This Rapper's Sexist Comments Show How Men Blame Women for Their Behavior

July 25th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

Rapper Rick Ross gave some controversial reasons for his failure to sign a female rapper to his label. On Wednesday, the rapper, whose real name is William Roberts II, went on Power 105's "The Breakfast Club" to talk about his new show, "Signed." The VH1 series follows unsigned hip-hop and R&B artists searching for a record deal. 

The Breakfast Club's Angela Yee asked the rapper why he hadn't signed any female rappers to his label, Maybach Music Group. His response? That he was afraid he would have sex with them. 

“You know, I never did it because I always thought I would end up fucking the female rapper and fucking the business up," he said. "I’m so focused on my business. I got to be honest with you. You know, she’s looking good, I’m spending so much money on her photo shoots, I got to fuck a couple of times.”

The comments sparked a backlash on Twitter. 

Beyond the fact that Rick Ross does not mention that a prospective female employee could choose not to have sex with him, the comments also fall in line with a very old and specific type of sexism. He's seemingly blaming women for his potential inability to control himself, and using it as an excuse to deny them a job. 

People blame women for mens' bad behavior—and even just for "tempting" them.


A 2015 National Journal survey found that female aides on Capitol Hill were often barred from closed door or one-on-one meetings with their bosses, and banned from sharing a car to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Vice President Mike Pence was widely criticized on the internet in March after comments resurfaced where he said he doesn't eat one-on-one with women besides his wife, and that he doesn't attend events with alcohol unless she's there.

Mother Jones editor Clara Jeffery tweeted that this policy could keep women out of powerful positions. 

That Atlantic's Olga Khazan wrote that, although this practice isn't necessarily surprising, it could cut women out of important political meetings that could lead to job opportunities. 

"Sure, during the day, you can grab coffee instead of a sandwich," she wrote. "But no dinner? Doesn’t that cut an entire gender off from a very powerful person at roughly 8 p.m.? To career-obsessed Washingtonians, that’s practically happy hour—which, apparently, is off-limits too." This policy is likely connected to Pence's evangelical Christian views, and some religious circles have their own connections to sexist ideology. 

In many religious groups, women are expected to be modest in order to stop men from having sexual thoughts.

A post by J. Walker at Crosswalk.com, a Christian website, says that one reason women should be modest is to deter men from "lust." 

"Of course, one of the reasons we should be modest is to help men keep their eyes and minds where they should be focused," Walker wrote. "We don’t want to don an outfit that would tempt most red-blooded males." However, the author goes on to send a mixed message: that ultimately men are responsible for their own lust, but women should try to help them to stay in line.

In Pakistan, a woman made global headlines after she was sentenced to death in May for saying she was sexually assaulted. The woman said that her cousin raped her at gunpoint, but a committee said she committed adultery willingly, and sentenced her to die. The committee did not propose any punishment for the man, according to media reports. 

Sexual assault victims are routinely blamed for their own assault, with questions about whether their clothing was "too provocative" or whether they were drunk. 

In 2013, "Absolutely Fabulous" actor Joanna Lumely, now 71, said that women should behave better so they're not sexually assaulted. 

“I promise you it is better to look after yourself properly, which means behave properly, be polite, be on time, dress properly—I don’t mean dully—but don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home, because somebody will take advantage of you. Either they’ll rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head, or they’ll rob you," she said. 

In 2014, a sexual assault survivor with the Twitter handle @steenfox asked survivors to share what they were wearing when they were assaulted, in order to expose the absurdity of the question. The answers included T-shirts and jeans and office clothes. 

"[Users] tend to shame women and call them names for experiencing things like I've experienced," Ayanna Brooks told Buzzfeed News when asked why she chose to respond to the thread. "I've stopped feeling like the villain and accepted that I was a victim but it doesn't define me. Seeing everyone else share made me feel a sense of unity and togetherness."

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