Nicki Minaj, discussing sexism in the music industry while applying eyeliner (video)

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125 Responses to “Nicki Minaj, discussing sexism in the music industry while applying eyeliner (video)”

  1. paulehoffman says:

    “It’s just going to make me look stupid.” Er, and sound stupid, too. Not that that will affect sales of her music at all…

    • I disagree. This made her sound smart. Especially when I just came from a panel on women in science and technology where female researchers, scientists and IT experts were talking about having the exact. same. problem. 

      • brerrabbit23 says:

        It’s startlingly difficult to convince men who understand that sexism is bad and work hard to not be sexist that sexism still exists.

        It’s startlingly difficult to convince women railing against sexism that generalizing about men’s reactions does little to forward their cause.

        • blueelm says:

          One of these things is not like the other…

        • I am honestly curious how you interpreted that post as me “railing against sexism and generalizing about men’s reactions”. Please enlighten me. 

          • brerrabbit23 says:

            I don’t think you generalized, and didn’t intend to suggest it. I think Nicky did.

            I’m not sure leaning on “Well, Wayne gets to blow pot smoke in people’s faces whenever he wants, so so should I” does much to encourage people toward gender neutrality.

            To my mind, it just rationalizes bad behavior based on gender roles. It’s unhelpful.

            Taking the high ground is hard, and I don’t think this video illustrates anything like high ground.

          • CH says:

            brerrabbit23 : 
            No, it’s not about being able to do the same bad behavior… it’s about women getting the “bitch” label slapped on them the minute they try to assert themselves in any way what so ever. A man behaving like a total asshole… ooh, boss material! 

            Somehow men are allowed and expected to be assertive, even when they go waaaaaay over the top. Women that are assertive are apparently threatening… in some way… and need to be put in their places ASAP. Favorite ways: Suggest she has PMS, that time of the month, is on the rag… or, well, a bitch.

        • dejadee says:

          I’m not sure what you mean. Are you saying that when Nicky Minaj complains about her experience on being called a bitch because she is being assertive, she shouldn’t generalize? She shouldn’t assume that other women have had the same experience, or that her being called a bitch is related to the fact that she is female?

          I think both of these assumptions are valid though. I’m not sure whether pointing out that sexism still exists does much to further the cause of eliminating sexism, but I don’t think ignoring the issue helps either.

        • ocker3 says:

          Nicki used the specific example of Wayne, and compared people’s reactions to his assertive behaviour to her assertive behaviour.

          “It’s startlingly difficult to convince women railing against sexism that generalizing about men’s reactions does little to forward their cause.”

          Why? More justification is needed for your own generalisation.

      • paulehoffman says:

         Maggie, I wasn’t saying that her commenting on strong-women-are-bitches sounded stupid, it was the way she was saying it. In particular, her limited vocabulary and poor imitation abilities made her sound like a 16-year-old, not a mature star entertainer. Sorry for the confusion.

        • dejadee says:

          I disagree. I thought the way she was making her point was funny and passionate. Not stupid and immature.

          • Little Mouse says:

            I agree, I thought she was actually quite eloquent, cussing aside. 

            I understand what paulehoffman is trying to say, the drawn out “being” at the end did start to grate on me a bit, but that hardly invalidates her entire message or makes her sound stupid. It’s a real shame if it now matters more how a person affects their speech than the actual words they’re speaking.

        • Any pop icon that uses the word “connotation” cogently is putting some comparatively impressive linguistic skills on display. At what part in that rant she should have referred to her thesaurus? It was some clear strong communication to me.
          As for being bad at impressions? Fuckin’ everyone is bad at impressions. If she were good at impressions she’d be acting not making music. And since when do you lose points for being 16? Srsly, wtf?

        • Boundegar says:

           Some people can’t hear a black person of either gender speak without thinking they sound like a 16 year old with a limited vocabulary.

          In fact, some people think that about our President.

          • I’m not sure I”ve met anyone who thinks our current Prez sounds like a 16 year…and the old angry white guys I work with who hate our man at the top because he’s black hate him for his ‘fancy speak” and ‘big words”…not the fact he sounds like he’s 16. 

            Now if we had said 7 years old I would go  with Bush 2…

        • ocker3 says:

           It somewhat lessens the impact of her message when some of her vocal habits are so grating on the ears. It doesn’t negate it, but it lessens the overall impact on the audience.

