Feminist Rapper: Real Ladies Fight Back

If you were feeling like this hump day was going to go on forever without anything fun happening, take heart: There is a new episode of Feminist Rapper! In this installment, our Women’s Studies professor uses rap to inspire a woman who doesn’t think she can stand up for herself against men. Well guess what, lady? Women can, and do, fight back! And they can even do it while rapping and poking fun at academia! (Seriously, I can’t wait until I can use the “for the full answer to that, read my master’s thesis” comeback.)

OK, so take a few points off for inappropriate use of the word “retarded,” because that is not cool. And, I kind of don’t like that the joke ends up sort of being on the Feminist Rapper at the end of the episode, even though I get that this is comedy and self-deprecation is queen. Still, I love that Jenny Hagel is able to incorporate women’s history, ovaries, feminist theory, and humor into these catchy raps. There is one more episode to go, and I’m sure it’ll be just as clever. (Watch the first episode here.)

by Kelsey Wallace
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Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

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17 Comments Have Been Posted

Feminist rapper... still a white lady

These videos are a lot of fun. I enjoyed "A Lady Made That" a lot, and this one is also a good laugh.

I feel a little weird about how the term "feminist rapper" is here referring to, surprise, a white woman in academia. In many ways, I think the rap is funny is not just because the rap is about feminist history/thought in a format that is often quite the opposite, but because it portrays a white woman writing a "rap," a form of music of the African-American (and generally male) community. It would be easy to see this video as a form of cultural appropriation that acts to simultaneously reinforce the idea that feminist=white woman and rap=not feminist.

Just something to think about.

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you,

Yes, yes, yes. Thank you, thank you.
You totally said what I thought when I saw the first one.

I like when womyn in hip hop take it back, like, Queen Latifah. But this womyn is white and in academia. It is frustrating that she didn't realize that, honestly. She didn't realize that she is using black culture. And maybe she did, but thought it would be a good idea, anyway.

If she was a black womyn in academia, I'd like it way more.


Also, I think it reinforces the idea that feminism is some academic thing for white single childless women. Isn't Bitch's own Jessica Yee trying to fight against that mentality?

I think even when feminists are trying to be funny we fall into the trap of acting like we're all able to be white single childless upper middle class and have AT LEAST a masters degree in GWS.


Um, actually.....

I think there are a lot of good points here....but please don't assume the feminist rapper is white. She's Latina.


Black People, a very sincere thanks for creating many of the greatest musical genres ever. However, to misquote a great prophet, "All your bass are belong to us."

Shame on her for not including every feminist's sub-sub-sub-micro-sub agenda in these hilarious FOUR MINUTE videos. Perhaps some of these folks would like to fund her next project in order to have their specific point-of-view expressed?

feminist wrapper

hey, i commented on the original of this that was posted awhile ago. i really am loathe to be an internet comment hater, cause ya know where is my comedy video? non existent, so big ups to jenny hagel for making videos and making ones that create discussion.

i guess i am just coming from a place where i dont understand why a feminist rapper is an enigma. it isn't, yoyo, BWP, queen latifah, monie love, jean grae, etc, etc.

there even was a feminism in hip hop conference in chicago, where this video is from, where i live. there is "props" given to a multitude of awesome females in feminism in these, but no mention of other feminist rappers. i think which makes it less funny and less relevant. and makes me bummed cause it also supports my feeling that chicago is continually woefully behind the times. hey jenny maybe i can write some stuff for ya!

You want a good feminist rapper?

Check out Dessa, www.doomtree.net/dessa. I haven't stopped listening to her stuff since my partner and I bought her album.


DESSA RULZ!!!! aahhh! :D


i guess what i am saying is that i think this would work better as "feminist classical music composer"

oh and i cant believe i forgot Psalm One, Chicago!

Yo Feminism Raps!

Thanks for the great comments, everyone!

First of all, I have to fess up to being a feminist academic who likes rap music, so I am predisposed to liking this series. That being said, for me most of the humor here comes from poking fun at the Ivory Tower of Academia and the ever-widening gap between theory and praxis (i.e., feminist academics know a ton about theory, but in every day life–like when someone is getting dissed at a coffee shop–that knowledge isn't all that applicable). It's funny to see a "nerdy" feminist academic turn to rap music to make her point because we rarely see scholars using rap to communicate theoretical/historical ideas.

So yeah, I totally get what you're saying about the white lady rapper thing (and about there being tons of awesome feminist rappers out there, which there totes are) but I think the joke is more on the academy here than it is on women or even feminists in general. Does that make sense? Like, it's not that it's funny that A feminist is rapping, but that THIS feminist is rapping. And that she's rapping about history, which is always going to be awesome.

yes yes yah

This made me laugh, funny skit, decent rap. Put yuh hands up.

"OK, so take a few points

"OK, so take a few points off for inappropriate use of the word "retarded," because that is not cool."

I kind of thought it was intentionally misused to illustrate how narrow-minded and offensive those anti-feminist people are.

And this is one person

And this is one person making a comedy video - what is she supposed to do, change her race? come on! Of course it's important to analyze things, but it's really important to DO stuff too! Sometimes this level of detailed judgment is just murderous to creativity. Aren't feminists even allowed to put the word "retarded" in their artwork? nomatter how obviously its use is not condoned by the artist? Even though it's a word that's said by people every day? Aren't white women allowed to even refer to the concept of rap in their comedy or art? Come on! this just makes the space women have to breathe and play and make art in even tinier.

Thank You

I was so grateful that you pointed out how she can't change her race. Just because she's white doesn't mean her voice has any less value. I think you're right we do need to get out and do something no matter what our race is. This women is truly inspirational!

AGAIN... She is NOT white.

AGAIN... She is NOT white. Latina.

Hands up for funny and effort, but just off the mark...

This video was posted on a friend of mine's Facebook. I love that Jenny is trying to grab interest and make a point...several even. Coming out of the achedemia and trying to bring feminism and it's ideas and power to everyday situations. However, it just seems a bit off the mark. The poking fun at some of the ideas is actually re-enforcing them. There are so many patriarchal images and ideas being used and I am not sure that they are coming across as being poked fun at. Women need to be honored for their strength and fighting back - in other ways than patriarchal force and dominance. And the whole - booze, pills, fur, bling, sexy clothes - all images that we fight against in po culture. I can see poking fun at pop culture to get attention - but the message seems to come off the mark from a strong feminist standpoint. I think there is great potential here for expanding what she is doing. The freestyle bits in between and at the end are great! And three cheers for Jenny Hagel for getting discussions going!!!

HAH, I love this. I think

HAH, I love this. I think most of the commenters seem to have misunderstood the joke.

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