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In Defense of Eminem

on (middle-class) feminist & gay activists' protests against Eminem

Forum: Forum
Date: 02/25/2001

I know this would be controversial, and it's kinda risky considering the fact that I'm an anti-domestic violence activist - but here it is:


I feel that this may be a little bit out of date now that the much-gossiped duet already took place, but I see this debate keep happening within feminist and queer spaces that I felt I should take a public stance. It goes: while I do have many problems with some of his lyrics or personal conduct, I oppose the ongoing smearing campaign by (mostly white middle-class) feminists and gay activists against the Grammy winner Eminem. Here are the reasons (aside from the fact that Eminem has the decency to name intersex people - or "hermaphro'" - among the list of groups he would like to kill - talk about gaining visibility!):

It seems to me that organizations like NOW and GLAAD that spearhead the protests are scapegoating Eminem and his working class background instead of addressing homophobia and misogyny within their own middle-class communities, as if it is a way to avoid dealing with them.

By doing so they are evading their complacency in the oppression against the working class, a background that fostered Eminem's version of homophobia and misogyny and from which he emerged.

I view white middle-class feminists' and gay activists' attempt to shut out Eminem from prestigeous music award as a convenient way to discredit and silence the righteously enraged, blunt, anti-elitist sentiments of the working class expressed by Eminem in the guise of defending women and sexual minorities.

On the other hand, I wholeheartedly support women and sexual minorities from the working class background organizing against homophobia and misogyny within their own communities as exemplified by Eminem's lyrics. I view this as entirely different from white middle-class criticisms of Eminem.

White middle-class feminists and gay activists, meanwhile, should fight for universal healthcare, higher minimum wage and job protection, affordable housing, better public education, dismantling prison industrial complex, etc. - only after that, can a true alliance emerge between feminists and gay activists from various socioeconomic backgrounds. Most people in the world have better things to worry about than who gets a Grammy Award this year.

Emi K.
Just to be sure - Eminism, not Eminemism.