Monthly Archives: October 2013

Reality shows and their portrayal of Women

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No matter what you look at, women will always be portrayed as sex objects in order to get the most views, fans, income, etc. Especially, when it comes to reality shows, women are still only considered another materialistic aspect that made a men seem more valuable or stronger. For example, in the reality show “Love & Hip-Hop” on VH1, male producers and artist aim for the baddest female with the biggest assets to claim as theirs. The image above shows few of the women cast. It just goes to show that all their women cast have big boobs and fat asses. Would the show still be the same if they were petite? Do these reality shows created norms for younger female viewers to imitate? Girls should not only be seem as sex objects or another accessory for males. 

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Objectification of women in images

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                             Source: http://womenandcrime.wikispaces.com/Images+of+Women+in+Music+Videos

The image posted above is an example of how women are demeaned in the music industry through photo’s.  The rap group Outkast is seen standing above naked women, while they are fully dressed in expensive clothing.  Not only is this image sexist, but it also proves that women are seen an objects.  Rap music is notorious for using half naked women as objects in their videos in order to prove their masculinity.  Similarly, women are stereotyped as purely physical beings that depend on the “rich artist” to take care of them.  Also, this depicts women as only being good for sexual relations.

As a fan of Outkast who has never seen this image before I cannot believe they would endorse this picture.  I understand that many men think women will flock to you when you are successful, but this is not reality.  Not only does this image set a bad precedent for young men, but it also show young women and girls that they are not worthy of respect.  Women deserve respect in all avenues of life.  A women should be known for more that just her body, but also for her self-worth and reputation as a positive member of society.

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3 Minute Compilation of Women in Music Videos

This short video shows just how easily music videos can portray females as sex objects. Maybe the music industry hasn’t heard that beauty is more than just physical appearance. Because the music industry thinks that women sell their music, more and more music videos show women portrayed sex objects. Ever since I have started watching MTV, music videos always had women dancing and showing off their bodies to grab the attention of the viewers. The amount of music videos with women portrayed as sex objects is numerous, and it does not help the stereotypes that men have against women because of videos like these. Slowly, maybe one day, we won’t have a wrecking ball (pun intended) of women portrayed sexually just to grab the attention of a viewer. All in all, music is about music.

Miscellaneous: Hyo Kim

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The Objectification of Women in County Music; Depictions of Domestic Violence

Country music is now joining the ranks of the many genres which seem to portray women as sexual objects, solely serving their male counterparts for their enjoyment. In the article “Redneck Crazy’ country song divides listeners”, Cindy Watts and Nate Rau, of The (Nashville) Tennessean, makes the argument that “Domestic violence against women has been present in country music to some extent since the genre’s first breakout star, Fiddlin’ John Carson”. “It’s a shame to whip your wife on Sunday”, is the quote that Cindy Watts and Nate Rau are referring to. However, John Carson isn’t the only Country singer who seems to depict women as objects. Popular Country artist, Tyler Farr states in one of his songs “I’m gonna aim my headlights into your bedroom windows, throw empty beer cans at both of your shadows”. These lyrics aren’t as derogatory as John Carson’s however, they portray women in a negative light with a subtle message. Professor, George Hanrahan states that many aren’t able to notice the objectification of women in this lyric because it is not specifically mentioning the words “rape”, “beating” or “hitting”. Hanarahan makes the argument that while these words are not mentioned, this subtle message still a domestic violence scenario. This article makes the argument that over time through the lyrics of artists like John Carson and Tyler Farr, the public will become desensitized to this type of objectification of women.

Here’s the article:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2013/10/28/redneck-crazy-music-violence/3291955/

Miscellaneous: Marc Hinton

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The Music Industry Empowering Women?

A main argument against the argument that the music industry is sexist and degrading to women is that women are actually empowered by today’s norms of the music industry. In the Lava Lizard’s article, Female Sexuality in Music: Empowered or Objectified?, they explore the idea that the portrayal of women as sex objects in the music industry empowers and does not objectify females, and specifically females of color. The article states that with the rise of the second wave feminist movement, “how women expressed their sexuality was no longer orchestrated by standards set by men. Rather, they challenged any models ascribed to them based on previously accepted gender norms, roles and myths, and avowed their own identities with a new sense of self” (Trent 2013). This statement argues that women choose to portray themselves in sexual ways in the music industry because they want to and not because men are objectifying them. As women gained more rights in history, some women in the music industry felt like they were now in charge and portraying themselves as sex objects was empowering. However, what this fails to regard is that men make up the majority of the music industry. Ultimately, the men are still behind the camera and directing women to portray themselves in this objectifying way.

The article also discusses the role of music as a way to express oneself. It suggests that women, who partake in the music industry’s norms of women as sexual objects, are actually expressing their sexuality on their own terms. The article does make a point to remind readers that at the basic level, the music industry is still a product and the main goal is to be sold and make money. With this in mind, it is impossible for this industry to be a self-defining industry where women have the power to express themselves however they want. Behind every woman who may think she is defining herself through her roles in music videos or her lyrics, is a man with the main objection of selling the product. In the end, only products that will sell will be made, and in this age sex sells.

