Content warning: This piece contains references to rape and violence against women that may be distressing.
This week, Noisey, Vice’s music channel, published a piece in defence of rap artist Tyler the Creator. The article, entitled ‘#FreeTylerTheCreator And Reject Theresa May’s Dumb Logic’ painted Tyler as a victim of racism and ignorance, and presented misinformation about campaigns against him.
The piece opens by describing a “moving” performance by TTC, summed up with the following statement:
"This – a peaceful lover of nature – is an artist who remains banned from entering the UK under any circumstances.”
It's hard to imagine such a “peaceful lover of nature” could be behind lyrics like “rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome”, or a wealth of others glorifying rape and extreme violence against women, murder, mutilating women’s genitals, stuffing them into car boots, trapping them in his basement, raping their corpses and burying their bodies.
The author suggests there is no basis for TTC to be refused access into any country, and that bans were motivated by racism:
"It was a very blatant case of making an example out of someone for no reason other than the fact that he’s black and angry and all the other countries under the Queen’s rule were doing it.”
The author's lack of research doesn’t end there, with the article incorrectly stating that after being banned from entering New Zealand in 2014, TTC became the focus of Collective Shout.
Collective Shout first campaigned against Tyler the Creator in June of 2013, not because he is “black and angry”, but due to his songs advocating rape and violence against women, often defended by his fans as ‘art’. In the course of our campaign, young activist Talitha Stone wrote a tweet accusing Tyler the Creator of promoting misogyny. TTC responded by sharing her tweet with his millions of followers, who predictably jumped at the opportunity to prove their loyalty by threatening to rape and murder Talitha, with police involvement required after one fan tweeted her home address.
Just days later, Tyler launched into an abusive tirade against Talitha who was in the crowd at his Sydney concert, calling her a bitch, whore and c*** as concertgoers cheered. He then proceeded to dedicate the song ‘Bitch Suck Dick’ to her, which contains the lyrics “You dead bitch, I'm hot as f*ck…Punch a bitch in her mouth just for talkin' shit”.
Is this still ‘art’?
Last week, our WA State Coordinator Caitlin Roper wrote about some of her experiences receiving violent rape threats for running Collective Shout campaigns. Her piece was published by The Guardian news website and sparked discussions about the ongoing issue of online threats by men to female activists and the weaknesses in law enforcement and social media systems to effectively deal with these crimes.
Last night, Caitlin and Talitha Stone were interviewed on ABC's Lateline, sharing their stories of activism and the threats that typically followed.
Watch the video here: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s4121651.htm
Talitha recalled being targeted by Tyler the Creator's 1.7 million twitter followers with a barrage of threats and vitriol and the police's failure to adequately address the situation. Caitlin shared how her twitter profile had been copied and used to solicit sex to men on the internet in her name, and how the police response was to suggest she use a 'more plain' photo on her twitter profile.Read more
It has been reported that US rapper Tyler the Creator and his rap group "Odd Future" have been barred from entering New Zealand.
New Zealand Immigration deemed the group a "potential threat to public order" and pointed to several past incidents of inciting violence, including against Australian anti violence activist Talitha Stone.Read more
Media ReleaseRead more
Just before Christmas I learned that Snoop Dogg (AKA Snoop Lion) would be kicking off a national tour for Big Day Out.Read more
From Talitha Stone's petition on Change.org:
*Trigger Warning* graphic descriptions of rape and violence against womenRead more
When you shout loud, the world listens
"Should the immigration department take Collective Shout’s latest campaign any further, future Tyler tours Down Under could become a whole lot trickier to arrange." - US Music industry magazine Billboard.com
After our call to action to stop pro-rape US rapper Tyler the Creator from performing in Australia we were inundated with messages of support. Our call to action was forwarded far and wide and shared on social media. The response was amazing. Men and women, young and old were taking action.
Steve Wood, 28, reviews Tyler, the Creator Sydney concert
"Victim, victim, honey you’re my fifth one”
“Rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome.”
- Tyler, the Creator
Abused, called pussy and told to “pancake the shit out of her”: my experience trying out for the Lingerie Football League
It wasn’t about playing football - it was about how aggressively we could act towards the other girls
Last Thursday I found myself walking towards the bright lights of the Sydney’s All Phones Arena at Homebush. Turning the corner, I realised I was in the right place when I saw a line that would have done any night club proud - dozens of attractive young women in full hair and heavy make-up, long tanned legs bared in defiance of the winter chill, eagerly waiting their turn.