Woman in music videos

by Vista Kalipa

While the marathon of events of Women’s History Month continues,I thought it a good idea to follow up with a spotlight on thetreatment/portrayal of women in music videos.

We have seen the videos of 50 Cent, Mystikal, and other popularartists. It’s ass here, ass there, it’s ass all over the place.

Aren’t you sick of this yet?

I’m getting tired of seeing all these scantily clad womenstrutting their “stuff” on these videos, while their malecounterparts are fully covered from head-to-toe. There is justsomething terribly unfair with this picture.

If they mean to present and embrace sexuality, they need to bemore fair in their game. I mean, I need to see guys as clad astheir female counterparts to present a more accurate depiction ofsensual sexuality.

We often hear critics of music videos talking about thehypocrisy and the misogynistic attitude these artists often renderin these videos. In essence, this comes to show we have not movedmuch farther when it comes to creating a fair and acceptingsociety.

Junior Ryan Rust says that women in these videos always seem tobe mindless creatures with very little talent. Although he doesn’tlike the presentation of women as easy conquests, Rust says,”…however, I do enjoy Christina Aguilera’s ‘Dirty’.”

For people who have never seen Christina’s “Dirty” video, it isjust as the title suggests. She is dressed in a very small bikini,which almost reveals parts of her body she probably would not liketo (or shouldn’t) share with the rest of the world. Who knows?Maybe I am wrong.

While attempting to swap gender roles by giving herself theupper hand in her video, Britney Spears’ “Toxic” still manages tofall in the same dump as the rest of these videos. In one scene ofthe video, she is covered in nothing else but diamonds, while shecontinues to make horny cat-like motions.

“If I were to change anything about these videos, I’d make womenseem more worthy,” says Shannon Stewart, junior. “There isabsolutely no balance. Men are displayed to be the superior sexwhile women are inferior.”

According to Zhenzhi Chng, University of Illinois student, “Thepresence of gender stereotypes in music videos is due to the factthat the contents of the clips are subjected to the directors’subjective interpretation of society and life,” she says.

“The subjective perception may be an intuition, a prejudice, animagination or a past impression. Hence, it may not reflect or evenbe close to reality. However, people still act on and make adecision based on this stereotypic notion.”

Given all this, one can only wonder about the kind of messageand personal values we present to young girls and boys growing inthis postmodern society. We constantly hit them with a hypodermicmessage that they are no more than “tail-feather” shakers.

These ideas are sold to them [young girls and boys] everyday andthey buy them because they don’t know any better. They turn on theTV and it’s all they see. They look at magazine pages; it’s allabout skin and about how to make yours look like Britney’s orChristina’s.

Is this a depreciation of values in our society or is itsomething we need to change as a society?

“I don’t think there’s anything we can change about it,” sayssenior Garrett Piklapp. “It’s just like any other fad; it’ll changeitself [with time].”

I sure hope that Piklapp is right. I hope we’ll now start to seeboth sexes following the likes of Alicia Keys and others who stillkeep their bodies covered and still manage to have their albums onthe hit list.

Chng says, “Females are now finally nearing the promised era ofgender equality. We should not allow music videos that areantiquated and backward in their representation of females toderail all the progress that has been made.”

She also says, “The roots of all the biased viewpoints should beintertwined with other more neutral images to weave a completeimage of women, to rectify the gross insult on females.”