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Cecily Pacheco (Thunderpants) – Blog It: Women in Hip Hop and the Media

April 4, 2012

By: Cecily Pacheco

Team Thunderpants

Blog It: Women in Hip Hop and the Media

Throughout this course, we have discussed the role of women in the media and the ways in which they are portrayed. We have seen countless music videos, commercials, and magazine ads with women wearing little-to-nothing with colors representing sex and seduction. The roles of both men and women are clearly distinguished within the media; however, women tend to be the group objectified and demoralized. Women should not have to be depicted as merely a sexual object when we have reached a point in time where the work and educational levels of females have significantly increased.

In documentaries such as Beyond Beats and Rhymes, the director describes the role of women and men in the media, specifically hip-hop. Women are objectified and constantly demoralized. Further, we view women as merely objects and not equal to that of men. In Nelly’s infamous “Tip Drill” video, he is shown swiping a credit card down the crack of a woman’s anus. There are also countless images of women in bikinis, dancing in stilettos, and embracing men throwing liquor on their bodies. In addition to the visual images we see of women, men further demoralize women with the content used in their music lyrics. There are barely any songs made describing the educations successful and independence of a woman, but rather lyrics such as “Girl you look good won’t you back that ass up” and “Give me that Becky,” referring to sexual acts. While they do exist, there are very few songs out there praising the hard work and success of women.

In addition to the media, women are constantly shown in commercials and magazine ads as sexual objects. Women are usually in sexual and seductive position, usually looking submissive to a man, who appears strong and dominant. Further, women are dressed in colors such as red, with their hair make-up done. In commercials, men are made to look superior to women, often dominating them with some instrument, such as a collar. In an ad found on a Google, a woman is shown with a belt wrapped around her neck. On the other hand, men are viewed as masculine, dominating, and superior. In the infamous Axe commercial, the main actor is instructing women look her man and then at him and then back at her man, insinuating what a man should look like. In our text Deconstructing Tyrone, the “Hip-Hop Mayor” is described as: “He’s 6’4”, shoulders broad enough to carry water jugs. His skin is roasted coffee, his beard manicured. His upper lip curls when he grins, flashing straight white teeth. His wardrobe alone delivers a keynote address: there’s one and half carrot diamond earring that for years flashed from his ear and mentioned within the first 10 seconds of any new account of the wonderboy mayor” (Hopkinson & Moore, pg.3). While men are still described in a sexual way, we can still see the masculinity that occurs within the description. On the other hand, a woman would be viewed as submissive, uneducated, and barely clothed.

Within the media, we can clearly see the differentiation of gender roles and the position a woman plays in society. While women have grown in time with education, rights, and independence, we still have this problem of objectification and demoralization of women. In my opinion, the way to put an end to this is to start with women. We as women have to speak out and respect ourselves, not allowing such jobs to be available just because of the paycheck. When we start to respect ourselves, it will be followed.

 

Music Video: Back that ass up

 

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