Check It.

We may not all be big fans of Eminem, but I do think this is a pretty incredible video and would love to know what y’all think of it.
The question is: Clearly Eminem has been continually and unabashadly misogynist, and has promoted violence against women. Should feminists embrace this video, that I’m sure will be extremely popular in the days to come before the election because of its potential political power? Should we push aside our opinions about Eminem?
Before you get going, make sure to read Echidne’s excellent take on the issue.
I’m open for comments…

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4 Comments

  1. Jessica Wakeman
    Posted October 30, 2004 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I had diametrically opposed mixed feelings about the video in the span of its 3 minutes. I have been mulling this over a little bit since finishing the video and I think that I have figured out why I had the emotional reactions that I did.
    My initial feelings were of contempt: “This guy sings songs about locking his ex-wife in the trunk of his car and now he’s trying to tell me that the war in Iraq is wrong? What kind of leftist is he? I don’t want to listen to some white male – especially a rich one – telling me that he thinks the war is wrong when he’s singing songs that are violent towards women and gays.” It brought out a fresh wave of contempt for white men being everywhere – in the media, in popular culture, in academia – telling me what to think and do.
    Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not one of those people who hate Eminem and boycott him. I have some of his songs downloaded. But initially this video turned me off for reasons that I already explained and for the fact that I felt it was a little self- aggrandizing, what with one of the characters looking like him.
    However, as the video continued, I had a change of heart. The scene where the woman receives her eviction notice and then turns on the television to see Bush’s tax cuts. That triggered a response in me. My father benefited from Bush’s tax cuts – if you asked him, he would say that he voted for and is voting again for Bush because he has taken home more money under him – and I have an extremely weird relationship related to my father and terrorism. I know that my father is probably the kind of person that the terrorists would want to kill – a conservative with America-as-dominant-world-power foreign policy beliefs. That feeling of embroilment in the struggle – daughter of the privileged arrogance, if you will – made me feel frustrated. And while I felt frustrated, I started to think about September 11th and how scared I felt on that morning, being a 17-year-old freshman during her first week of college in a big city, and my eyes teared up.
    Normally I would feel silly crying at an Eminem music video. But this is not just any Eminem music video. Clearly, it is propaganda and its purpose is to make you think for at least three minutes of the day about Bush’s domestic and foreign policies. Or, if not to think about them, to at the very least let Eminem do the thinking for you with his angry rapping, dark colors, and “army of angry citizens” imagery. I am the type of person who thinks critically about popular culture, but this musical video definitely hit right to the core of my feeling-not-thinking capacities.
    Despite my lack of ability to take Eminem seriously as anything more than a peacocking male, I hope that this works on other people, especially those that need someone to do the thinking for them, just happen to turn on MTV before Election Day, and to think Eminem is someone that they can trust.

  2. K
    Posted October 30, 2004 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve always loved Eminem, which is weird for a queer feminist. I liked the video, of course, because he recognizes and uses the power he has over younger voters. He says what he says to cause controversy and make a profit…sometimes he uses his power for good rather than evil.

  3. farmgirl
    Posted October 31, 2004 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I dont like the violence of Eminem whomever it is focused on. This song is violent in its tone. Of course it is a response to a greater violence and the video redeems the violence by focusing it on voting. The video was not made by Eminem, but Guerilla News. In fact they had the concept and went looking for an artist. To E’s credit he had done the lyrics and approved the association. Reacting violently to Bush’s violence brings to mind Bonhoffer’s Christian dilemma. He resolved it by attempting to assassinate Hitler (unsuccessfully). As you can see I have mixed feelings. Sometimes one has to embrace an enemy when you have a common greater opponent. I think it is easy for mysogynist men to get behind any angry violent cause-even a just one. This has always been a problem in revolutionary causes. Angry powerful male leader figures are often mysogynist and arrogant. The video is powerful and the audience has been uninvolved in the political process. By any logic it should also be an audience oppossed to powerful rich men. I think feminists are capable of keeping E as an ally and in his place as regards his brain-dead mysogynism. Maybe he sees a friend in bin ladin, after all they have similiar views about women.

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