        • Richard Dagenais says:

          Put down the shovel brother. The hole is just going to get deeper.

        • CH says:

          Nope… what she said sounded just about right, to me. She spoke passionately and out of experience. And what she said sure resonated with me. Sure didn’t sound immature to me (not that I think a 16 old wouldn’t be able to speak maturely about this subject… I’m sure a lot of girls at that age has run into this issue already).

      • marukosu says:

         I wonder how much of the point-missing going on in this thread has to do with cognitive bias due to how Ms. Minaj’s music is reviled by the typical Boing-Boing reader. Until I watched this clip, I had absolutely no idea who this young woman was (*). Perhaps as a result, my middle aged white establishment male reaction was that she is eloquent, persuasive, bright, insightful, and most importantly, correct.

        How would the exact same message–delivered point for point, but adjusted for diction–be received if spoken by, say, Hillary Clinton?

        (*) After a quick round of YouTubing, I can now say I don’t much like her music either!

        • ocker3 says:

           I’m supportive of her message, but it’s a valid criticism to say that her style is getting in the way of her substance, although her style may be necessary to reach certain segments of her fan-base, of which many BB readers may not be.

          • Tone Argument. Look it up.

            (PS: I’m just going to go through this entire thread, making this exact same comment everywhere it’s relevant. Because I’ve got time to kill, and bandwidth is cheap.)

          • Agreed…her core audience is not here, they are far less hip and far more predictable…and not into such topics she is talking about…

        • danimagoo says:

          I can’t stand Nicki Minaj’s music. I usually quickly change the radio/tv/whatever when I see or hear her. These comments from her have significantly improved my opinion of her. I still don’t like her music, but I now think she is very sharp.

        • Morningstar9 says:

          “How would the exact same message–delivered point for point, but adjusted for diction–be received if spoken by, say, Hillary Clinton?”

          There’d be comments about how “harsh” and “shrewish” Clinton sounded.

          But, yes, let’s just say there are a lot of sociological factors playing into how Minaj’s statement was received here.

      • bklynchris says:

        I agree with Maggie, it makes her sound downright genius and I’m wishing she would give this talk to young women everywhere.  

        She sounds anything but stupid.  Powerful, on top and in total control of her game, experienced, and smart….very, very, smart.  Which is of course what no one wants her to be, per her point.  So put that in your pickle and smoke it.  

    • EH says:

      I believe that right there is three-dimensional ad hominem.

    • imogen says:

      You’ve just identified the saddest part about this video. She essentially ends up apologising for her opinions at the end, saying it will make her seem stupid, which is just proof of how lightly most women’s opinions are taken when they try to “boss out”. 

      I’m so disappointed at the horrible comments here. I thought you guys were cool.

  2. seyo says:

    I disagree strongly with the meme of “when a man is assertive, he’s a boss, when a woman is assertive, she’s a bitch.” it’s a false equivalence. When a woman is assertive, she’s assertive. When a woman is an evil bitch, she’s an evil bitch, the same way that when a man is assertive, he’s assertive, and when he’s an evil dickhead, he’s an evil dickhead. Men behave badly, we all know this, and they get called out for it all the time too. Women who want to be evil bitches should just own it and be evil bitches. No need to hide behind a pseudo femenist complaint that they are getting treated unfairly.

    • I think she means that if a woman is being assertive, she will be percieved as a ‘bitch’, instead of being percieved as strong.

    • Bender says:

      I agree with your premise, but in the real world assertive women are called “bitches” whether they deserve it or not.  

      • brerrabbit23 says:

         In the real world, Everyone is subject to criticism and judgement they don’t deserve.

        • nvlady says:

          And that is the PC false equivalence people are talking about. To place someone’s discrimination as a point of, ‘well everyone is discriminated against at some point’ deflates the argument and creates apathy. 

          In your effort to relate it to the real world, brerrabbit23, you’ve made the most obvious inclusive politically correct statement.

          When did we start doing this all the time?

          • brerrabbit23 says:

            I’m not sure anyone who knows me would accuse me of being politically correct, but I think I understand your point.

            I’m not convinced the “argument” deserves the air in it.

            I was raised that the way we transcend bias is by transcending it.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I was raised that the way we transcend bias is by transcending it.

            And I was raised not thinking that ‘transcend’ and ‘ignore’ are synonyms. You’re making an argument from privilege.

