Song Surgery - Rafael Casal's "Misogyny"
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Paternalism is a relationship involving institutional systems depriving individuals of autonomy and agency under the guise of serving their best interest. In reality, most often, those charged with serving the interests of those individuals instead pursue an agenda that does the exact opposite. This is at the very core of the historical relationship between women and the law.

Misogyny, or hatred of women, is as old as law itself. In Greek mythology, for example, man co-existed with the God’s in ideal conditions before the existence of women. Pandora (a woman) opens a forbidden box and unleashes evil upon the world—things we dread like manual work, illness, pain, death & old age. Women ruined everything.

But a more accurate description of misogyny is a contemptuous relationship in which all laws, social conditioning, and familial rearing create an environment where women are idealized in public but infantilized in reality. They historically exalted while regulated to the same level of rights as a child.

American misogynic laws were at their height during the Victorian Era in the mid-late 1800s. Women were seen as objectified temples who’s soul purpose was to rear children. She forfeited all of her legal property and wealth to her husband upon marriage. She could not vote, work, or testify in court without the consent of the husband.

This time period perpetuated a system where men controlled all aspects of autonomy in a marriage because women had to be protected from the muck of anything non-domestic. Rafael Casal, a Berkeley-bred MC, analyzes the impact that institutional misogyny and the legacy of the Victorian Era has on modern day male-female relationships. 

On a track aptly named “Misogyny” off his Monster album, he described how society and individual men seek to limit the potential of women in an effort to keep them dependent on men.

Casal confesses that his mother raised him as a feminist yet he still struggles with the effect that social misogyny has toward his view of women. He spits, “I want to say that I love women,” but “there had been moments where I just wanted to fuck women/dog women/duck women/fuck with the one limpin’ and diagnose her symptoms with a heavy dose of light help/see them weak/and even a kind man cant help themselves.”

The key to Victorianism is that it makes women dependent, indeed indebted, to men in many ways. Casal’s description above illustrates how the degradation of women elevates his power as a male. So, to “fuck with the one limpin’” is to metaphorically take advantage of the insecurities that many women receive through various spheres of misogynistic communication.

Misogyny stems from male insecurity in relation to the female potential to thrive. Casal exalts the affects of misogynistic society on the male psyche. He admits, “I name my lady bitch when in front of my homies/then I go and code switch when she sittin’ shotgun in my whip.”

Everything that is communicated to young boys in our society is to “treat the ladies like a dime piece/just a piece of ass/never peace of mind.” He explains the men he learned from taught him “emotional is what the weakest did.” So to be considered a man, one must be able to control and objectify one’s woman to maintain one’s status.

The criterion that creates an equal relationship—compromise—is contrary to the idea that men are the final say. Misogyny inhibits men from having the type of relationship they’d also like to have—loving and equal—but that combats the tenets of male preeminence.

Casal concludes that men are invested in misogyny because so many aspects of a male’s masculinity is based on their relationship to women. So even for men who are so-called enlightened, its difficult not to exploit misogyny.

He admits that men really just want to co-exist with a female companion but misogyny works so well because male-fulfillment is linked to female repression. Casal drives the point home: “we gotta feel like a man/we gotta feel like a man/and do what men do.” Misogynistic culture makes feeling like a man so important that female detriment as a byproduct is of no consequence.

Men are defined by their superiority to their female counterpart any chance for women to pursue liberty is shot down with good reason. If women are truly liberated, and able to undo entrenched sexism, it’s a direct threat to the males very existence.

So Casal professes that male resistance to female liberty manifests itself in objectification: “and what if that was through/so you get a fuck you/you aint but a biiitch!/come sit on my lap/come suck on my diiick.”

These power dynamics ensure that men will “feel like men” and dominate relationships with women. He explains that it is in the male interest to degrade women because “we race and chase for some of that penetration/cuz one fuck from you gives us some validation.”

Male validation comes from superiority to women so it is difficult to resist the influences of misogyny: “we aint even men until you’re initiation/so we’re taught to hunt you/not to pursue a conversation.”

It’s important to the male ego to “maintain a structure that strips you of your power/because we ‘re afraid of a world where women can make it.”

Casal proclaims that he wrote this song to get real with himself. Lets get real with ourselves. Thanks for the liberty. Thank God for Hip-hop.

*This is The Word….govern yourselves accordingly.

Download: Rafael Casal's Monster LP


+1 #1 RSte 2010-11-10 18:59
excellent analysis! love the song and its honest message

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