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March 31, 2009

Blog #8 - Normative Women's Sexuality

I wish that there weren't specific themes that tend to dominate "normative women's sexuality", because I think that sexuality can be so fluid and can change based on mood, situational factors, et cetera. There are a lot of obvious components that have already been mentioned and that I think are frequently brought up in society: women being passive, obviously heterosexual, not being able to have too many partners while men "get away" with such a thing, the idea that women don't have the sex drive that men do, that they have different expectations for sex, that they want sex less often, that they enjoy sex less, that they want emotion attached to sex and that men don't, etc. etc. I think the most important thing is that normative women's sexuality is supposed to be DIFFERENT from normative men's sexuality. I think this is really harmful for men, too. I think it's sort of strange when you think about it in basic terms... the "norm" is always heterosexual, yet men and women aren't supposed to share the same "goals" of sex (that sounds weird, I don't know what other word to put there) - basically, men and women aren't supposed to want the same things from sex, so how is this even compatible? (I'm not saying heterosexual sex in incompatible, of course, I strongly disagree - but the way that normative sexuality is portrayed, it seems like it would be).

I think culture is definitely changing to "allow" women to be more sexual, but there would still be a lot of presumptions made about a woman who "has sex like a man does" - that is, frequently, with multiple partners, without emotion, etc. She still wouldn't be seen as a good, moral, "normal" woman - she'd be that "good for her for expressing her sexuality, but I would never do that!!!" or simply a slut. Even particularly "promiscuous" friends of mine are seen as having something "wrong" with them psychologically or in need of some sort of help to get their sexual activity "under control".

As most people have said, Sex and the City has portrayed women's sexuality in a different light, and I think it's fantastic that they show women frankly discussing sex. However, as the texts said, there's still the underlying dissatisfaction with having this type of single, "free" life. However, I don't think that this would necessarily be untrue for men, either - that is, I think that marriage/companionship/finding the right person is more of a personal decision rather than a more "gendered" decision; I don't think that the women's perhaps underlying desire for a man is necessarily different from a man's.

I was trying to find another show that shows women's sexuality differently, but I had a hard time as I don't watch a lot of TV. One that did come to mind was the show Six Feet Under; sex is very openly shown in this show. Brenda's sexuality is discussed rather frequently, and she and her boyfriend Nate are often shown having sex in various positions, switching "aggression" roles, etc. However, somewhere in the middle of the series she ends up at Sex Addicts Anonymous after having sex with strangers, so I don't think it's an extremely good example of displaying a POSITIVE but different-from-norm female sexuality. I definitely think this is something that needs to be explored further in the media.

Knitters unite.

I know I've brought this up before but JUST in case you're interested I have an email from the leader of the knitting club on campus. Even if you don't know how to knit, don't worry there will definitely be people there to help you learn. Trust me, it's a good time with good conversation and I've heard that the cafeteria in the basement of Nolte, where the meetings are held, serves really good vegan chili on Fridays.

Hello everyone!

I have reserved 120 Nolte from 12 - 1 pm for the 2nd and 4th Friday's of
every month for the remaining of the school year. The dates are April
10th, April 24th, May 8th, and May 22nd.

There is also a knitting group starting up on the St. Paul campus. They
will be meeting once a month from 12 - 1 pm in McNeal Hall. The dates
are April 15th, May 13th, June 17th, and May 22nd.

My goal is to have each of us donate one item by the end of the school
year! I have selected a local non-profit organization for us to donate
our scarves/other knitted goods to, Tubman Family Alliance. Tubman
Family Alliance is dedicated to preparing women and families to achieve
safe, productive, and healthier lives. To learn more about Tubman
Family Alliance, please visit: http://www.tubmanfamilyalliance.org/

Attached is a write - up that has the vision of the knitting group and a
poster that has meeting information on it. Please feel free to
distribute it to anyone who might be interested.

I found an interesting mathematical knitting website,
http://www.toroidalsnark.net/mathknit.html , it has the patterns for
Fibonacci sweaters and socks!

I hope to see you all at the next meeting on April 10th!

--
Many thanks,


Laura Ihry
Program Assistant
Women's Center


If you want any more information or have questions you can ask me or give Laura an email at Ihryx004@umn.edu

blog 8

Normative female sexuality is heterosexual and passive. It’s funny that one of the first things I thought of when I read this blog assignment was period pieces focusing on the 17th-18th century. These movies are trying to capture culture from over 200 years ago but that kind of proper sexuality is still what pops into my head with normative sexuality. I think for the most part that idea is fading and it’s uncommon for someone to actually assume a woman will be sexually passive. On the other hand there is something to be said about the fact that passive and heterosexual are the first things we think of when it comes to female sexuality and how quickly the word “slut” can be thrown at a woman if she strays too far from the norm. The romanticized sexual passivity of period pieces and most modern romantic comedies helps with the continuation of such female myths but I think the reality of women’s sexuality is far from passive.

While it is still possible to get stuck in the idea of passive, reactive sexuality when it comes to women I think a lot of minds are opening up to varying types of sexuality in terms of both men and women. Shows like Sex and City, while completely unrealistic (unless I’m the only one here not having as much sex as the cast), are a good example of a new kind of female sexuality that lacks definition. I think the show does a good job of showing different kinds of sexuality and how those different kinds do not have rigid boundaries. On rare occasions Samantha is passive and a lesbian, sometimes Charlotte is aggressive sexually, and it isn’t an issue when either goes outside of her character type. Realistically women’s sexuality varies without issue also. It isn’t a secret that there is an obsession with sex in the media and I think to a certain extent it can work positively towards all genders in opening up the possibilities of sexuality.

Normative Sexuality aka Blog 8

When one thinks of women's normative sexuality we think of a heterosexual sexual relationships. It sexual relationships between a male and a female. It also is a sexuality where the male is typically the aggressor and the female is the passive one. In popular culture shows like Buffy, sex in the city, and charmed challenge this idea of normative women's sexuality by giving women agency and making women the aggressor. They poke at this ideal by constantly presenting women in different "light". In Buffy they used buffy to show a female character in a traditional role that is typically thought of as masculine. The show does it in a way where Buffy does not lose her femininity but her femininity is defined by her "masculine" role. Buffy's sexuality is defined with a mix of traditionally thought of normative sexuality and her more progressive gender roles. Josh whedon does a very masterful job of challenging "feminine" ideals through his shows like Buffy and Dollhouse.

This challenging of the sexual normative is not only done in tv but music also. Song writers like India Arie, Lauren Hill and Erikah Badu all contain themes where they challenge the typical ideal of beauty and sexuality. They call for a more progressive way of thinking when it comes to dealing with a woman's sexual agency and sense of self. They bring ideals where the belief of one's self is more important than a societal view of one's beauty. They continue to redifine and challenge women's sexuality through their music. One of India Arie's songs "i am not my hair" challenges the way society views of women's beauty. She states that her definition of self is not solely defined by how others view her but how she views herself.

Blog 8

When I think of the term norm, I think of what is considered common. It's the way we classify the majority in a group or in this case women's sexuality in our society. I think that the norm when referring to women's sexuality is definitely to be heterosexual. It is also the norm to view women as less sexually charged than men. When women are represented in a sexual way in popular culture they are often looked at as a whore or slut.

There are things in popular culture that attempt to challenge these stereotypes. For example, as discussed in our readings, Sex and the City shows us a queer view of women's sexuality. These women are able to have frequent sexual engagements without being portrayed as whores. It is less common to see the norm of heterosexuality being challenged in popular culture. One show that does challenge this is the L word. The show challenges the idea that the norm for women is to be with a man and portrays the lesbian lifestyle.

Ultimately, though some things popular culture challenges what we consider the norm for women's sexuality, straight sex and limited sex still dominate. I think that until the popular culture that challenges these ideas is seen as not being queer then we'll be make steps towards changing or redefining the norm.

Normative Women's Sexuality- Blog 8

I had issues posting today, first my post showed up twice and now it's gone! Good thing I double checked it tonight...
Anyway
Normative women's sexuality, in our culture anyway, has changed a lot since the sexual revolution. While I believe that women's sexuality is still restricted, it is not what it was when our grandmothers (or great grandmothers) were our ages. I think that the societal norms are varied based on a woman's relationship status. Married women are still expected to cater to their husbands (I believe that this has always included the bedroom along with standard household responsibilities). I have discussed this with my married friends who agree that there seems to be that expectation in society but that their marriages don't necessarily follow those norms (I believe that this is because they have set up boundaries and expectations with each other before marriage). It seems that when dealing with single women, there is some societal pressure for them to present themselves as wholesome, respectable women out in the world while the little sex pot within waits for the sun to go down. I think that popular culture has helped reinvent women's sexuality by actually acknowledging that women are sexual. Take TV for example, women on TV shows of the 50's were the furthest thing from being sexual. These women were home-makers, they cooked, they cleaned and they did not sleep with their husbands (storks in those days were very busy). As society has changed TV shows have shown women not only wearing pants and working outside of the house but sleeping in the beds of their husbands and (gasp) boyfriends! Since the main job of television is to entertain the masses, TV is a good place to watch the norms change, if it's not socially acceptable it will not be shown on TV.

Blog 8

I would define ‘normative women’s sexuality’ as rigid cultural attitudes directed towards the behavior, lifestyle choices and desires of women, by defining and restricting what is considered “normal”. The media gives us many examples of “normal women’s sexuality”, which currently revolves around heterosexual norms and a virgin/whore approach to personal sexuality.
Though pop culture certainly serves to perpetuate normative women’s sexuality, it is also an arena full of possibilities for breaking down the norms and proposing new approaches and options for viewing this dynamic sexuality.
One way in which pop culture has served to propose alternative sexualities is through film and television. From the past few years, I can think of several examples of shows that have depicted non-normative sexualities for girls. In both “The OC” and “Degrassi”, a main female character who has previously been “heterosexual” (never overtly identified as heterosexual, but assumed to be), has found themselves attracted to a woman in their lives, and pursued a sexual relationship with this woman. Never truly “outed” as being homosexual or bisexual, the relationships unfold organically, never resulting in a sexual identity crisis or in uproar amongst friends, but instead helping to open up less rigid definitions of what it means to be a young woman and be sexual. I’m not sure that such events, or resistance to definition in our current society wouldn’t raise eyebrows from friends or families, but the shows pose a sort of ideal world where the relationships are accepted, the girls’ current sexualities (and prior, "heterosexual" sexualities) are not considered suspect.
Shows like “The L Word”, and films like “Milk” pose mainstream-leaning narratives of people with sexualities that challenge heteronormativity, ideally inspiring people to embrace their sexuality for whatever it may be, rather than a rigid set of rules or definitions.

Normative Sexulaity Blog

I believe that normative women's sexuality is societies norms for women in general. It could be heterosexuality, or merely cultural norms for women. Including that of safe, acceptable sex. For women this wouldn't be acceptable until after marriage (this definitely differed for men). Other characteristics of women that were normative would be that women are to be polite, well mannered, and obey their husbands. Women shouldn't talk back, or voice their opinion. Men are smarter, stronger, and superior to women.
We have come a long way from many of this assumptions about how women should or should not be. However, there is still a lot further to go in order to reach equality between men and women. Popular culture challenges these ideas of normative sexuality by giving women a voice. Through music, television, and many other forms of media, women have the opportunity to voice opinions, show their intelligence, and make themselves known. TV shows such as Sex and the City, and musicians such as Lil Kim and Eve challenge traditional ideas of how women should act, especially when it comes to the topic of sex.
As popular culture expands even further, the acceptance of more liberating women will increase. I believe much of what is and isn't socially acceptable is due to generation differences. Hopefully the future will bare a more liberating and accepting society of women who challenge this boundaries even further.

I believe normative women's sexuality to mean the basic stereotypical definition of women's sexuality as defined by our current culture: a man and a woman in a loving and committed relationship engaging in normal, "non-kinky" sex. Although much needs to change about the confined way our society views women's sexulaity, we have made much progress in the last few decades. The normative women's sexuality use to be that women were not suppose to have sex until they were married (a clear double standard from how men have always, or at least in the last few decades, been able to get away with sleeping around with whomever they want). If a woman had sex before marriage and especially if it as not with a man she was in a serious relationship with, she was branded a slut. As a result of the change in times and popular culture, however this has changed. Today it is now viewed as "un-normal" by our society for a woman to wait to have sex until marriage. A woman is expecte dto have several sexual partners before tying the knot. However, if the number gets high, she is still considered a slut. Popular culture, however is always trying to re-invent normative women's sexuality. Currently this is being done through movies and television shows that show several women lead characters that engage in frequent casual sex. In the show she is not branded as a slut in any way but there always seems to be a "good girl" in the cast that does not engage in casual sex to even things out. Although the media is now showing women in a more sexually free way, the characters that do engage in casual sex are always viewed as the extremists and over the top. They are seen as not the normal woman at all, but the exception to the rule.

Blog 8

I think normative women's sexuality means in this context the normal way that women are "supposed" to act in our culture. That way seems to be changing for sure though, considering it wasn't THAT long ago that women weren't allowed to show any skin or appear the least bit sexual without being married. dumb. I'd say that the "norm" has definatley come a long way, not to say it doesn't have more aspects to redefine. For instance to me what the norm for women and sexuality is that women are supposed to be sexual objects in the eyes of men, but they aren't actually supposed to have sex, because then they are a slut? Really i feel tv portrays womens sexuality in a far different light. On most the shows I watch, One tree hill, the OC, Heroes, Ugly betty, House, etc.. women are depicted as having the same type of sexual appetite as men. I mean they do still have the charaters that fit the old norm, the ones that wont sleep with anyone hardly. But I kinda feel that the media and pop cutlure has over sexified women. What I mean is they make it seem like all women go around sleeping with a guy right when they start dating and a lot of women just sleep around for fun. In my world thats a little off because I don't have the same type of appetite these charachters have. Although I'd say there is still a bit of a double standard that women can't sleep around but men can but I see that changing too. I'd say its just as normal in my opinion to be a girl and sleep around and be a guy and sleep around, and realistically both those kinds get a bad rep, not just the girl.

Normative Sexuality and Current Pop Culture-Blog 8

When I hear “normative sexuality” the first thought that comes to mind is heterosexuality, a man and a woman falling in love most likely getting married and then “consummating” that marriage to use a more discrete term. Within “normative sexuality” women tend to be very innocent, docile, quiet, and one must be inexperienced or else they are considered a “whore”. The men can be as promiscuous as they please and tend to be the ones pursuing the women and not the other way around.

I think pop culture is constantly reinventing women’s sexuality and I think that we as an audience has seen a huge change of the image of women’s sexuality throughout the decades. However I still believe that despite how innovative, new, and controversial women portrayals get there is always an underlying idea of the normative sexuality. One can even see this in Sex in the City. The character Samantha at first glance seems to be idolized for her independence and outward rebellion of normative sexuality yet throughout the series one can see that she seems to act this way out of self esteem and vulnerability issues. The other characters such as Carrie have even judged her (the blowjob episode) of her promiscuous actions. In that same episode one sees Samantha’s vulnerability and it gives the idea that some times she even judges herself for her actions.

This can also be seen in Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Although the women is celebrating her promiscuity and making money off it the constant problem seems to be her real life – where she has one partner who is her long term boyfriend – starts to intermingle with her alter life as a call girl. Her constant fear is that her boyfriend will find out. She still has this stigma and can not openly come out about who she is- a sex worker who enjoys what she does.

I admit that both of the above examples do predominantly challenge the normative idea of sexuality however I still believe there is an undertone of it. I think that media has made huge strides going from the Leave it to Beaver family to the Sex in the City family of friends but I still believe that the normative idea of sexuality is seen through out popular culture.

Just for fun…

blog 8

When I think of normative women's sexuality, I think of what my Grandparents would define as sexually normal: A male and a female living a heterosexual, monogamous lifestyle. I think society wants to think of women as sexually passive and dominated by men, when it comes to sex. However, in popular culture, as demonstrated in "Sex and the City", can still maintain some of that normatively (heterosexuality) and still reinvent sexual normality.

In "Sex and the City", Carrie Bradshaw and her friends stress the need for sexual freedom. They break the mold of sexual normatively, because they are all sexually and financially independent. They tend to send a message that to need a man for sexual entertainment is sex, but to need a man for financial support is not. The girls of "Sex and the City" constantly challenge sexual normatively for women. They re-defined sexual equality for women, from sexual freedom just being normality for men, to being normality for women. Before "Sex and the City", Erica Jong, a post-feminist writer and author of the novel "Fear of Flying", questioned whether women could be sexually promiscuous and still be happy. In her novel, a character named Isadora, had a big sexual appetite and was completely content with a meaningless sexual encounter. She shocked a lot of readers with her concept of sexual promiscuity with strangers being a reality. Popular culture will continue to try to reinvent and challenge sexual normatively through shows such as Sex and the City". Hopefully by the time I have kids the term sexual normality for women is different.

Blog 8

Normative women's sexuality means much the same thing that, for instance, normative economics, means: studying economics from a view point working purely within and accepting the existing economic structure, rather than cahllenging it or qualitatively comparing it to other ways of being. Normative refers to the status quo - in the case of women's sexuality we are referring to how women are supposed to behave and identify sexually. There are several major expectations of women: first and foremost, they must be heterosexual (often they are also required to reproduce within a married heterosexual relationship). Part of women's normative sexuality is the double standard within how women are supposed to be. They are, at the same time, supposed to be chaste and virtuous (the saying "good girls don't do things like that") while they are also supposed to be heavily invested in pleasing and luring in, men, which they achieve by making themselves up (being a spectacle) to draw attention and by presenting themselves as sexually available. They must also take on a passive role in sexual encounters with men. As many theorists and scholars have argued, popular culture overwhelmingly and consistantly recreates these images. Of course, it also invents new standards of female sexuality, not all of which are negative or positive. Shugart and Waggoner suggest that normative female sexuality is challenged through women making outragous spectacles of themselves, thus demonstrating the performance of gender and identity in general. It also challenges ideas of "naturally" based gender and sex by making something that is identitfied as natural seem unnatural. This form of resistance is cited as critical for challenging conventional gender norms because they take place within accepted culture.

Pop culture sexuality

Women’s normative roles are played out and stereotype all over our world in media and advertising. Historically and still today in some cultures women are expected to be virgin-istic, motherly, homemaker, and submissive or prostitute and dirty. Women have been forced to pick one extreme: angelic or devilish. Popular culture today reinforces these roles but also over-sexes women giving the ideology that sex-appeal and sexuality are bases for the value of a woman.
Everybody Loves Raymond’s main female is Deborah, Ray’s wife. She is a stay at home mom who takes care of the children yet she defies other generally female roles. She’s the boss of the house, Ray follows her orders. She’s also not known for her cooking, which most mothers often are. She is a strong women who stands up for herself even though she’s playing a historical motherly/homemaker role.
Rock of Love on the other hand objectifies women. Bret Michael’s values the women first for their looks, then for their brains (maybe?) The girls are a spectacle, they play out these outrageous roles to fulfill the character expected for Rock of Love. Their boobs are bigger then their heads, they wear skimpy outfits, they talk ditzy and slow with a lot of umms and likes. They call each other mean names like skank and whore. They all say they’re falling “in love” with Bret vying for his attention.

March 30, 2009

Sexuality and the City: Blog 8

If I were to take a stab at the phrase "normative women's sexuality," I would assume it means the most often thought of, privileged, form of sexuality for women as heterosexuals, engaging in relationships with men. Homosexuality does not yet find itself in the "normative" category in American culture, unfortunately. Yet in popular culture, the ides of normative women's sexuality are rearranged and "reinvented." In the example of Sex and the City, the women maintain heterosexual relationships with men, mostly focused on how good the sex is, less about the emotional relationship. The women, Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha, use each other for their emotional support and gain pleasure from the discussions they have about the sex they had last weekend (Gerhard). As Gerhard says, this was typical in the gay and lesbian communities, but not as much with straight women, so it really opened up something new for straight women. I found it interesting in the way the show is described as walking a fine line between keeping the four friends as an emotional, but heterosexual, support system for each other that would be there unconditionally, and falling into a show about lesbians. However, the women obviously enjoy sex with men, no matter how much they need each other.