      • Rindan says:

        I think the point is that not every time someone decries a woman for “being a bitch”, it is necessarily intended or framed in a sexist way. Being a bitch can simply be the female equivalent of “being a dick”. There is also the more gender neutral “being an asshole” and the usually male but sometimes female “being a bastard”. Being a “dick” or “bitch” is gendered, but it can sometimes be gendered simply in the way that English language genders “he” and “she”. In other words, saying that Nicky is an assertive bitch and Wayne is an assertive dick (or asshole, bastard, etc) imply exactly the same meaning.

        In fact, bitch is kind of a neat word in that it has opposite meanings. If I say “my boss is a hard bitch”, it is implying that my boss is a woman, likely assertive, and that this is an admirable quality. If I say “my boss was acting like a little bitch”, it implies exactly the opposite. It means my boss isn’t assertive and is absolutely a negative statement.

        I guess my point is that you need to be careful when dealing with the word bitch. The PC crowd sometimes ignores the subtly of what the word can convey and instead ascribe a single blanket sexist meaning. This can be a real turn off when trying to explain to someone the role of privilege and gender stereotypes.

        • Lauren Seals says:

          When being an asshole comes with centuries of subjugation and oppression, then we can talk. Until then, intent doesn’t matter.

          • dumbkid says:

            Or we can just live in the present and apply our cognitive skills to the situations we are addressing in the current present moment, preventing ourselves from villainizing people who have no malicious intent and creating negative feelings where there was none before.

          • Rindan says:

            If your goal is to be offended and pissed, then you are correct, intent doesn’t matter.  You can freely ignore the intentions of the person around you and you will be successful in finding new and interesting ways to be offended and pissed.  If your goal is to teach and be a non-shitty human, then being able the empathize and understand what is running through the head of the people around you that have had different experience and education than you actually matters.

            I remember early on in college a friend of mine referred to the girl I was dating at the time as Oriental.  He came from white as white can be rural nowhere and had never probably never interacted on a regular basis with anyone who wasn’t white in his entire life until college.  Instead of flipping my shit and ignoring his intent, which was utterly innocent, as you seem to suggest is the proper course of action, I calmly pointed out that Oriental was an archaic and kind of insulting term, roughly along the lines of calling someone a Negro.  He was like “oh, I didn’t know that”.  We talked about it a little without any sort of accusations or hostility and used it as a learning experience.  He then never used that term again. 

            Treating someone who is offensive to you out of ignorance the same as someone who is offensive intentionally is just petty and stupid.  Unless you get some sort of masochistic joy out of being pissed off, you are doing no one any favors by willfully ignoring the good intentions of the people around you.

        • Morningstar9 says:

          Complaining about “PC” = complaining about being a decent human being and patting oneself on the back for not standing up to the status quo, because that’s “edgy.”

    • Seyo, I think you’re making a false equivalence here between women who are frustrated with the way they are treated in corporate culture and women who are evil bitches. A =/= B. I have talked to many, many women (the vast majority of whom I know from personal experience are not evil bitches) who have run into the problem Nicki Minaj is talking about. Some corporate cultures and some bosses treat assertive females differently than they treat assertive males, and punish those women for being assertive. Meanwhile some other corporate cultures and some other bosses effectively punish women for not being assertive by ignoring them and passing them over in favor of guys (and women) who make themselves heard. 

      But if you’re told in one place that being assertive makes you a bitch and told in another place that not being assertive makes you un-promotable, it becomes really freaking hard to know how to be. 

      Refusing to drink the pickle juice has worked out very well for me in my line of work. When I refuse to drink pickle juice (for example, when I tell a magazine that I won’t work for less than a certain price per word) I am not being an evil bitch. I’m being assertive and I’m valuing my work properly. But it was hard to learn. It went against how I was implicitly taught to act in school. And I know from discussions with friends and colleagues that, quite often, women ARE treated as though they are evil bitches for simply being assertive and being good businesspeople. 

      • Teller says:

        That being said, I’ve interacted with many highly-placed male and female executives in national cell phone companies, breweries, banks, software companies, global retailers, internet pay services and the entertainment industry and, based on my personal assessment, always roughly placed both the men and the women in the only two categories that matter in business: smart and stupid.

