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My mental state is out of date, and that’s as far as I know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.