Hate the Ladies

Monday my timeline went apeshit over a picture Bossip (its name derived from Black gossip) posted to accompany its exclusive interview with Esther Baxter. Baxter, the ex-girlfriend of D-list rapper Joe Budden, has somewhat remained under the radar until recently. Now she will be forever linked to her relationship drama with a rapper who hasn’t had a hit song since “Pump, pump, pump it up.”

Budden’s “Ordinary Love Shit Part. 3,” is a tell all song where he gets some unresolved tension off his chest. In the song he discloses private details about the tragedies of his dysfunctional relationship with Esther. He rhymes:

Yeah we beefin’ I dragged you off the bed
I swear to this day I re-enacted in my head
So I held you up, wasn’t what I aimed to do
I aint attack you, Bitch I was restrainin’ you!

I lost my unborn daughter when we fought
I’m thinkin I killed Aspen!

And that’s when I thought that we’d be dead awhile
But we decided to reconcile

And all I could do is laugh at myself
As I thought, why is ol’girl suckin up Derrick Ward for?

The song continues on in a tirade depicting Esther as a trifling, cheating, “whore.” In addition to disclosing all of their business, whether true or not, he admits to fighting Esther and the loss of more than one child. (She has only admitted to losing one child). When Esther got wind of the song getting attention on the net, she was not pleased with his assessment of her or their relationship.

Within the same week Esther and Joe took to Twitter to tell their very different sides of what occurred. Esther revealed the real reason they lost their child- domestic violence- and threatened to release the court documents as proof. Joe refuted the claims saying, “Women have to think of new lines besides he hit me.” Tweets were eventually erased, but the damage had already been done. And the two had served as a spectacle for the entire web to see.

The erased tweets didn’t protect Esther from the misguided Budden fans (how does he still have fans?). Fans, women and men, attacked Esther for sleeping with a football player while she was still in a committed with Joe. Although these were nothing more than allegations, because he put it in a song it must be true. Random people who don’t know him or her from a hole in the wall, chimed in that Esther was a whore who deserved her lot.

Yesterday picked up where the previous week left off. In hopes of telling her side of the story, Bossip claims Esther reached out to them. Her nine-minute on camera interview dispelled rumors of being currently pregnant or cheating on Joe while they were together. She was also firm in her response about not going back to Joe after he beat her on that awful night in February. For the remainder of the interview she painfully recounts that night describing how she was choked, hit and how he sat on her pregnant stomach  eventually causing them to lose their unborn daughter.

Bossip couldn’t leave it at the interview, the pictures of her bruises, the New Jersey charges against Joe, and the restraining order. Bossip had to take it to the most repulsive level by posting the picture of her dead fetus.

People used Twitter to express their disgust for them taking it too far, including Russell Simmons’ Global Grind blog, which suggested their followers boycott the website. Bossip’s response was, “She released the photo to us.” Esther later denied releasing the photo of her dead fetus and it was eventually taken down.

But the photo was nothing but a mere distraction from the real issues at play: women being seen as disposable and the therapy BOTH Esther and Joe need immediately.

Opinions ran the gamut of Esther being trifling to Bossip being a disgrace to the blogosphere. Again, very little attention was paid to the fact that Joe Budden beat this woman to the point of her losing their child.

If Esther released the photo of her dead fetus Bossip should have used discretion by not publishing it. But I don’t expect much from Bossip. I imagine if she did release the photo, she wanted people to see what Joe took from her. It is one thing to say, “He killed our child,” and quite another to show it. Bottom line: the photo should have never been published.

The more important issue is society’s devaluing of women. In the case of Esther Baxter, onlookers strongly justified her being beaten because of her video vixen, groupie, gold digging, whorish ways (their words not mine). And this is where we as a society are totally screwed up.

I don’t care what label sexist women and men want to hang over her head, no woman deserves to be hit by a man for any reason. Ever.

The leading cause of death for pregnant women is homicide. Eight-five, yes, 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women. So the argument that men get abused too is moot here.

The other issue is the therapy both Joe and Esther need in order to heal. Joe has admittedly rapped about being on meds for his chemical imbalance; and accusations of him being a woman-beater were thunderous long before Esther. Joe is hurting. He is emoting through violence against women. Esther’s trauma is unfathomable. She cannot continue on as if this will not affect her in the future. Her heart needs to heal. And so does her soul.

We must shift gears on the direction of our conversations around domestic violence. Insinuating the woman must have done something to get hit or blaming her for the abuse is counterproductive. And the notion that it’s excusable for certain types of women to be abused is flawed and morally corrupt.

Joe Budden should be behind bars. His behavior and remorseless attitude makes me sick to my stomach. Co-signing his behavior makes you a part of the problem. It becomes evident we have to begin with the children teaching love, self-worth and how to express themselves without violence. Changing the tone of discourse around violence against women helps change mindsets, slowly, but surely. Only then may we be considered fully human and incapable of being disposed of.

Society must do better by its women. It must.

‘Cause if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies who will hate the ladies. – Tupac

  • bonnie2blessed

    In regards to your last line, the quote from Tupac….we are the generation of young women who are despised by the men we are supposed to be protected and loved by. Sad. I used to be mesmerized by Esther Baxter's body. She was the ideal to me, till I grew up and stopped comparing myself to others. However, to see her in this position, abused and then to lose a child because of it, I can't imagine what she must be going through.

    • Zee Kay

      You aer so right, I find myself lacking respect for the men of our generation.

  • The hatred of women in our society is daunting. Every time a woman is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault somehow someway "its her fault." I feel for Ester Baxter. She did not deserve to be beaten to the point that her body had to reject her pregnancy. Fact is Joe Budden hates women & has no problem expressing that hatred in the most violent way. Baxter shouldn't not be bullied or shamed for this.

  • shelahmarie

    This whole fiasco is disgusting.

  • Zee Kay

    It has come to my attention that men love womens bodies but actually(in some cases) hate the woman. This is made apparent with this situation. It hurts to the core that other woman will make excuses as to why a woman was beaten, no excuse is ever viable. We need to come together as a race and as women and learn to love one another, put the petty hating aside and realize that we all need one another and it doesn't hurt to say so.

  • Jared Wilkins

    Thanks Bene for another well thought out piece. The conversation as it pertains to violence against women is one that needs to be brought up in many different segments of society. Sadly, the conversation of violence against women of color, is often put on the back burner. If you are violated and non-white, hopefully, your story can display on the news ticker, much less an entire segment dedicated to it. It's sad that she had to go to Bossip to be heard.

    Secondly, why do we have to air our issues on a national stage? Would it not be enough to pick up the phone and call? Why is it necessary to twitfight or bash someone in a song? Practicing best methods of communication is something Joe and Esther would need to go through in their counseling sessions. There was no need for this whole fiasco to go past Joe, Esther and a counselor (and a judge after Joe was released from jail). Of course, Joe brought this upon himself when he released the song.

    Zee Kay, I would press your initial comment, "I find myself lacking respect for the men of our generation." None of the men I am friends with are like Joe Budden. We love and respect our wives, mothers, sisters, females cousins etc. Don't allow the Joe Buddens to cause you to lose faith in the rest of us :).

    • Zee Kay

      I completely understand that all men are not like Joe budden, I would like to get to the core of why there is a lack of respect. Where are we going wrong in our relationships?

  • The abuse, the loss of a child, the fact that this played out in the media – sad. We have to be better people.

    Michelle for http://www.triumphant-she.blogspot.com

  • Kenya A Jackson