Talitha Stone, 24.
I am a 24 year old activist with grassroots organisation Collective Shout. You may know me from my anti-violence campaign against US rapper, Tyler the Creator who verbally abused me at his all ages Sydney show last year.
Just before Christmas I learned that Snoop Dogg (AKA Snoop Lion) would be kicking off a national tour for Big Day Out. Snoop has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for drugs and weapons related offences. Snoop also reportedly lured two underage girls into exposing themselves on film by offering them marijuana and ecstasy.
Snoop’s lyrics glorify violence against women. He refers to women as ‘bitches’ and ‘hoes’ who ‘suck d****’. His songs include ‘Break a bitch ’til the day i die’ and ‘Can you control yo hoe? where he describes beating women who do not obey him, who need to learn their place. He justifies violence against women because their behaviour ‘forced him’. These are the very cultural attitudes that both excuse and perpetuate actual violence against women. These lyrics trivialise violence against women and they desensitise young men to the real pain and suffering of victims of abuse.
Snoop Dogg performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2013 at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on September 28, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic) Photo: Prince Williams
The Australian Immigration guidelines on controversial visa applicants says that we can and will reject people “whose presence in Australia may, because of their activities, reputation, known record or the cause they represent and propagate, vilify or incite discord in the Australian community, or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of that community.”
Snoop has been refused entry to Australia before because of his criminal history. Britain, Norway and the Netherlands also wouldn’t let him in.
I created a new petition on change.org calling on Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to revoke Snoop Dogg’s (AKA Snoop Lion) visa, as I believe his long criminal record, his insolent admission of sex trafficking (“selling pussy”) and his glorification of violence against women do not meet the character requirements for an Australian Visa. Morrison has declined to revoke Snoop’s visa.
He is proud of his behaviour and openly discusses. In a Rolling Stone article last year he described his involvement in trafficking in the following way:
“I could fire a b*tch, f*ck a b*tch, get a new ho: it was my program. City to city, titty to titty, hotel room to hotel room, athlete to athlete, entertainer to entertainer.”
I am not unfamiliar with the barrage of rape and death threats hurled at any woman that dare question any misogynistic artist. My criticism of Tyler the Creator for rapping about raping, murdering and chopping up women was met with an onslaught of online harassment and threats, including the publication of what was believed to have been my home address.
Since starting my petition against Snoop Dogg almost on cue I started to receive hate and threats online. A few people have suggested I should be killed for trying to ban his entry another suggested someone be hired to “cut my tits off”.
In refusing to act on behalf of women, Scott Morrison has contradicted our National Plan to address violence against women. Our Government spends millions of dollars in attempts to eradicate domestic and sexual violence while at the same time is rolls out the red carpet to artists who promote it.
Being a young woman in this country is becoming increasingly more dangerous, with 1 in 3 being victims of violence and 1 in 3 sexually assaulted. I want a Government that has the protection and wellbeing of women held in higher priority than approving the visa of a powerful entertainer, with incredible influence that glorifies such traumatic and life-altering things.
As a society do we care more about music and entertainment that degrades women than women’s safety and wellbeing?
I may not have seen our Government take action this time around, although I hope we won’t have to wait too much longer for someone to take violence against women seriously.