      • Scurra says:

        The problem I have with this argument is that it seems to presume that no man has ever been put in the position of refusing to drink the pickle juice.  Or that corporate culture can’t be equally inconsistent in the way it treats men.
        I’m not trying to make light of the issue but it does seem as though presenting this as being somehow a uniquely female thing actually risks diminishing how important it actually is to all of us.

        • Anne Sauer says:

          I don’t think she’s making that presumption at all. Rather, she’s saying that (in her experience) the consequences of refusing the pickle juice have been harsher, because of her gender.

        • Lauren Seals says:

          No, see, the difference here is that women are trained to drink the pickle juice, say please and thank you and produce as little conflict as possible. This is the implicit education in our society and boys and men aren’t generally exposed to. Men are put in that position, but not as a societal standard.

          • LaylaSV says:

            It goes farther than that. When I don’t drink the pickle juice I am instantly acting ungraciously and am perceived as less feminine as a result. I wanted my overtime pay, I didn’t want to give up a part of my gender identity in the process.

             We don’t even have a word that is equivalent to emasculated and we desperately need one. In the average pursuit of my career goals I am casually efemulated at work all the damn time.

      • I just want to point out, that in an totally literal sense, pickle juice isn’t all that bad. 

      • Guest says:

        “when I tell a magazine that I won’t work for less than a certain price per word I am not being an evil bitch.”

        No, you’re not. But to someone, you will be. And who cares? Do your thing and stop worrying what other people think of you. That’s the big difference: “assertive” males, whether they’re just being assertive or are in fact being dickheads, don’t really care if other people think negatively of them, in fact they relish being feared and hated. Women should too. If you want to be “assertive,” know that being hated, called a bitch, comes with the territory. You can’t have it both ways. The dude in this video who is supporting her position is behind her back or maybe just in his thoughts fearful of her wrath and thinks she’s a bitch. As well he should. She compares herself to Donald Trump and Lil Wayne. No one in their right mind thinks those two are anything less than assholes. Newsflash: American culture celebrates assholes and dickheads. You want to be accepted for being “assertive?” You’re going to have to accept that it means relishing your role as a bitch. Like I said, own it.

    • Toby Graves says:

      I’ve never had a problem with female bosses being assertive, but I have noticed there is a definite lack of friendliness and ability to be anything less than dead serious in their work personalities.  I’ve had 4 or 5 female managers.

      • blueelm says:

        It is carefully cultivated after years of ass-slapping, pervy suggestion making, creepy (insert: unwanted) kissing, hair-pulling, rumor spreading goodness IME.

        By the way, I am not terribly friendly and dead serious. See above.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Or it could just be their reaction to your particular work environment. Or to you.

        I’ve had about a dozen women managers. In an industry where the bulk of the workers are women. I only ran across one that fit your description. The others ranged from ‘friendly at work’ to joining me on drunken late night bondage club crawls.

    • social_maladroit says:

      Oh for crying out loud. Look, I will admit that I enjoy looking at pictures of pretty, nekkid women, so I’m not exactly a poster boy for womens’ equality.

      But some of the comments in this thread…

      paulehoffman: “…her limited vocabulary and poor imitation abilities made her sound like a 16-year-old…”

      So she doesn’t talk like she has a Harvard education. Does that make what she’s saying any less true?

      brerrabbit23: “I’m not sure leaning on “Well, Wayne gets to blow pot smoke in people’s faces whenever he wants, so so should I” does much to encourage people toward gender neutrality”

      No, that’s not what she said. Try again.

      seyo: “I disagree strongly with the meme of “when a man is assertive, he’s a boss, when a woman is assertive, she’s a bitch.” it’s a false equivalence.”

      Let me make a wild-assed guess: You’re male.

    • TheMudshark says:

       For what it´s worth, I definitely think Donald Trump is an evil dickhead.

    • CH says:

      You are a guy, right? No way can you be a woman. Show some hands here gals… is there anyone here who _hasn’t_ run into this?

      I’ve run into “assertive women are bitches” so, so many times. It’s not about behaving like bitches… it’s about if you are assertive in any way… like, oh my goodness, have an opinion(!)… you are suddenly a bitch. Or have PMS. I have personally run into this mostly on discussion forums. You can have guys discussing things, and then a woman pipes up… and suddenly her point is totally invalid because she is apparently on the rag.

