The Exploitation and Objectification of Women in Rap

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Women have consistently been perceived as second-class citizens. Even now, in times when a social conscience is present in most individuals, in an era where an atmosphere of gender equality 'supposedly' exists, it is blatantly apparent that the objectification and marginalization of women is still a major social issue. In reality, progression in terms of reducing female exploitation has been stagnant at best. Not only is the degradation of women a major problem that to date has not been eradicated, but it is actually being endorsed by some music celebrities. There are a growing number of people who purchase rap albums that support the fallacy that women are mere objects and should be treated as such. As the popularity of rap continues to climb at unprecedented rates, so too does its influence on the perception of women. In the vast majority of hip-hop songs, the depiction of women as sexual objects, the extreme violence directed towards them and the overall negative influence these lyrics have on the average adolescent's perception of women make rap the absolute epitome of female exploitation. The oppressive picture displaying the sexual objectification of women that most hip-hop artists paint while rapping can only be described as appalling. Many artists imply that a woman?s sole purpose is to gratify a man?s every sexual desire. For instance, ?Nelly?s ?Tip Drill? goes as far to portray scantily clad women as sexual appliances? (Weisstuch). Though Nelly is relatively mild when contrasted to other hip-hop artists, his actualization of women cannot be ignored. By calling women ?sexual appliances,? Nelly essentially promotes the idea that it is customary to view all women solely as sexual objects. Moreover, the generic ?sex appe... ... middle of paper ... ...abuse towards women, the sexual objectification of women and the effect these lyrics have on our youth?s opinion of women make hip-hop the absolute embodiment of exploitation of women. The extreme abuse that women must endure as a result of hip-hop, in conjunction with the constant objectification and marginalization that women continue to experience in society today has had a very negative influence on an average adolescent?s perception of women. In a fashion that is metaphorically parallel to the exploitation of women in rap, the great French writer Francois-Marie Arouet, whose pseudonym is Voltaire, once stated, ?No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible? (Arouet). Hip-hop icons are instilled with the incomparable power to change lives for the better or the worse?for the sake of women everywhere, black or white, one can only pray that it is the former.

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