Jay-Z Had a Daughter, But Not a Change of Heart About the B-Word
Will he? Won’t he? Do he? Don’t he? E’rybody is talking about whether Jay-Z is or isn’t going to stop wielding the dreaded (and frankly, quite overused) B-word now that he’s proud papa to a brand spankin’ new baby girl. You know, that’s how we all start out, mere infants before we grow into… B-words.
Earlier this week, the web was buzzing with reports that little bitty Blue Ivy had inspired her daddy to stop using that most infamous slander against all womanhood. Everybody covered it and we gals (including me) cheerleaded Jay for his monumental epiphany. But then — womp womp — turns out Mr. Carter never actually said he was taking that word out of his vocabulary. That makes the story untrue. A fib, as my grandmother would say. His publicist set the record straight because heaven forbid we get that misconstrued.
Alas, even being father to a baby girl ain’t enough to break down the tough guy bravado that calls women out their proper name.
At just about a half of a month old Blue, the progeny of music industry royalty, is inarguably the youngest artist to ever be featured on a Billboard-charting song and the only newborn to get a guest spot on any rap track, especially one next to an icon like her father. Jay rhymed about his excitement to be a new dad in “Glory,” an ode to his bundle of joy, just two weeks ago. The baby’s career may be getting off to a better start than the rank and file of fledgling rappers. Blue even got equal billing on the song credit.
Most men make an adorable transition when they become fathers. A tiny human being the size of a bag of flour turns them into big ol’ gushy, sentimental wusses. It’s so cute. But beyond the euphoria of new parenthood, they shoulder a mountain of new responsibility. Some meet the expectations, some fall short again and again (trust me, I know). Ideally, Blue Ivy would’ve been born, new daddy Jay-Z would’ve had an a-ha moment about his misogynistic misdeeds, and this blog post would’ve had a completely different headline and subject.
But not to be confused with someone who gives a hot damn about what anybody else thinks, Jay has no plans to pull the plug on his bitch-slinging lyrics. And that’s unfortunate. Because as much as he breaks tough about his insistence on using the term, I’m pretty sure that he would take real issue with some dude calling Blue a bitch when she gets older. And if it’s not acceptable for someone else to verbally assault his daughter with that it, why is it OK to support the unleashing of it on someone else’s child?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. At the end of the day, “bitch” is only a word, just like “nigger” or, if you’re getting real technical, “nigga.” And we can claim that we’re taking the power from them by folding them into everyday, colloquial language. So instead of calling my bestie my “friend” or my “homegirl” or my “buddy,” I’m supposed to be comfortable calling her my “bitch.” [Insert my awkward pause here.] In some circles, that’s perfectly acceptable. Take Joy Behar, who insisted that “bitch” is a term of endearment and proceeded to try it out on her View co-hosts. For me and mine, though, friend and homegirl and buddy will do just fine, thank ya just the same.
At the end of all the arguing and postulating and theorizing, the word was intended to be an insult, just like the N-word and faggot and about a thousand other terms that draw frowny faces from the folks on the receiving end of them. It’s clear that the person who’s saying it is trying their darndest to let fly an insult. So with that in mind, the term can never really be detonated. It is, at least to some people, still going to be offensive. So why bother using it if that’s not the intention?
Blue is going to be a big girl one day — spoiled as all get out, I’m sure, and privileged beyond even my wildest dreams. But she will, Lord willing, grow into an adult. And I want Jay to reflect on his insistence in this situation and realize that he could’ve taken a stand on behalf of his daughter but he just wasn’t quite ready to give up that old B-word BS, even for her.
Are you offended by the B word? Do you think Jay-Z (and other rappers, for that matter) should give it up, particularly if they have daughters?
Image via mikebarry/Flickr
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