Essay on Women's Music

Essay on Women's Music

Length: 2139 words (6.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

For nearly thirty years, popular culture has been an ever transforming mosaic of human flesh, or more specifically female flesh. While it has been known for decades that ”sex sells”, this statement has taken on bizarre, and at times offensive aspects. It seems that the more modern we become, the more sexually explicit and objectifying media content becomes. This fact remains true across multitudes of media formats; today everything from vacuum cleaners to toothpaste is madly exciting by sex appeal. Ask any senior citizen about the content of television in past generations and you will likely hear them describe modern programs as inappropriate, even vulgar. Perhaps the perversion of sexuality and the objectification of women in the media are made most clear in a format of a few brief minutes of ‘scenery centered on a musical narrative. I speak of course of modern music videos. While there is not as much material available for analysis in music videos as there is in other media forms (due to the fact that music videos are a relatively new media format), examples of increasing objectification of female bodies are everywhere. In order to best illustrate this point I have selected sixteen music videos to dissect and study. These videos vary both in their genre and era. In an attempt to cover all bases, I have selected several videos from pop and rock as well as rap (hip-hop).
Pop music is named as such because it is what is considered the most popular musical genre. Because of the large potential audience for pop music, I will deal with these videos first. In order to show just how far the sexualization and objectification of women has gone, I have selected four pop videos, two from Grammy winner Mariah Carey and two from platinum re...


... middle of paper ...


...assive (never even shown speaking in most of the videos) and especially in the case of Lil’ John’s song, women’s individual body parts (almost always breasts and buttocks) are highlighted almost exclusively. Get Low is the most extreme examples of female objectification in the video. Women are only shown dancing or dry humping men, alcohol is poured out on their chests, and their bodies are slapped and prodded. Not surprisingly, one can scarcely count the few times you actually see a woman’s face.
While modern rap provides the worst example of female objectification, this review makes it clear that it is far from music’s only example. Stranger still it seems that music has gotten exponentially more explicit. As sad as it is to say it may be possible that one could no longer distinguish the art form once known as music video from pornography. Goodness, I hope not


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Unspoken Lullaby: Women, Music, and Oppression Essay

- Victor Hugo once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” Throughout history, the highly evocative language of music has played a major role in influencing societies and individuals. Some may say that music is the most complex form of expression. It communicates in a language that penetrates beyond the mind; it goes directly to the emotions and creates an environment or a feeling that defines that very moment. That music has the power to express and convey our thoughts and our emotions is without question, however, the idea that music has the power to reflect an entire society and can recreate an identity is not as well accepted....   [tags: Music ]

Powerful Essays
2107 words (6 pages)

Essay on Women's Music

- For nearly thirty years, popular culture has been an ever transforming mosaic of human flesh, or more specifically female flesh. While it has been known for decades that ”sex sells”, this statement has taken on bizarre, and at times offensive aspects. It seems that the more modern we become, the more sexually explicit and objectifying media content becomes. This fact remains true across multitudes of media formats; today everything from vacuum cleaners to toothpaste is madly exciting by sex appeal....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
2139 words (6.1 pages)

Men and Women in Music Essay

- Gender is a set of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that we typically associate with masculinity and femininity (Brym, 2011, p.76). A lot of times, these differences are socially constructed through various outlets – one of them being music. Often times there is a lot of confusion between the definition of “sex” and “gender”. An easy way to understand the two definitions is to remember that “sex” refers to biological differences between men and women and “gender” refers to culturally defined ways of being male or female....   [tags: Gender Roles]

Powerful Essays
2827 words (8.1 pages)

Degradation of Women in Caribbean Music Essay

- As one moves past the initial onslaught of rhythmic beats that calypso has to offer, it is difficult to miss the way in which it reverberates with negative and demoralizing images of women to their male counterparts. Whether it is within the lyrics of Sparrow’s “Drunk and Disorderly” or Square One’s “My Ding-a Ling”, an ample number of verses are often dedicated to making lewd comments about the female body and the suggestive body language described through thinly veiled rhymes and puns, can be offensive depending on the listener....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
1764 words (5 pages)

Violence Against Women In Music Essay

- Violence Against Women In Music Particularly distressing in today's society is the level of dysfunctional relationships. Values considered outdated and baseless, such as mutual respect, consideration for another person's feelings, and common courtesy, are becoming extinct human customs. Especially troubling are the violent misogynous messages infused in hard-core rock and rap music and their negative effects on today's youth. Healthy relationships of mutual love, respect, and compromise between men and women of all races and social classes are instrumental to a sane and stable society....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Powerful Essays
993 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Portrayal of Women in Rap and Music Videos

- Misogyny and degradation of women is present in almost every genre of music, yet the one genre that completely revolves around demeaning women is rap. Over the years rap and rap music videos have continually become more sexual and degrading towards women. Rap has been criticized numerous times for this reason, and that is because rap is one of the most popular genres of music for the younger generations. It is more than a genre of music, it is a complete industry filled with clothing and other merchandise....   [tags: Feminism Rap Women]

Powerful Essays
1724 words (4.9 pages)

Women in Music Essay

- Women in Music History shows that women were not as big of participants in music as men until later in the medieval era. This is due to many obstacles that faced women disabling them from singing, playing any instruments, or even composing music. Although barriers were present, many women and nuns were able to surpass them, and make use of their abilities and skills. In this paper, I will present the role of women as they interacted with polyphony, and as they became scribes, performers, composers, and patrons....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

Feminism in Music Essay

- When one hears the word “feminist”, many different things may come to mind. One may think of the “bra burning” feminists of the 1960s or the “riot grrrl” feminists of the 1990s. It can bring to mind issues such as abortion, birth control, and unfair wages. There are many different aspects of feminism, some of which are understood only by those involved in the movement. But like most things people are passionate about, feminism has held a strong place in music since its very beginning, and can be seen in its festivals, its politics, and in the average American’s everyday life....   [tags: women's studies, music]

Powerful Essays
2161 words (6.2 pages)

Women in Music Entertainment Essay

- Women in Music Entertainment There are so many talented female artists in music today that it's hard not to think of some right off the top of my head. Not only do they have great voices, but they're successful and confident, not to mention pretty darn rich. Some of these artists knew that they were going to become a star while they were still in diapers. The two females that I will be highlighting are two of the younger musical talents that are out in the industry at this time. They both worked hard to get to where they are today by starting off with many of the same dreams and aspirations many of us women share....   [tags: Alicia Keys Gwen Stefani Essays]

Powerful Essays
1083 words (3.1 pages)

Essay Black Women in Music

- Black Women in Music Music is a reflection of the community from which it came. African American women have been reflecting the social, economic, and political experiences of the African American community through thier music past and present. Each era of change in the African American community has brought about a African American female revoluntionary. Examples of this can be seen through the blues and jazz singers of the Harlem Renaissance, soul singers of the civil rights movement, and the Ryhem and Blues, Hip Hop vocalist of the present day....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1464 words (4.2 pages)