Is Lauryn Hill transphobic?

lauryn_hill felonTHE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — I let Lauryn Hill take a pass the first time around when her new song “Neurotic Society” raised eyebrows for seemingly anti-LGBT lyrics — targeting in particular, transgender people. Song lyrics are most often subject to different interpretations and in the absence of clear evidence, I didn’t care to go down the guessing road that others traveled at that time.

Recently Hill attempted to explain what the lyrics meant. However, instead of clarifying the matter, she muddied things even further. Here’s a passage she is reported to have said on Tumblr:

“Neurotic Society is a song about people not being, or not being able to be, who and what they truly are, due to the current social construct. I am not targeting any particular group of people, but rather targeting everyone in our society who hides behind neurotic behavior, rather than deal with it.”

Huh?

I don’t have time to figure this out. I do know that Hill had a golden opportunity to set the record straight and now, compelling evidence shows that she didn’t. If people guess wrong on about “Neurotic Society,” she has nobody to blame but herself.

Meanwhile, Lauryn Hill is a convicted felon headed to federal prison for dodging nearly a million dollars in taxes. There’s no need to guess if she’s a thug.*
* Update: Some have questioned my use of the word “thug”. It’s a word I use time and time again typically to describe someone convicted of a crime, and typically have yet to pay their debts to society. Willie Nelson and Martha Stewart are thugs. So was Kenneth Lay. In this case, Lauryn Hill made the decision to shift the burden of a significant amount of money on her fans (taxpayers) to carry, hence her felony conviction is relavent to any news about her at this time. My thanks to those who expressed their concerns.

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Lauryn Hill’s Tumblr post: http://mslaurynhill.tumblr.com/post/51812480181/neurotic-society-is-a-song-about-people-not-being

Oh No They Didn’t! – Lauryn Hill Blames Society’s Downfall On ‘Girl Men’, ‘Drag Queens’, and ‘Social Transvestism’.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/03/lauryn-hill-anti-gay-song_n_3378675.html?ir=Gay+Voices

lauryn_hill felon

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THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/



Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans, Transphobia, exploitation, dehumanizing, violence, hate

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. two comments come to mind on the explaination

    1 HUH?

    2 please expalin your explaination

  2. Big mistake ! Big mistake ?
    Those lyrics are way too smart for a pop-star’s song! No wonder that two words have been transformed into two red buttons for self-exploding reactions.
    Aie! am I already too complex here?
    Okay! Let’s say that if you read this text “First degree”, you will be upset because she used two words in a “obscure manner” and of course you are imagining the meaning of it without understanding the meaning of it and therefore, “Drag-queens” and later on “transvestisms” as being used to point out in a negative manner PEOPLE. Wrong! First one is indeed used as name, but it is an image. The second must be associated with ” Social” and therefore must be understood as ” Social transvestisms” which is no longer pointing out to a person but an idea, an allegory.
    But as Lexie points out, NO TIME to try to understand!
    So will you, nonetheless, try to understand?

    Do as you please and judge as you will but this doesn’t fit with me!
    Oh yes, I will take time to understand a person that is accused at being somewhat transphobic?
    Sorry, but here as a Trans-woman, I do take time to understand my “so called enemies”. A quality essential not to fall for blind hatred of people who haven’t done wrong to me in the first place and possibly no wrong at all and whose text and imagery they use may most likely be partially reflecting the roots of our dual-gendered society without any personal meanness or ill intend.
    Nothing is changed. The world as a whole is considering in majority men and women as being the natural truth and for us to get along with that and situate ourselves accordingly.

    In this perspective, many people will not consider a Drag-queen as a real woman. And me neither because a drag-queen is a gay man who enjoys transvestism. Therefore not trying to exist as a woman , not trying to BE a woman and usually not caring if he appear as a fake woman either. What’s wrong with being fake and cross-dress? When female impersonators comes on stage, they are no fools! They do not pretend to be cis-gendered , Oops! ” Real women!” To simplify the words.
    I read the lyrics and I understand the chaos she tries to express. Maybe because there is some elements of my own personal truth ( no, not just as a trans-woman, but simply as another human being) in what she express there and maybe because I do read books and have become used to “get into ” a writer’s world. And the same is true for lyrics.
    Whenever I get to watch TV by chance while at someone else’s place ( Yes, I do not have a TV!), strangely so or not, it is often a dumb show. Yes, made for the masses. And yes, these women presenting it are so made-up and unnatural that I have myself look at them as if they were female-impersonators. And this made me laugh because if they had been, this same public, perfectly fine at looking at those men and women as the normal-good-looking TV beauties that they are, would have been outraged. But this wouldn’t be. Because fake or not it is what we think in ours heads that decide if yes or no we reject a person, an image, an idea, a concept. Only our judgment allows for this or that to exist. And we are all influenced by others. And by blogs too and by what I write to you here now. Like it or not, I am already in your head and manipulating the neurones that will keep this info. You will have my point of view in mind, as well as Lexie.
    So, will you stay still and only agree with her and/or agree with me? Will you stick to that and not go read the lyrics? Read the link Lexie left at the bottom of the article? Will you make an opinion without going further?
    If you are used to be fed information like it is done on TV, then you might just “believe” that she is some ‘evil bitch’!
    Because, if you don’t seek the truth and start hating a person as an enemy, you have now stamped one more person on this planet as a Transphobe aka Enemy and there you will have to ask yourself : ” Do I need one more enemy on this planet or a friend?”
    Lauryn Hill might not become a friend or ally, but surely it is a mistake to consider her this way without spending some time to understand.

