Pop queen Nicki Minaj has zero time for subtly sexist questions from the press.
New York Times Magazine reporter Vanessa Grigoriadis learned that the hard way when she asked Minaj about the "drama" between Drake and Meek Mill, and rappers Lil Wayne and Birdman.
"They’re men, grown-ass men," Minaj said when Grigoriadis first brought up the subject. "It’s between them."
Instead of leaving it there, Grigoriadis pushed the subject, and ended up asking a question that crossed a line for Minaj. "Is there a part of you that thrives on drama, or is it no, just pain and unpleasantness?" Grigoriadis asked.
When Minaj shut her down, she reminded everyone that labelling women as dramatic, especially in relation to the men around them, is basically a bunch of bullsh*t.
‘‘That’s disrespectful,’’ Minaj said to Grigoriadis. ‘‘Why would a grown-ass woman thrive off drama?’’
She then continued:
What do the four men you just named have to do with me thriving off drama? Why would you even say that? That’s so peculiar. Four grown-ass men are having issues between themselves, and you’re asking me do I thrive off drama?’...
To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they’re children and I’m responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that’s not just a stupid question. That’s a premeditated thing you just did.
Minaj's response drives home two important points:
1. Women should not be held responsible for the poor behavior of the men in their lives.
2. It's time for the archetype of the "overdramatic" woman -- a mere hop, skip and a jump away from the "crazy woman" -- to die.
To her credit, Grigoriadis admitted in her own article that Minaj "was right to call me out," but the artist's righteous indignation at a moderately frustrating question likely had to do with much more than just this one interview.
How often do we hear men being asked about their love of "drama"? The very word conjures up images of "catty" teen girls talking about each other over a middle school lunch table. A penchant for loving "drama" has long been coded female. And being a "drama queen" is never a good thing. Unfortunately, writing off a woman's emotions or thoughts as "dramatic," is just another excuse not to take her seriously.
As an outspoken woman of color, Minaj has likely had to watch herself be portrayed as the "angry black woman" more times than she can count. Even when Taylor Swift tweeted at her in disagreement in July, many media outlets framed the story as a fight which Minaj had initiated. To suggest that she "thrives on drama" -- especially when said drama is about the whims of men, not about her -- plays into stereotypes that Minaj would probably prefer to leave behind forever.
However, Grigoriadis certainly got one thing right: Nicki Minaj is definitely a "boss b*tch."
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