Another way to think about the normative women's sexuality is to see women as passive in their sexuality and allowing men to control the situation, not necessarily granting them sexual pleasure. Sex and the City definitely breaks this barrier with the necessity of sexual pleasure that the women discuss about their sexcapades. Another popular show that puts emphasis on the need for women to partake in sexual pleasure is Grey's Anatomy. It depends upon which characters are being discussed, but many of the women verbalize their need to be pleased in bed, such as Izzy, who tries dating, and sleeping with, her best friend, but the sex is terrible, which ruins the relationship. These examples break through the idea of a passive women's sexuality as the normative.

March 27, 2009

Here's the Link for ted.com... it's pretty awesome

This site is pretty awesome... It is a compilation of various speakers talking about arts, sciences, global issues and etc.... and it's constantly updated... Check it Out YO!


http://www.ted.com/

oh... this is on there and it's pretty funny... it's a song about feminism...

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/nellie_mckay_sings_feminists_and_if_i_had_you.html

March 25, 2009

Blog 7: India.Arie & Rihanna

For this blog I chose two female aritsts, both in the R&B-soul-pop genre. One of the first artists that comes to mind when I think of positive messages for women in music is India.Arie. She deliberately writes positive, encouraging lyrics and I think that is so cool. Her song, "Video" is about "video girls" and what they stand for and how that is not what she is about. The chorus says, "Im not the average girl from your video / And I aint built like a supermodel / But, I learned to love myself unconditionally / Because I am a queen . . . " How great is that!? This is the kind of stuff that girls should be listening to and singing in the shower or in the car. I think Arie's context is just that being in the R&B/hip-hop scene, she sees, first-hand, how women are completely exploited in so many lyrics and music videos (hence, "video girls.") It is obvious why this song is written by and performed by a female. Honestly, I can’t imagine a guy singing this song about a girl or his girlfriend / wife, etc. She is taking a stand and writing music that encourages women's worth and all kinds of beauty, and creating a huge hit while she's at it (the song was very popular: radio play, etc.) For my second “negative” song, I chose “Lemme Get That” by Rihanna. Interestingly, this song is more on the “video girl” end of things as opposed to India.Arie’s “Video.” The lyrics of “Lemme Get That” are basically about Rihanna telling a man that she will give him love and sex if he gives her money and gifts. No matter how fun this song may be to dance to, the message is pretty sleazy; it amounts women to merely superficial, materialistic girls who will give as much sex as they have to in order to obtain these things, “I came up in here to get what you got . . . 5 car garages / name on your bank account / all day massages . . . if ya young / if ya hot, girl / shake what ya got, girl.” And this song does not refer to just clothes or shoes, but stocks and bonds! This girl wants to set herself up for life! I feel like the context could be similar in this song as with the other song; Rihanna sees, first-hand, the relationship between men and women in the hip-hop world and how (big) money goes around. Even though it’s a negative portrayal of women, it’s still no surprise that this song is being sung by a female. Although she is involved in an unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship, she is getting a hold of a lot of money and that is her own goal.

Full lyrics in extended entry...

India.Arie “Video”

Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I dont
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I wont
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul


Im not the average girl from your video
And I aint built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen
Im not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what Im wearing I will always be india aria

When I look in the mirror the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where its supposed to be
And I know our creator didnt make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes; Im lovin what I see

Am I less of a lady if I dont wear pantyhose?
My mama said a lady aint what she wears but, what she knows
But, Ive drawn a conclusion, its all an illusion, confusions the name of the game
A misconception, a vast deception, somethings gotta change
Dont be offended this is all my opinion, ain’t nothing that Im sayin law
This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share wit y’all
So get in where you fit in go on and shine
Free your mind, nows the time
Put your salt on the shelf
Go on and love yourself
cuz everythings gonna be all right

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks
I dont need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive car and your caviar
All I need is my guitar
Keep your crisp style and your pistol
Id rather have a pretty piece of crystal
Dont need your silicon I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine


Rihanna “Lemme Get That”

I got a house, but I need new furniture,
Why spend mine when I could spend yours
The truth is I will love you the same
But why complain you buying gucci babe

[Verse 1]
You might see me in the spot
Ya boy think I'm hot
So I came up in here to get what you got
I'm hot like the block
Ugh Huh you like that
know you wanna bite that
Ugh Huh yea right there
They love the young girl
They wanna give it to me
Wish I was in a flick
And I ain't talking movies
If ya young,if ya hot girl
Shake what ya got girl
I keep 'em singing...

[Pre-Hook]
Lemme hit that (Huh?)
(Justin What you got up in them jeans? Put it on me, or get lonely)
Lemme get that (Huh?)
(Rihanna You know, 5 car garages, name on your bank account, all day massages)
Lemme hit that (Huh?)
(Justin I wanna put it on blast)
Lemme get that (Huh?)
(Rihanna Better slow down, for I make you crash boy)
Got what you want
Baby got what you need,
But we can't proceed
Unless you got that for me

[Chorus]

[Verse 2]
I'm a put you on the spot
keep the sheet in knots
I bought me a benz,
You buy me the yacht
A girl need a lot,
The girl need some stocks
Bonds is what I got, bonds is what I got (ya get it?)
They love the young girl
They wanna give it to me
Wish I was in a flick,
and I ain't talking movies
If ya young, if ya hot girl
Shake what ya got girl
I keep em singing...

[Pre-Hook]
[Chorus]

[Bridge]
Oh...Oh...Oh...
Boy I know you want my love
Oh...Oh...Oh...
Nothing is free in this world
Oh...Oh...Oh...
Unless my love is your love
Oh...Oh...Oh...
I'm not a gold digger

50 Cent vs Soulja Boy

The first song I chose is by Soulja Boy, Kiss Me Thru the Phone. While I must admit the first time I heard this song, I thought it was quite cheesy. As I thought about the lyrics though, I was impressed. The song shares the emotional side of romantic relationships. This is a rare find, especially from men, in pop culture. It is an even rarer find in the hip-hop/rap industry. One particular aspect that should be addressed is that the lyrics are not void of sexual mention. The lyrics imply a desire for sex, but in context, the lyrics discuss a physical relationship with an emotional one. Soulja Boy’s lyrics encourage the view of women as not solely sexual beings. It shows that they can offer both a physical and emotional relationship, rather than the common view depicting women as sex toys.

The second song is 50 Cent’s In Da Club. Many of the verses to not directly focus on women, the chorus, which repeats multiple times, does. While the song may carry a good beat, its message is lacking. The line that is unfortunately the most catchy and the most objective says “I’m into havin’ sex. I ain’t in to makin’ love” 50 cent makes a clear distinction between the two. Sex refers to solely a physical encounter, void of emotional relationship or appreciation. On the other hand, making love would refer to a physical encounter that involves emotional appreciation. Additionally, women are refered to as b*tches and he mentions a friend that may be willing to get bi (the song is clearly not pro-homosexual as he later refers to another man as a f*ggot). Overall, the song conveys a poor message. It objectifies women and detaches any emotion from sex.

(I keep trying to add the 50 Cent lyrics, but my computer freezes up everytime I do! So I didn't add them, but you can look up the lyrics. The song is In Da Club)

Baby, u know that I miss u
I wanna get with u
Tonight but I can't now baby girl
And that's the issue
Girl u know I miss u
I just wanna kiss u
But I can't right now so baby
Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone
(I'll see u later on)

Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone

(See ya when I get home)

Baby, I know that u like me
U my future wifey
Soulja boy tell'em yea
U can be my bonnie
I can be yo' clyde
U can be my wife
Text me, call me
I need u in my life
Yea all day
Everyday I need ya
And everytime I see ya
My feelings get deeper
I miss ya, I miss ya
I really wanna kiss ya
But I can't(but I can't)
678 triple 9 8212

Baby u know that I miss u
I wanna get with u
Tonight but I can't now baby girl
And that's the issue
Girl u know I miss u
I just wanna kiss u
But I can't right now so baby
Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone
(I'll see u later on)

Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone
(See ya when I get home)

Baby I've been thinkin lately
So much about u
Everything about u
I like it, I love it
Kissing u in public
Thinking nothing of it
Roses by the dozen
Talkin on da phone
Baby u so sexy
Yo' voice is so lovely
I love yo' complexion
I miss ya, I miss ya, I miss ya
I really wanna kiss ya
But I can't
678 triple 9 8212

Baby u kno that I miss u
I wanna get wit u
Tonight but I can't now baby girl
And that's the issue
Girl u know I miss u
I just wanna kiss u
But I can't right now so baby
Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone
(I'll see u later on)

Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone
(See ya when I get home)

She call my phone like da
We on da phone like da
We takin pics like da
She dial my numba like da
678 triple 9 8212

Baby u kno that I miss u
I wanna get wit u
Tonight but I can't now baby girl and that's the issue
Girl u know I miss u
I just wanna kiss u
But I can't right now so baby
Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone
(I'll see u later on)

Kiss me through the phone

Kiss me through the phone
(See ya when I get home)

Blog 7 (Sarah Mainz)

The first song I found was by Christina Aguilera and Lil Kim. This song is definatley a strongly positive song for women. The song addresses many issues about double standards that women face and the song speaks out for women to fight back and say what they want to say. She talks about how when she speaks her mind she is a B**** and how that isn't right because she should be allowed to have an opinion. She also talks about how boys spread rumors about a girl being a slut or easy among other things to try and silence her. This only makes the fight inside her stronger and she goes into the chorus singing about how girls should shout louder that these boys can't hold us down. This song has very strong lyrics that surely help empower young women who hear these words. Girls used to be fed that they must stay quiet, that a man is always right, and women don't fight...yada, yada, yada. This song is different, it is taking a stand against the way things used to be, and empowering women to break free from any standard of what a "lady" should act like. Later in the song she talks about double standards between men and women dealing with sex. How a man gets praised the more he scores and if a woman does the same thing that makes her a whore. This mentality just makes no sense, and I absolutley LOVE that she brings it up in this song. How can a girl who sleeps around be a whore and a guy who does the same thing be a stud?? No way! it takes two to tango, and he's just as much a whore as she is. Not to say anyone should be called a whore, because that is just a hurtful and judgemental word. Basically this song addresses a lot of feminist concerns, and it is awsome that Christina and Lil Kim get out there and spread this message of fighting back. Which leads me to my opposite song, by the Rolling Stones, the song called some girls. This song makes women seem like an object to be obtained and then thrown away. Like women are she-devils who just take take take from men and who seek to ruin thier lives by making men buy them things. This puts such a negative connotation on women! I think it is fair to say that the majority of the population, male or female likes to have people buy things for them because it makes them feel special. This is nothing only regarding women. All women aren't out there searching for a man to buy them things and then to divorce him and take half his possessions. Clearly that is a negative message to send to young people about women. I've seen this same scenario played out in TV shows and movies. Women just looking to be gold diggers, they have only one goal in life and that is to marry a rich man and take all his money. While I can't say all women wouldn't do this, I think it's safe to say it is just a small minority who are like this. The rest of us are left defending ourselves because of this bad reputation women have gotten. No thanks to the Rolling stones. Maybe they should try making some songs like Christina! Christina would be under the pop/hip/hop genre and the rolling stones would be under classic rock. I think the fact that it is a male band vs. a female singer makes a big difference in the types of songs they produce.

Positive Lyrics:
christina aguilera "can't hold me down"

So what am I not supposed to have an opinion
Should I be quiet just because I'm a woman
Call me a bitch cos I speak what's on my mind
Guess it's easier for you to swallow if I sat and smiled

When a female fires back
Suddenly the target don't know how to act
So he does what any little boy will do
Making up a few false rumors or two

That for sure is not a man to me
Slanderin' names for popularity
It's sad you only get your fame through controversy
But now it's time for me to come and give you more to say

This is for my girls all around the world
Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth
Thinking all women should be seen, not heard
So what do we do girls?
Shout louder!
Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground
Lift your hands high and wave them proud
Take a deep breath and say it loud
Never can, never will, can't hold us down

Nobody can hold us down
Nobody can hold us down
Nobody can hold us down
Never can, never will

So what am I not supposed to say what I'm saying
Are you offended by the message I'm bringing
Call me whatever cos your words don't mean a thing
Guess you ain't even a man enough to handle what I sing

If you look back in history
It's a common double standard of society
The guy gets all the glory the more he can score
While the girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore

I don't understand why it's okay
The guy can get away with it & the girl gets named
All my ladies come together and make a change
Start a new beginning for us everybody sing

This is for my girls all around the world
Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth
Thinking all women should be seen, not heard
What do we do girls?
Shout louder!
Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground
Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud
Take a deep breath and say it loud
Never can, never will, can't hold us down

Lil' Kim:
Check it - Here's something I just can't understand
If the guy have three girls then he's the man
He can either give us some head, sex her off
If the girl do the same, then she's a whore
But the table's about to turn
I'll bet my fame on it
Cats take my ideas and put their name on it
It's aiight though, you can't hold me down
I got to keep on movin'
To all my girls with a man who be tryin to mack
Do it right back to him and let that be that
You need to let him know that his game is whack
And Lil' Kim and Christina Aguilera got your back

But you're just a little boy
Think you're so cute, so coy
You must talk so big
To make up for small lil' things
So you're just a little boy
All you'll do is annoy
You must talk so big
To make up for small lil' things

This is for my girls...
This is for my girls all around the world
Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth
Thinking all women should be seen, not heard
So what do we do girls?
Shout louder!
Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground
Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud
Take a deep breath and say it loud
Never can, never will, can't hold us down

This is for my girls all around the world
Who've come across a man who don't respect your worth
Thinking all women should be seen, not heard
So what do we do girls?
Shout louder!
Letting them know we're gonna stand our ground
Lift your hands high and wave 'em proud
Take a deep breath and say it loud
Never can, never will, can't hold us down
Spread the word, can't hold us down

Negative lyrics: (I found 2)

Artist: Rolling Stones, The
Album: Some Girls
Title: Some Girls


M. jagger/k. richards)

Some girls give me money
Some girls buy me clothes
Some girls give me jewelry
That i never thought i'd own

Some girls give me diamonds
Some girls, heart attacks
Some girls i give all my bread to
I don't ever want it back

Some girls give me jewelry
Others buy me clothes
Some girls give me children
I never asked them for

So give me all your money
Give me all your gold
I'll buy you a house back in zuma beach
And give you half of what i own

Some girls take my money
Some girls take my clothes
Some girls get the shirt off my back
And leave me with a lethal dose

French girls they want cartier
Italian girls want cars
American girls want everything in the world
You can possibly imagine

English girls they're so prissy
I can't stand them on the telephone
Sometimes i take the receiver off the hook
I don't want them to ever call at all

White girls they're pretty funny
Sometimes they drive me mad
Black girls just wanna get fucked all night
I just don't have that much jam

Chinese girls are so gentle
They're really such a tease
You never know quite what they're cookin'
Inside those silky sleeves

Give me all you money
Give me all your gold
I'll buy you a house back in zuma beach
And give you half of what i own

Some girls they're so pure
Some girls so corrupt
Some girls give me children
I only made love to her once

Give me half your money
Give me half your car
Give me half of everything
I'll make you world's biggest star

So gimme all your money
Give me all your gold
Let's go back to zuma beach
I'll give you half of everything i own

Artist: Aerosmith
Album: Aerosmith's Greatest Hits
Title: Sweet Emotion


Sweet emotion
Sweet emotion

You talk about things that nobody cares
You're wearing out things that nobody wears
You're calling my name but you gotta make clear
I can't say baby where i'll be in a year

Some sweat hog mama with a face like a gent
Said my get up and go musta got up and went
Well i got good news, she's a real good liar
'cause the backstage boogie set your pants on fire

Sweet emotion
Sweet emotion

I pulled into town in a police car
Your daddy said i took it just a little to far
You're telling me things but your girlfriend lied
You can't catch me 'cause the rabbit gone died
Yes it is

You stand in the front just a shakin' your ass
I'll take you backstage, you can drink from my glass
I talk about somehting you can sure understand
'cause a month on the road an' i'll be eating from your hand

"Nasty Girl" vs. "Beautiful"

I came across this website as I typed in “Negative songs about women” into my search engine. To my surprise, I ended up finding a site that listed songs that objectify women. One song, in particular, caught my attention. This song, called, “Nasty Girl” by Notorious B.I.G. is a rap song with special appearances by Nelly, Avery Storm, Jagged Edge and P. Diddy. I found this song to be particularly disturbing and extremely degrading towards women. Here is the song, "Nasty Girl:

The Chorus:
Gotta love ma little nasty girl
U know I love ma little nasty girl
I love ma little nasty girl
All the ladies if u hear me
Grab Ur titties for B.I.G
I love ma little nasty girl
All ma women from around the world
I love ma little nasty girl
All the ladies if u hear me
Grab Ur titties for B.I.G


[Nelly & Avery Storm]
Ok ma what's Ur preference
Nice and slow
Or fast and breathless
Pull Ur hair girl, bite Ur necklace
Let me show u what a nigger from Lou blessed with
Hey.... I'm exprained to leave
When I'm done I flip the mattress
Change the sheet (Gotta change them)
I'm like a radical one
I vibrate a little more than Ur mechanical one
(From Ur titties to you thong)
Either way mama I'm a make u do it or do it
(Girl I'm about to make u come)
Guaranteed when Ur fuckin with me
(Coz I go on and on and on...on and on and on....on and on and)
Ladies if u feel me
Grab them Thangs fo Biggie

The gender role in this song is that in which the artists objectify women, making them sound as though they are to be simply used as sexual human beings. With the lyrics sung by Nelly and Avery Storm, “Grab them Thangs fo Biggie” makes it sound like women have to be sexually submissive to the opposite sex, that grabbing areas on their body will be acceptable and make them seem more desirable. To me, it feels as though these artists who sing “Nasty Girl” are nothing but sex-driven, women-hungry individuals who feel it necessary to speak of women in a derogatory manner. The opposite sex, in this song in particular, delivers a bad reputation of what reality is. It is almost as if most rap songs done by males are objectifying women more and more.

On the other hand, I also found a song that is positive about women. Christina Aguilera's song "Beautiful" is a song that is extremely empowering towards women, giving them confidence, strength to move on and to overcome any sort of problem that might arise. Here is the song, "Beautiful":


Some of the lyrics include:

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down, oh no,
So don't you bring me down today,

To all your friends, you're delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The piece is gone and the puzzle undone
That's the way it is

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring you down, oh no,
So don't you bring me down today...

This song is a pop song written in the early 2000s. I remember how popular the song was when I was in middle school. I recall my friends listening to this song when they were feeling down. The gender role in this song is that in which the artist gives women a sense of pride and dignity. That is how I feel a song should be: sending positive messages and portraying women in a positive light.


50 Cent Blog Week 7

I really wanted to use two different songs by the same artist to show both the positive and negative treatment of women portrayed through music. I chose 50 Cent.

“Material Girl 2000” by 50 Cent is negative towards women. It treats women as material and makes it seem as if all women are only interested in material objects. This song degrades women and women’s lifestyles. Not only does the song stereotype all women as being gold diggers, it blatantly uses derogatory terms towards all women as a whole (bitch, hoe, material girl). As we all know, 50 Cent is a male rapper from the inner city, who made it big by rapping about the “thug” life and growing up in the ghetto. As learned by other means of media, such treatment towards women in neighborhoods such that where 50 Cent grew up and lived isn’t uncommon. Unfortunately, for many lower-class neighborhoods such negative treatment towards women has become a way of life and in a sense accepted.

