Angel Haze Responds to Richard Cohen

Rapper Angel Haze has joined in the chorus of folks calling out Richard Cohen for his indefensible post- VMA column.

In case you missed it the Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen suggested that there was a relationship between Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and the Steubenville Rape case and it went a little something like this:

“She’s a cheap act, no doubt about it, but for me her performance was an opportunity to discuss one of the summer’s most arresting pieces of journalism — a long New Yorker account of what became known as the Steubenville Rape. Cyrus should read it.”

After discussing the specifics of the Steubenville Rape for some time he circles back to how and why this is really about Miley:

“But let me also suggest that acts such as hers not only objectify women but debase them. They encourage a teenage culture that has set the women’s movement back on its heels. What is being celebrated is not sexuality but sexual exploitation, a mean casualness that deprives intimacy of all intimacy.”

Cohen has been taken to task for his piece and rightly so.  Fundamentally he’s not discussing “teenage” culture but perpetuating rape culture–namely the ongoing implication that the rape of a woman is hers to prevent.  By his logic Miley’s VMA performance somehow gives drunk frat dudes the okay because something about casual sex?

Angel Haze went after Cohen in an epic Twitter rant- previously, she’s told her own story.

In a song called “Cleaning Out My Closet” that samples music from Eminem’s song by the same name she offers a haunting and horrifying account of being sexually abused as a child. At one point she raps about coming to terms with what happened to her:

“And psychologically I was just as fucked as they come
I was confused, I had to prove I wasn’t fucked from the jump
I was afraid of myself, I had no love for myself
I tried to kill, I tried to hide, I tried to run from myself
There was a point in my life where I didn’t like who I was
So I’d create the other people I would try to become
Sexuality came into play and with as scared as I was
I was extremely scared of men so I started liking girls
I started starving myself, fucked up my bodily health
I didn’t wanna be attracted to nobody else
I didn’t want the appeal, wanted to stunt my own growth
But there’s a fucking reason behind every scar that I show
I never got to be a kid so that’s as far as I grow
My mental state is out of date, and that’s as far as I know
My biggest problem was fear, and what being fearful could do
It made me run, it made me hide it made me scared of the truth
I’m not deranged anymore, I’m not the same anymore
I mean I’m sane but I’m insane but not the same as before”

Rape is a real thing that happens to real people.  Different people handle it differently. Some internalize the belief that it was somehow their fault — columns like Cohen’s serve to validate that assumption.

Richard Cohen is wrong.

You can listen to Angel Haze’s song in full below and check out the lyrics here.

2 Responses to "Angel Haze Responds to Richard Cohen"
cwaltz | Tuesday September 10, 2013 10:46 pm 1

Can someone remind me again when Richard Fucking Cohen grew a vagina so that he can determine what DOES and DOES NOT set back the women’s movement? Seriously? I get that there are men out there that are empathetic and that they try really hard to understand what it is like to be a woman, however they aren’t women. It’s the equivalent of me saying I get being a guy. I don’t. I’m not one, I’ll never be one so I don’t pretend to speak on behalf of them. So let me hand Richard a heaping helping of STFU.

As for Miley, she’s young. You can hear her youth in her songs(most of us hit a point where we recognize we CAN say what want but that does not mean that saying what we want doesn’t come without consequences, and just because we CAN do some things, doesn’t mean we should.) Quite frankly, she strikes me as someone still figuring out who she is and trying to find her power and doing it in all the shallowest but probably most cost effective ways. *shrugs* Young people have learning curves.

On to Steubenville, what really angers me about Steubenville is that the impression I got from the interviews is the young lady in question who was raped may very well have a drinking problem. Instead of ADULTS helping her and trying to get this girl the help she needs and instead of teaching these kids that you don’t exploit people with problems, the ADULTS decided to revictimize her by pulling out every excuse in the book for why it was acceptable to rape her and why these boys didn’t deserve to face consequences. It was appalling. So now we most likely have a young woman with a drinking problem but also a young woman with a TRUST problem(after all this poor girl thought these people she was drinking with were her friends. And she got doubly let down because the ADULTS decided to side with a bunch of little punks well on their way to becoming sociopaths.) Guess what REALLY causes problems when it comes to INTIMACY? The inability to trust people because experience has taught you that people aren’t trustworthy. That’s right Miley Cyrus gyrating/twerking probably isn’t really an impediment to intimacy(she’s the 11 millionth excuse SOME guys might use to justify their behavior but if she weren’t around they’d come up with another one, it’s been MY experience that SOME of them don’t want to ever take responsibility for their own actions.) However, ADULTS who ignore children when they are exploited and instead decide that it’s okay to exploit “some” people because insert excuse a, b and c ARE the problem. They create an environment where sex becomes sex simply because there can be no real intimacy if there isn’t an ability to trust.

So, in short, Richard Cohen and his douchebagging excuses for why young men don’t believe they should have to keep their hands to themselves when someone is impaired ARE A LARGE PART OF THE PROBLEM. An inebriated guy could gyrate buck naked in front of me and I wouldn’t consider that an excuse to rape him. Why? I’m an adult that understands that taking advantage of someone is never the right thing to do. I just don’t get why GUYS like Cohen can’t spend their time teaching that instead of coming up with reasons why and when rapists should be totally justified in their behavior.


sapphirebulletsofpurelove | Wednesday September 11, 2013 09:40 am 2

Good on Angel!

What a joke this guy is. If anything significant depends on “teenage culture”-we’re all doomed. And yet, ironically-such a wonderfully more compassionate, intelligent and honest accounting of what this is all about from a 20-year-old than from one of our appointed “Very Serious People.”

Rapists cause rape. Nothing else.


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