Oh dear, this Iggy Azalea/Azealia Banks Twitter conflict is tricky and it just keeps getting trickier.
So, let’s do a quick recap of what’s been complicated so far and then we’ll dive straight into what kicked this situation up into next-level problematic.
Earlier this month, in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict the police officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner, Azealia Banks took to Twitter to call Iggy Azalea out for a perceived lack of support for the black community, which Banks found unacceptable as she believes “Igloo Australia,” a nickname she has given to the white Aussie female hip-hop artist, has built her career upon appropriating black culture. The white appropriation of black culture in the field of music is a tricky and thorny topic, and as much as we hate seeing two powerful female celebs publicly take each other down, they’re talking about important things that need to be a part of our cultural conversation.
But things took a turn towards the unacceptable when collective hacking organization Anonymous targeted Iggy Azalea, informing the singer that they were prepared to release stills of a sex video of hers they claimed they had access to unless she issued a public apology to Azealia Banks. The hackers clarified that they were prepared to release still images but not the full video because “we have values to live by.”
Banks may have sparked an important conversation, but hackers have tainted it. It’s not okay to use revenge porn as a threat against a woman. There are no exceptions, there are no excuses. It doesn’t matter how much you disagree with what a woman has said on Twitter or however you feel about her work as an artist, using a woman’s sexual history as a weapon cannot be tolerated.
In the wake of “The Fappening” this fall, the widespread hacking of female celebrities’ phones and the leaking of their nude photos and videos on the Internet, revenge porn as a weapon against powerful women, using a woman’s sexuality and sexual history to try and hurt her, has been a regular topic of conversation. And it’s a conversation that we are going to continue having until we are all on the same page on this one. If you disagree with a woman, fine, disagree with her. If you dislike her, whatever, dislike her, it’s a free country, that’s your prerogative. But under no circumstances do you use a woman’s sex life to threaten, undermine, or humiliate her. That’s slut-shaming at its lowest and grossest and those kinds of dirty tricks are not going to be tolerated by anyone with half a brain.
Anonymous has since deleted its threatening tweets, which, with hope, means it has rescinded those threats. Azealia Banks, who had nothing to do with the hacker threat, is starting an important and necessary conversation about black culture, cultural appropriation, and contemporary music. It’s a conversation we need to listen to and if we have salient points to add, then contribute to (see what Q-Tip had to say). But it’s not a conversation that needs to be muddied and confused by outsiders with misogyny, slut-shaming, and revenge porn.