      It’s not so much about the woman as her opinion… to totally devaluate her opinion so it doesn’t have to be taken into account. Keep your eyes open… see how often you see somebody suggest that a woman must be on her period for something she just said or wrote.

  3. bcsizemo says:

    I don’t have words to express my “like” …rage….

  4. Teller says:

    I think Nicky Minaj got, as they say, it going on.

  5. Interesting. I found my definition of “quality” when I searched the dictionary, but I couldn’t find hers. Should I try Oxford instead?

  6. I just want to know why the video is backwards.

  7. WilliamRayner2 says:

    “I put quality in what I do” Biggest lie of the century, seriously how can what Nicki Minaj produces be considered even remotely good? It’s an absolute load of shit. Mainstream ‘music’ is probably the biggest threat to real music, people only buy into this shit because the media tells them to like it.

    • When she was still up-and-coming, and nearly all of her output was as a guest on shittier artists’ tracks, I thought she had a chance to give mainstream hip-hop a much-needed infusion of creativity (and from a female).
      Then everything else happened. I challenge anyone to sit through anything she’s done in the past 2 years.

      • WilliamRayner2 says:

        While I can’t ever imagine Nicki Minaj having any talent whatsoever (that sounds completely abstract to me), I understand what you mean. 

        It seems that once an artist goes mainstream and is taken on by one of the big music companies, they have a lot less creative control over their work that they produce because of the music industry’s constant need to sell as many albums/singles as they can. This is probably one of the main reasons why I prefer independent music.

      • Stupid Hoe is freakin awesome and (maybe because I don’t listen to enough on the hip-hop side of things) it is different from anything else I’ve heard. And then the video, THE VIDEO http://youtu.be/T6j4f8cHBIM

        • Coderjoe says:

           GAH. That video (and the song) seems like it is attempting to hypnotize. I didn’t even make it past about halfway, but even that was at least 80% hook and rapidly flashing visuals.

          • penguinchris says:

            I was aware of her existence but hadn’t (knowingly) heard any of her music until clicking on that video. Not a fan but compared to a lot of modern pop music, it could be worse, I guess? I have known people, and I am aware of internet communities of people, who would like this and I’m not surprised that they do.

            I’ll give her one thing – she’s not creating songs from an algorithm designed to please everybody. She’s filling a niche. That’s a good thing in general, IMO, even if it sounds like shit to most people.

            By the way that video has over 56 million views and has “275,635 likes, 587,594 dislikes” – never seen a split like that for a popular musician’s video!

      • I think she’s a hell of a good rapper. Listen to her contribution to Kanye’s “Monster” and tell me that’s not a virtuoso. And that was within the last two years (November, 2010).

    • EH says:

      Some old guy thinks Nicky Minaj’s music is shit. NEWS AT 11

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      What is this “real music” that you speak of?

    • dejadee says:

      Musical quality aside, her music and video production quality is top notch.

      Also, I’m not ashamed to admit I like mainstream music. (and dubstep! Gasp!) It’s just a simple beat to put on the background when I’m driving or doing work. Not something I have to think about.

      Point #3: Pop music has existed since probably forever and people have not stopped making “real music,” so I don’t think it’s as big of a threat as you think.

      • Little Mouse says:

        It’s true about point #3. When Mozart first came on the scene he was basically decried as Ruining Chamber Music FOR-EVAH! Yet, roll on a few hundred years and he’s suddenly “classic” and enjoyed by many as a high-brow listening experience.

      • bcsizemo says:

        I’ll agree that the music itself isn’t that bad I just can’t stand the simplistic rhyming structure in most of her songs.

        And I like the dubstep as well..

    • LaylaSV says:

      I’d like to stand up and be counted as someone who thinks Nicki Minaj’s output is awesome. The media did not tell me this. The video for “Beez in the Trap” did.

      Do I have large philosophical differences with a lot of her lyrical content, you bet – but damn if it isn’t quality entertainment.

    • ocker3 says:

       Quality may not refer just to what kind of music is produced, but how professional they behave, no matter the resulting output, which is influenced by quite a variety of factors, including fan demand (of which there is a Lot).

      As Jim Carrey once said on Letterman, it takes a lot of very talented people, a huge amount of work and a lot of money to make a Bad movie. Even if the eventual output doesn’t rise to expectations (of the creators or just people with more refined palates than the average teen who follows trends to fit in), it can still make a lot of money, and still require some very talented people putting in a lot of hard work to make. So while her definition of Quality may not produce the kind of music most BB readers would enjoy, it still takes a lot of hard work to produce music to the standard required for popular release.

