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Women and Music

In comparing the Gore video with that of Lil Kim's, it shows a contrasting view of women's roles and their relationships with men. Both videos were done very differently, but had common components: singing and women dancing shown.

The Gore video was black and white, using mostly mid shots of the singer. Gore was covered up and so were her dancers. She had people dancing in the audience while she sang, and once in a while the camera would pan through the audience to come back to her. To me there weren't that many sexual suggestions in this video, except for the occasional booty shots of dancers who were standing on pedestals—but the shots made it seem unintentional. Women in this video seemed like objects to look at. All the dancers on stage were women--now looking at it, they were covered but their clothes were very form fitting and hugged the bodies like a catsuit. The men wore suits and their faces were not really shown. They were there to enjoy the experience, but it did not necessarily mean they were exposed.

Lil Kim's video had a bird's eye view of a machine mixing the chocolate mix used to make the lollipops of Lil Kim. The rest of the film was mainly done in long—shot and used a wide—angle lens. Lil Kim was mostly covered up (except for when she was Pin Up Kim). Her clothes covered her body, but they were tight—fitting and always showed or enhanced her breasts. There were many sexual innuendos in the dance moves as well(not to mention, actual sex acts being performed or blacked out). The video portrayed women as being assembled to be sexual beings--with three variations: Candy Kim--the model, Pin--up Kim--the prison dream girl, and Knight Rider Kim--the kickass super woman.Men on the other hand was just there for a woman's sexual pleasure and they got kodus for the pleasure that they could bring her. In a day and age of Sex and the City and amutuer sex tapes used for publicity, I'm not phased by all this. It seems this is today's women's mold--liberated sexual beings.

The lyrics showed very different portrayals of women. Gore sang of crying over a man who chose another woman over her, not to mention placing the blame on the other woman when it was clearly the man who was making the decision that was causing her heartache. In the line, "...till Johnny's dancing with me, I've got no reason to smile." Gore was dependent upon a man to make her happy. This song represents woman as dependent and pathetic, whereas the men had control over women, even the power to bring a smile to their face. It showed women as being big babies--come on, she's at her own party and crying.

And maybe I am from this generation and have a bias, but I feel Lil' Kim brings more female empowerment to her video. I don't agree with the abundant sexual references, but I sense female empowerment over their own sexuality and where men are portrayed as weak to fall to their sexual desires. Women are no longer the sexual objects to be drooled over...men are now taking on that role and women are loving the eye candy. The whole song was about how men were used to please her and how they got off looking at her picture. There was a pop--up in the video that read "She doesn't satisfy you... you satisfy her". This was when Knight Rider Kim drove up to a guy walking on the street in her Lamborghini and abducted him. Women are now on the prowl, watch out defensless men.

In both songs, it is not about love, but rather lust. Gore's was about a woman's lust after a man and how she would only be happy with him. Lil Kim preaches lust fullfilled by various men, but she's the one that she chooses and no matter what, she will have her pick because they can not resist her. Relationships are no longer between a man and a woman anymore, nor is it about being happy. Relationships are used to satisfy sexual desires and therefore as long as the sexual desire is fulfilled, promiscuity is not an issue. Some may say that this only objectifies women even more--but others would also say its equality: men and women are being objectified.

I am not as open and out there with my sexuality as Lil Kim, but sense more empowerment through her lyrics.