In case you don’t follow mainstream hip-hop, let me tell you about “Fuckin’ Problems”. It’s a song by A$AP Rocky, featuring Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar. The lyrics aren’t super consistent, but basically it’s about how these dudes like to “fuck bitches” and party, blah blah blah.
I like “Fuckin’ Problems” because it’s catchy and I have disturbingly misogynistic music taste, which I swear is not on purpose. (C’mon 106.1 KMEL, play more Nicki Minaj and less Chris Brown!) 2 Chainz does the chorus, which goes like this: “I love bad bitches; that my fuckin’ problem. Yeah I like to fuck; I got a fuckin’ problem.” Our relationship correspondent, the Accidental Man Eater, would surely have some words to educate these fellows, but we’ll leave that aside for the moment.
After playing “Fuckin’ Problems” on YouTube, I scrolled down to read the comments for some misguided reason. YouTube comments are usually literal trash, but this time I encountered a joke that made me laugh out loud:
“Whoopi Goldberg killed this!”
I cracked up. Because, okay, 2 Chainz does look a little like Whoopi Goldberg. It’s the braids/dreadlocks. Maybe there’s a bit of resemblance around the forehead?
Whoopi Goldberg and a friend.
See? Whoopi and 2 Chainz have similar hairdos. (To be clear, I’m not saying that all guys with dreadlocks look like Whoopi Goldberg, or that they look like anything other than regular dudes with a particular hairstyle. In 2 Chainz’s case, it’s a combination of the hair and slightly similar facial structure.)
2 Chainz being a cute dad.
After I stopped giggling, I took a moment to think about why it was funny to compare 2 Chainz to Whoopi Goldberg. Partially, I laughed because the comparison was unexpected and yet spot on. No problem there. However, one layer deeper, the joke says, “2 Chainz looks like a woman lolol.” Which is… not funny. In fact, it’s harmful to a group of women who already get kicked when they’re down.
Trans women are rarely accepted as “real women”, which is ridiculous because womanhood is something every self-identified lady gets to define for herself, regardless of her body or looks. One of the ways that society excludes trans women is by making jokes about “men dressing up as women” or vice versa. It’s not cool to reinforce stereotypes about how people of certain genders “should” look, unless the butt of the joke is cisnormativity.
Illustration by 12secretak on Instagram.
Cisnormativity is the assumption that everyone does or should identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth. In reality, genitals do not define gender. To learn more about this, I suggest spending an absurd amount of time on Tumblr, which is what I did. Googling around might be more efficient.
What do you think? Is the joke shitty, or am I too sensitive?