  8. jc⋇gonzo says:

    Love her, she deserves more credit from weirdos like us than she gets.

  9. semiotix says:

    She’s totally right about the double standard. But damn, she has an edge. On his best day Trump is a still a buffoon, which is where her comparison kind of falls apart. She should be comparing how people talk about her to how they talk about ninjas, or maybe Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction

    I have no doubt that she still gets crap that male badass-archetypes don’t, but Nicky, please, don’t denigrate yourself further by putting Donald Trump’s name in the same sentence as yours!

    It lets it be of quality or it drinks the pickle juice.

  10. Navin_Johnson says:

    She’s right on in respect to her general complaints, although I’d say if some dude’s opening gambit was “Don’t fucking talking to me!”, “Have my fucking music ready!” and so on, I’d say he was a major dick and courting a fist sandwich. Try being a civil human being, that ragin’ diva shit is intolerable no matter who you are (gender/class/job ranking), or whether you’re in ‘the biz’ or not.

  11. Swearing at people because they got you the wrong juice isn’t about professionalism, any more than it was when Spinal Tap got given bread that was too small for their ham sandwich. Context is everything. Give me a better example and I might sympathise more.

    • LaylaSV says:

      It is not about swearing at someone that got you the wrong juice – it is about being a top selling artist and not having the correct juice provided as a matter of course. God. I read that sentence back and I am aware of how horrible it sounds. Keep in mind this is super entertainment industry specific and, in the context of this particular industry, what she is asking for is standard.

      I say this as someone who once decorated an edit suite in all white for Madonna.

      • MB44 says:

        Yep. This is just industry specific stuff. It is the equivalent to a contractor requesting a box of screws and getting nails from the foreman . I can’t relate to have the wrong juice but I can relate to not having the right shit to do a job that I was hired to do.

      • ocker3 says:

         She also mentioned a limited wardrobe budget, which seemed to indicate a total overall lack of investment and commitment to the project by other people working on it. I can certainly understand a performer for whom image and visual quality is key to succcess refusing to participate in a project that has a very poor chance of turning out well.

  12. Mark Dow says:

    Apropos of pickle juice (and only pickle juice): I once picked up a hungry hitchhiker who politely asked to drink the pickle juice, and was grateful for it. I had thought I was traveling light and low budget. I think about him every time I eat a pickle.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       Double entendre overload.  That’s like a filthy old blues song.

      I said if you want to riiiiiiiide
      you gotta drink that pickle juice
      I said if you want to riiiiiiide
      you gotta drink that pickle juice

      When that pickle juice starts runnin’…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Yeah, I totally drank pickle juice when I was a child. I have seriously bad sour cravings.

  13. spacemunky says:

    I don’t know her music, but I’m mentally filing her under “badass”.  This is the difference between a vapid entertainer who stumbles into success under the good graces of looks and handlers, and someone who works hard, has goals, and uses the system instead of being used. Badass.

    Of course all remarks of “hurr durr, that’s not music” are from the conceited who assume they are the target audience of everything they see or hear. Taste is subjective, people. Other things can exist without diminishing what you like.

    • Toby Graves says:

       Taste may be subjective but quality is not.

      • spacemunky says:

        Correct! Quality is verifiable against something’s intended purpose, taste is just personal preference. I’m glad we could come to this agreement.

    • Jerril says:

       I know nothing about her music! However, I have to give props to anyone bold enough to perform in a neon beehive wig. That takes self confidence, and being able to project self confidence in everything you do is a pretty good start to being a good performer.

      It’s also what it takes to start sticking up for yourself when you’re being taken advantage of. I worked at a company that had a very unusual gender balance in the programming department – turns out because they got away with paying us peanuts. As mentioned upthread, women are raised to lack self-confidence in most professional things, and they aggravated it by staffing mostly with new immigrants who were anxious to make a place for themselves to boot, and desperately needed to get income in for their families as well. Exploitation all around.

      Then we had a bit of a revolution *evil grin* which actually splashed down to other parts of the company. Without causing it to go belly up either, proving it really wasn’t an “or we starve” situation.

      Sometimes you DO just have to put your damn foot down.

