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Lisa Belkin

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Jay-Z Says He Might Still Call Women Bitches

Posted: 01/18/2012 4:09 pm

Dear Mr. Carter (or may I call you Jay-Z, since you don't seem to put much stock in formality?)

You have apparently told the Daily News that you have not stopped using the word "bitch" after all. For two days you refused to comment on reports that a poem renouncing that word was written by you. But today you are quoted as saying "That poem and story are fake."

I hope you understand that while the words attributed to you may have been fake, the response of countless fans to what they thought was your announcement was very very real. When millions of people believed you had realized that the misogyny in rap lyrics was offensive (a realization they believed you'd reached now that you have a daughter) they all said "it's about time."

I know you are busy tonight with the re-opening of your club 40/40, but maybe you could find a little time to read some of the thoughts in the 500-plus comments here on The Huffington Post.

Read about how other parents of other daughters find the word "bitch" (among more words you are so fond of) insulting. Listen to them question how your wife, who is a champion of strong girls, feels about it. Look for one single comment here that says "dang it Jay-Z, I refuse to buy your records if you don't call women nasty names." You won't find one. Instead you will find a lot of people who know that words have power, and who also know that you are a maestro with words, and who figure you can probably come up with some better ones than the lazy, vulgar shortcuts you've gotten into the habit of using.

Jay-Z, I am apologizing here to my readers. I assumed that you had written the poem in question, because it had been "vetted" by several sites with far more expertise in the music industry than I have. That was my mistake, and I don't like to make mistakes.

But I am not the only one who should be issuing an apology. I'm thinking you also owe one, to your public -- not for the words that aren't actually yours, but for the ones that still are.

Sincerely,

Lisa Belkin