Recording artist DaBaby has been dropped from multiple upcoming festival line-ups after making insensitive and disrespectful comments during his performance at the final day of Rolling Loud.
‘Blame it on DaBaby’:
DaBaby told his fans, in summary, to put their phone lighters in the air if they didn’t have HIV, AIDS or any other STDs. He then told his female and gay fans to raise their lighters if they had not been promiscuous. His comments feed into the notion that AIDS is some sort of retribution for having multiple sexual partners – further fuelling the stigma attached to the disease and insinuating that having multiple sexual partners is an inherently bad thing.
According to the NHS, HIV is predominantly transmitted through unprotected sex, but it can also be transmitted other ways, such as through needles and from a mother to her child during and after pregnancy.
HIV can affect anyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation and number of sexual partners, and it will progress to AIDS if it is left untreated.
His comment regarding gay men engaging in illicit sexual encounters: “fellas, if you ain’t s****** d**** in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up”, reinforces the harmful stereotype that they are promiscuous and sex-crazed, which the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s accelerated.
Due to the disproportionate number of gay men affected, the crisis was utilised as a reason for people to vilify gayness. By implying that if his male fans refrain from having sex with other men then they will not get AIDS, DaBaby is being homophobic and ignorant towards the causes of this disease.
As a woman, I find myself reacting to DaBaby’s comment: “Ladies, if your p**** smell like water, put your cell phone lighter up” with anger and disgust. By insinuating that having multiple sexual partners makes a woman ‘dirty’, DaBaby feeds into the falsities associated with women’s sexual health, and shames women for being sexual.
His comment perpetuates the notion that men can dictate what women do with their bodies, and that if we do something that doesn’t align with their preconceived expectations – like enjoy having sex with multiple people – we must be doing something very wrong.
The inherent misogyny in our society isn’t just present in the mindset of men though, as women are also indoctrinated into viewing sex as a negative. We are all guilty of slipping into a ‘slut-shaming’ mind-set, where we judge and criticise each other based on how sexually active we are.
So, DaBaby’s words speak volumes about the impact our patriarchal and heteronormative society has on the way people think. By shaming the sex-lives of people who are not straight men, he pushes the homophobic and misogynistic agenda that these people are dirty and promiscuous for embracing their sexualities.
Meanwhile, cishet men do not (and have never had to) face the same extent of criticism for the choices they make regarding their bodies, illuminating a clear double standard.