Has the 'Down A-- Chick' Changed?

Crunk Feminist Collective columnist Robin Boylorn argues that the definition of hip-hop's "down a-- chick" has changed.

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Thanks to hip-hop songs like Ja Rule's "Down A-- Chick" and the enduring relationship of oft-embattled MC T.I. and wife Tameka "Tiny" Cottle-Harris, the "down a-- chick'" archetype is a celebrated but often limiting female stereotype in black culture. Crunk Feminist Collective contributor Robin Boylorn details how her recent academic analysis of the black male has made her re-think this paradigm's place in African-American culture.

As a self-proclaimed "good girl" I find it problematic that "good girls" are punished for being good. While we may be the ones men claim to "want" (in the long run, when they are finally ready to settle down and do right) most of the good sisters I know are situationally single. The good girl is put in the pocket while the other woman gets the attention, affection, love, sex, children, etc. What is wrong with that picture? And the catch is, if good girls grow tired of waiting and become ambivalent about this wait-and-see kind of love, and if they transform themselves to the version of themselves that men will pay attention to, they will no longer be "good" and therefore no longer be desired (in the long run). Ain't that some ish? Patriarchy at its finest…

When I was 17 years old, I aspired to be a down a-- chick. I was into pseudo-thugs and pretty boys, or any combination of the two, and (would have) gladly compromised my goals to be "down." Here is what a down-ass chick was: loyal, sexual, willing to lie, die, kill (read: fight), or steal for her ni**a. She kept her mouth shut and legs slightly open, but only for her dude. She was supportive and submissive, and essentially self-sacrificing. She was glamorized in the music and films of the late 90s, early 2000s (and even currently) and she always got the dude—whether he was worthy of being had or not (keep in mind that having the dude included being his "main girl" if he had other girls, or being his faithful chick on the streets if he was locked up).

Read Robin Boylorn's entire piece at the Crunk Feminist Collective.

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