Op-ed: Snoop Dogg’s hypocrisy on women

Snoop Dogg, adorned in a University of Kansas basketball jersey and a pair of sunglasses, shouts at the DJ to “gimme somethin’ for the ladies… this one’s for YOU.” He grins. Six young women come out in short shorts and heels and begin to climb on four dancing poles installed on platforms on the basketball court. 

The song begins, (it’s “I Wanna F— You” by Akon, featuring Snoop) and so do the problems. 

Snoop Dogg is the latest performer to headline KU Basketball’s “Late Night at the Phog” event to kick off the fall sports season, and he certainly won’t be forgotten any time soon. Controversy swirled after his performance, which included expletive-laced songs, pole dancers and a plastic gun that shot money at the dancers. 

KU Athletic Director Jeff Long released a statement apologizing for the event before the night was over.

“We apologize to anyone who was offended by the Snoop Dogg performance at Late Night [at the Phog],” he wrote. “We strive to create a family atmosphere at Kansas and fell short of that this evening.” 

In an interview with Howard Stern, Snoop defended his performance, saying, “When you pay for Snoop Dogg, you gon’ get Snoop Dogg.” 

In general, I think Snoop is right. Even listening to one or two of his songs reveals what kind of performance he intends to put on. Maybe the setlist wasn’t vetted enough by the organizers of the event, but it’s hard to see how the dancing poles on the court couldn’t possibly lead to pole dancers. The dancers were also no more scantily clad than the average college cheerleader who similarly dance and entertain the crowd. 

However, the timing of this performance after some recent sexist comments made by Snoop Dogg makes me less enthusiastic to defend him. 

In an August interview with a radio show called The Breakfast Club, he offered some thoughts on the actions of women in this day and age. 

“Let me give them girls some love because that’s important,” Snoop said. “Because I’m tired of seeing girls shaking they booties and…feeling like they gotta show they a–. You can be something different. Use your mind, cover your body up.” 

This is a confusing statement from somebody who has spent most of his career perpetuating the objectification of women in his music, music videos and live performances. At the 2003 MTV awards, he appeared on the red carpet with two women on leashes. Two months after this interview, he went back to his objectifying ways with his KU performance dancers. 

Perhaps if he hadn’t made these comments within my recent memory, it would be easier for me to laugh off the whole situation, rolling my eyes that KU had not been able to see this coming. 

However, the situation is more complicated for the hypocrisy of his urge to women to use their minds and cover their bodies up, and then put women on display as objects in his show. The dancers in his show certainly had the choice to partake in the performance, and they deserve the same respect as a woman who wears more modest clothing. 

KU’s Late Night At the Phog event this year will be one to remember because of its less-than-family-friendly controversy. However, it should be more than that. This situation can generate a conversation about the way women are treated and their autonomy to make their own decisions about their clothing or the way they prefer to dance. 

allison.harris@mail.umkc.edu

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