How to be a respected woman

Illustration by Katie Dobrydney

About a week ago, Kodak Black made yet another outrageous comment and people were outraged at the audacity of the new-age rapper. In a Facebook live video, Kodak mentioned Lauren London, who recently lost her boyfriend Nipsey Hussle to gun violence in California — a tragedy that deeply affected his family, fans and even rival gang members.

On his live video, Kodak continued talking about bagging Lauren London, saying things like "She got' be a whole widow out here," and "I'll give her a year to grieve and cry."

These statements were not taken well by friends and fans of the late rapper, and Kodak received almost instant backlash. Within days, popular radio stations stopped playing his songs.

T.I. and The Game hopped on Instagram to post a response, or a threat, to Kodak. Both rappers warned Kodak to stop talking about Lauren London and Nipsey Hussle, claiming that Kodak was disrespecting Nipsey's name. R&B star Tank also came to Instagram to talk to Kodak, taking a much calmer approach by advising him to stop playing the tough guy and apologize.

What's odd about these men coming to Lauren London's defense is the fact that only one of these videos even mentioned Lauren's name. In Tanks video, he says, "for the people that respect Nip," adding "and Lauren" as an afterthought. For a video publicly disrespecting a woman who just lost the father of her child, no one actually came to the defense of the woman.

Instead, these rappers came to the defense of Nipsey Hussle.

These men were not angered at the fact that Kodak Black was disrespecting a woman — a theme deeply embedded in the hip-hop culture. They were mad that he was disrespecting a woman tied to a respected man.

Just a few weeks prior to this incident, Kodak was in the hot seat on social media for disrespecting Young M.A. in his song "Pimpin Ain't Easy" where he says "I don't really see the confusion / I'm f****** Young M.A. long as she got a coochie." Young M.A. has made it obvious that she doesn't like men, especially Kodak.

Despite Kodak's obvious unwarranted overstep, the only person who jumped online to defend Young M.A. was Young M.A. She responded with an angry Instagram live where she said she planned on addressing Kodak at the festival they were scheduled to perform at the next day and repeatedly calling Kodak "weird." The world laughed about it and moved on, no threats or backlash necessary.

As if that wasn't bad enough.

In November 2016, Kodak was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to ABC 15. He was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Florence County in February of 2016. The victim reported the incident to her school nurse, who alerted the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

Kodak's trial was scheduled to begin this month but has been continued with no definite reason why and no new court date.

Did anyone tell T.I.?

It's safe to say celebrities didn't feel the need to address Kodak's lack of respect for women in this case. There were no angry Instagram stories. His irksome voice was still blasted in car radios. No outrage.

One thing that Kodak Black's disgusting life choices have taught me is how to be respected as a woman. It's quite easy actually. Just marry a respected man.

Powerful men came to the defense of Lauren London with passion and without hesitation. The two-minute rant Kodak posted about Lauren was enough for men like T.I. and The Game to attack Kodak. But when Young M.A. was harassed? When a teenage girl was sexually assaulted?

It turns out women are only worth respect once they're tied to a man worthy of respect.

Lauren London deserved this level of support. Kodak crossed a line and deserved the backlash he got for disrespecting a woman that way. But he deserved the same backlash when he did it to the queer woman and to the teenage girl. The teenage girl who Kodak allegedly took advantage of is just as valuable of a woman as Young M.A., who is just as valuable as Lauren London.

Men should respect all women, not just the women married to their friends.