  14. wilmcdaniel says:

    I like cotton candy.

  15. Boundegar says:

    I wonder why this video was heavily censored.  Was it produced for network TV, or is all of youtube cuss-averse and I never noticed?

    • grs says:

       It was a segment from an MTV mini-documentary where they followed her around when she first started becoming popular a few years back. Don’t ask me why I know this.

    •  I really wish it weren’t. It’s so stupid. Those are strong words and I wish I could hear them. Can anybody find an uncensored version?

    • Lauren Seals says:

      wow you point.

      what she is saying is that when women assert themselves, they’re automatically labeled as bitch. it has nothing to do with what the particular complaint is. anything that defies “little girls should be seen and not heard” results in “bitch”. her point about the pickle juice, which sounds ridiculous but is actually very serious, is that if she lets the little things slip, the big things will slip and she will lose that respect. Most guys automatically get that respect so maybe they don’t have to be a “douchebag” about those things. Most women have to fight and battle for it. I will not begrudge her the ability to walk out on something she doesn’t think is worth her time. She does not owe anyone an apology.

  16. bklynchris says:

    Pickle juice is now code for female directed sexism.  Women everywhere!  Don’t drink the pickle juice!   Or, “lid of the pickle jar” instead of “glass ceiling” (recognizing, however, that jar lids are not translucent).  Minaj’s new hit should be all about drinking pickle juice, metaphorically speaking that is.

    btw-I love her music, her crazy, crazy music.

  17. Simper says:

    I don’t know anything about the artist or her on set behavior. I however am a female IT manager in a medium size manufacturing company and I know her overall message is true from experience.  I have had former employees call me a nag to my face for asking why they had not completed assignments on time. If you have an assignment and don’t do it I expect to know why. If you are already past your deadline it is not unreasonable for me to check in on your progress. Giving you an assignment and sending you an email after your due date is not nagging it is doing my job. That’s what managers do, make sure you are doing your job. I have absolutely never heard a man called a nag or any of the many choice words I have heard when I expect my employees to perform at an industry standard level.

    My going theory is that (in at least) the IT career and the manufacturing industry are generally low on females so most of the people I have worked with have very little experience working with women in the first place (doesn’t help that I work in small town nowhere). So it seems like the only comparison to female authority they have are all soft spoken, hugable, kiss it to make it better, bake you cookies just for showing up kind of mommy figures. When these type of people come across female managers that aren’t going to give them a gold star for just showing up to class they automatically feel rejected and confused. This situation sets the female boss up to fail no matter what. If I give you something to do and you don’t do it and I ask why then I’m a nag. If you don’t do it and I don’t ask nothing gets done I risk getting canned for being a lousy manager.

    After awhile you realize you can’t win and if you want to keep your job and stay in the industry you have to get a thick skin. In a fast paced industry no one gets to stick around for long if they don’t pull their weight and I am not going to be any different than any male you work for. Show up, do your job and stay employed. If you have other expectations I suggest you find an alternative career that will win you praise for just showing up and breathing company air.

    If you want to talk about your cat and your kids I can do that, I’m not a robot, but please don’t expect me to let you walk all over me or lower my expectations just because I have lady parts.

  18. nxmehta says:

    There is NO QUESTION that gender roles and expectations are totally fucked up when it comes to assertiveness.  It’s wrong that women have to fight so much harder for the same amount of respect, and as their reward they are labeled a “bitch”.

    THAT BEING SAID, you can be assertive without being a jerk about it.  There’s really not a whole lot of reasons to be a dick to someone else.  It’s actually not that hard…

  19. Ladyfingers says:

    Nearly every time I read something about Nicky Minaj, I think she sounds great.

    I am voluntarily nearly totally  isolated from TV and radio, and so I had no real idea what her music sounded like. I did, however, have a neighbour with a big sound system whose taste in music veered to mid-pace sloganeering with insistent thumping. The most brainless stuff. I managed to decipher some lyrics, looked them up, and hey presto, I’d finally heard Nicky Minaj.

  20. grs says:

    I just can’t relate to her comments from a professional stand point. It has to be an industry thing. If I reserve a conference room and they have stale cookies instead of the fresh muffins I’d prefer, I just can’t walk out and say F it. I still need to get my work done. Look at the contract docs, look at the services provided, and come to a working resolution. It’s called being professional and that’s bossing up. (Or send the lawyers after them.)