“So Amazing,” also by 50 Cent shows more positive treatment towards women. Although certain parts of the song still undermine women, it is not nearly to the extent as in “Material Girl 2000.” This song, “So Amazing,” attempts to show respect for women, even though it may not be put in the most polite terms. The song doesn’t use the derogatory terms to refer to women, as did the pervious song. I’d say that this song is 50 Cent’s best attempt to show his respect for women, but reaffirming where he’s from and the lifestyle he grew up in. There are very sentimental lines in the song that show true-heartedness and total respect for women, with others that somewhat contradict those lines. However, this song is by far more positive toward women than the first one.

"Material Girl 2000"- 50 Cent

If a bitch don't like me
Somethin' wrong with the bitch (fuck that bitch)
Why... oh why... why... you wanna fuck with me now?
Yo Dave, that shit come with the game baby, the money, you know
thats how the shit work, you know what I'm sayin'
they supposed to love me now baby
I'm doin' it now baby
hahahaha

[Chorus]
Girl, what makes you wanna fuck with me now?
I've been wantin' to fuck wit' you for quite a while
Is the money makin' you wanna fuck with me?
The money gonna make you sell your soul

[Verse One]
Whoa... if money's gonna make me slam these hoes... then alright
Whattup Shorty, I ain't seen you in many moons
talk to me, how's life been treatin' you? good I hope
you got a smile that only a fool would forget
and a figure that'll leave a nigga droolin' and shit
There I was, kickin' my game, pickin' her brain
buggin' 'cause a while back I met this bitch on the train
she wasn't feelin' me, I pulled up, she wouldn't talk from the whip
Uptown girl, she feel like thats some chickenhead shit
but on the sidewalk we ain't play games
we exchanged numbers and names
I went back to the Range
I heard her Girlfriend whisperin' "I know that nigga, he rich"
she think I got six whips 'cause me and my Man switch
anyway, her name is CeCe
she said she go to BMCC
push a '98 328 with chrome BB's
she said she seen me in the Onyx video on TV
she liked my part the best, man, this bitch is tryin' to G me.

[Chorus]

[Verse Two]
It's hard as Hell to find a Girl thats really down for ya
type that'll hold down the Tre pound for ya
they into diamonds now, to Hell with pearls
these trick niggas fucked up, they done gave 'em the World
Hey Shorty, why you like me? huh? you like the way I spit?
oh, I hit your girlfriend, she told you 'bout the dick?
nah for real, am I the type that you wanna roll wit'?
platinum iced out, got rid of that gold shit
I love my lifestyle, you too, you love it
that I could blow Twenty Thousand and think nothin' of it
know you wouldn't fuck with me if I had no ends
probably wouldn't fuck in the whip if it wasn't a Benz
I guess life looks different through them Shanel tints
Man, I don't care if these hoes love me or not
long as I rhyme hot I'm gettin' head in my drop
it goes on and on and on and it don't stop.

[Chorus]

[Verse Three]
One thing you can always count on is change
and a rich nigga to come put shit in the game
had a 4.0 then Jigga made you trade your Range
would've felt broke if you couldn't get your change
now it's hard to find us or stay behind us
while we on the 900 double R Hondas
watch the cats who flip bricks recline in the latest whips
while Penetentiaries stay packed with cats who sling packs
all these hoes ain't Madonna fans but all across the World
you can find a material Girl
I sip Dom 'till I earl
take 'em two at a time
quick I get in they mind
have 'em thinkin' they mine
bust off then tell 'em "Bust a Uey, on mo' time"
I'm like the reason ya'll niggas can't eat this year
got your bitch breakin' her neck to peep this here
c'mon... uh huh... c'mon

[Chorus - repeat 2X]

Fuck you bitch! leave me alone, walk on... get the fuck on...
Yo, Shorty... tell your friends ya'll ain't fuckin' with us...
aww man... look... he ain't mean that shit...
c'mon thats just records... niggas is playin'...
we wasn't serious and shit...

"So Amazing"- 50 Cent

[Chorus- Olivia]
Summer, winter, spring, and fall
I'll be around to catch ya calls
Cause you're my baby (you're my baby)
And I adore you
You always brighten up my day
I never ever let you wait
Cause you're my baby (you're my baby)
And you're amazing (so amazing)

[Verse 1- 50 Cent]
I'm from city to city to shop the show
See me I been gridin' across the globe
I hustle hard to get the grib fa sho'
So when I make time to call you, you should pick up the phone
Tell me, whats on your mind when you're alone
Have ya touchin' on yourself, girl all in the zone
Now if I turned you on
What things I say would I be wrong
Then I wouldn't wanna be right
Matter fact I'd be on the next flight
Tryna get it on with you tonight
Do the things you like
Touch the right spot, have ya piped and hot
While the wind blow through your hair in the drop
Just lay back, relax to the sounds of the sex
And let me to what I do until you climax
You can go straight to sleep after its all over
In the mornin' roll over and we can start over

[Chorus- Olivia]
Summer, winter, spring, and fall
I'll be around to catch ya calls
Cause you're my baby (you're my baby)
And I adore you
You always brighten up my day
I never ever let you wait
Cause you're my baby (you're my baby)
And you're amazing (so amazing)

[Verse 2- 50 Cent]
Yeah I called just to say hope you havin' a nice day
You're special, I get into you, oops I mean I'm into you
Every chance I get, I find time to spend with you
Jet to bring you to me, just to watch a movie
Better yet to watch you climb into the jacuzzi
Bubbles in the bath, don in the glass
Funny how time flies when you full of laughs
Its fun but before long, a nigga gotta dash
For the lifestyle I live, a nigga need cash
To come quick, so I don't fuck with the stash
I know you like pumps and boots
I like jeeps and coupes, so I grind all the time, just gimme some loot
I put a spell on you, I like to call it a spell
In the bedroom, workin' it well, I don't kiss and tell
But I don't care if you kiss and tell
You can tell your girlfriend the details

[Chorus x2- Olivia]
Summer, winter, spring, and fall
I'll be around to catch ya calls
Cause you're my baby (you're my baby)
And I adore you
You always brighten up my day
I never ever let you wait
Cause you're my baby (you're my baby)
And you're amazing (so amazing)

blog #7

Eminem’s song “Superman” speaks negatively about women. It is a rap song that objectifies and demonstrates violence against women. In the song Eminem continuously calls women hoes and bitches and talks about how they are only good for one thing. He begins the song by stating the lies that he tells women to get them into bed with him. He then proceeds to say that all women play games and lie and that he will never be in a relationship again because “bitches” come and go. He makes it very clear that he only uses women for sex because they are nothing but objects to him. In the last verse he gets progressively violent in his descriptions of these women. He says that he will give her (any woman who he is with at the moment) two back hands and hand prints across her face. He even goes so far as to threaten women with anthrax. Gender has a great deal with the objectification and violence against women that is portrayed in this song. A woman would never (or at least the vast majority of women) would never sing a song that portrays women as terribly as this song does. This song is a product of a patriarichal society.
KT Tunstall’s song “Suddenly I see” is drastically different from Eminem’s song in that it portrays women positively. The pop song is about a woman who has inspired the person singing the song. She is described as beautiful and that her face is a map of the world. She is described as being able to light up every corner and makes the other person want to be better. She is the type of person that one is able to look up to. She is portrayed as strong, intelligent, and amazing.

Dina Rea:]
Mmmhh

[Eminem:]
You high baby?

[Dina Rea:]
Yeahh...

[Eminem:]
Yeah?

[Dina Rea:]
hahaha..Talk to me...

[Eminem:]
You want me to tell you somethin?

[Dina Rea:]
Uh huh...

[Eminem:]
I know what you wanna hear...
'Cuz I know you want me baby I think I want you too...

[Dina Rea:]
I think I love you baby...

[Eminem:]
I think I love you too...
I'm here to save you girl
Come be in shady's world
I wanna grow together
Let's let our love unfurl
You know you want me baby
You know I want you too
They call me Superman
I'm here to rescue you
I wanna save you girl
come be in Shady's world...

[Dina Rea:]
oh boy you drive me crazy...

[Eminem:]
Bitch you make me hurl...

[Eminem:]
They call me Superman
Leap tall hoes in a single bound
I'm single now
Got no ring on this finger now
I'll never let another chick bring me down
In a relationship save it bitch, babysit? you make me sick
Superman aint savin shit, girl you can jump on shady's dick
Straight from the hip, cut to the chase
I'll ***TELL THE MUTHA FUCKIN*** slut to her face
Play no games, say no names, ever since I broke up with what's her face
I'm a different man, kiss my ass, kiss my lips, bitch why ask?
Kiss my dick, hit my cash, i'd rather have you whip my ass
Don't put out? i'll put you out
Won't get out? i'll push you out
Puss blew out, poppin shit
Wouldn't piss on fire to put you out
Am I too nice? buy you ice
Bitch if you died, wouldn't buy you life
What you tryin to be, my new wife?
What you Mariah? fly through twice
But I do know one thing though
Bitches they come, they go
Saturday through sunday monday
Monday through sunday yo
Maybe i'll love you one day
Maybe we'll someday grow
Till then just sit your drunk ass on that fuckin runway hoe...

[Chorus:]
'Cuz I can't be your superman
Can't be your superman
Can't be your superman
Can't be your superman
I can't be your superman
Can't be your superman
Can't be your superman
Your superman, your superman...

[Eminem:]
Don't get me wrong
I love these hoes
It's no secret
Everybody knows
Yeah we fucked
Bitch so what?
That's about as far as your buddy goes
We'll be friends
I'll call you again,
I'll chase you around every bar you attend
Never know what kind of car i'll be in
[Woman Screaming]
We'll see how much you'll be partying then
You don't want that
Neither do I
I don't wanna flip when I see you with guys
Too much pride
Between you and I
Not a jealous man, but females lie
But I guess that's just what sluts do
How could it ever be just us two?
Never loved you enough to trust you
We just met and I just fucked you
But I do know one thing though
Bitches they come they go
Saturday through Sunday monday
Monday through Sunday yo
Maybe I'll love you one day
Maybe we'll someday grow
'Till then just sit your drunk ass on that fuckin runway hoe...

[Eminem & Dina Rae Over Chorus 2x]

[Eminem:]
I know you want me baby
I think I want you too...

[Dina Rea:]
I think I love you baby...

[Eminem:]
I think I love you too
I'm here to save you girl
Come be in shady's world
I wanna grow together
Lets let our love unfurl
You know you want me baby
You know I want you too
They call me Superman
I'm here to rescue you
I wanna save you girl
Come be in shady's world...

[Dina Rea:]
Oh boy you drive me crazy...

[Eminem:]
Bitch you make me hurl.

[Eminem:]
First thing you said...

[Eminem As Women:]
I'm not phazed,
I hang around big stars all day,
I don't see what the big deal is anyway,
You're just plain ol' Marshall to me...

[Eminem:]
Ooh yeah girl run that game...

[Eminem As Women:]
Hailie Jade...I love that name,
Love that tattoo...what's that say?
'rot in pieces' aww that's great...

[Eminem:]
First off you don't know Marshall
At all so don't grow partial
That's ammo for my arsenal
I'll slap you off that bar stool
There goes another lawsuit
Leave handprints all across you
Good lordy-wody you must be gone off that water bottle
You want what you can't have
Ooh girl that's too damn bad
Don't touch what you can't grab
End up with two back hands
Put Anthrax on a Tampax and slap you till you can't stand
Girl you just blew your chance
Don't mean to ruin your plans
But I do know one thing though
Bitches they come they go
Saturday through Sunday Monday
Monday through Sunday yo
Maybe I'll love you one day
Maybe we'll someday grow
'Till then just sit your drunk ass on that fuckin runway hoe...

[Eminem & Dina Rae Over Chorus 2x]

[Eminem:]
I know you want me baby
I think I want you too...

[Dina Rea:]
I think I love you baby...

[Eminem:]
I think I love you too
I'm here to save you girl
Come be in Shady's world
I wanna grow together
Lets let our love unfurl
You know you want me baby
You know I want you too
They call me Superman
I'm here to rescue you
I wanna save you girl
Come be in shady's world...

[Dina Rea:]
Oh boy you drive me crazy...

[Eminem:]
Bitch you make me hurl.

[Chorus 2x B/W Dina Rea Singing]


"Suddenly I See"

Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

I feel like walking the world
Like walking the world
You can hear she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
She fills up every corner like she's born in black and white
Makes you feel warmer when you're trying to remember
What you heard
She likes to leave you hanging on her word

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

And she's taller than most
And she's looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

Metric vs. Lil' Wayne


Lyrics | Metric lyrics - Patriarch On A Vespa lyrics

Metric is an indie rock band I've grown quite fond of. Vocalist Emily Haines sings about many feminist issues, identifying problems in gender roles and speaking out against American tradition. “Patriarch on a Vespa” challenges the standards and roles that our culture teaches us to live up to. The lyrics highlight the ridiculous, “normal” moral and social obligations of today’s women, and Haines spits them out rejecting the normal in favor of women’s interests. I love the way this song creatively communicates how our society's portrayal and expectations of women needs to change; a "fuck you" to the patriarchal world. “Gold Guns Girls” and “Poster of a Girl” (two other Metric songs) illustrate similar themes.



Lyrics | Lil Wayne lyrics - Mrs. Officer- -the last lyrics by ken lyrics

Contrary to the Metric song, this hip-hop tune diminishes women. Though I often enjoy listening to the rap stylings of Lil' Wayne, this song discusses a horrible portrayal of women. In the song, Lil' Wayne is stopped by a "lady cop”, and instead of receiving a ticket or arrest, the two begin having sex. This suggests that a woman (even in a position of authority) is ALWAYS submissive to the charm and superiority of a man. It implies that women are meek, gentle beings constantly needing masculine support and protection. With his repetition of the line “I’ll make ya say wee ooh wee ooh wee”, Lil’ Wayne directly communicates his (assumed) automatic authority simply due to his masculinity; he (a criminal) is able win over and control (well, she wants him, of course) a woman officer because she is obviously docile and compliant to any whiff of man. How sad!

It's also interesting to think about how music genres such as indie or alternative broadcast a much more positive outlook on women, compared to hip-hop and rap which is constantly degrading them.

-Danya


Blog 7

Ok. Let's start with good things first. I chose Ani Difranco's 32 Flavors for my song that positively represents women. Difranco's music has been classified as both folk rock and alternative rock. The lyrics are realistic and self righteous at the same time. She speaks about herself as a woman who is flawed and human, while subtly discussing the struggles that women face to be powerful. Her lyrics are very confident with simple lines like, "God help you if you are a phoenix and dare to rise up from the ash." This is creates a universal message to women. Ani can be seen as the voice of all women. Her lyrics show a positive example of an emotional woman who is still head strong and confident.

http://www.danah.org/Ani/NotAPrettyGirl/ThirtyTwoFlavors.html

Now for the bad. Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy the Beatles. As a GWSS Major, I am also morbidly amused by the misogyny that is pretty blatant in their lyrics, particularly but hardly exclusively to John Lennon, who was the primary writer of their songs. As everyone on the planet knows, the Beatles were a rock and pop band from England that became popular in the sixties. Run For Your Life is a catchy tune with a good guitar riff and tune. BUT no one can ignore the lyrics. John Lennon essentially says, "You leave me, I’ll kill you."

http://www.lyricsdownload.com/beatles-run-for-your-life-lyrics.html

Don't Listen to the Lyrics (Blog 7)

The two songs that I have looked at are “Don’t Listen 2 the Lyrics” by local artist Desdamona and Dr. Dre’s song “Bitches Ain’t Shit”.

Desdamona is a woman b-girl from Minneapolis and raps a lot about her perspective as a woman. The song “Don’t listen 2 the lyrics” written and performed by her discusses what the affect of rap music and the images of women within hip hop can affect girls/women. Her gender plays a huge role in this song. It is specifically discussing a woman’s perspective and a woman’s critique on (specifically) mainstream rap. The song discusses the media and what their messages are selling, and it’s not just brands/material things but a way one views one self, she raps,

“…her sexuality sells soda/long neck bottles slipping into wide open mouths/gulping the last drop down to her Victoria secret commercials/ where her outfit consists of a negligee and an innocent smile makes the boys go while/she licks her lips on coffee commercials and is misunderstood/ sitting on a bus stop sucking on a lollipop and she feels more than disturbed standing on the curb/ because everyone including the media is sure that they know her but they haven’t heard her say a word…”

The song also discusses what so many people say and that is they don’t listen to the lyrics so it doesn’t matter, ignoring the fact that these men singing these songs are speaking about women and are supporting a patriarchal/misogynistic/sexist society.

She raps, “She says she doesn’t listen to the lyrics, but she likes the beat/Mainstream seeps into unconscious/And slowly but surely she feels worthless/Like success might be in a bikini on uncut BET”

This also shows that women no matter if we listen to the lyrics or not, one can not help but see the images of women shoved in ones face everyday and not matter what one says it does effect people, whether conscious or unconscious.

Desdamona also references Dre’s song “Bitches Ain’t Shit” in her song, saying “They say bitches ain’t shit but ho’s and tricks and I don’t even have to say the rest because you already know it/ and that’s just the way it is…” This brings up an interesting point, I feel that she’s trying to point out how deeply these images and words of hate against women are so embedded within all of us. Many people know the chorus to that song, many more repeat lyrics that are just as oppressive/misogynistic/etc than (probably) those repeating empowering lyrics about women.

“Bitches Ain’t Shit” is a song about a group of guys and their interactions with women and “hoes”. It is very obviously from a male’s perspective as they speak about women as if they are nothing but objects of pleasure. This is a rap song featuring Snoop Dogg, Dat Nigga Daz, Kurupt, and Jewel. They lyrics say it all of how they see women as they rap,

“Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks/lick on these nutz and suck the dick/Get the fuck out after you’re done”

This is one of the songs that I always think of when people discuss how women are portrayed within rap songs. They talk as if women are only put on earth for men to do what they want with and they don’t have any care for them outside of pleasure and that they are objects to buy and own.

Desdamona’s song is an empowering critique about what needs to be changed within media and within the music industry while Dr. Dre’s song is one that only proves the point of what Desdamona is talking about.

Below are links to where you can listen to both songs.
Desdamona
Dr.Dre

Don't Listen to the Lyrics

The two songs that I have looked at are “Don’t Listen 2 the Lyrics” by local artist Desdamona and Dr. Dre’s song “Bitches Ain’t Shit”.

Desdamona is a woman b-girl from Minneapolis and raps a lot about her perspective as a woman. The song “Don’t listen 2 the lyrics” written and performed by her discusses what the affect of rap music and the images of women within hip hop can affect girls/women. Her gender plays a huge role in this song. It is specifically discussing a woman’s perspective and a woman’s critique on (specifically) mainstream rap. The song discusses the media and what their messages are selling, and it’s not just brands/material things but a way one views one self, she raps,

“…her sexuality sells soda/long neck bottles slipping into wide open mouths/gulping the last drop down to her Victoria secret commercials/ where her outfit consists of a negligee and an innocent smile makes the boys go while/she licks her lips on coffee commercials and is misunderstood/ sitting on a bus stop sucking on a lollipop and she feels more than disturbed standing on the curb/ because everyone including the media is sure that they know her but they haven’t heard her say a word…”

The song also discusses what so many people say and that is they don’t listen to the lyrics so it doesn’t matter, ignoring the fact that these men singing these songs are speaking about women and are supporting a patriarchal/misogynistic/sexist society.

