Rapper T.I. recently said he won’t be endorsing Hillary Clinton, or maybe any woman running for public office. In a radio interview with DJ Whoo Kid released Tuesday (then promptly moved to private), T.I. said:
Not to be sexist but, I can’t vote for the leader of the free world to be a woman,” T.I. said. “Just because, every other position that exists, I think a woman could do well. But the president? It’s kinda like, I just know that women make rash decisions emotionally. They make very permanent, cemented decisions – and then later, it’s kind of like it didn’t happen, or they didn’t mean for it to happen. And I sure would hate to just set off a nuke. Foreign policy; the world ain’t ready yet. I think you might be able to the Lochness Monster elected before you could [get a woman elected].
Let’s just start off by explaining what sexism is: Sexism is when you stereotype or discriminate on the basis of sex.
Stereotyping would be like if I said all rappers are chauvinists. It’s a broad generalization, based on a few bad rappers who have a history of being disrespectful to women. It certainly doesn’t apply to all of them.
Just like T.I., saying all women make rash decisions based on emotion is a stereotype based on limited experiences he’s had in his own life.
Has he met Michelle Obama? She’s an excellent example of a brilliant wife, mother and it turns out she’s also smart, level-headed and experienced enough to run substantial advocacy projects at the same time.
Thankfully, one of my favorite political leaders, Donna Brazile, had some words for T.I. on his comments about women in the top spot:
T.I., with much love, Germany, Brazile… South Korea, Liberia, there are countries all over this globe that are being lead by women. Look, your momma took time to put you into this world, comments like that can take you out.
Amen. Donna went on to make a plea directly to T.I. to call her, so she could help him understand and work through it. The rapper was a huge supporter of President Obama when he first ran in 2008 and even attended some of the inaugural events. He should be an ally in the progressive cause, all of them, including women in leadership.
There has been extensive research about women in positions of power. Geoff Colvin’s book Humans Are Underrated outlines an extensive amount of research on gender leadership. For example, when young girls talk early on in their development it is much more cooperative and collaborative than the way young boys talk. Girls tend to show more concern for fairness than boys do. These things aren’t necessarily better or worse, they’re merely different. We all bring different experiences to the table when we manage and lead, and no two experiences are the same.
T.I. later apologized for his remarks on Twitter. Hopefully, he isn’t just apologizing because of the backlash and instead, he get’s why what he thinks is wrong and sexist:
Feature image via screen capture.