    • I submit that an artist in the entertainment industry has a much higher stake in her public image than you do. Please note that her first complaint was about the $50 costume budget. If she does a chintzy photo shoot and shows up in a magazine looking like crap, that hurts her public image in a way that your stale  cookies don’t.

      The pickle juice was, while probably literally true, more of a metaphor for being treated wrong and needing to stand up for your professional standards. 

      • penguinchris says:

        Agreed but @boingboing-a0b245148e6b663a16a5bb5dad7e9f04:disqus does have a point. For whatever reason, musicians have been making a big deal about the wrong color m&ms or being served the wrong juice or whatever since at least the 60′s where in most cases it isn’t really something they should be getting particularly upset about. 

        In the past, this is something that everyone laughed about. I think it’s really funny that this is now being used in the way it is – probably because it’s a legitimate complaint if all you’re provided to drink is pickle juice, unlike having the wrong color m&ms ;)

        But something that actually affects the work is a different story. Having shitty clothes for a photoshoot definitely counts, or having inferior recording equipment or whatever. To go back to the conference room analogy, being provided a small HDTV instead of a projector to give your important presentation is maybe equivalent. As grs said, the stale muffins really don’t matter; you might still get a little upset about it if you intended to serve them to clients or something but even then it’s not really worth getting upset about.

        By the way I do realize it’s being used as a metaphor for the more insidious injustices against females in this and every industry. Taken in context it’s powerful, but it’s a silly and meaningless complaint otherwise regardless of who makes it. This has nothing to do with my opinion of the matter, which is primarily “guys are dicks, fuck them”.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          The M&M color thing was a compliance test so that they could have some idea whether the venue bothered with more important things like safety.

  21. Mari Lwyd says:

    Bossed-up AKA being an asshole AKA being a shitty person whom with I will not work or associate. Politeness will almost always carry the day.

    I don’t care what the gender, I don’t like or respect “being an asshole” as a behaviour.

  22. snipehunt says:

     Oh, are you commenting on a performer’s creative use of diction for humor’s sake? Hi Hater!

  23. Breck Chumley says:

    It seems to me that the title of the post is written to express irony and juxtapose the content with the context. This smacks of slut-shaming. I hope I’m wrong about the intent there. 

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      You think eyeliner is slutty?

      • Cefeida says:

        I think he thinks the title implied it was, and to be honest, I had the same reaction. 

      • LaylaSV says:

        When first reading the title I too thought it was the set-up for a joke based on the stupid idea that girls who like make-up shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  I don’t see how you get all the way to slut-shaming per se, but, to me, the phrase “…while applying eyeliner,” is clearly meant to stand in contrast to the first part of the sentence.  The sentence could equally have ended,  “… while getting ready” or “…..while backstage at a show” etc. so, yeah, there was definitely a choice made to link sexism and make-up.

    • charming.quark says:

      If you will notice, Xeni posted this.  Do you really think Xeni was trying to slut-shame Nicki Minaj? Really?  No, I mean really?

  24. Cefeida says:

    What pleased me most about this video was the gentleman agreeing with her in the background. 

  25. Walt Guyll says:

    This comes the day after the news about the twitstorm over Frank Turner’s takedown of Minaj:

    http://acculturated.com/2012/07/09/music-festival-etiquette-nicki-minaj-vs-frank-turner/#more-3602

  26. Enkinan says:

    I read almost all of the comments before actually putting some of her music on. Pretty ironic that the two songs I heard were barely more than her demeaning women. “Stupid Hoe” and “Bitches ain’t shit” were at least 50% of the “content” of each song. 

  27. charming.quark says:

    It’s sad to see so much thoughtless (and sometimes quite insidious) sexism going on in this thread that is just EXACTLY the thing that Ms. Minaj is complaining about in this video.

    A standard “ism” thought experiment:  suppose this was L’il Wayne in this video, complaining about what he goes through to get people to treat him the same as a white artist.  Would a comment thread full of “sounds like a child”, “I hate his music/his music sux”, “everybody has to deal with discrimination, man up already”, “no one can take him srsly unless he acts in a way I respect” be seen as anything other than blatant racism?

  28. Susan Carley Oliver says:

     Cf. Douglas Hofstadter’s “Person Paper on Purity in Language”.

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