Gender Matters - Sara Mills

Gender Matters - Sara Mills

8. Sexism and racism in music

Gender Matters - Sara Mills

Sara Mills [+-]
Sheffield Hallam University
Sara Mills is a Research Professor in Linguistics at Sheffield Hallam University. Her most recent publications include Gender and Colonial Space (2005, Manchester University Press), Michel Foucault (Critical Thinkers Series, 2003, Routledge), Feminist Post-Colonial Theory: An Anthology (edited with Reina Lewis, 2003, Edinburgh University Press) and Gender and Politeness (2003, Cambridge University Press).


This essay aims to examine the debates around the issues of sexism, particularly as they relate to the interpretation of misogynist lyrics in rap and hip hop. The lyrics of these songs are offensive to many women because of their use of terms like ‘ho’ and ‘bitch’ to refer to women, but it is important to try to analyse these lyrics in context, since there have been a number of campaigns within the right wing press and by politicians which have centred on the offensiveness of the lyrics of these songs. These attacks have bordered on racism and it is therefore important for feminists to consider very carefully their analysis of hip hop and rap, so that they understand the conditions of their production and the range of interpretations which are possible.

Notify A Colleague


Mills, Sara. 8. Sexism and racism in music. Gender Matters. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 158 - 172 Feb 2012. ISBN 9781845534967. Date accessed: 15 May 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19770. Feb 2012

Dublin Core Metadata