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Women: The Protagonists and Antagonists

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As we strived to change the societal norms of how negatively women are portrayed in the music industry we came across many obstacles. For instance, it was hard to argue and stand up for the rights of women when the reality is, most of them choose to objectify themselves in these music videos. But, it is also sad to say that society paints an image in these young girls minds that tells them it is okay for them to show off your bodies, wear a lot of makeup and model their behaviors after these video vixens they see in the media.

While, it’s not okay, it seems as though being a video vixens is what everyone is doing. And even though it may come across acceptable to many, it is actually discrediting women as a whole. Not allowing women to grow in the music industry through their actual talents, but instead by their assets defeats the purpose of creating music. In an example, music videos create a false representation of how women respond to successful men in the industry, as well as how they are supposed to appear.   For example, the majority of video vixens have really enhanced their body image, in order to obtain the most recognition in the industry as well as help their career become successful. This creates a norm for other younger girls and inspiring female artists to feel obligated to follow.

When was talent never enough! Why can’t women rely on just their talent alone? The answer is simple, its because the norms of society say that its not just about the music anymore. Its about selling an image which requires women to look and act a certain way. This often involves being provocative. However, women should be able to rely on just their talent and they shouldn’t have to succumb to the standards set for them in society.

This means things need to change. For example, the way male artists rap and sing about belittling and taking advantage of women needs to stop. Or even the way the male rappers depict women as sex objects instead of human beings in their music videos. However, we understand that men are not entirely to blame. Even female artists such as Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus need to start setting better examples for young girls and women. How can we expect male music artists to respect women if they don’t even respect themselves. So stop dancing on poles, stop twerking, stop wearing provocative clothing and stop letting others demean you. And we get it, “sex sells” but when did women become objects that could be bought and sold? The way women are portrayed in the music industry has got to change before this issue becomes a problem bigger than it already is.

We understand that change is not going to happen over night and it may not ever happen. But people need to be aware and informed that sometimes it is not just a catchy beat, but lyrics that diminish the character of women as a whole or that the women in these music videos could easily be your sister, cousin or friend. We would like to see the media show a better and more positive representation of women in the music industry. For example, popular singer and songwriter, Beyonce, is consider one of the most beautiful, sexiest, and talented women in the music business and she doesn’t have to wear provocative clothing or dance on poles to receive this recognition either. When it comes to women in the music industry, we are not asking for much, all we are saying is that we want beautiful, smart and educated women not video vixen, sex objects and symbols.

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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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Amber Booth

Hi, my name is Amber Booth and I am a junior, Communication major on the Public Relations Track.  I am from Fort Washington, Maryland, and I am passionate about woman’s rights.  Many girls look up to women in the media and especially in the music industry.  I want to help young girls and women realize they do not need to emulate the “sexy” image women have in the music industry.   

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Stacy Diaz

Hi, my name is Stacy. I’m a 21 year old Hispanic female, attending the University of Maryland, College Park. I’m single with no kids and soon to be graduating in 2014 with a Communication degree. I would say stereotypes about Hispanics have motivated me to be more than what many expect from a Hispanic young lady. Different cultures associate young Hispanics girls to be high school drop-outs with at least 2 kids. But I’m not! Most women vixens in music videos are typically Hispanic and African Americans increasing the bad perceptions of minority women. The music industry is only one of many ways stereotypes still exist today. This blog will go more in depth about how certain stereotypes associated to minority women are embedded inside the music industry. 

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Audrey Berard

My name is Audrey Berard and I am a senior pursuing a double major in English and Communication  I am from Greenbelt, Maryland and will most likely stay in the D.C. area after graduation. I love to travel and learn about different culture’s values. I am interested in how the mainstream music industry has changed in its representation of women over the years. 

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Hyo Gum Kim

Hi, My name is Hyo Kim and I am a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park, seeking a degree in the Communications field. I am from Elkton, Maryland and I want to talk about the standards set for women set in the music industry right now. In our generation, women have been known to dance “sexually” in music videos, to attract the viewers of the audience. This is wrong on both sides of the fence, where women should not portray themselves this way just to please the viewers. This means that the audience can and might portray women with the minimal standards the media sets for them, and that isn’t right. Rather than portray women in a bad way, the media should portray women with dignity and respect because everyone deserves to be treated that way, whether you are a man or a woman.

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