Kanye West recently released his ninth album, titled Ye. Like most of his music, this album spans from the vulgar to the deeply touching and even delves into the spiritual realm. He makes fleeting acknowledgments of God and confesses that he doesn’t know what happens when we die. Most notably, the album ends with a personal song called “Violent Crimes,” which chronicles the change in his perception of women after he had a daughter.
“Father, forgive me, now I fear karma,” he says. “Now I see women as something to nurture and not something to conquer.”
Bad theology aside, West is drawing on a common trope: In order for men to fully understand what it means to honor and respect women, they must first have a female child. He articulates the fear that a man might treat his daughter as he once treated other women, and, faced with that prospect, decides all women deserve the same protection that he now wants to provide his daughter.
Esau McCaulley is assistant professor of New Testament at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, New York. He serves as a priest in the Anglican Church in North America and directs the Anglican Multi-ethnic Network (A.M.E.N), a coalition devoted to helping Anglican churches better reflect the diversity of their local communities. He is also one of the organizers of the Call and Response conference, an event examining the future of black Christians in America.