Category Archives: Refutation

Why so serious ?

Women view different songs in different ways.  Often time the feminist view is thought to be the view of all women around the world.  When you hear the song blurred lines many women started dancing in their cars and singing along.  Why aren’t their voices heard just as loud?  A popular Williamsburg blogger wrote her thoughts about not viewing popular songs as degrading.  She in fact sticks up for the artist instead of chastising them.

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Chelsea Fagan, whose blog “Thought Catalog” was featured in Madamne Noir, wrote about how much she feels empowered by songs like “Blurred Lines.”  “Earlier this week, I wrote an article about the song “Blurred Lines,” and more specifically, how we should stop telling women what to be offended by — including songs like that. I (and other women I know) had been labeled “un-feminist” or expected to apologize for enjoying it, and I found the whole ordeal to be — if somewhat expected — extremely condescending.”  In the rest of the article she talks bout dancing to this song and having fun.  Women in club all the time dance to songs that are seen as degrading, but love every minute of it.

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“Blurred Lines” director Diane Martel directed this video with an image of fun in mind.  She wanted the women in the video to outnumber the men, and bring a playful side to the video instead of predatory.  The video was a satire that focused on doing everything in a taboo matter that celebrates “degrading women.”  In her Huffington Post interview she says, “We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, ‘We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this.’ People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.’ So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, “Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.”

Sometimes a song it just a song no matter what the words say.  It is all creative expression and can be taken many ways.  The view of feminist is not the view of all women and therefore should not be considered the majority.  No matter how women are represented in lyrics and music videos men will still look and them and think about them how they want to.  The expression of the body is up to the person who is exposing their body.  The public can victimize the “vixen,” but she may feel empowered.

– See more at: http://madamenoire.com/288896/robin-thickes-blurred-lines-and-why-degrading-music-empowers-some-women-while-offending-others/#sthash.b8k8QPt2.dpuf

-See more of this interview at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/blurred-lines-director-diane-martel_n_3509359.html

Visit Chelsea Fagan’s blog here: http://thoughtcatalog.com/chelsea-fagan/2013/07/i-am-a-woman-and-i-am-empowered-by-degrading-music/

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The Future of Women in the Music Industry

The latest numbers from the Directors Guild of America, out this week, report that women directed just 15 percent of television episodes in the 2011-2012 season. The amount of work white women did stayed static, and the number of episodes women of color got to direct, went up but the jobs for men of color shrank. There is one question that always needs to be answered. Can music videos finally get more women directing movies and TV?

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Born in 1981, Matsoukas, who is Jamaican, Cuban, Jewish, and Greek, has built a career on collaborations with female artists like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna. Her videos often combine a certain girliness and wild power. In the video for Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” widely believed to be about Chris Brown, Matsoukas painted a failing affair in candy colors, and she turned Beyonce into B.B. Homemaker, a period desperate housewife to rival Betty Draper, in “Why Don’t You Love Me.” Melina Matsoukas is doing a wonderful job, directing music videos and commercials, but the article does not talk about Melina’s past music videos, such as “Sensual Seduction” by Snoopy Dogg. The models in this video feature explicit scenes of sexual intercourse, because “Sensual Seduction” is known by the uncensored version as “Sexual Eruption”. Melina has also directed many other videos with many artists that showcase women as sex objects such as Robin Thicke in “Sex Therapy”, Ne-Yo, and Beyonce. Sure, it is great that Matsoukas is now a Grammy Award winner for her “We Found Love” video, but it does not erase what she had to direct in the past in order to get to that point. By favoring what the audience wanted, Matsoukas was able to come this far.

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These videos show off what Matsoukas can do in five minutes or less, in a medium where powerfule female artists, unlike Hollywood executives, are keenly interested in speaking to women’s fantasies. Matsoukas is not without a doubt talented in directing music videos, but she first had to adapt to what her audience wanted, which was showcasing women dancing sexually. It would be nice to see her follow in the footsteps of David Fincher, who went from Madonna music videos to bloody, cerebral thrillers, or Marc Webb, who’s directed Weezer and Green Day and is now working on his second Spider-Man movie.

All of the content this post is based on can be found at the following websites:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/10/03/what_do_solange_knowles_and_christina_aguilera_have_in_common_new_videos_by_a_woman_to_watch_.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melina_Matsoukas

-Refutation

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Talk About Pussy Power

If we take the time to look at the roles of women from 2-3 centuries ago. Nothing but the cuts of their clothes has changed. Women have always played the submissive role. Catering to their husbands at all times and performing all the duties of their household.

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Therefore, females have perfected this role as an important accessory to men. In today’s society they are not obligated nor forced [in most cases] to be video vixens, porn stars, or strippers. It allows females to make their own choices and allowing their freedom of expression/individuality.  In Jacki Wilson book, The Happy Stripper: Pleasures and Politics of the New Burlesque, she expresses some of positive aspects of such jobs, “enjoy the pleasures of the city, of fashion, of earning money, of make-up, flirting, of enjoying one’s body and the attention of others, whilst also acknowledging a resistance to and a wariness of this very same system” (Wilson, 176).

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http://books.google.com/books?id=BTiP4-1O0bUC&pg=PA176&dq=do+women+really+enjoy+stripping?&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vyZ3UrjyOYOzsATH44GABw&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=do%20women%20really%20enjoy%20stripping%3F&f=false

When it’s written like this, what girls wouldn’t think about investing their time and body’s into such lifestyle. It allows girls to feel beautiful and appreciated. Putting make-up, dresasing up, and getting your hair done is part of being a female. Therefore, there are no obstacles in living this type of lifestyle.

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Many argue that on the bright side of such lifestyles, females become icons to many younger girls; celebrities such as Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Kaylin Gracia just to name a few. Younger follow their trends, their behaviors, and even their habits good or bad. Is this how we want our society to be forever?

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So as many will say, that females have it easy. All they have to do is look cute to get what they want. Video vixens and strippers take off some extra clothes to emphasize their curves and just look good on camera or in front of their audience. In contrast, men have to compete and actually work for theirs. Wouldn’t you say women have it better?

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-Refutation

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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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