The content of this article can be found at http://thelavalizard.com/2013/08/female-sexuality-in-music-empowered-or-objectified/

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Church Against Women as “SEX OBJECTS”

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Charlotte Maria Church advocates for a better representation of women in the music industry. In addition to being a singer-songwriter, Church is also an actress as well as a television presenter. This Welsh singer, rose to stardom at a very young age as a classical singer before venturing into the pop culture world in 2005. Shortly after becoming a popstar, Church sold over 10 million records worldwide, including 5 million in the United States by 2007. She has also received the honor of singing for Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and Bill Clinton.

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In a recent article by BBC News Entertainment and Arts, they discussed how Church attacks the “sexist” music industry. Church believes that the music industry has a “culture of demeaning women“.  She explains that this way of life in the music industry is forcing young women stars to sell themselves as “sex objects”. Church talks about her personal experiences, and how she was pressured by male executives to wear revealing and provocative clothing in her music videos when she was just 19 or 20 years old! Church says she felt “massively uncomfortable”.

ImageNow at the age of 27, Church uncovers that young female artists are consistently “coerced into sexually demonstrative behavior in order to hold on to their careers”. Church claims, that unfortunately for women, the music business is “a male dominated industry with a juvenile perspective on gender and sexuality”.

Church suggests that pop artists such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna are not helping improve the portrayals of women in the music world but rather enhancing the negative stigma of women artists depicted as “sexual objects” in music videos. She alludes to Cyrus’s routine at the MTV Awards in September where she danced provocatively with Robin Thicke and made inappropriate gestures with a foam finger sparking a lot of controversy. While many believe that Miley was subjecting herself to the social that project women as mere “sex symbols”, the rising pop star claims she is just be being herself.

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Church highlights how record labels encourage young singers “to present themselves as hypersexualised, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win”. She strongly believes steps need to be taken to improve how women are viewed in the media, more specially, in the music industry. It is evident, that Church’s position is that women should represented with the same respect and dignity given to their male counterparts in the music business.

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Although, Church acknowledges that women, including herself, do eventually agree to these terms they still have negatively consequences in the future. Church says she is often verbally abused on social media being referred to as a “slut” and a “whore”.  Now that Church is far past her teenage years she finds it hard to promote her music in places that it is best suited.

Church also implies that video websites do not have strong security measures to prevent young viewers from being able to view explicit videos. She advocates that radio stations shouldn’t be allowed to play singles by artist whose images are too revealing. Although it is not a big step, Church believes this can be one of the few baby steps being made to improve the outlook of women in the music industry.

All of the content this post is based on can be found at the following website: “Charlotte Church attacks ‘sexist’ music industry” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24528022

POSTED IN AFFIRMATIVE by Victoria Oladipo

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Purpose

Goal/Purpose:

To change the cultural norm of women portrayed as sex objects in the mainstream music industry. It’s important to shed light on this stereotype, why it’s wrong, and why women should be portrayed with respect and dignity in the music industry. Also, to explain to young women that they should respect themselves and their bodies and not acquiesce to the minimal standards the media sets for them.

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Position

Women are viewed more as “video vixens” instead of equals to their male counterparts in the music industry. Since “sex” sells, women are often seen as being property and sex symbols, rather than people. Some aspects of the music industry simply show a lack of respect for women as human beings. Moreover, some songs refer to women using derogatory names to show subordination or that women are inferior. While some people argue these representations are women empowerment,we believe that it’s degrading to women.

 

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Victoria Oladipo

Hi, my name is Victoria Oladipo and I am a Senior Government and Politics and Communications double major at the University of Maryland. I am from Upper Marlboro, Maryland and I want to emphasize the stereotypes of women in the music world. As a young woman I feel greatly affected by the negative portrayals associated with women in the media, especially in music videos and the music industry as a whole. For instance, women are usually portrayed as sex symbols and are often objectified in music videos.  Since there are very few rap or hip-hop songs that portray women in a positive or respectful way, this needs to be addressed. I want young women to know that even though “sex” sells they should not stoop to the minimal standards exemplified of women in the media. I believe it is a growing social issue that people are not aware of how bad it has become.

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Marc Hinton

I’m Marc Hinton, a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park seeking a degree in Communications. As a Communication major I have gained interests in social media and media communications in general. Through my increasing interests in these two fields I have become intrigued with the music industry, and more specifically the objectification of women. Whether in music videos or through lyrics, women are conveyed not as humans, but more so as inanimate objects, with a sole purpose of pleasing the male species. Through my 21 years of living in Maryland I have seen how the portrayal of women in the media can affect how women perceive themselves in reality. As I become more involved in the fields of social media and media communications I plan on bringing to light the issues of the negative portrayal of women in the music industry, and how it relates to all of us.

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