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Double Standards and Misogyny in Hip-Hop

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Within the hip-hop and rap genres, the amount of attention and fame received from fans toward male and female artists is disproportionate. Could this be the result of a double standard in the industry?To start off this discussion of double standards/misogyny in Hip-Hop/ Rap, let’s start with the rise of the female rapper, Sexxy Red. Many of her performances in places such as high schools, colleges, venues, etc. have been receiving negative backlash revolving around her lyrics being inappropriate (Trent Fitzgerald, 2023) when male rappers do similar performances with an equal amount of profanity but receive little to no backlash. In an NME article, female rapper Megan the Stallion proclaims that there is a “crazy double standard” (Tom Skinner 2022) when people criticize how female and male artists perform live; “A boy could start rapping about popping pills and enjoying four women at one time, and nobody would have a problem with that,” (Skinner). In the same article, Megan explains how “rap being a male-dominated ecosystem” plays a part in the turnout and double standard.

Not only do women in the rap industry face more backlash than their male counterparts but they are put under more pressure and at times must work harder to build a reputation. In 2017, another female rapper, Nicki Minaj, who has been in the rap industry for over a decade, tweeted “In any field, women must work twice as hard to even get half the respect her male counterparts get. When does this stop,” (Culture 2018). An industry that was once male-dominated creates a culture requiring female rappers to be held to a higher standard and work harder for respect. 

There is a lack of “mainstream acceptance” (Cavazos and Wester 2023) of the hip-hop and rap industry and it is clear. Rappers are on the pop charts more, they collaborate with more big artists, and they are generally more accepted by listeners than even twenty years ago. In 2017, rapper Rick Ross stated that he wouldn’t sign a woman to his label, “I always thought I would end up fu***ng a female rapper” he says, showing his lack of respect for female rappers and unwillingness to generate opportunity for them. This sort of disrespect is an issue male rappers experience less, if not any of.

As women rappers are becoming more prevalent in the hip hop/rap industry they continue to face struggles and comparisons to not only their male counterparts but from other female rappers. Very rarely do listeners and consumers see male artists being compared to one another or fighting for the title of “king of rap” but in 2017 the common comparison of the two female rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj boomed in the battle for “queen of rap” which is just one example of the reoccurring comparisons. 

Whether it is comparison to each other or lack of respect, female rappers continue to face an unfair amount of backlash and pullback from general consumers. The way rap has changed and become less male-dominated allows for a movement to more equitable industry between female and male rappers with equal representation and support.


Cavazos , Cassandra, and Chris Wester. “The Double Standard in the Rap Scene.” RTF Gender and Media Culture, 23 June 2023, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

“Ladies’ Choice: Unpacking Double Standards in the Hip Hop Industry.” UHURU Magazine, 10 Nov. 2018, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Skinner, Tom. “Megan Thee Stallion Says There Are ‘Crazy Double Standards’ for Women in Rap.” NME, 14 Mar. 2022, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Fitzgerald, Trent. “Sexyy Red Makes Appearance at High School, Chaos Erupts and She Responds to Backlash.” XXL Mag, 16 July 2023, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023

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