February 25, 2009

Let's get away...

This question is difficult to tackle because it is easy to simply say yes the women are guilty because they allow themselves to be portrayed in these videos and those in the industry should not be the only ones to blame but that is also the answer that makes the perspective so complex. So before I can honestly take on the perspective I need details; who is in the video, who is the artist and where does the credibility lie? The reason I ask this is because there are currently women in the business who are models and they’re looking for a big break or simply to be successful.

So let’s say that T.I. is looking for models for his video Let’s Get Away it is obvious that there are plenty of woman that are going to attend the casting and I would say they could be placed into two categories.

Let’s get away:
[Chorus (T.I.)]
[Jazze Pha] Hey, let's get away and get a room on the other side of town
Hey shawty, I was thinking of you
(Was you thinkin' of me, ay, ay...)
[Girl] Hey, let's get a room, shawty we can freak somethin' if you down
(Whachu would do?)
Hey daddy, I was thinking of you

I'm chilllin' with Brazilian women, heavy accents
They black friends translatin', got'em all ass naked, adjacent
Have relations wit'em many places
Leavin' semen in they British faces

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February 24, 2009

Power in Ownership vs Recognition of Female Agency

i don't think that it's fair to point fingers at individual women and blame them for patriarchy, or sexism, or the problems of a larger society. i do believe that there is power in ownership of sexuality and a woman's body. or that there can and should be. but i still don't believe that women claiming agency in this space is as powerful as it could be if there was a larger recognition and respect for the choices women are making with their bodies.

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Bitches and Hos Are Not New Constructs

While a number of video vixens will state that they work willingly, it is inappropriate, shallow and misogynistic to blame ‘bitches’ and ‘hos’ in music videos for the prevalence of the corresponding stereotypes within hip hop culture. On a base level, it makes a certain amount of sense that if women refused to participate, there would be no depiction. In reality, however, women participate in the manufacturing of bitches and hos imagery for many reasons, none of which are my intent to examine here.

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Pointing the finger at "bitches and hos"

Allright, so here's my take on all of this. The fact that women are upset with sexism and the "degrading" images in hip hop videos puzzles me. I'm not trying to play the devil's advocate with all of this, but I find it hard to condemn these women and blame them for carrying on these images and ideas about women's bodies and sexuality.

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Enough with the blaming or pointing at the ‘other’

This statement/question blows my mind. As if we can point our finger at those little birds and say fly away, free yourself from the cage that holds you in? Does a woman have a choice whether or not she wants to be in a hip hop video that objectifies her? I guess one could say yes but then again does she really? To point a finger at or blame the victim is beyond me. I choose the word victim because I truly believe that is the case. The thing is victimization started to happen years and years ago for that individual. And victimization for women has been decades and centuries in the making.

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Don't point fingers at the women being degraded.

I do not think that fingers should be pointed at the women who are BEING objectified. Who is to say that these women are really there voluntarily, anyway? Is being a "video ho" worse than being a prostitute? Some women are not given any other options for making money in the "street" life, as Tricia Rose discusses (174).

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Enough with the name calling

This is such a grey area when people start to point the finger and label these women. There are so many different points of views and so many different circumstances. But even on top of that should it really be a reasonable excuse to label women “bitches and hos” if someone believes them to be? Is there any one definition of what it means to be a bitch or a ho?

Without going into either of these questions I’m going to look at the grey areas. I think what people have to look at is choice. How much choice did the women in these videos have- are they in desperate need of money and this seemed like a quick and easy way to get it, are these women in it for their 15 minutes of fame, or do these women believe it will lead/turn into a career.

If one needed to point the finger of blame I do not believe it should be at the women, the rappers are the ones deciding how to direct these women, how the videos are shot, as well as the content as a whole. Again, like someone said in class or a movie we saw in class (I apologize, I don’t remember) what makes these images particularly awful is that this is the only image we really see within these films. I am not trying to say that these images are great only in moderation, but I think that they would be a lot less damaging if there was a much more well rounded perspective/image of black women within the videos.

I believe this will probably be a question that is insolvable and there will never be a right answer. I think that it’s important to not get to wrapped up in the blame game on issues like these because it takes away from the argument, and too much time is spent trying to label rather than getting anything done.

February 19, 2009

There Really Are Bitches and Ho's

Some argue that women who allow themselves to be sexually objectified by men really ARE bitches and hos. Instead of pointing the finger at predominantly male hip-hop artists, producers, and music industry elites, the finger should be pointed at the individual women themselves. Do you agree such a perspective? Why or why not?