She raps, “She says she doesn’t listen to the lyrics, but she likes the beat/Mainstream seeps into unconscious/And slowly but surely she feels worthless/Like success might be in a bikini on uncut BET”

This also shows that women no matter if we listen to the lyrics or not, one can not help but see the images of women shoved in ones face everyday and not matter what one says it does effect people, whether conscious or unconscious.

Desdamona also references Dre’s song “Bitches Ain’t Shit” in her song, saying “They say bitches ain’t shit but ho’s and tricks and I don’t even have to say the rest because you already know it/ and that’s just the way it is…” This brings up an interesting point, I feel that she’s trying to point out how deeply these images and words of hate against women are so embedded within all of us. Many people know the chorus to that song, many more repeat lyrics that are just as oppressive/misogynistic/etc than (probably) those repeating empowering lyrics about women.

“Bitches Ain’t Shit” is a song about a group of guys and their interactions with women and “hoes”. It is very obviously from a male’s perspective as they speak about women as if they are nothing but objects of pleasure. This is a rap song featuring Snoop Dogg, Dat Nigga Daz, Kurupt, and Jewel. They lyrics say it all of how they see women as they rap,

“Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks/lick on these nutz and suck the dick/Get the fuck out after you’re done”

This is one of the songs that I always think of when people discuss how women are portrayed within rap songs. They talk as if women are only put on earth for men to do what they want with and they don’t have any care for them outside of pleasure and that they are objects to buy and own.

Desdamona’s song is an empowering critique about what needs to be changed within media and within the music industry while Dr. Dre’s song is one that only proves the point of what Desdamona is talking about.

Below are links to where you can listen to both songs.

Desdamona
Dr. Dre

March 24, 2009

Miranda Lambert/Blog #7

The first song I came up with is by Miranda Lambert and it’s called “Gunpowder and Lead”. I look at it as a song to empower women and its genre is what some would call “new country”. The background of this song is Miranda grew up in a house where her father was a former policeman turned private investigator along with her mother. They took in battered women that had no place else to go so Miranda got a first hand look at what happened to battered women. That is what “Gunpowder and Lead” is all about. It’s giving empowerment to women who were or are in domestic abuse environments and give them the courage to stand up and leave by any means necessary although to me I see the lyrics about loading a shotgun to not be literal but metaphorical although people in the country music world have joked about how she hates men because she wants to kill them.

However, Miranda’s song “Crazy ex-girlfriend” could be taken as the opposite and most would think that this song speaks negatively to women. The lyrics sort of speak for themselves, but, she talks about stalking out her ex-boyfriend who is now with another woman and she’s definitely not happy about it. This was the song that the country world really rampaged on her about, because of the violence that she lashes out on her ex and his new girlfriend.

The difference between the two songs to me shows her versatility in being able to show how violence portrayed in her music can work for and against women. However, it has been noted that even when violence is showed as an empowerment to women as in “Gunpowder and Lead” that people just think she’s violent and don’t look into what the song really speaks to.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
It took me five bars some thirty license plates
I saw her mustang and my eyes filled up with rage
I brought my pistol but I ain't some kind of fool
So I walked right in bare-handed
She was on his arm while he was playing pool
Just like I used to do
She kissed him while I got a beer
She didn't think I'd show up here
I'm a crazy ex-girlfriend
I watched her for awhile but I didn't like her walk
She came across kinda cheap to me but hey how's that my fault
She looked at my man like he didn't have on a stitch
Somebody tell that girl to step up to the plate I'm gonna pitch
Those pretty girls can play their game
But their damn well gonna know my name
I'm a crazy ex-girlfriend
I started throwing things and I scared folks half to death
I got up in his face smelled whiskey on his breath
Didn't give a second thought to being thrown in jail
'Cause baby to a hammer everything looks like a nail
I was mad as hell
Those pretty girls they're all the same
But their damn well gonna know my name
I'm a crazy ex-girlfriend
I'm a crazy ex-girlfriend
I'm a crazy ex-girlfriend

Gunpowder and Lead
County Road 233 under my feet
Nothin' on this white rock but little ol' me
I got two miles till he makes bail
And if I'm right we're headed straight for hell
I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
He wants a fight well now he's got one
He ain't seen me crazy yet
Slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don't that sound like a real man
I'm gonna show him what a little girl's made of
Gun powder and lead
Well it's half past ten
Another six pack in
I can feel the rumble like the cold black wind
He pulls in the drive
Gravel flies
He don't know what's waitin' here this time
Hey I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
He wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet
Slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don't that sound like a real man
I'm gonna show him what a little girl's made of
Gun powder and lead
His fist is big but my gun's bigger
He'll find out when I pull the trigger
I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
He wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet
Slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don't that sound like a real man
I'm gonna show him what a little girl's made of
Gun powder and gun powder and lead
Gun powder and lead

Blog 7: "Show me yo Bootyhole" by Saosin vs "I am not my Hair" by India Arie

"show me yo bootyhole" by Saosin and "I am not my hair" by India Arie are songs that both touch on the theme of beauty. "Show me yo bootyhole" addresses beauty in a very negative sense. The song reduces women to a single part, the booty. Saosin is normally a band that mainly focuses on rock/alternative genre. They are not the greatest band but their other songs are by no means bad. Other songs they have produced typically have some sort of emo feel to them. This single song of theirs is pretty reprehensible and expresses the desire for "otherness" that constantly keeps getting brought up in our discussions. They do not focus on the typical "white", barbie like model that many songs seems to use but they use the stereotypical "black beauty model". They talk about women using language like "Shakin' yer booty like it ain't no thing Rub it all up on my dingaling". I have very mixed feelings about this song because I do like the song but the message it sends make me very angry.

On the other hand "I am not my hair" by India Arie talks about more of an intrinsic beauty. India Arie has always produced very empowering songs not just for women but for everyone. She has always been known to write very honest lyrics and this song is no different. In this song she talks about how she is not defined by her hair or how she looks. She talks about how she looks or how she presents herself doesn't change the kind of friend she is or person she is. India always have very positive messages in her songs and her lyrics are very genuine and well thought out. She is probably one of my all time favorite songwriters and she has a very soulful voice.


Lyrics | India Arie lyrics - I Am Not My Hair lyrics


Lyrics | Saosin lyrics - Show Me Yo Booty Hole lyrics

Luda and the Commodores- Blog 7

Whenever it comes to music, I am such a perfectionist at picking the right song. This blog was no different, it has taken me forever to decide which songs I wanted to blog about. I thought about "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen, "Independent Women" by Destiny's Child, or "What it Feels like for a Girl" by Madonna, and I went through virtually all of the songs in my iTunes to see if any of them were worthy of this assignment. In the end, I struggled with how I defined a song as positive or negative. For example, if I chose Baby Got Back, would it be positive or negative? However, I stopped overanalyzing that aspect, deciding that it was completely up to me if the song was positive or negative. SO, that being said, I chose the song "Brick House" by the Commodores as a positive song about women, and "Nasty Girl" by Ludacris as a negative song about women. Here are the lyrics of each song:

Commodores- Brick House

Chorus:
She's a brick house
Shes mighty mighty just lettin' it all hang out!
She's a brick house
The lady's stacked and that's a fact,
ain't holding nothing back.
She's a brick house

We're together everybody knows,
an this is how the story goes.
She knows she got everything
a woman needs to get a man, yeah, yeah.
How can she lose,with those things she use?
36-24-36, what a winning hand!

Chorus
She the one, the only one built like an amazon!
her moves The clothes she wears, her sexy ways,
make an old man wish for younger days. Yeah,yeah.
She knows she's built and knows how to please
Sure 'nuff to knock a strong man to his knees!!

Cause..
Chorus

Bridge
Shake it down, shake it down now (repeat 7 times)

CHORUS
-
-
-
-
Ludacris- Nasty Girl

A lady in the street but a freak in the bed
Lady in the street but a freak in the bed...
Lady in the street but a freak in the bed
Lady in the street but a freak in the bed

[Chorus: Ludacris]
See she makes her own money, pays her own bills
Always stays fly, keeps it so real
But behind closed do's she a nasty girl (yup)
Behind closed do's she a nasty girl
She got a crazy little figure, nice round ass
Walks so proper, talks with such class
But behind closed do's she a nasty girl (yup)
Behind closed do's she a nasty girl

[Ludacris]
Yeah, I met this girl named Keisha, she was so sweet (yup)
Nails stay manicured, pretty little feet (woo!)
Shoes so sexy, body so hot
Hair lookin like she just came from the shop
Legs so smooth, clothes so tight
Style so sexy, makeup just right
Never too much, never too little
Black lace bra, Vickie Secrets in the middle
Eyes so innocent, smile so bright
Works in the mornin but she'll party all night
All for her man, all cause she bout it
All cause she crazy in love and don't doubt it
Product of her birthplace, know about the streets
Clean in the workplace, dirty in the sheets
Keeps her own toaster, makes her own bread
Lady in the STREET but a freak in the bed, cause

[Chorus]

[Plies]
Okay, okay, haha
I got a college girl who go to church e'ry Sunday
Had her sneak out of choir rehearsal to put it on me
But she's so innocent, when she ridin, mami
One thing about her, she get her own money
Gave it to her yesterday while she was doin laundry
Favorite chore of mine, it's my lil' bunny
Bowl-legged and classy, such a real woman
Sex all night, go to work e'ry mornin
Text me from work and told me she was horny
Text her back and told her, "Me too mami"
When you get off work, daddy gon' punish
You my nasty girl forever I promise

[Chorus]

[Ludacris]
I got a doctor girlfriend that tells me, "Come home soon!"
She plays like my house is her emergency room
Tells me to undress and to lay on the sofa
Checks all my vitals like a doc's supposed ta
All white coat, all white heels
And nothin underneath so it's an all night deal
I'm her number one patient and delighted to be
And when she needs her medicine I give her vitamin D
But wait! I got a lawyer girl that's so wild
And every single night she wanna take me to trial
Said she needs some evidence, and to show her the PROOF
So I put her on the stand and I give her the truth!
Cause I'm hung like a jury (jury)
Judge Luda preside over your body and I'm never in a hurry
You may proceed, let the games begin
And if I call a mistrial we gotta do it again

[Chorus]

"Brick House" was written in 1977 by the Commodores, so it takes us back a bit in time. The Commodores were a funk and soul group in the 1970s and '80s. Brick House was written as a funky song to dance to, but I think that it also presents a sort of worship of women. The lead singer of the band wants everyone to know that he is the one dating the "brick house" woman. As a brick house, she is a strong, voluptuous woman who can be stronger than a strong man. Being called a brick house was a compliment and not meant in a negative way. I think that women would be more accepting of this song, in a similar way that many women like Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back or Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls because they are songs that praise women with lots of curves, women that aren't stick thin. Brick House is about a woman who is confident with who she is and how she presents herself; she is proud of her curves.

On the other hand, with "Nasty Girl" by Ludacris, who is typically defined as a rapper, is much more derogatory and objectifying of women. This song came out just last year in his November 2008 release "Theater of the Mind." Many of Ludacris's lyrics in his songs tend to be objectifying and derogatory. For example, "I want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed," comes off as a demeaning sentence, that women have to uphold themselves a certain way in public, but they had better be able to let it all loose in the bedroom or they're a waste of time. I give credit to Luda for commenting on the woman's ability to make her own money, but everything else he talks about is so superficial and related to material things, like manicures, expensive shoes and underwear, perfect hair and make-up, but hardly anything about who the women actually are. As long as she is willing to have sex all night and work all day, she is the woman that Ludacris is looking for. Oh, another requirement he seems to have is that his women are "innocent" as well, just not in the bed. Unlike the Commodores, Ludacris also talks about multiple different women that he has sex with, a college girl, a doctor, a lawyer, but the lead singer of the Commodores is all about the one woman whom he is proud to be with.

If I had to decide which guy would treat a woman better based on their songs, I would go with the lead singer of the Commodores, unless you like sharing your boyfriend and being called a nasty girl.

Bad Bitch/Good Bitch

I'm not going to lie, I almost forgot about blogging this week!

I decided to use two songs that focus on the word Bitch.

I don't listen to rap, but I do hear it in passing, or on recommendation. The Ludacris song "Move Bitch" is far more disturbing than I had ever realized.

Move bitch, get out the way
Get out the way bitch, get out the way
Move bitch, get out the way
Get out the way bitch, get out the way

OH NO! The fight's out
I'ma 'bout to punch yo...lights out
Get the FUCK back, guard ya grill
There's somethin' wrong, we can't stay still
I've been drankin' and bustin' two
and I been thankin' of bustin' you
Upside ya motherfuckin' forehead
And if your friends jump in, "Ohhh gurrlll", they'll be mo' dead
Causin' confusion, Disturbin Tha Peace
It's not an illusion, we runnin the streets
So bye-bye to all you groupies and golddiggers
Is there a bumper on your ass? NO NIGGA!
I'm doin' a hundred on the highway
So if you do the speed limit, get the FUCK outta my way
I'm D.U.I., hardly ever caught sober
and you about to get ran the FUCK over

That's just the first verse of the song, I can't bring myself to cut and paste the rest of it, I'm sorry (If you're interested, I found it at A-Z lyrics). This is more than enough to see how wrong this song is. First he threatens to beat the subject of the song up, tells her to back the F up. I do not approve of this music, or of the message it conveys. Unfortunately, messages like this are dominant in rap music (which is why I don't listen to it and why I don't allow my son to listen to it) and while I do believe in the freedom of speech, I am sickened by the fact that people buy these albums and that messages like this continue to provide influence on it's consumers. Songs like this, make me so mad that I have a tough time knowing what to say, that doesn't happen very often!

I'm not sure why, but I had a tough time coming up with a song that I felt was more positive. Not that there is much that could be more negative and unsettling than the Ludacris song, but I still felt like it was a bit of a challenge. The Meredith Brooks song "Bitch" sticks out in my head though. Apparently you can't get the official video from You Tube, so here's a live version

I hate the world today
You're so good to me
I know but I can't change
Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe
I'm an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet
Yesterday I cried
You must have been relieved to see
The softer side
I can understand how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you
I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one

Chorus:
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

So take me as I am
This may mean
You'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that
When I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won't mean a thing

Chorus:
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

Just when you think, you got me figured out
The season's already changing
I think it's cool, you do what you do
And don't try to save me

Chorus:
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I'm your angel undercover
I've been numb, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know I wouldn't want it any other way

To me, this song is empowering. The word Bitch was always looked upon so negatively, and was often used to be negative. I admired how Meredith Brooks threw it out there and said, yeah well I am one, it's really not that bad, but there's more to me than that. It seems to me that people are often labeled as one thing and we tend to forget that they are more than that. Plenty of songs make me crank up the radio, roll the windows down and sing at the top of my lungs, but I think this is one of the few songs I can think of that would have every woman I know doing the same thing. It sums up my life, I know that I am all of those things and along with Meredith Brooks, I'm completely ok with it.

Blog #7 - Dar Williams & Britney Spears

Dar Williams is a totally awesome alternative, folky woman who is probably the person whom I most aspire to be like. All of her songs are just so clever. This is one of my favorites, a cute song called "When I Was A Boy". [lyrics here.]The reason I love this song is because it's so positive for both genders. A lot of powerful women's music has a lot to do with being angry at an ex-lover or the world - and while these songs are necessary and can be empowering, I love seeing music that shows the similarities between genders, demonstrating healthy relationships between men and women, and showing that men and women often (and should) cross "gender barriers", particularly as children. I believe feminism is about equality, not about one sex dominating the other, whether it's female dominating over male or not. In this song, Dar describes a lot of things she did as a child, mostly "masculine", like play fighting, bike riding, climbing, being adventurous, and the problems she now faces as an adult woman, like media's image of women's clothing being tight and revealing, implants, and the entire image of women as passive and vulnerable. She talks about the shame that may come from young girls being adventurous, and then she describes "the man I'm with" as a kid who picked flowers and had good communication skills with his parents. It ends with "And you were just like me, and I was just like you". I just think it's such a good message to send to kids, that they should do whatever they want and should be proud of what they do. I grew up listening to this song, and I'm glad I did.

It was an interesting process choosing the negative song. I looked through my iTunes and really couldn't find anything I thought would be appropriate. I initially thought, well, I'll just pull up pretty much any rap song, honestly. I was talking to my sister about this and she recommended a song by Eminem who (no offense to fans) I've always really loathed, but she loves. The song she recommended to me was extraordinarily violent, involved choking women, etc. and was really vulgar. I asked her how she could even consciously support this man through buying his albums, and she said "Well, honestly, his lyrics are so completely out there and horrible that I just don't feel like he's really being serious, his sexism is just so outlandish that nobody would take this seriously." And that made me think about the far less blatant sexism that occurs, particularly targeting younger women. I came up with Britney Spears' I Was Born to Make You Happy. The title is instantly annoying. Basically, Britney is alone in her room, mourning the loss of a partner, claiming she can't live without his love. She repeats the line "I was born to make you happy"over and over, which represents to me a life of servitude, and continues to claim that she cannot survive without this person. While breakups are really tough, and many songs are written about this, she is showing insane codependence without considering the idea of being a strong, independent woman. It makes me sad that little girls are listening to this, and looking up to her, while she sings this song about not being a whole person without her lover. What kind of message does this send? Basically, that women cannot be complete without another person [presumably a man], that people can't recover from breakups with people. She claims she will sit around and wait for this person until he calls... meaning, she'll give her love to someone who clearly doesn't care enough about her to stick around, that she doesn't respect herself enough to be able to live as her own person. It's never been a huge secret that Britney is probably not the best role model for children and teens, but I think a song like this that is teaching girls to be vulnerable and incomplete is really detrimental.

Everlast and Tanya Janca (Blog 7)

I thought that I’d challenge myself with this blog and look through my own music collection for a man who spoke positively of women and a woman who spoke negatively of women. First off, I have to admit that my music collection is about 70% female (who tend to sing empowering music), 25% male bands that barely speak about women (and if they do, it’s usually about sex), and about 5% of single men. The two artists I ended up choosing could both be considered “Alternative” which makes sense because of the gender requirements I’m trying to go by, therefore being alternative thinking.

For a male musician that spoke positively about women, I chose Everlast’s “What It’s Like.” Remember this 90s hit and Everlast's feud with Eminem? I really love the style of this song and I didn’t even pay much attention when I was younger and I only noticed this verse recently when I started learning how to play it on my guitar. Here, Everlast is defending a woman who got pregnant by a man who wouldn’t return her calls and decides to have an abortion. He describes the disrespect she receives as she is approaching the abortion clinic and claims that these people should consider what they would do if they were in her situation. It’s rare to hear a man talk about issues like this and I wish it happened more often.

Here’s the verse and chorus that I’m talking about:

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom who said he was in love
He said don't worry about a thing baby doll I'm the man you've been dreamin' of
But three months later he said he won't date her or return her call
And she sweared god damn if I find that man I'm cuttin' off his balls
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin' through the doors
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore
[CHORUS]
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose
Then you really might know what it's like [x4]

Link to song:
Download file

I noticed that any female musicians I have that speak negatively about other women is usually out of jealousy. There’s only one song of mine that really stuck out: Tanya Janca “Let Me Win This One.” I wouldn’t be surprised if none of you heard of her because I pretty much bought one of her CDs on accident many years ago. She’s a Canadian singer with really blunt lyrics, she plays guitar Ani style (almost), and she can’t sing very well. This song describes an argument that Janca is having with someone else. Janca feels the need to refer to a certain woman as a “cunt” while the person she is arguing with doesn’t like the use of that word. Okay, so I can’t find the lyrics anywhere so I’m just going to type out my interpretation of the chorus:

And I say that “I think she’s a cunt”
And you give me that look
And I say “You know what I will call her whatever I want”
And you say, “I wish you wouldn’t talk about her so badly”
And I say that “I’ll stop as soon as you stop talking about her so nicely”
Let me win this one and I will shut up forever

Link to song:
Download file

Mary

a little of this &&a little of that

Make U Fly by Zion I and the Grouch
Chorus: i am the virgin, i'm the whore,
so you won't push a brother, don't leave
i am the goddess, i'm the sky
i give you room to make you fly
so why don't you recognize me anymore?