  3. Here’s Lauryn Hill’s entire text from the Tumblr link above:

    Neurotic Society is a song about people not being, or not being able to be, who and what they truly are, due to the current social construct. I am not targeting any particular group of people, but rather targeting everyone in our society who hides behind neurotic behavior, rather than deal with it.

    The world we live in now is, in many ways, an abhorrent distortion, an accumulation of generations and generations of response to negative stimuli. Many don’t even have a concept of what normal is, by virtue of having lived afraid, ashamed, as victims of abuse, or inadequately handled for so long. I believe in coming up from under that fear and allowing the psyche/soul to truly heal. I understand that healing is a process, but I also believe that it is our responsibility to seriously care for ourselves, so that we can extend that level of concern for others and positively affect our environment.

    I want what is best for Humanity. Humanity, aligned with the Spiritual principles, that help each individual conquer fear, and transcend limited circumstance. I believe in healing and dealing with the traumatizing events of our lives, both in this lifetime, as well as those passed down to us, or inherited, so we can live as fully as possible.

    The whole world suffers from a lack of honest dialogue. Character and integrity have suffered at the hands of political correctness and corporate agenda, while our society moves further and further towards unhealthiness and breakdown. I oppose these trends.

    Everyone has a right to their own beliefs. Although I do not necessarily agree with what everyone says or does, I do believe in everyone’s right to protest.

    The overarching message of my music is to get up and stop compromising! And hopefully it will stimulate and motivate the changes that our society needs.

    Artists are constantly under media and public scrutiny. This is not a one-way street. Those of us with the charge of putting out faithful vibrations, have a responsibility to report what we see, and to write about what we know. I have seen some of the best and also some of the worst representations of human behavior. The same way that I exalt that which is high, is the same way I expose that which is abusive, in order to motivate and remind if not all of us, than as many as possible, of the Higher Calling.

    • From reading that, it sounds exactly like she’s completely in favour of transpeople. Honestly. Completely in favour:

      “Neurotic Society is a song about people not being, or not being able to be, who and what they truly are, due to the current social construct.”

      If that does sound like she’s referring to the LGBT community, at least as a sub-part of that then I don’t understand what you’re reading. She clearly is saying that societal constructs are what is stopping people from being who they actually are. If we take this to mean trans people often have to hide themselves, hide who they really are because society doesn’t allow for us to express our true identities without discrimination (Especially those who don’t fit the gender binary, such as genderqueer or agendered individuals)

      “I also believe that it is our responsibility to seriously care for ourselves, so that we can extend that level of concern for others and positively affect our environment.”

      She wants us to be able to care about who we actually are – and be able to be the gender we identify with, not what we are told to be, and if you are cis-gendered and you care about yourself, you should extend that care to others and care for them, and allow them to be who they really are

      “The whole world suffers from a lack of honest dialogue. Character and integrity have suffered at the hands of political correctness and corporate agenda”

      Because of political correctness and people actively trying not to offend transpeople, they miss the honest dialogue that these people want to have. To question the societal norms of gender binary, heteronormativity. Political correctness works as a double-edged sword. It may protect our self-esteem by making others refer to us as we see ourselves, but it also means that people who just don’t understand feel as though they cannot have a conversation with/about homosexuality, bisexuality or transgendered people without offending and so they don’t learn and the ignorance just remains and ignorance breeds contempt.

      “The overarching message of my music is to get up and stop compromising! And hopefully it will stimulate and motivate the changes that our society needs.”

      We should stop compromising and try to fit into the roles that society has dictated that because we have XX chromosomes or XY chromosomes (Or anything else for that matter) that we MUST adhere to pre-set roles. She is saying we have to stop doing so – just be ourselves (from my interpretation)

      As I said at the start of this message, I can’t see how this can be interpreted as a slight against the LGBT community when she is constantly saying things exactly like the LGBT community do:

      Be yourself – who you truly are – and don’t hide or compromise that for society. Don’t give in to societal pressures and attempt to find “normality” when there is no normal.

  4. The use of the term “thug” implies someone who has committed a crime through acts of violence, usually viciously. I prefer the term “convicted felon” … 🙂

    I’d almost agree with “Dudette”, except when we get to Lauren’s explanation of … “I am not targeting any particular group of people, but rather targeting everyone in our society who hides behind neurotic behavior, rather than deal with it.”
    I have family members who feel this way … who think that I am neurotic, and should be on anti-depressants, rather than estrogen patches.

    Thanks for posting, Lexie. As always, loads of fun!

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