Kanye West is a Misogynist

While the the fight for gender equality grows stronger, so too does the insidious nature of Mr. West's career.
When Kanye West’s album The Life of Pablo was finally revealed at Madison Square Garden last week, the excitement was palpable, but one degrading line about Taylor Swift stole the show. On the track, “Famous,” West raps, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous.” This lyric is problematic and offensive on multiple levels. The most obvious issue is that West claims Swift would not have been successful with her own musical abilities and persona (ironically, at the birth of the issue between the two, Swift was receiving an award for her achievements). That idea is undoubtedly offensive, but when the subtext of the lyric is examined we have degradation on top of degradation. What West is saying is that Swift owes him sex for making her famous. In West’s perverse world, Taylor Swift is indebted to him sexually because he attacked her publicly and discredited her as an artist. This lyric has resurfaced something that many are not talking about – the misogyny in West’s music. West’s public voice (both artistic and personal) has become increasingly misogynistic in the past few months. While West expects to receive the utmost respect, his history of degrading women cannot be ignored.

West’s sexism is immediately apparent in the language he uses to discuss his wife. One of his most vulgar descriptions of Kardashian appears his “Drunk In Love” remix where he raps “After all the money you earned, still show daddy what you learned/That cowgirl, you reverse that cowgirl/That reverse, you reverse, and I impregnated your mouth, girl, ooooh/That’s when I knew you could be my spouse, girl.” West’s description of Kardashian in the verse depicts a situation where he decides he wants to marry her solely because she sexually satisfies him. It is difficult to imagine why anyone would desire to talk about their spouse this way.

More recently, as West and the rest of the world prepared for the release of The Life of Pablo, the rapper became more active on Twitter. When West changed his album title from “SWISH” to “WAVES,” rapper Wiz Khalifa criticized him for appropriating the concept of “WAVES” from rapper Max B. To defend himself, West called out Khalifa’s wife (and West’s ex-fiancé), Amber Rose. In his feud with Khalifa, West tweeted the following:

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Kardashian and Rose have always had similar careers; both capitalize on their sexuality and personal activities as a means to support themselves. The way West looks at it, a woman he has separated himself from becomes dirty and slutty, while his current partner is beautiful and deserving of respect. This is not the first time that West has made this distinction. In an infamous interview, West claimed that it took him“30 Showers” to cleanse himself of Rose. The main difference for West seems to be that Kardashian is HIS wife, and no wife of HIS is a slut. This view of women as entities to exert power or ownership over is a clear indicator of his misogyny.

Kanye West’s misogyny goes beyond unsettling insults, as he also recently claimed on Twitter, “BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!” adding no further explanation. It is hard to believe that West actually thinks his claim is true. When 50 women muster the courage to speak about their sexual assaults with no hope of justice due to the statue of limitations, you believe them. Not to mention Bill Cosby out right admitted to drugging women so that he could have sex with them. It seems like West hoped to gain even more attention prior to his release, and that’s understandable, but doing so on the backs of sexual assault victims is disgusting.

The dichotomy of West’s persona is posing an increasingly pressing issue. As a society, we can no longer turn a blind eye to Kanye’s blatant misogyny on the basis of “artistic license.” While the fight for gender equality grows stronger, so too does the insidious nature of Mr. West’s career.

Image Via, Getty Images