardly uniquely African) practices include the idea that women are property and subject to her husband’s rule. Bride price—dowries—are paid, often with cows. Anything that issues from her womb after the marriage is his personal property. And when he dies, in some areas the widow is passed on to the brother to join his harem. The idea of ‘respect’ for a wife is unknown in some places.

All these uber-patriarchal ideas and practices have been part of the African female experience for thousands of years, and even though they were ‘invented’ or adopted elsewhere, many parts of Africa have yet to prohibit them as most of the West and some of the East has.

While the transatlantic slave trade negatively impacted black lives and families, it’s harder to treat it as the sole legacy with the knowledge that African-American families were much stronger between the liberation of slaves and the start of the mid-century civil rights movement. (If you think I’m wrong please feel free to state why in the comments!) Statista reports that, “In 2022, there were about 4.15 million Black families in the United States with a single mother. This is an increase from 1990 levels, when there were about 3.4 million Black families with a single mother.”

Here are some little-known facts about black families during the violent Jim Crow years: Black America had the highest marriage rate of any racial group and, as Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the largest decline of black poverty. It came to a halt, he says, and ironically, with the War On Poverty. (Source: Hoover Institution, Not Buying It: Glenn Loury, Ian Rowe, And Robert Woodson Debunk Myths About The Black Experience In America).

Since then, black marriage and commitment to family has declined considerably, and not only for black families. Marriage and fertility rates have dropped overall for decades in North America. We Westerners are neither marrying nor breeding. So I don’t intend to paint African-Americans as uniquely uncommitted to historical, traditional families, but where does misogynist, misogynoir rap and hip hop artists get it from?

It doesn’t negate the fact that black women as much as any other vagina-bearing human (or whatever the hell they’re calling us this week over at Trans Central) have to decide for themselves whether they will allow their man to hit them and also maybe kind of sort of pay attention to the kind of content he consumes or produces? I’ve already counseled women to avoid what should be the glaringly obvious: Publicly misogynist men like Andrew Tate. Just imagine how judgemental the world would be if white supremacists had black female groupies who were just dying to have sex with men who hate them!

So why did Cassie Ventura endure years of abuse from Diddy? Why do any black women tolerate this shit?

Taking charge of your personal safety is women’s—is everyone’s—responsibility, and they must now share the active collaboration it takes to return again and again for more abuse. This ain’t 1965. This ain’t 1865. This ain’t 1619, nor any era before that. It’s 2024, ladies, and we can’t achieve true equality until we take responsibility for ourselves, our lives, and our families, by Just Saying No to abusive men.

Let someone else agree to take his shit. Yeah, even guys with amazing lives like Sean Combs. Especially guys like Sean Combs!

It takes two to tango, as my mother was fond of saying: One person to abuse, and the other to agree to it.

She said that back in the 1960s, folks, and she never identified as a feminist. She hated ‘women’s libbers’ even as she was the most influential feminist I’ve ever known. She’s the reason why Grow Some Labia exists today.

So yeah, black ladies, you can Just Say No to abuse too. If you don’t want to listen to an old white Karen like me, how about Oprah Winfrey?

Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

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