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Sexism in the Media and Music Industry | Essay

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Published: Wed, 18 Jul 2018

Introduction

Sexism is the type of behavior created by a society through gender conditioning which equally degrades both men and women. “Sexism is the subordination of one sex, usually female, based on the assumed superiority of [another] sex” (Kendall, 2004, p. 76). It refers to a system of beliefs that objectifies and lowers the status of one sex and that creates reason of discrimination on the basis of this status. Examples of this attitude are sexist humor, sexist naming, sexual violence and employment discrimination. At personal level sexism refers to behaviors and attitudes that are used in everyday interactions. Gender or sex role related to the difference between men and women that are society or culture originated.

SEXISM IN MEDIA

In the few last years we have read and watched women who are not afraid to talk out about sexism attacks, abusively written about , threatened with hostile actions and being send aggressive and sexually detailed tweets, Facebook messages and emails. Almost every women have been on the receiving end of such abuse and I think every women should stand up for herself and be heard, writing this assignment can be just one small part to achieve change, people should realize how the media degrades women or the impact it has on individuals and our society.

SEXISM IN MUSIC

Popular culture takes everything to an extreme exaggeration, including this type of sexism, to earn profit. As the mainstream music industry that have grown over the last 10 years, the majority of the songs that are being played on the radio and channels are not appropriate, even the inappropriate words is replaced with something cheesy and age-appropriate ,it does not help or change the message hidden in this songs. In the article written by Tricia Ross “There are Bitches and Hoes,” she is addressing that rap/hip-hop and urban culture has often promoted the demeaning of women in the music industry. Popular old hip hop artists like Too Short, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, and Snoop Dogg are among the few hip hop artists that are allowing the degrading of women. Snoop’s popular lyrics “Bitches ain’t shit, but hoes and tricks,” and Too Short’s song “Gangstas and Strippers” are so inappropriate for being released on the music industry. The hip hop culture advertises the idea that being a pimp to a woman is completely fine. Their defense being that “they are talking about a reality of life and dare people to deny it” (Rose 322). Popular artist like Snoop tries to justify his song by saying he is not talking about all the women even though even though they don’t specify the type of women they sing or rap about. “There is no question that the sexism that‘s in our hip-hop videos is a reflection of how sexist men are in the world today. It‘s just that in the past things weren‘t so obvious” (Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def. Jam Records). Since its birth in 1974 till today’s popularity worldwide, hip-hop music has extremely changed. Nowadays in the hip-hop music and music videos, there is many explicit words that degrades women. In many music videos women have no individuality and are promoted as sexual playthings and eye candy.

Artists, such as Eminem, Ludacris, R.Kelly, Lil Wayne, Robin Thicke and Chris Brown are among the many artist who describe women as objects of harassment or male controlled world by communicating that submission is a desirable action by woman. Most of the messages in their song glorify sexism against women including rape, abuse and advertise gender objectification and dehumanizes women mainly.

Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams’s popular song in 2013 “blurred lines” created a controversy with the lyrics such as” I know you want it, But you’re a good girl ,The way you grab me, Must wanna get nasty” ,well you can’t know they want it unless they tell you they want it, he assumes she want it. It advertises and promotes attitude towards sex and consent. Many people have called the song a rape song, the song would have escaped censure if the music video, that had Robin Thicke, Pharell Williams and T.I all three of them dancing and goofing around with barely dressed girls and that is the clean version, the other version had topless models, this has generated its own separate but also overlapping controversy. People who have been calling this song completely offensive to women have a strong case. Nevertheless, the song is about setting a good girl free by telling and showing her that she really wants some crazy sex that she is not even asking for. Robin Thicke keeps repeating the lyrics “I know you want it” while his rapping partner T.I. raps “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two.”

In GQ magazine when Robin Thicke was interviewed, he said, “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.

What underlies Robin Thicke’s depressing statement this that if the men respect their women, it is alright for them to degrade their women. The artist makes it sadly clear when he explains: “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, not only is he saying it totally fine to degrade women, it’s actually fun.

All issues in the world exist within these lines. The thought that it’s a “pleasure” to demean women after he had lived all his life respecting them is ridiculous. That it’s even funny or that he could do that because he is happily married with woman and has children is the thought of someone completely deluded, who has been living his complete life in a bubble of entitlement.

Kanye West’s latest album has been accused for its sexist words against women, it also has been criticized by male and female critics alike as a very amazing, brilliant and bold album. Most of the attention and reviews focused on Kanye West’s potential sacrilege and harmful use of racism, few people called out his offensive and degrading attitude towards women.

“Took her to the ‘Bleau, she tried to sip the fountain/ That when David Grutman kicked her out/ But I got her back in and put my dick in her mouth.”

Those are some lyrics from Kanye West’s first track, “On Sight,” which seems to refer directly to West’s girlfriend and mother of his baby girl Kim Kardashian and her relationship with Grutman, who is one of the people in-charge of Fontainebleau hotel in Miami, which would means he wrote this disgusting lyrics about the women he allegedly loves and about to marry. West himself was raised by a single working mother, whom he respected and loved. He was raised by a feminist, although she was never named that but She was a strong-willed woman who had raised an artist who both claims to completely inspired and completely, purposely sexist.

The most interesting fact about hip-hop artists using this language towards women to be alright is the women’s reactions and behavior while listening to this music .When a young woman, a fan of the certain artist, listens to lyrics in the song like “bitches and hoes,” the hip hop musician is encouraging fans to imitate the behaviors and acts of these so-called “bitches and hoes.” Women participate not only in the acts these rappers are rapping about but also are featured in the music videos. These women who participate in this videos are called “video hoes” or “video vixen. When a women participates in this behaviors or staring in these rapper’s videos and even singing along in their car points out that they are okay with sexism. Being against sexism in a society or culture that takes advantage of it is not very easy, in a system that rewards us for participating.

In another parts of the world, a group consisting of all girl Indian rock band have been disbanded after being targeted online by hate campaigns and have been issued fatwa (Islamic legal opinion handed down by an Islamic religious leader) against them . Pragaash (meaning “First Light” in Kashmiri) have won the third place in the battle of the bands a competition that’s being held in the Muslim dominated Kashmir, but the attention they gained after their achievement in the competition was so horrible that it caused them not to only stop their performances but to end their ties to the music industry, even one of three band members have fled her city to another.

These girls have been called “whores” and “prostitutes” by these online hate campaign members and are being called indecent by the issued fatwa against them, while they were all wearing jeans, scarfs and long-sleeved shirts/jackets. While many members of both local and online communities have shown their support for the band members, others have being continuously threatening the girls and their immediate families, and they accused the girls of western-style culture influence.

The nature of this matter is obviously affected by culture and religious differences but the main fact remains the same, that sexism is common around the globe. It also asks the question of how much more do we need to develop before it is universally know that this type of act is not simply unfair or harmful but that it is also a crime.


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