Liberian Femcee Diamond Chanel Rebels Against Gender Norms

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It is not a great surprise that there aren’t many Liberian Femcees with a platform as compared to their male counterparts; after all hip hop is male a dominated genre. Many Liberian female rappers fear not being taken seriously or being seen as “valid” in the eyes of male emcees. The sad reality of this is correlated to the stereotypes about women that society perpetuates.  

In almost every culture, women are ether oversexualized and treated as sex objects, or they are forced into a shell that prevents them from being sexual beings in the same way that men are. Unfortunately, women who rebel against these gender norms are heavily ostracized.

In Liberia, specifically, women are silenced and discouraged to utilize their voice. Cultural traditions such as female genital mutilation and dowry bride-price payments, all reinforce misogyny and sexism.

Diamond Chanel, Liberia’s new and upcoming female rapper, doesn’t shy away from being in control of who she is. Through her lyrics, she attempts to break down those gender barriers that keep women in a shell and fearful of being viewed as “impure”. In Liberia’s local patois, “horporjoe” is a term used to dehumanize women who choose to engage in sexual liberty, or dress in ways that resemble what is perceived to be “slutty”.

Diamond aims much of her lyrical fire at those stereotypes that burden women with the need to center their existence around a man. In her 2017 hit song, “bachelor life”, Diamond calls for all the housewives to open their eyes and drop their aprons.

Why your man outside popping rozay and you inside washing dishes?

He ain’t even tryna show his ring

Ma jeh leave it cause the bachelor life too sweet

In her other song, “jeh le yor remix” (remix to Bucky Raw’s song), she expresses:

My pekin tell me say he wanna pay my dowry

I too sorray I na looking for yor marriage

With these lyrics, Diamond shuts down society’s encouragement for women to aspire to marriage and desire the idea of being taken care of by a man. Too often women are expected to be “wholesome” and stay in the house while their husbands roam about freely, with no restrictions.

Diamond Chanel is giving us equal rights and justice for women through her lyrics.Her rhymes serve as inspiration for women to abandon their gender duties, unlock their societal shackles and free themselves.

Author: Verolyne Barnard

Howard University, Liberian, Activist

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