Zion :an open letter to you sister, mother, wife, &&girlfriend.
hope to make it better before we reach the world's end.
spin through centuries of hypocrisy when patriarchy subjugated your biology.
your divine feminine was always kept hidden
you know i love my mama, called you freak ‘cause i was trippin.
take you for granted, man, i've often been the culprit
but i'm crypted when i stand like a preacher in this pulpit
sex symbols like all imitation
a trophy, not a wife, but you're the queen of creation
more than a beauty but it's harder to see
we told to never cry, hoes down, up G's, but
you gave birth to me, sacred like the Earth to me
blessed, never cursin' me, your love is what these verses be
Adam and Eve in the Garden, believe
better learn to work together or there'll be no seeds
i'm runnin' home to you, nothin' else i'd rather do
apologize for all the madness that i put you through
it's true: i'm just a flawed human being
tryin' to get it right; be my God ‘cause i'm needin' YOU.

Grouch: to be the bearer of life
what's the like? still spit on
mama raised me right
that's the track i'm ‘bout to get on
had to pay y'all back
women: you're the ones who are real strong
&&i don't feel good how we treat you on a hill wrong
feel lungs breathe
she's the equal i need
Mother Earth made her, as soft as the breeze
&&if i take advantage, what's that make me?
someone i couldn't stand if seen on TV
so i flip the channel, damsels in distress now
get a handle on myself &&my sex-style
i turn reptile
all the men around me gave me the wrong pep-talk
man, i shoulda crept off
my sister wept, my wife fell, my grandma died
&&my daughter's got three months to arrive
that's some vibe
&&player, if i'm the king of my tribe
who's my goddess, queen? on the side i see why
she's the sky to my dirt road
not the target of my aggression, stresses, &&sperm loads
If burnt toast &&eggs is all you need her for...
i hope she feeds your fall.

i love this song. it's by a rap song, but does not have typical rap lyrics. it mentions about how the singers didn't have positive male role models when grouch says "all the men around me gave me the wrong pep-talk". it also shows a new respect for the female body &&zion mentions "the Goddess" in his verse. it's a really beautiful song, it has a symphonic beat, &&the chorus is a haunting female voice. thte last four lines are my favorite too, especially since i can't cook &&if i tried it would most definitely be burnt toast &&eggs.

for my song with negative lyrics, i listen to a lot of rap && hip-hop music so it would be really easy to post any three 6 mafia song and successfully fulfill the assignment. but, recently my boyfriend's roommates found this awful song that they love to play full-blast when i'm at their house because they know i have a GWSS minor. it is produced in a comical way &&it isn't intended for radio or top-40 stuff, but the lyrics are so awful that i just cannot stand it.

Jon Lajoie --- Show Me Your Genitals
women are stupid &&i don't respect them,
that's right, i just have sex with them,

show me your genitals, your genitals.
show me your genitals, your genitalia!
show me your genitals, your genitals.
show me your genitals, your genitalia!

you're talking to me about stuff, why?
i'd rather see your titties,
now you're talking to me about other stuff, why?
i'd much rather see your titties,

i can't have sex with your personality,
&&I can't put my penis in your college degree,
&&i can't shove my fist in your childhood dreams,
so why're you sharing all this information with me?

it's not sexist 'cause i'm saying it in a song,
that's right bitch, now take off your thong, &&...

show me your genitals, your genitals,
show me your genitals, your genitalia!
show me your genitals, your genitals,
show me your genitals, your genitalia!

knock knock, who's there?
it's me, wondering why you're not naked,
knock knock, who's there?
me again, still wondering why you're not naked,

i wanna see your bum, i don't care what you say,
no i don't have feelings, 'cause feelings are gay,
something something in the month of May,
bitches love my penis 'cause it's really big,

girl's brains are much stupider than men's are,
so they should always listen to us, 'cause we're smart,
women are only good for three things,
cooking, cleaning, &&vaginas,

show me your genitals, your genitals,
show me your genitals, your genitalia!
show me your genitals, your genitals,
show me your genitals, your genitalia!

i can give good sex to you,
'cause i'm really good at sex,
i can give good sex to you,
'cause i'm really good at sex,

aww yeah, that's right,
shake your...bums,
i'm out of here,
i gotta...go have sex with a lot of girls.


yep. those are really the lyrics. after posting that i really have nothing to say. the use of the word 'genitalia' makes it comical, but the rest of the song's content just makes it infuriating. honestly. youtube it. i have absolutely nothing more to say after this.

Brad Paisley and Aretha Franklin

The two songs I’ll discuss are Brad Paisley’s “Little Moments” and Aretha Franklin’s “Do right Woman, Do right man.” Paisley’s was released in the 2000s and Franklins in the 1960s but both songs are about heterosexual relationships. The difference I find is that “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” portrays those relationships much more positively. In Paisley’s “Little Moments” he talks about the ridiculous mistakes his wife/girlfriend makes that he just can’t get mad at because she is so dang cute. Paisley lets everything slide because his lady giggles. He is pushing the idea that girls should be cute and innocent and that way they will get their way. In one lyric, Paisley describes how she has crashed his car but she looks so pretty that he can’t act like he is mad. Really? That’s all it takes? This song is putting a lot of importance on female appearance and innocence but it isn’t blatantly negative or objectifying. Paisley’s lyrics discuss how his favorite moments are the times when his woman makes ditzy mistakes and he gets to console her and be the dominant partner in the relationship ignoring the moments when they are on equal ground or when she is in the right. The song is telling pretty girls that your consequences will be minimal as long as you flash a smile. “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” on the other hand talks about how relationships are give and take. Franklin’s lyrics describe men and women as equal. She tells men that women are not “playthings”, it is by no means a man’s world, and if you want a “do-right woman” you need to be a “do-right man”. Aretha demands respect in a relationship and if that isn’t there and she is taken for granted she will leave.

Aretha’s song could be performed by a man or a woman and it has been. For example, Willie Nelson also had a popular release of the song. Paisley’s song on the other hand couldn’t be successful performed by a woman. The song depends on stereotypes of women as ditzy pretty things and comes off as much more dated than Franklin’s song even though “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” is nearly 40 years older.

March 23, 2009

"Stacy's Mom" V. "Father and Daughter"

The two songs I’ll be discussing are Paul Simon’s “Father and Daughter”, and Fountains of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom”. Both radio hits in the 2000’s, each emerges from a unique context and discusses women from drastically different viewpoints.
“Stacy’s Mom” proved to be a chart-topping hit for the previously little-known group Fountains of Wayne. Although they’d released two prior albums on the popular Atlantic Records label, they had not enjoyed album or ticket sales until their 3rd album, when the single Stacy’s Mom was absorbed by and thrown into heavy rotation on MTV’s TRL. The lyrics, which champion the burgeoning sexuality of an adolescent boy attracted to his friend Stacy’s mother, are cheeky and humorous. They ride the waves of the “milf” craze made humorous and popular by the American Pie movies. Because of the catchy hooks and humorous interpolation of the milf craze, evident not only in the lyrics but in the ubiquitous music video, “Stacy’s Mom” proved to be extremely popular, leading to a Grammy nomination for the song. Although one could argue that the milf concept gives older women, who currently do not get the same sexual attention as younger women, a renewed sense of sexuality or attractiveness, the concept nonetheless objectifies women sexually and diminishes a woman’s value to her very sexuality.
Paul Simon’s Father and Daughter, on the other hand, discusses familial, paternal relationships to women. The content of the song’s lyrics include a wholesome vision of love between a father and daughter. The first verse of the song reminds the daughter that her father loves her, the second tells her that he will protect her (“like a postcard of a golden retriever” by her bedside—arguably, not very empowering), but the third verse sends her on her way to grow up and “trust [her] intuition”. The lyrics eventually empower the daughter, and seem sweet and sincere.
Simon wrote this song for the Wild Thornberries film soundtrack, based on an animated Nickelodeon show that features a smart young girl who can speak to animals. At the time, Simon had been well known for 30+ years for his folk music work with Art Garfukel, and enjoyed continued radio success as a solo artist on major labels (this song in particular on Warner Brothers).
The songs hit the airwaves within three years of one another (“Stacy’s Mom” in 2003, “Father and Daughter” in 2006), and are interesting to look at together. Both feature male artists singing about women. The group (Fountains of Wayne) discusses women’s sexuality, and the individual (Paul Simon) discusses a father’s relationship to a daughter. The group feels general, the individual feels intimate. The ages of the artists also likely contribute to the songs content, the Wayne boys were in their 30’s and Simon was in his 60’s at the times the songs were released. “Stacy’s Mom” is overtly hypersexual towards women, and “Father and Daughter” tends in the opposite direction, toward sexual innocence (the line “I believe a light that shines on you will shine on you forever” is evocative of an almost biblical, angelic goodness, but should we desire a different opinion from a father figure?). Neither song succeeds at being representative of completeness or complexity, but what songs are? “Stacy’s Mom” puts them on a sexual pedestal, “Father and Daughter” puts them on a moral high ground. But I don’t think we can expect too much more from short songs. Both are fun, well-written songs which explore different themes.


Stacys Mom - Fountains Of Wayne


Father And Daughter - Paul Simon

(lyrics in extended entry)

Stacy’s Mom by Fountains of Wayne
Originally appears on the 2003 album “Welcome Interstate Managers”, out on Virgin Records

Lyrics:
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on (x4)

Stacy, can I come over after school? (after school)
We can hang around by the pool (hang by the pool)
Did your mom get back from her business trip? (business trip)
Is she there, or is she trying to give me the slip? (give me the slip)

You know, I'm not the little boy that I used to be
I'm all grown up now, baby can't you see

(chorus)
Stacy's mom has got it goin' on
She's all I want and I've waited for so long
Stacy, can't you see you're just not the girl for me
I know it might be wrong but I'm in love with Stacy's mom

Stacy's mom has got it goin' on (x2)

Stacy, do you remember when I mowed your lawn? (mowed your lawn)
Your mom came out with just a towel on (towel on)
I could tell she liked me from the way she stared (the way she stared)
And the way she said, "You missed a spot over there" (a spot over there)

And I know that you think it's just a fantasy
But since your dad walked out, your mom could use a guy like me

(chorus)

Stacy's mom has got it goin' on
She's all I want and I've waited for so long,
Stacy can't you see your just not the girl for me,
I know it might be wrong but oh oh
(I know it might be wrong)
I'm in love with (Stacy's mom oh oh)
(Stacys mom oh oh)
I'm in love with Stacy's mom


Father and Daughter by Paul Simon
Written for Nickelodeon’s Wild Thornberries Movie soundtrack, appears on 2003 album Surprise, out on Warner Brothers

Lyrics:
If you leap awake in the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second you can't remember where you are
Just open your window and follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain where we counted every falling star

I believe a light that shines on you will shine on you forever
And though I can’t guarantee there’s nothing scary hiding under your bed
I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave ‘til I leave you with a sweet dream in your bed

I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Trust your intuition
It’s just like goin’ fishin’
You cast your line and hope you get a bite
But you don’t need to waste your time
Worryin’ about the market place
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night

I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

March 11, 2009

blog #6

When I was watching E news the other day I heard that Chris Brown was going to court for attacking Rihanna. I commented to my roommate that I really liked that he was taken to court for his offense and that I had a deeper respect for Rihanna for gong through with the charges (I assumed that she was the one filing charges against him). I said that I thought it sent a really good message to young girls about how they deserve to be treated and what they should not ever have to tolerate and that it went really well with her song "Take A Bow," which I thought was a little funny and made me like the song more. Then ten minutes later I found out that she was back together with him! Needless to say, I was really dissapointed and shocked. Everything that I had said earlier was thrown out the window. She sent a really terrible message to young girls and her song "Take A Bow" has, for me, lost a lot of the power I believed it to originally have. Just so dissapointing.

Why Tyra really cheeses me.

Dammit dammit dammit. I was writing away and I lost everything. That makes me want to cry. Okay, here we go again. I've been wanting to rage about this for a week now.

Here's the condensed version: last week, Tyra was about a woman named Alana who was (at the time of the taping) eight months pregnant and worked at a brothel in Nevada. I can't remember which one it was. As you may or may not know, prostitution is legal in Nevada. I've seen Tyra get agitated about sex workers on past shows, though it seems to be the ones who do it within these safe and legal institutions that really invoke her ire. I wonder why that is. Well, I think I know why: she considers sex work demeaning to women. A lot of people feel that way. A lot of feminists feel that way. But what's the assumption, that the women who exchange sex for money on the street don't have a choice and the women who work at a brothel do? I don't know.

To be fair, Alana seemed as though she wasn't happy with her situation: she mentioned that most of her family stopped speaking to her when they found out she was working at The BunnyRanch (I think it was The BunnyRanch), and that really saddened her, and that she didn't want to keep working there after her daughter was born but she felt that the money was better than she'd ever get elsewhere. She didn't seem like the other women who work at brothels that Tyra's had on before, who have historically been quite vocal about their satisfaction in their jobs. Tyra calls this "having attitude," by the way. Charming.

Actually, that leads me into one of my biggest frustrations with the way Tyra treats sex workers who appear on her show: she is so insistent that there is no possible way that they could be happy or content with what they do. And if they try to argue with her on that point, she then tries to silence them by pathologizing them--saying that something must have happened to them in their lives that made them make these choices and have these opinions. That they think they feel this way because they're damaged somehow. It's really pretty stunningly condescending. "You know, Alana," she said, when Alana revealed that she felt alone without her family there for her, "I thought going into this show that I would be angry with you, but now that I'm talking to you I'm just sad for you." (All quotes are paraphrased, by the way.) Because, you know, it's so important whether or not the decisions they make in their lives make Tyra angry.

(The reasons why some men fly clear across the country to have sex with a pregnant woman make up a whole 'nother can of worms. Naturally that particular piece comes with its own issues, and the guy they brought on the show to talk about why he liked Alana did seem a bit on the skeezy side. I don't want to make it sound like Alana should've been totally loud and proud about her job just for its own sake even if she's unhappy, and I don't want to make it sound like there are never any problems whatsoever with the men fetishizing pregnant women. But it's Tyra's show; Tyra's the one who shapes opinion here, so my focus in this case is to hold Tyra responsible.)

Tyra never once refers to a woman who engages in prostitution as "a woman." She is only ever "a prostitute." It really bothered me.

But the thing that bothered me most was how Tyra just couldn't respect Alana's opinion that she didn't feel that she had a better option. Said Alana: "What am I supposed to do, work at McDonald's?" Exclaimed Tyra, exasperated, to a wave of applause from the audience: "YES!"

I think the "work at McDonalds if you have to" suggestion is a terribly privileged one, especially with the current economic situation. Tyra, may I ask who the hell you expect is going to hire a woman who is eight months pregnant? It's hard enough for people to get jobs without having a significant medical condition that might preclude their coming in every day. Maybe working at the BunnyRanch was not the only choice Alana had, but I just have to ask, who am I to make that call for her? And who is Tyra Banks?

Oh, wait. That's not the thing that bothered me most. With the pathologizing card already played, Tyra resorted to outright shaming this woman. I didn't hear the first bit, but for whatever reason, Alana was asked to think about herself as a six-year-old girl, and what she would say to or do for her six-year-old self. Tyra asked Alana if she thought that Alana had let that girl down. Alana essentially replied, "you know, everything I do makes up part of who I am, and I won't say that these are just the cards I was dealt, but it is what it is." Tyra then proceeded to say that she thought Alana had. "Do you think you've let down that six-year-old you? I think you have. I think you're a disappointment, I think it's an embarrassment, I think it robbed her of being a good mother..."

And that was the point at which I just started capslocking and keyboardmashing at my friend over AIM. Where in god's name do you get off saying that to someone? That was my main thought. That's still my main thought. I'd like to say I have a resolution to all this, but I don't. I've been checking Feministing every day, hoping that someone might've posted about it, but it doesn't seem that anyone has. I wanted to hear someone, anyone else call Tyra out for her arrogance and condescension in this episode, but my search was less than fruitful. I don't think I'm alone, though.

(As a final, somewhat related comment, since I've seen this on other episodes dealing with legal prostitution: it seems to me that if you really want to get under Tyra's skin, suggest that there may be points of intersection between the commodification of women's bodies in prostitution and the commodification of women's bodies in the modeling world. She... kind of loses it.)

freebie

To be honest I am no good at deciding what to write when given a "freebie" but i'll do my best. I was reading through other peoples posts and read a girls post who said she doesn't say much in class and it got me to thinking. I guess I normally do have a lot to say, but i'm fairly quiet in class. One thing that really bothers me to think about is how people (outside our class) view peole who claim to be feminists. Almost all my friends seem to be so afraid to call themselves that and it's weird to me. Why is it embarrasing to call yourself a feminist? That is kinda like saying, I'm embarrassed to stand up for women's rights. I'm by no means an activist, and I never probalby will be because its just not who I am. This brings me to what we talked about in class last week. I was saying how I liked that Nickoloden comercializes feminism and explain that I absolutely can't stand politics and it seemed like it upset people so I just wanted to clarify. Basically my point was that I think it is awsome to get the idea of "girl power" out in any way possible, and while I do think it is important for people to be on the political side of things to fight for women's rights, it is also important to remember that not everyone is meant for that life. I do my best to empower women, and I do my best to kill double standards but I'm not going to rally about it. I guess what I'm saying is I don't understand what is wrong with being myself and recognizing that politics aren't for me and being a little more low key is the way I prefer to go. I never said the people who are activists are any less important, rather that so many people aren't intersted in that lifestyle and the media gets to everyone. If the media starts pushing girl power and feminisim in a less radical way than in the past imagine how many people would become empowered. So honestly there should be more commercialism of girl power because it shouldn't matter how the message gets out, so long as it does. Plus I just wanna say, on the topic of double standards, does it bug anyone else that guys call a girl a slut when she sleeps with him right away but doesn't consider himself one? That drives me nuts! If anything he seems worse because even though he doesn't approve of how easy the girl is he's still eager to go at it with her, and then still has the nerve to call her a slut? go figure, men like that are weird.

Blog 6



Free to Be… You and Me
is the video from the 70's that I talked about in class. It features songs and stories from celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Shel Silverstein and Mel Brooks. Wikipedia says it filled with "poetry, songs, and sketches, the basic concept was to salute values such as individuality, tolerance, and happiness with one's identity; a major thematic message is that anyone, whether a boy or a girl, can achieve anything one wants." One of my favorite sketches that I remember is a story of a princess who is forced to get married by her father. To decide her husband, the king hosts a race and the winner gets to marry his daughter. The princess makes a deal with the king that if she wins the race (because she is just as strong as the boys) she doesn't have to marry anyone. In the end, the race is a tie between the Princess and a young man from the kingdom. The king tells his daughter because she didn't win, she had to marry this suitor. BUT the young man says something like "I don't actually want to marry her, I was just hoping for a chance to talk with her." The story ends with the two hanging out, and eventually parting ways, where the prince goes off to do great things and the princess goes out adventuring. This is just the kind of story our childhood should be filled with. Stop putting emphasis on marriage, heteronormity, and gender stereotypes, and maybe girls will stop being so scared of the word feminist.

