Gender and Language, Vol 10, No 1 (2016)

Subjects and objects: linguistic performances of sexuality in the lyrics of black female hip-hop artists

Maeve Eberhardt
Issued Date: 17 Mar 2016


An ongoing debate is the extent to which women’s explicit sexuality transgresses or reinforces the patriarchal status quo that serves to objectify and marginalize women. In this article, I consider this issue through the lens of hip hop. Specifically, I examine the sexually-explicit lyrics of two female rappers, Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliot, in an attempt to explore questions about sexual objectivity and subjectivity, language and agency, and linguistic productions of sexuality in female-produced hip hop. Through a feminist stylistic analysis of the transitivity choices and anatomical fragmentation exhibited in these lyrics, I link the overt sexuality in this music to larger discussions about women’s sexuality and post-feminist discourses.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.v10i1.16507


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