Notion Of Sexual Objectification English Literature Essay

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The notion of sexual objectification means that a person is perceived through the prism of physical attractiveness with disregard  to the person's intellectual abilities. [1] Kubrin and Weizer, in their paper on the misogyny in rap music stated that sexual objectification of women was noted in 67 percent of the songs analyzed. [2] The main conclusion drawn from these lyrics is that women are only good to satisfy men's sexual pleasures. The title of one of the N.W.A songs, "Findum, Fuckum, and Flee." may serve as creed of the street code, according to which men's goal would be pursuit of pleasure and sexual exploitation of women. [3] Puff Daddy's intentions are brazenly blatant in: "Call me Sean if  you suck, call me gone when I nut. / That's the end of us, get  your friend to fuck" [4] . While his fellow rapper, Too $hort, honestly admits the only thing he would try to get from women is sex without strings attached: "I ain't Romeo,  Prince Charming, or a knight in  shining armor./ I'm only out to fuck a bitch, fuck tryin' to  charm her. I treat a fine ass  bitch like dirt./ No money in her purse, a fuck is  all it's worth./ 'Cause Short  Dawg'll never cater to  you hoes./ And if you ain't fuckin,' I say  "later" to you hoes." [5] 

A pretty disturbing fact surfaced in this Xzibit's song. Judging by the lyrics, women are considered to be men's property: You got titties  and ass./ But I got a  dick and some cash./You ain't  talkin bout shit./ Then I'ma  smash, bitch./ On three, on me, bitch, you my property." [6] This brings back to life one of the  atrocities of slavery, when black women were often forced to keep exploitive sexual relations with their slave masters in exchange for better treatment, food, or simply to satisfy the oppressors' urge. [7] It seems that even though the American society has come a long way from the times of slavery, black women are nowhere near to being treated as free, independent individuals. As the American culture critic - bell hooks points in her book Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, that black women in America have been oppressed from the seventeenth century till today by white men, black men as well as white women. She argues that women of colour have been omitted by the white feminist movement as well as the civil rights movement. The author perceives feminist movement as being a white middle and upper class struggle which showed no interest in issues of women of colour. Black women found themselves trapped into confines both gender and race. Thus, they have never been liberated from the institutionalized sexism - patriarchy, and racism. Additionally, in bell hooks' opinion the Black Power movement was both patriarchal, misogynistic. As much as it aimed to overcome racial divisions it also sought to reinforce the sexist ones. [8] Black male attitude towards their female counterparts presented in number of hip hop songs manifests their pursuit to keep women subordinate. Nowadays many rappers often express how they would put women in the right spot, as Too $hort: "Hoes be nothin' but slaves for me, / ready to go to their graves for me." (Too $hort, Pimp Me) [9] , or Xzibit: " (…) I'm hard on my hoes that's how it goes./ Bitch, get up off your toes, and get my six-four [Chevrolet]" (Xibit, Pussy Pop). [10] 

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an American politician and sociologist, in his report The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, also known as Moynihan Report, released in 1965 analyzed the data from the U.S. department of labor and drew a conclusion that black women had significant advantages over the black men to be employed thus they could provide for the family more effectively. He also suggested that the traditional African American household is ruled by the matriarchal and emasculating women, an archetypical Mammy, which would imply that black men were symbolically castrated by their female counterparts. In order to stop degradation of the Negro family, black men need to seek the ways to restore their manhood. [11] The lyrics of contemporary hip hop songs suggest that by degrading women, rappers may seek to regain their manhood. They suggest that the only desirable image of a black woman is the promiscuous and oversexed one as in Redman's: "I turn an independent woman back into a hoochie. [12] Notorious B.I.G. humiliates educated girls: "I like 'em educated, so I can bust off on their glasses". [13] These stereotypical images have their roots in the times of slavery in America. Southern white males would consider black men and especially women as possessed by their hypersexuality. The reason for such supposition might be cultural differences between Western Europe and Africa of the time. European travelers who visited Africa were often stunned to see semi nude native black women and commonly accepted polygamy. Nakedness in that time was perceived as a manifestation of indecency. The travelers embraced such a shocking experience by assuming that all black women are promiscuous by nature. They contrast between the clothed Victorian ladies and naked native African women may have prompted assumptions that white women, on the contrary to black women, are civilized and sexually pure. Hence the symbol of black women reinforced by such depiction was "Jezebel". [14] It seems that African American women could not escape from the image of an instinctively promiscuous Jezebel assigned to them back in the slavery era. Stereotypes that were set at that time still affect black women nowadays. What is more, the stereotype of a seductive and lewd black woman has been perpetuated by their male counterparts. As the Jezebel image applied to black slave women might have been a way to justify maltreatment they were given, such reasoning applies also today. [15] Another justification for disrespecting women may be a fierce peer pressure on young men in ghettos. Male promiscuity is highly valued there. [16] Casual sex with no commitment gets a man proud patch of a player, proves of his masculinity and helps to get respect from the others:" I had niggas making bets like, did he fuck her yet?/ Ask her did he touch her bra, when I say nah they say ahh / So tomorrow I use that pressure to undress her." [17] The Kubrin's research shows that bragging about sexual achievements was present in 58 percent of the songs. [18] Most of it implied how easy for a player is to talk a girl into having sex: You see I order one bottle, then I fuck with one model/ Then I order more bottles, now I/ got more models/ I'm from that city where them niggaz don't play mayn/ I take a chick to my/ room like caveman/ So ask your girlfriend my name (…). [19]