March 10, 2009

The Girls of Hedsor Hall

hedsor-cast-2.jpg
After showing him a brief clip of MTV’s The Girls of Hedsor Hall, my boyfriend remarked, “wait a second- I can’t remember whether or not I’m actually fond of women”. His observation is a keen one- the Donald-Trump produced sleazefest does its best to make women look horrible, whether they are pushed to one extreme (virgins) or more commonly, the other (whores).
MTV touts its concept as having discovered “12 of the worst-behaved girls in America”, during a voiceover accompanying the girls wearing their underwear in public, slumping drunkenly against bars, falling-down drunkenly in the street exposing themselves, and finally, peeing naked on someone’s lawn (while we cut back to the same woman in an interview, claiming that she needs to “be a better mom”).
MTV’s site claims that “One dozen misbehaving American girls will be shipped off to England, where the breeding of proper young ladies is considered something of a science.”
The girls are individually described as follows: “self-described "nymphomaniac" Brianna, heavy drinker Samantha, bad-tempered Margie, high school-dropout Jenna, gutter-mouthed Lillian, wild child Amanda, party girl Kim, snobby bitch Jen M, foul-mouthed Maddy, booty-baring punkette Hillary, bar brawling Paola, and Jennifer, the self-proclaimed "Blackout Queen of North Carolina".
The premise of the show surrounds this group of girls being flown to an elite finishing school in England, “Hedsor Hall”, where they will learn good manners and be eliminated one by one, to result in the eventual winner of a $100,000 trust. The “bad girls” are pitted against one another and juxtaposed with three “good girl” judges—a small, elderly headmistress with large teeth and a Jackie-O wardrobe, a heavy, frumpy disciplinarian who espouses the need for order and politeness as she screams, rudely, at the top of her lungs whenever a girl does something wrong, and former Miss USA Tara Conner who’s “hard-partying” ways almost cost her the Miss USA title, before she “reformed”. No character is balanced—either the women are extremely bad or angelically good. Herein lie presentations of very narrow definitions for both “bad” and “good”, both lacking complexity and humanity. The “bad girls” give something their best effort (pheasant hunting, for example) and are admonished for being the scourge of the Earth; the “good girls” scoff and say “how dreadful! How rude! How positively revolting!” at the girl’s behavior, providing a prim and suffocatingly tight-laced vision of what it means to be “good” and “proper”.
The “bad girls” are emotional and wildly sexual; the “good girls” have access to neither aspect of themselves. So who comes out on top?
The show buys into and progagates the virgin/whore dichotomy, providing unattractive visions of both and leaving us to wonder whether we were ever actually fond of women to begin with. The “reality” it poses is truly horrifying, and must be looked at critically if its norms are to be stopped from seeping into the societal mainstream further.

The Girls of Hedsor Hall on MTV.com

Blog #6

So I'm taking Comedy: Text and Theory. In the class we discuss theoretical texts and how they relate to comedy. Today we had a very very interesting class discussion about the suppression of women. The debate started out with us discussing the fact that everything, in cultural sense, is discourse. That much was agreed upon. Our class also came to a group consensuses that women have been suppressed for thousands of years; having the bible mark the first major piece of discursive text to suppress women. However, the discussion got extremely controversial when one female student began to question why women were suppressed in the first place and why women would ever allow for such suppression. Some of the class believed that at one point, long before the Bible, there was equality between women and men, while others in the class believe there never was such equality. It was suggested that humans gained there dominate and inferior stances (that between male and female) from physical strength. This could be reflected from animals as well. Regardless to say, we left class without an answer to the question.
While I was walking home after class I was still thinking about the question of why women were suppressed and how they could let themselves become suppressed. So here's what I came up with, whether right or totally wrong, it makes sense to me. I believe that women and men were created equally, however that creation occurred. Then over time men became physically stronger because women were able to bear children. This connection comes from that when women were pregnant they could not be as active as men. Generation after generation males became stronger, faster, and more physically bolder than women. This physical strength then turned into dominant power, which in time led to the suppression of women.
I know this may seem a kind of out there. But, it's really interesting to think about.

Kids Choice Awards and Chris Brown

As I was checking PerezHilton.com for my regular celebrity update, I came across a post Perez made about Nickelodeon’s decision to not remove Chris Browns name from the nominee list for the Kids Choice Awards. As I am sure many of you already know, Chris Brown beat up Rihanna and they are rumored to be back together, even potentially recording together. This has become a prominent story in the media over the last couple of weeks. It seems that everyone has something to say about what Rihanna should do and how people should stop supporting Chris Brown’s music.

What I found interesting about this situation with Nickelodeon is that even after people requested them to take him off the nominee list they have refused. It seems that Nickelodeon is going back on their message of “girl power” considering they are allowing Chris Brown to remain on the nominee list. I think that it may send a more positive message that violence against women should not be tolerated if they took him off the list. Maybe Nickelodeon is letting the kids "choose" to continue their support for him. I think it will be interesting to see what happens when Chris Brown actually wins the award...

To check out Perez's post click here.

More on Nickelodeon

So, I've been thinking more about Nickelodeon and gender and thought of two of my favorite game shows growing up (and there were quite a few) that were on Nick. These would be Guts and Legends of the Hidden Temple which I believe aired at the same time that Clarissa Explains it all did. I wasn't thinking about it when I was younger, but Nickelodeon continued their positive gender representation practices into these game shows as well. Guts promotes gender equality while LotHT promotes gender cooperation. Guts was an athletic game show (probably inspired by American Gladiators) where kids from 10-12ish competed against each other in various athletic challenges with the ultimate challenge being the AggroCrag (later called the MegaCrag). I really enjoyed their creativity with different sports and I had a crush on Mo, the referee. The three contestants in Guts were viewed as unique, talented individuals, and were usually a mix of genders where the boys didn't always win. This reminds the viewer that, especially at that age, girls were very capable of keeping up with the boys.
aggrocrag.png
A girl holding up a glowing piece of the AggroCrag, a privilege given only to the winner.

Legends of the Hidden Temple had it all. Teams of two competed against each other with a combination of athletic challenges and historical lessons (taught by the almighty Olmec made out of "stone" with red glowing eyes). The final challenge has the children trying to retrieve a historical artifact without being caught by the temple guards. The teams of two were always one boy and one girl where the genders competed with each other in addition to against each other as team. Before the winning team could enter the hidden temple and win the big prize (like a trip to space camp!), they were asked which member of the team wanted to go first. In my experience with the show, it was never really predictable whether the girl or the boy went first or what their reasons were for that choice. Ultimately, the fact that both genders had to work together in order to win shows how children that life doesn't have to be boys versus girls.
legends_team2.jpg
The winning pair, the Blue Barracudas, with the host.

Aw man, I just discovered that Guts was on SNES! 12 years too late...

Mary

Blog 6

I was looking at E news online about Jessica Simpsons weight scandel and it was interesting to see what other celebs said about the issue. Her brother in law, Pete Wentz says, “I think the media puts too harsh of a spotlight on women in general and I think it’s a bummer,” Pete said in an interview with Extra on Thursday. “It’s bad for young women. I see it affecting young girls who come to our shows and that’s a bummer. Real beauty is on the inside, man.” Most of the celebrities that spoke out against the issue felt basically the same way Pete did, but looking at the individuals who spoke about were all skeletal! Paris Hilton, declares how unfair it is that the media puts so much emphasis on physical beauty, but she is the poster girl for materialism! I just think its funny that they are so hypicritical about body image and beauty. For example, Heidi Klum says, "I think everyone should be the way they feel comfortable," Klum told People.com on Thursday night. "When you are in the public eye, people will always talk about you and put their opinions on you. But people need to be happy with the way they are." With a slight whiff of irony, the Web site points out that Klum voiced her support while mentoring an entourage of pencil-thin models at a trendy West Hollywood party. Young girls will see they stick thin models talking about being yourself and beauty is how you feel about your body, but they are all unnaturally thin. The message they are sending are important and positive, but if the messanger doesn't do what they preach, it's a hard to believe them. I feel they could get a broader selection of celebrities to speak about body image and beauty, not just tiny models.

Blog 6

oprah-michelle-b.jpg

For the first time in the nine years that Oprah has had her own magazine, “O,” she is sharing the cover with someone. Who could that someone be? Michelle Obama, duh! While I am no cheerleader for Oprah Winfrey, I must say I adore Michelle Obama. And it seems like everyone else in this great nation of ours (and beyond!) feels the same way. She has a glow about her; she is a very attractive woman (the first in the White House since Jackie, let’s be real,) she is so intelligent, strong (have you seen her arms!?) . . . and well, the total package. I still think it is interesting, however, the role that the first lady must play “in the White House.” I’ve watched our country become fascinated with how the first family is settling into their new home. There are leading magazines featuring articles in conversation with Michelle about how she decorates and makes the house “feel like home” for her family. And I think, in many ways, our country looks up to the relationship between the president and first lady, as a grand model of how a married man and woman should be and act together, in their home as well and publicly, so naturally we are curious as to how that looks. Maybe I'm not making much of an argument, but this is just something that I have noticed. I feel like there has been a shift in her image and in the way we look at her since she was put into the White House. Talk about the personal as political . . . ok, bad joke.

Thoughts.

waiting Pictures, Images and Photos

I may not say more than two words in class, but I do have a lot on my mind. I think this “freebie blog” to post about whatever one might feel is necessary, is pretty much a beyond brilliant idea. So, since everyone is talking about such great things, I thought I would just write about some random things and go from there:

-I came across this article about this recent controversy in giving Barbie an update: by this I mean “tattooed” Barbie. It was stated that, “The doll also comes with temporary tats that kids can attach to Barbie's clothing or to themselves with a handy-dandy applicator. Despite the outrage, Barbie-maker Mattel has no plans to discontinue the doll. In fact, tatted-up Barbie is selling well.” Apparently parents are concerned and said they wouldn't buy a Barbie with tattoos, as it encourages girls to show off their bodies. If you ask me, I think she looks pretty darn rad; what a brilliant idea. Google her.

Also, the Washington Times did an article about celebrating the 50 years of Barbie and her updated look. You can check out the article by clicking here.

-It is interesting to note that most of the topics we discuss in our class correlate with another class I am in, “People of Color in the Mass Media.” This class focuses on gender issues, stereotypes, femininity and masculinity, etc. I find it interesting how much of what we read and learn in class can be applied to not only that class, but in my daily routine. As cliché as that might sound, I have a better appreciation for things because of this class. I look at television programs a little differently than prior to taking this class. I notice the details, the stereotypes, etc. Taking this class has been a definite eye-opener for me.

-Lately, I am addicted to reading "Postsecrets." Check them out if you can!

-Also, what is the deal with the show “The Bachelor”…? If anyone saw the finale, you know what I am talking about. Who just randomly asks a girl to marry him, then dump her live in front of millions? What a turd. You can watch the finale by going here:

-I checked out this really cool event this past Friday at the Elmer Andersen Library feature 10 local Minnesota spoken word artists, discussing what it means to be a “Nation of Immigrants.” University of Minnesota Professor Trica Keaton thought of the idea after seeing the event at The Loft in Minneapolis this past fall and brought it to the U. These 10 artists have put out a CD, but seeing it live was definitely a worthwhile experience. I know one of the girls in our class is really into spoken word, so I definitely would recommend people check out the CD. I wrote a story about this in the Daily today. I have been writing for the Minnesota Daily for the past month, covering the business/international news section. I hope that you all read the newspaper daily, or you can check out my work by visiting www.mndaily.com

The continuing saga of Rihanna and Chris Brown

Although the rumors are constantly flying and one can not truly believe anything that they hear when it comes to the story of Chris Brown and Rihanna I can not help but be fascinated by the whole thing. I mean this mainly because I find it very interesting. I find that we as a society have a long way to go when it comes to spousal/relationship abuse. From the very beginning, especially before the picture of Rihanna was leaked to the press, I felt that the media was much to sympathetic towards Brown. They focused not on the issue of abuse, but of Brown's clean recorder and how he has "never" done anything like this before. There were also a surprising amount of talk about how Rihanna may have started the fight as if this was suppose to make his actions ok. Most recently it has come out that Brown may have tried to get a better deal on his punishment by saying that they were secretly married at the time as if this would mean that because you're married it's more acceptable to hit ones wife.

I think the media completely dropped the ball on opening up a much needed discussion about abuse towards women/ spousal abuse. Instead the situation was sensationalized and made to look like rare case that happened to fall upon Rihanna. I also agree that I think it is sad to see Rihanna and her willingness to still be in contact with Brown and from what I've seen on TV/internet/etc she seems to be staying with Brown. Although it's easier to give advice than take it, I find it sad that someone who has the ability to leave (being financially independent etc) has decided to take him back. I think many people are nieve to think that this is a) the first time it's happened and b)that it won't happen again.

These are the types of things that I think the media can use as a tool to educate and I wish they had taken that stance on this specific incident. I will continue to be curious to see how this will end and see what will happen to specifically Chris Brown's career. Sadly I think this may affect Rihanna more than Brown, but we shall see.

March 9, 2009

Blog 6

Today on feministing.com I was reading some of the older posts and I found an entry from February 26th 2009 on Xbox. Apparently a female gamer was suspended from Xbox Live because she had her sexual orientation in her profile! I guess she was suspended by Microsoft because other users were offended by her orientation and she was harassed by players and parents of players because they didn’t want themselves or their children exposed to that “crap.” I don’t really have that much against video games but it’s insane that some parent is more concerned about the homosexuals their kid might play a video game with than the off the charts violence that their kid is exposed to through the game itself. This woman was simply stating her sexual orientation on her gamer profile and was suspended by Microsoft while tons or 14 year olds on Xbox Live spit out gay in a derogative manner every other word and get no punishment. According to the article the blog was commenting on from” The Consumerist” there have been many gay/lesbian gamers that have been harassed while using Xbox Live and Microsoft has done nothing about it.

Here is the link to The Consumerist report, and here is the Feministing.com blog.

Blog #6

I had been excited to find some old Clarissa videos, post them up here and talk a little about how much I loved that show, however the only video I found on YouTube was the intro song and well that leaves very little to talk about. So since I end up with down time at work which is often spent reading celebrity gossip (mostly on pinkisthenewblog.com). I don't know why I find it fascinating, but I do, today Trent (the site's author) linked to an article about Oprah warning Rihanna about reconciling with Chris Brown. This whole story is beyond upsetting to me. Domestic abuse is never ok, and I am very disappointed in both of these singers for the event. I will explain my disappointment in Rihanna first, since it seems strange that I would be disappointed in her. I in no way shape or form believe that she deserved this beating nor do I believe that any woman deserves or asks for it. My frustration comes from her willingness to take him back. Celebrities become role models, whether they want it or not, the message she is sending to her young fans is that it's ok to be with an abuser. Now I will admit that I know nothing about either one of them except for what I read online, but according to what I've read this was a very severe beating. He strangled her. I have read somewhere that if a man ever strangles you, that odds are good that he will kill you at some point. Maybe not this argument or the next one, but who wants to take that chance? Oprah was quoted as saying: "You need somebody to tell you the truth in this moment. And the truth is guys, both Chris Brown and Rihanna, if I were your friend, I would call you up and I would say 'Give it some time, get yourself some counseling, take care of yourself, heal yourself first'. And also, 'Love doesn't hurt'. I've been saying this to women for years - love doesn't hurt. And if a man hits you once, he will hit you again. He will hit you again. I don't care what his plea is, he will hit you again.'" I believe that she's right, if he's hit you once he will do it again. I'm a zero tolerance kind of girl, if a guy I was dating raised his hand to me he would be watching me walk away. End of story. My disappointment in Chris Brown is one that really needs no explanation. A real man doesn't beat up a woman like that, ever. Chris had legions of fans fooled, his music was catchy and mostly appropriate and he appeared on the Suite Life of Zach and Cody- a Disney program- reaching out to a younger audience. Due to this exposure Disney kids everywhere watched Chris do his cool dance moves and many of them were becoming fans. My son was one of those kids. I'm not the kind of person that forbids things, I learned as a child that if my parents did not allow it I desperately wanted it, so we talk about why he can or can't do things, say things etc, and he always listens and understands why my rules are the way that they are (he'll tell you that I'm strict!) We have now had to talk about the fact that Chris is not a good guy and about his inexcusable actions. And that I’m not ok with listening to his music because I refuse to support a man like that. I feel like I’ve gone on about this, but it just seemed like this blog might be a good place to express some of my frustration!

Blog 6

Barbie can't seem to get out of my head. I was reading the news on CNN and came across the fact that today is Barbie's 50th birthday. I started reading the article and I was amazed by some of the stuff that I was reading. First of all I didn't know that she was created based on another doll in Germany that was known as a prostitute. But this part was my favorite:

Though the 11.5-inch doll can't be single-handedly blamed for the eating disorders and body-image issues that plague young women, Ellyn Kaschak, a psychology professor at San Jose Sate University in California, said Barbie, especially given her prevalence, is part of the problem.

"I don't think the concerns are overblown at all," said Kaschak, one of the founders in the 1970s of the feminist psychology field. "Blow her up to normal [human] size, and she'd fall over," she said of Barbie's unattainable figure.

Anyway, I thought it was a very interesting read and I've posted the link below!

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/03/09/barbie.50th.anniversary/index.html

The anti- rape device...I forsee horrible accidents happening


Ok I was browsing the good ol' world wide web and I ran into this article talking about a device kinda like a diaphram but it has teeth. I understand the practical purpose for the device especially in areas of the world where there are very high instances of rape. But I can't help but forsee very unfortunate accident between consensual partners. I also started to think about the ethical implications of a device such as this. If someone did get into an unfortunate accident with this device is there someone to blame or is it deemed an accident? There is also the issue of using it as a weapon...just like self defense devices like tasers, stun guns and pepper spray... Other kinds of self defense devices if abused can be easily deemed as an attack against the other but unlike other self devices if this is used as a weapon some level of consent must be needed from the other party. In order for it to be used as a weapon more mindful effort needs to be used... manipulation, planning and etc... so does it constitute as a greater level of assault than pulling out a taser and using it because they just pissed you off... any thoughts?


http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/2140,features,rapex-the-internal-anti-rape-device

Girl Power to Reviving Ophelia: The devolution of Dora the Explorer

Most of us are probably too old to have actually watched the Nick Jr. show "Dora the Explorer," though if you have younger siblings you might remember it. Dora speaks Spanish, has the sock monkey side-kick, and is constantly exploring her world and expanding her horizons. Or was. According to a blog called "Packaging Girlhood," Mattel and Nickelodeon are morphing her into a boy crazy little tween. Next will she be developing anorexia, putting on make-up, and exploring the world of teenage boys? Empowered Dora may be dying, only to be revived as the tween/teen voiceless victim of society.

Women's "Health" Magazines

Okay, so... this might be rant-ish and I may be overreacting, but man DST combined with an early morning has made me extremely agitated, haha.

When I think about "women's magazines", I generally get annoyed... I'm talking about the mainstream ones, the beauty mags and all that. I don't need to go into why this is - I'm sure a lot of us agree about these magazines and their ads.

But what I didn't completely expect is the absolute ridiculousness that is magazines promoted toward "health".

I get a free subscription to Prevention magazine. I'm not exactly sure how or why, but I've been getting it for months, which I'm pretty okay with because I enjoy cooking and figured I could find some nice healthy recipes, and I sometimes do. Their workouts are also sometimes nice to ponder.

I got a new issue today and really looked at it. The magazine is supposed to be devoted to women's health, but honestly, there are so many parts of it that just AREN'T. First off, I've never read any Men's Health magazines, and I'm sort of curious now if their focus on body weight is as strong as it is in women-directed mags. Now, of course being a healthy weight is one of the most important factors in being an overall healthy person. So I can deal with the weight loss thing that makes up about 70% of the magazine.

And then, slightly more annoying, there are also several articles related to cleaning, which... yeah. I would love to see that in a men's magazine. Info about how and why you should clean the seal around the refrigerator door, your vacuum cleaner, and the garbage disposal. Okay.

But then there are things that are actually counteractive to women's health and that's where the magazine irritates me. They promote behaviors that are generally bad for health for the sake of improving appearance.

For example, the obsession with wrinkles. Our society is incredibly age-ist, that's nothing new. But I can't believe that a women's health magazine is promoting BOTOX. Botox is not healthy, for your face or your wallet! They specifically recommend women to get Botox "a week before an important event". There are, of course, about a dozen other recommendations for dealing with your wrinkles. How sad. There are expensive laser treatments recommended for broken capillaries and brown spots (which cost over $300 a piece).

Then there's a little blurb about this new FDA-approved prescription treatment... that makes your eyelashes thicker. It's $120 a month. Causes redness and itching and you just spent more money than I spend in 3 weeks' worth of groceries, but YAY YOUR EYELASHES ARE SUPER LONG AND GORGEOUS.

There is also an article about how men are allegedly more attracted to women wearing red clothing than other colors, and that if you wear red lipstick or nail polish will "have the same effect". Then, they tell you that you should volunteer for a charity because "your selfless acts will entrance your spouse". I'm sorry, shouldn't we be volunteering because we care about a cause, and not because we want to "entrance" our spouse? [I'm just picturing a commercial here, with a guy standing drooling because his wife is doing volunteer work, because he's clearly a mindless drone who cares about nothing else and is just oh-so-entranced with what she's doing.] Apparently, being attractive to men by wearing certain colors is a very important part of health.

I am not saying that I don't do "unhealthy" things to make myself feel more attractive [I'm sure the slathering of makeup daily isn't that great for my skin, and I know that straightening is extremely damaging to my hair]. But I just think that a health magazine with all this stuff in it is irritating because instead of focusing on health, they are focusing on appearance, often by recommending things that are detrimental to health.

OH, and I also paid for a year's subscription to Cooking Light, because I love their website and cook recipes from it daily. Interestingly, every single picture in the magazine is of a woman, EXCEPT for an advertisement for Lowe's Hardware and a picture of a man golfing. Every single workout is geared toward women. Lots of ads for pads, tampons, and cleaning products. I realize that women are the primary demographic, but it irritates me that there are hardly any magazines that believe that men have the ability to cook or clean or be domestic in any fashion.

Rant over.

As an aside, Feministing reminded me that it's International Women's Day, and then I remembered that the U is holding an International Women’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 14th at Coffman Union. It's from 8:00-3:00 but you can come and go as you please. There are tons of interesting things there, lots of workshops you can pick and choose to learn about various issues around the world, and keynote speakers. I went last year because I was tabling for the rape crisis center I work at, and it was super fantastic! I couldn't go to the workshops because I had to stay at my table, but I got to see the keynote speaker and see all the events they had going on. They also serve breakfast if you get there early enough! Last year they had a lot of vendors who sold really, really gorgeous and unique stuff - bags and jewelry, etc. - I got a bag that Burmese refugees in Thailand made out of the trousers they wear fishing. So if you have the time, I highly recommend it! (And over 65 local organizations table at this event, so if you're looking for an intership or volunteer work or ways to get involved with organizations that help women, this is an awesome opportunity to make some contacts.)

Oh, and as one more aside that isn't exactly completely related to anything at all - I'm vice president of a student group on campus that aims to educate students about mental health and mental illness, and reduce the stigma of mental illness. We're currently trying to put on an art exhibit at Boynton and we are frantically advertising looking for student artists to contribute to our gallery. Basically, we are looking for pieces that somehow relate to mental health, or served as an outlet during times of stress, etc. If anyone has any original pieces they want to share, or know someone who does, please pass this info on! If you're interested send an e-mail to aminds@umn.edu and I'll write back with more details about how to submit art, the gallery days/hours, etc.

Sorry for being long-winded.

a walking contradiction

a random ruckus of rage. alliteration = swanky.

I just finished reading "Kicking Ass" by veena cabreros-sud, an awesome essay about, well, kicking ass. i was strolling along, enthusiastically reading her words, when i came upon this passage:

"most white feminists look at me disdainfully when i recount some of my choice violent moments. they are appalled, morally repelled by this unbecoming behavior. [...] the messages are, 1) i'm educated and you're not, 2) i'm upper class and you're not, and 3) i'm a feminist and you're not."

i wanted to throw my book across the room. isn't this what feminism is about? a collective dislike of being treated a certain way because of biological reasons? sure, cabreros-sud was referring to economic advantages with the term "white feminist", but i don't want to be considered not 'down to fight 'for something just because i happened to be born caucasion.

my ex-boyfriend broke up with me after i broke his nose ((unfortunately for him, the relationship was over way before that)). my new boyfriend likes me because i wear bows in my hair sometimes. i don't qualify for FAFSA because of my father's income but he spends more of his money supporting socialist organizations in central america than he does on my college education. i wear my highest heels and tease my hair when i go to the bars on the weekends and cuss out any man who winks at me or happens to brush against my shoulder.

i don't like being treated like a one-dimensional human-being. i don't want to be held accountable for behaving in a way that others don't expect, and i don't like being held accountable for the actions of ignorant members of my demographic.

but. i really enjoy this class because it has allowed me to find more people 'like me'. it can be difficult finding people with complexities parallel to our own, and as much as i hate night classes, i don't dread entirely thursday evenings. i suppose the cake and random viewings of episodic television helps.

happy daylights savings time day!

Candy Girls

So, there's a new "reality" show on E! called "Candy Girls." Here's the description:

You've seen them featured in music videos with the likes of Kanye West, Outkast, and Jay-Z, but don't let their supporting roles fool you—these women are anything but background players.


208.candygirls.cast.lc.021709.jpg


The show's premier comes at a good time for this class since we just read "Black Beauty Myth." I think it will be interesting to see how the girls act in comparison to the show "Girls Next Door." I'm sure it will be similar since the show is on the same network and their both deemed "reality" but I think it will be interesting to see the portrayal of black women in this text.

March 8, 2009

Women's Right Pact

As I was checking out current news and politics this morning, I ran across this article.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29570022/

It discusses the expected conflicts on ratifying the CEDAW (to my understanding, basically an international bill of women's rights). The pact has been accepted by all countries in the U.N. except for the United States and 7 others. I find it interesting that the United States has not supported this earlier. Appearently, some argue that the pact will be useless. According to the article above, Saudi Arabia has agreed to the pact, yet women cannot drive or vote. The purpose of the pact is to ensure women's rights and equality through laws and principles. The CEDAW website writes that the countries that agree are obligated to eliminate acts of discrimination against women, which clearly is not happening in all countries are doing this though as they should. Another issue brought up is that some feel there is potental for legalising prostution. Overall, the article was quite interesting. I guess we will just have to wait and see exactly how discorded the senate is over this pact.

Oh, and here is the website for the CEDAW
http://un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/index.html

Blog 6

This entry is in continuation of Thursday's discussion on "commodity feminism" and feminism's increased accessability through the consumer market.

I by no means am averse to feminism being more accessable and less elitist than it has previously been. I also think that changes from within mainstream culture are important to producing broader change and encouraging people to think and grow. However, as has been said, the new brand of commercial girl power is highly problematic. The simple recognition of girls as a valuable market is not necessarily a concern with their development, and there are serious problems with conflating power with the power to buy. First of all, because one has the power to buy in a capitalist world does not mean that one has the power to own, and it's reasonable to question the dynamics of power involved in a consumer forking over cash to a capitalist who profits off of mindless consumption. Also, "commodity feminism" leaves undisturbed questions of environmental destruction involved in mass producing goods, and the gross exploitation of the workers who make those goods. It also does not address issues of class, both concerning the people who make products, and those who lack the money to buy them. Also, simply having strong female characters in a show does not mean that they are not enforcing gender stereotypes. Girls may not be completely erased or portrayed as weak and stupid, but they are still portrayed in a way that is heteronormative, and in a way that still dictates ideas of what is and isn't appropriate for girls to do, wear, or say.

March 7, 2009

Grab Bag (BrainQuest Anyone?)

So I did some searching for ads and commercials. I found two extremely different ads but both grabbed my attention and I wanted tp write about them both. The first is a commercial by MTV (I'm not sure who else made the commercial), but it is extremely powerful and blunt. I was impressed and wish that it was actually airable in the U.S., but I believe it is a bit too provocative for that. Take a look for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHgTj9rcK2c

Its juxtaposition with unsafe sex as something as violent as being shot to death is powerful. I'm glad a strong message of the importance of safe sex is out there, but I have no idea if this commercial was actually aired anywhere on television. This particular MTV ad (I believe they have many "banned" type commercials relating to the promotion of safe sex) pertains more to our class because of its focus on women. We have to be strong and smart enough to protect ourselves.

The second ad I came across was less serious, and more cute, related to the Girl Power kind of attitude that we talked about in class this past week. The ad shows a girl in braids playing video games, back when the Atari was the cool new video game to play:

http://www.retrojunk.com/img/art-images/girlgaming.jpg

I thought this was cool because things typically targeted towards boys were being targeted towards girls as well. It might not be quite as extensive as Clarissa Explains It All, but I still thought it was a pretty cool message. I probably like it so much just because I was one of those girls that was addicted to the video games when I was younger with N64 and my Pocket Gameboy, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., and Star Fox were always favorites.

On a side note- the movie that Sierra mentioned in class, "Free to Be, You and Me" is on YouTube, just YouTube search it and it comes in like 14 different parts or something like that. Michael Jackson, from back when he was in the Jackson 5, is also in it. It has a pretty extensive cast- I only watched the first couple videos.

March 4, 2009

Women With Vision Film Series @ The Walker

Hey! The Walker arts center has done this "women with vision" film festival every spring for a few years. This year it's running from March 6-21, and the series is called "Dimensions". There will be films from Bosnia, Israel, Korea, Iran, France and more. You can check it out here.

Barbie to be banned in West Virgina

I found this news story about West Virgina lawmaker proposing a ban of sales on certain barbies in the state. Check it out!

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,504456,00.html

Sexy?

While I was looking for ads about women on YouTube I came across this one... appropriately(?) titled sexiest commercial. To start I think that this ad is representative of a lot of advertising today in which you rarely see the product they are advertising. Instead you see "sex" selling the product. This ad is suggesting that they have made an mp3 player so small you can put it down your pants while you work out and I'm guessing still be comfortable doing various exercises. As she works out, she changes the music that is being played. I had to watch twice to figure out where the product was and that the music changed as she moved her legs.

I'm not sure who would find this sexy while working out. Personally, if I am working out I don't want something down my pants. This ad, along with selling a product through sex, plays into what society wants us to believe is beautiful. Beauty is a small/fit white woman, with blonde hair, who doesn't turn red while working out, and has a gentle glow of sweat. It would be interesting to know who panasonic was trying to target with this ad. I am assuming they were attempting to attract young women with the small size of the product, however this commercial probably appeals more to a male audience.

Chocolate Myth?

I'm sure you have all seen this commercial before. I know it's focused around a guy, but the articles we read describe the women's stereotypes which are portrayed in this video. This perhaps presents a black beauty myth for men. Blackademics.org says "Axe’s product statement is clear: through Dark Temptation, any average-Joe white guy can go from being milk dud to a chocolate stud". This statement refers to what in society affects women's perception of attractive men. It assumes that our culture projects that blackness is super masculine, and that our women need to be with the ultimate, most masculine man. The women in the video automatically crave the "dark chocolate" man, and lust over his manly, sexual perfection. The ad reflects today's standards for attractive men (which have been accepted by women), subjecting male viewers to an unrealistic male beauty ideal. It's interesting to apply the beauty issue to the other side, as well.

-Danya

bad ads

wtf.jpg


This picture is horrible. First off, these women look like they just escaped from a concentration camp. They look like death, and this is how they are trying to sell their expensive products? I couldn't believe some of the ads I found. Normally I wouldn't see ads like this because I don't think I read the magazines they put these in. This whole idea of showing women who haven't eaten in months and who are on the verge of death as being "beautiful" makes me sick. Its one thing for a girl to strive to be heathly thin, but to be sickly thin makes no sense. I am not sure who is in charge of this kind of crap, but I sure hope no little girls see this picture and then strive to look like them. How do these people sleep at night? They are degrading women to look like nothing more than live maniquens (sorry i don't know how to spell that).. I know for a fact that basically no men on this earth would be attracted to a woman who's bones are sticking out. Not that I would anyways, but I'm definately never wearing Dolce & Gabana, they clearly don't respect women. Not to mention they charge outrageous prices.

That Damn 6-Hour Power Ad.

[EDIT:] It occurs to me that the actual name of the product is "Six-Hour Power," not "Energy." How relevant.

---

Okay, okay, so I know someone on Feministing posted about this pretty recently, but it's been sticking in my mind because I see it almost every night as I watch Adult Swim and it just drives me crazy. I should note that the guy gets cut off at the end: what he says is, "now I'm ready!" The ad is actually censored when it airs on Adult Swim, as much as I can tell. This might actually be the first time I've seen the whole thing, and I'm kind of stunned at how graphic it is.

It's just... so... abysmally stupid. The first time I saw this on TV, I genuinely believed from the sloooow pan up the woman's legs that we were gonna hear the kind of languid semi-porno groove that usually accompanies those dating hotlines like LavaLife or whatever--you know, the ones where one or more scantily-clad, attractive women talk about how great the hotline is and how for just ten cents a minute you, sir, can talk to Real Live Women Who Look Just Like Them. In other words, hot damn, I think I thought this commercial was trying to sell the woman.

But that's just it. It's not. So how does Six-Hour Power figure into this little story of the guy calling in his secretary for an extramarital conference? What I gather is that drinking one of these little bottles juices the guy up for... uh, what, for cheating on his wife? And... apparently drinking one is just like getting a blowjob? Honestly, purely from an advertising standpoint, I think it's just terrible. I think if viewers have to just stop and wonder how on earth an ad is relevant to the product, it's probably not a very good ad. It seemed like from the Feministing comments that many people who watched it didn't even understand it fully. I "get" it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make me want to explode heads.

I'm sort of beating around the bush here, because I actually don't even have very good words for how insultingly gross I think this ad is in terms of what it portrays. It reads like pure, indulgent patriarchal sexual fantasy, complete with ideas about powerful men getting a lot of sex from servile women. You've got this woman, a particularly sexed-up secretary (I don't think I need to mention how unusual it would be if the boss was a woman and the sexy secretary was a man, but there it is--it wouldn't jive with the sexual script the ad is playing off of), being called in for some hanky-panky with her boss like it's an appointment. Then we're supposed to think she's servicing her boss from the way he's undulating in his chair. But then it turns out that she's barely even cleared the doorway and he was just... getting prepared. With 6-Hour Power.

That's... incredibly dumb.

The secretary's characterization gets more and more offensive the more I think about it. Her role as secretary to this man, the incredibly revealing and impractical way she's dressed for an office job, her eager and excited smile as she's called into his office... It all leaves me with the impression that we're supposed to just assume and accept that her only real purpose there is to give her boss regular sexual release. This woman exists to serve this man. That's the message I get. Also, the way the woman plays with the pen close to her mouth in the first few seconds of the ad is particularly evocative of the oral sex joke the commercial is making, I now realize. Yeesh.

And one more thing: why include the suggestion that he's cheating on his wife in this at all? Why does his infidelity make this situation better/more desirable? Does the ad mean to suggest something as tired and ridiculous as the notion that this virile, successful-enough-to-have-a-secretary, six-hour-energetic man is so powerful that he gets to have his cake and eat it too? Oh, wait. I think it does.

Things like this make me need to go off and do something happy.

Vanity Fair

I apologize if this does not show up as an image, I am completely illiterate to this type of stuff, I know, I need to work on it. So in case my image does not work here is a like to my VANITY FAIR IMAGE.

What I see in this image, which I believe was done as a joke, is a gross double standard that women face. The funny gang of men who brought us Knocked Up, Forgetting Sara Marshall and Superbad recreated a 2006 cover of Vanity Fair pictured above the spoof photo. It seems to be perfectly alright to have these women (Scarlet Johanson and Kieren Knightly) to be seductively posed in the nude. Two women who are extremely thin and most likely have had a lot of touch ups within the photo. Contrasted with the men in the same positions but instead of being in the nude they are all in beige/tan body suits.

I think it's interesting because Vanity Fair has no problem with thin naked women but doesn't allow naked men. One may ask is it because these men don't have the perfect bodies? Is it just because they're men? Either way is it fair that the women lay strewn naked while the men are in body suits. I think it is always interesting how covered men stay within ads, movies, TV shows when women seem to always be naked, getting naked, or wearing something that's next to naked. Men don't need to exploit their bodies nearly as much women do to succeed, specifically in Hollywood.

Before this class I think I would have still found this double standard gross and still seen this image as a negative one. I think it just exemplifies how much the importance of looks forced on to women while it seems to skip over the men.

LV JLo- updated

jennifer_lopez_wideweb__430x294.jpg

I think this Luis Vuitton ad plays an empowing role reversal for women of color and women in general. Rather than the ad following what many other high fashion ads have done in the past (subordinating, sexually objectifying, and silencing women) this ad is silencing the man and putting the latina women in the controlling powerful position. Not saying that we should objectify men but at least the woman (J Lo) is shown as the dominating, powerful and pretty person in control. This ad (fairly new) really shows an innovative way of branding LV to women. LV is for the business women, woman in power, AND the sexy women. The sexy woman does not always need to be drapped over the man and the woman in power does not have to inherit masculine qualities to be in control.

oh...Yes, I think I would have notived this ad before because I've done a couple papers/projects about women in the media. I know this ad is not the perfect example of how real women are but it's a lot better then an anorexic women dressed in see through black lacies with tape over her mouth promoting some sort of man jeans or cologne.

March 3, 2009

Tom Ford

Originally, I wanted to blog about the Dolce and Gabbana ads that have brought up, specifically the 2007 season. In May of '07, I in a high-end area of Vienna and noticed these well-known "rape" ads. As I was trying to find the original photo from Vienna, I can across this...

http://chicstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/tomford.jpg

I couldn't get it up on the blog either, but you really should check it out. My blog topic quickly changed to this picture. The question is...what is Tom Ford selling? Vaginal odors? By far, this is the most shocking ad I think I have ever seen. It is blatently sexual and degrading. And as has been said by many people, sex sells. Tom Ford has brought this to a completely different level! While some advertisments can be artistic, there is no artisticness found in this shot. The woman's thighs and nearly exposed genitals are simply used as a backdrop for the object being sold, similar to the backdrops of fake clouds from the local walmart photographer. Its purpose was not to show her beauty. It is obvious that this ad campaign goal was to use the shock value of this picture as one of its advertising strategies, but I do not consider this an excuse to cheapen the female body and sex in general.

Here is another link:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_AWH-9nLgrTs/SKh5oe4kBZI/AAAAAAAAAr0/jVC1ATSTo9A/s1600-h/Tom+Ford+Menswear+SS+08+02.jpg

The implications of this ad is almost worse than the first. You don't have to think about this shot for more than a nanosecond before you receive the message. The man is depicted as the more intellectual of the two, which gives him more worth. As he stands waiting, the nake woman irons his pants. The woman's role in this shot takes us back to the idea of the 1950's wife. Also, her nakedness leads us to believe that she is the man's sex toy. While she is looking at him, he is too absorbed in his newspaper to acknowledge her. Yet again, the message received is that her value is only for what she can do for him.

I found both of these ads very insulting not only to women but also to men. It sheds a negative light on both roles shown. Unfortuantely, Tom Ford's ad campaign does not improve. There are many more shots taken with this same disregard for sexuality and women. One image shows him shoving his middle finger into a woman's mouth, which truly needs no explaination. Another shows him fully clothed, while a naked woman grops his crotch. In any ad he is in, he happens to be fully clothed in his suit, depicting his supieriority, and the women are naked (or he is cutting off their panties...so they will be naked soon enough). Overall, I found his ad campaigns to be a very poor reflection on men and degradign to women.

Really???

I know that American Apparel ads tend to be racy...but really? REALLY?!? This is an all time low. Using porn to sell...well, you know, I'm not sure. I think it might be white and yellow striped tube socks in this ad? I am posting the link, click on it at your own risk, because it's basically porn. (But it's on a blog site of some sort, so don't worry about any sort of viruses you may receive from porn sites.)

http://juicy.mashkulture.net/english/tag/american-apparel/

What has advertising come to these days?

Blog 5

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After our discussion of Barbie's I decided I'd take a look and see what kind of Barbie's Mattel is making now a days since I've been out of the doll stage for awhile, in particular I was looking for black Barbie's just to see what kind of image Mattel is trying to put out there. There were 2 dolls that I was amazed by. The first one was lingerie barbie??!! What is that all about? There are so many things wrong with this image I don’t even know where to start and she’s supposed to be an African American Barbie, to which to me she doesn’t look it. This is not a doll that I want my 5 year old niece, who is obsessed with Barbie, even remotely near!

The next Black Barbie I found was a “model” Barbie. The interesting thing….they used modelmuse™. This is something that they use to “carve” out attributes such as better cleavage, collar bones, etc. The minute I saw this picture my eyes went straight to her midsection. Before I even read about modelmuse™ I knew they’d done something to make her thinner, because she’s a model.

I loved my Barbie when I was a kid, but they were nothing like what they are today. It makes me frightened for my niece and for any other young girl, black, white, asian, or hispanic, that this is the doll that they will be given to play with and to emulate. The subliminal messages that Mattel is obviously putting out are outrageous.

Women will only love you if you have a large penis

Ok, so maybe it's too easy but this commercial has bothered me since the first time I saw it for more reasons than I'll get into today. The one I want to focus on is the way Bob's wife, and the women of the office are portrayed. In previous Enzyte commercials there was a before Enzyte and after Enzyte Bob (and I'm sorry, but I doubt that it's a coincidence that they chose the name Bob since it also stands for battery operated boyfriend AKA vibrator- the “perfect penis”) the after Enzyte Bob was always shown with that cheesy smile plastered on his face which has continued into every Bob themed Enzyte commercial since (because as we all know, having a large penis makes you extremely happy). So we once again have a super happy Bob with his super happy wife who is shown whispering to one of the women in the office, if you look closely she is telling the woman that Bob has a huge penis. She is sharing very intimate information with his coworker which sends the message that his growth is really important to her. That message goes against the feeling that most women (at least the ones I know) have, that it's not the size of the equipment but the way it's used. It is almost as if she's enticing the woman, why would that information need to be shared with anyone? Maybe they are planning some kinky Santa themed three-some, who knows, the point is that it's personal and the whole office doesn't need to know. But of course, the word gets around that Bob's packing a little extra and all of the women want a piece of him. Once again this sends the message that women will only want you if you have a huge penis. I also question the way Bob is portrayed; I have to believe that any self confident man would know that the size is not all that important. It seems like the commercial is playing with the idea that the size of a man’s penis should be the source of any negative body images for men.

On a side note, has anyone ever noticed how many sexual innuendos are thrown into this commercial? It's just ridiculous! Bob is here to spread a little joy, this chubby Santa, a sack full of confidence, the list goes on and on!

No Negative Body Images for Black Women?

All right, first I want to apologize for my lack of knowledge with blogging. I have no idea how to insert images into these blogs, so I am going to put a link to the ad I found :

http://www.brandspankingnew.net/img/headers/lil_kim_lachapelle.jpg

The ad is a picture of Lil Kim posing nude, decorated as a Louis Vuitton bag. First of all, she is being objectified as a PURSE. She is not even supposed to represent a human in the ad. I think that is not clever at all, but disugusting. Second, she is completely naked except for a hat, that I assume is only supposed to make her more like a Louis Vutton bag than a human being. Her pose and gaze are extremely provocative, showing her as hypersexualized as a black woman. I think that it definitely breaks the Black Beauty Myth that Riley wrote about because Lil Kim's body image is unattainable without money and surgery. Lil Kim has had breast implants, a nose job, skin lightening, and a tummy tuck, making the image she presents extremely unrealistic. After finding this ad of Lil Kim, I searched any images of Lil Kim, and today she has had so much surgery that she is unrecognizable from the women she was even in this ad, much less when she started out in the music industry. ( http://www.dabeatshop.com/Celeb%20Mugshots/lilkimmug1.jpg ) I think I still would've noticed the ad because it is quite unexpected and so objectifying to all women. Apparently sex does really sell, no matter how demeaning or unattainable the sexual images are.

EDGE girls

I saw this ad playing (with the sound off) at the gym a few weeks ago. Unfortunately (unfortunately for this assignment, fortunately for the world), the version I saw doesn’t seem to be available anywhere online, but the short version can be found paired with another clip here:

(I’m referencing the first one of this pair). The difference between this clip and the one I saw at the gym is that the images in the clip I saw of the women spraying each other lasted longer, and were more graphically sexually suggestive.
I was really surprised at this ad, since the foam spray is such an obvious metaphor for ejaculation. The women’s reactions to the spraying foam are gleeful and sexual, at once taking pleasure in being dominated (and disrespected) by the foam spray (male ejaculation). It seems kind of explicit for television, but I don’t see many ads nowadays, so I don’t really know what the norm is.
The ad also features a current cultural standard of female beauty, depicted by unrealistic women with supermodel bodies and perfect skin. They are scantily clad so that we see their every curve. Again, an ad for a product uses sexual bodies to sell it, with the message that by using this product, you can get at a bit of this sexuality yourself.
From my perspective, it is humorous and ironic that an ad so heteronormative and macho-masculine features a metaphor that can be interpreted more broadly as the pleasure and presence of semen on a man’s face. (Thinking about it this way makes the ad a little bit easier to take).

UPDATE: The first video was deleted off Youtube mysteriously (I have a conspiracy theory- that video had been available for nine months.!!!) But here is another version, which someone has added some "screams and whistles" sound effects to. Kind of obnoxious, but you'll still see some of the original footage.

Black Beauty

bb.jpg

I honestly don't think I would have noticed this image before discussing the readings from last week. It is easy to point out stereotypical images of black women, those that hypersexualize and those that portray black women as unaffectedly flaunting their "curves." This image may be problematic, but certainly not in the same (outwardly offensive) way as the aforementioned images. However, there is still something going on that may be easy to overlook. This magazine, quoted as "one of the leading magazines in the world on Black hair and beauty," a "must-read for any woman of color" by Magazine Express website, seems to conflict with stereotypical images of black female beauty. As we can see, the cover of this magazine introduces articles about cosmetic surgery and "the size zero debate," which doesn't seem to fit the myths about black beauty that Riley talks about in her article. Instead, we learn that some black women might care about their body image, and strive for something other than (or smaller than) curves and "meat on their bones." The woman on this magazine cover is very beautiful, however, her beauty conforms to a Western, or "white, middle-class, heterosexual" ideal of beauty (thin nose, doe eyes, etc.). She appears very thin, she has flawless skin and rosy cheeks, she is doused in makeup, smiles with perfect teeth, dressed in a feminine pink color and pearl earrings. Not to mention her hair is perfectly slicked back into a neat bun. This image is not necessarily good or bad, but it does challenge a common stereotype (or myth, in Riley's words) about black female confidence and positive body image, and realizes that black women may struggle with the same insecurities and body image issues that white women are stereotyped to have.

We're not selling sex, we're selling animal rights...

alicia1.jpg


Another reason to love PETA! Selling vegetarianism, a lifestyle choice, by aligning it with sex and women's bodies. As the photo reveals (I hope it shows up; I had some trouble uploading it), Alicia Silverstone can't simply be a vegetarinan; she has to be a naked vegetarian, lying on the grass in a provocative pose, declaring "I am Alicia Silverstone and I am a VEGETARIAN." On PETA's website, you can watch Alicia's Veggie Testimonial, billed as PETA's "first ever naked vegetarian testimonial" in which "Sexy Hollywood star Alicia Silverstone bares all." I don't personally understand the connection between nudity and vegetarianism. None of the vegetarians I know strip down in order to eat but maybe that's because of the cold climate. Maybe it's the norm for Hollywood vegetarians. If the advertisements were talking about natural living, I could understand that there might be a reason to create advertisements involving nudity, though they could still be guilty of objectifying women.

In part of an interview posted on feministing PETA's president, Ingrid Newkirk, who identifies herself as a feminist, said,

Our people are all volunteers, no one has asked a woman to take off her clothes. I've done it myself, we've all marched naked if we want to, and I think that it's very restrictive and in fact wrong. I would expect someone in, say, Iran to tell us that we should cover up, but I don't expect women or men in this country to criticize women who wish to use their bodies in a form of political statement, to tell them, you need to cover yourself up. There's this idea of 'naughty bits' and I just think it's funny more than anything else. It's not sexist, it may be sexual, but no. No woman has ever been paid to strip. She has decided to use her body as a political instrument. That's her prerogative and I think it is anti-feminist to dare to tell her that she needs to put her clothes back on.

Newkirk's ignorant comments about Iran aside, I totally agree that a woman, or a man, has every right to use her or his naked body as a political instrument but that is not what's at play in PETA's advertising. This photograph of Alicia Silverstone objectifies her. The words minimize her name and emphasizes the fact that she is a vegetarian, as though that is the most important thing about her. In addition, PETA has a campaign on its website in which you can "Vote for the SEXIEST vegetarian next door." Sorry, Ingrid, but that sounds a lot like blatantly using sex as advertising to me. This is an advertising campaign that I definitely would have picked up on before I took this class. The objectification of women in the ads and the disconnect between sex and vegetarianism is too obvious to go unnoticed. Also, on a side note, though I am not a vegetarian, I imagine that if I were I would be offended by the attempt to sell my lifestyle choice in the same way that companies sell swimwear or jewelry. I've always thought of vegetarianism as a choice made based on principle or for health reasons, not as a commodity, which is how PETA's advertising protrays it.

Hungry MAN!

I found this Hungry Man advertisement to be really interesting because it manages to degrade women without even having a woman present, and at the same time promotes the "macho" stereotype of men.

I once read that being "feminine" is one of the worst things somebody can be, and I don't remember where I read this, but the author theorized that this may be one of the reasons that gay men are generally more victims of gay bashing [both in media and physically] than gay women - because there is the stereotype that gay men are more "feminine". Also the reason why boys are likely more criticized to play with "girl" toys than girls are for playing with "boy" toys. Since I read this, I've kept this theory that "femininity" is one of the worst traits that someone can have and have seen how that is reflected in the media.

The video shows the three men in a "macho" line of work - construction it seems... and look how funny it is that they're drinking pink and orange beverages! haha! Seriously, who thinks these things up? Argh. And then they all go to the bathroom together because that joke NEVER gets old.

Obviously, the "you are what you eat" comment after being called "ladies" and the expression on the men's faces shows us that being feminine [or rather, the media's definition of feminine] is HORRIBLE. And that they should change their behavior IMMEDIATELY, by no longer drinking juice [seriously?! It's juice...] and instead heating up a frozen dinner [well, duh, we all know men can't cook, right?]

I'd also like to point out that any woman at the same "level of attractiveness" for lack of a better phrase as these men would never be put in a commercial promoting ANYTHING.

And I'm really glad that the men can eat the sodium-loaded, artery-clogging fried chicken and pale starchy vegetables. They CAN eat like men [fatty, unhealthy foods] because they are MACHO and MANLY, but women don't dare touch that type of food because that would be unfeminine. Seriously, would you ever see any commercial promoting women [and not men] to eat an unhealthy meal? Well, I guess the whole "chocolate" craze geared toward women... but they usually use words like "indulgence" and "treat" for those, implying moderation... anyway, I just thought this was ridiculous.

Another Fallen Victim

When scrolling through an "Esquire" magazine searching for either offensive or empowering ads for women, I found that the most offensive ads were the high fashion ones. Designers such as: Dolce and Cabbana, Gucci, Dior, and Cesare Paciotti all presented women in their ads as weak, sex objects. First in Cesare Pacoitti's ad, they use a scene evoking a gang rape and reeking of violence against women. In an interview, NOW Foundation President Kim Gandy said, "It's in Esquire, so they probably don't think a stylized gang rape will sell clothes to women, but what is more likely is that they think it will get them publicity. It's a provocative ad but, can't it be a provocative ad that empowers women instead of degrading them? We don't need any more violence." In Gucci's ad, it attempts to demonstrate a woman's "place" in the world by sitting at the man's feet. She has a weak and helpless expression on her face, while the man above her stands tall and confident. In Cesare Pacoitti's ad, there is a picture of a fallen (dead) woman who is in a very elegant white gown. The ad says "Another fashion victim--literally", it appears. Designers sure do love to show off their clothes on fallen women. By using fallen women it can insinuate a couple different meanings: those women are weak, that women need to be that flimsy or skinny, and finally, that we should look good at all times, even if we're dying! Lastly the Dior ad, is a picture of a woman looking like she is having an organism. The ad says, "Dior Addicts". Dior proudly uses the themes of addiction and death to sell lipstick, under the impression that the tactic is edgy and original. By putting these ads in magazines, women as well as men get a completely wrong impression of what is sexy. In the Dolce and Cabbana ad, the four men huddled over the woman with their hands all over her, is not right. This reinforces the idea to men that three somes and "Train" (where several men have sex with one woman at the same time) parties are hot and sexy for both parties. This also sends the message that men should over power women physically and emotionally. The woman in the ad looks fantastic, but she has an impression on her face that is luring the men in as if she wants to be held down. Young women will see this and think that’s what they can do to get guys attention, and inviting them to be exploited. Over all these ads are completely offensive and send the wrong message in every aspect to women and men.

Blog 5

My brother does a lot of graffiti, and he actually found this image and posted it on his facebook. When I saw it I was appalled, and told him to take it down. It's an add for Montana spray paint, in which a girls has the head of the can shoved in her mouth and there's a line of "white paint" dripping down the side. Of course the image is suggestive of oral sex. I found this highly offensive, when I saw it last week, but I think I would have found it this way before taking the class too. Of course, the most obvious thing wrong with this add is the sexual objectification of the woman in it. Indeed, in almost all the adds I see everyday with women in them, women seem to be reduced to and conflated with sex, and it's almost always I woman used to garnish a product with sex appeal. I think the objectification is even more underlined when women are interacting with other objects, rather than people (although some of the most violent ones are the ones with both men and women in them). In reference to graff. advertisements in particular (my brother buys a lot of graff. magazines and I read them too) I notice that pretty much the entire magazine is written for and aimed at men (which I've always pointed out when my brother and I argue about the 'level playing field' of graff.) with women used as figureheads, or objectified through advertisement. It seemed to me that these women were being used in a man's magazine only for the gratification of men.

Thank god for budweiser... go Bud

Ok... I was searching through youtube and I found this short video for budwieser lingerie search and this reminded me of all the ducille article we talked about. The women showcased pretty much are just like real live barbies. I was pretty offended by the way the women were portrayed in this video. When they interviewed the contestants the way they responded reminded me of the stereotypical "blonde" response... it kinda made me want to hit my head against the wall a couple of times.... and some of them were just obviously playing to the camera and saying the kinds of stuff that "men" would like... This reminded me of why I don't watch "E!" and I hate those girls gone wild videos and commercials... I normally would just avoid these kinds of material but it just seems to offend me more and more....

ps. the host can't act... you really can tell she's going off of a script...

Apple Bottom Jeans

I found an image of an advertisement for the Apple Bottom jeans. The woman pictured in this advertisement reflects our discussion of the black beauty myth. Although the woman is gorgeous, she has the "typical" big butt to perfectly fill the Apple Bottom jeans. Not only does this image stereotype black women as having big curvy butts, it degrades women in that they are inferior to men. The woman is pictured topless, with her arms wrapped around the superior and dominant male figure (Nelly). The image, with the intended purpose of selling womens' jeans is overly sexual, stereotypical of black women, and degrading to all women in general.
http://www.feyaccompli.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/AppleBottomNelly%20for%20Cover4_sm.jpeg

This advertisement was found on the cover of Mad Flava magazine, which has a predominately African American readership. This also reinforces the black beauty myth amongst people of both black and white skin colors. The black beauty myth is known (and many times considered to be true) among people of all colors.

I was just surprised at how risque the photo was. This advertisement portrays a negative image of all women in general and in particular, black women. I probably would have noticed the picture as being degrading to women even before discussing the topic in class. However, I wouldn't of probably connected the picture to the black beauty myth before our discussion of it.

Trends in Sexist Advertising

I found this article on the huffington post about themes in advertising that are degrading to women. The themes are bondage, rape, sluts, girl on girl action, and cum shots. The article has convincing examples of each. While I am fully aware that "sex sells," it's astonishing how these ads seem to show that it's the only thing women are worth. I really wish that advertisers were more creative than, "Let's show hot women in risky situations!" I have a confession to make... For, pretty much all of high school, I had a subscription to InStyle Magazine. I loved it. I couldn't read InStyle anymore once they started running those horrible Dolce & Gabbana rape ads. One of the main reasons I loved this magazine was because it was so thick and it was mostly ads. The ads were my favorite part. The colors, the make up, the clothes, photography. Ads can be artistic! There is definitely an artful and tasteful way to show off products, I just don't understand why some have to be so offensive. There are some people that can find just about anything offensive. I had a particular affinity towards the bold colors and outfits of bebe ads, but I could easily imagine someone saying that her dark eye makeup promotes violence against women.
adv_0596.JPG

Negative Images.

I came across these two images of women negatively, and unrealistically, being portrayed in ads:

anorexic Pictures, Images and Photos

anorexic Pictures, Images and Photos

These images are in fact, for lack of a better word, frightening. These images are giving women a negative message. In mean come on, who honestly looks like this? It is ungodly healthy and something women should never strive to look like or become. These images sort of go against Riley's piece, "Black Beauty Myth." Although these images do not depict women of color, they do reinstate the fact that most women strive to be thin in order to be accepted. It was noted in Riley's piece that black women care apparently do not care about body image and have realistic role models such as Halle Berry and Tyra Banks---women who have more realistic bodies.

It is interesting to note how many ads I came across that had a tall, blonde and skinny model as their main focus. I even found and ad of a woman's posterior used, covered by a see-through green sheet. What was this ad selling? A CHAIR. Since when did these images have anything to do with the product itself? Let's face it, sex sells. Men don't want to look at other men in ads, but instead, gorgeous, thin women who are appealing and attractive.

I'd like to see more realistic women in ads today. Although the Dove commerials and ads are used, you never really see a curvy woman used.

Blog 5

I'm having trouble finding a link to the article because I read it in the print version of Bitch magazine. The article is titled "The Brave Ones—Rape-revenge films have evolved since the days of exploitation films like I Spit on Your Grave—this new breed has Teeth." The article we read this week by Marinucci about Buffy the Vampire Slayer discussed how Buffy uses violence to bring about social change similiar to how the women in these rape revenge movies use violence to end sexual abuse. Also the assigned reading brings up how everyone expects women to be passive so it is more controversial when they "kick ass" and use violence. Some of the examples listed in Bitch magazine of kick ass characters I thought used their violence in an empowering way while other examples like the Movie "Teeth" I thought were overly violent and punished excessively. I had read this article before this class. I'll keep looking for a full version of the article but for right now all I can find is the Table of Contents from the edition of Bitch that the article was printed.

March 1, 2009

Interesting Link

Dear All-
I came across this story on Yahoo! News regarding using multi-races in television ads.


Check it out here