Leslie Gore- "It's My Party" video
Fiona Apple- "Criminal" video and critique
Lil' Kim- "How Many Licks" video
Portrayal of men and women:
According to this song, women of this time (1960s) were portrayed to be very passive. Leslie's lyrics, "nobody knows where my Johnny has gone, Judy left the same time. Why was he holding her hand when he's supposed to be mine" which leads to the chorus of crying during her party shows that although she was humiliated, she did nothing of it. In addition, women were portrayed to be very needy, as her lyrics indicated, "leave me alone for a while, 'till Johnny's dancing with me, I've got no reason to smile". Because of Johnny's behavior of being unfaithful, I thought this video portrayed men as having no respect for women.
This video showed three levels (1) the performers, which were all females, (2) Leslie Gore singing, and (3) the audience which were also dancing. In my opinion, the performers were all dancing in sync while Leslie was singing. Being able to see that there were no men up with the performers, it showed that there was a very thick line between men and women. Men were present in the audience, but only danced to their tunes, obviously there were women dancing with them as well. However, this indicated nothing to the significant barrier between the two genders.
Fiona's song seemed to put women in the negative thoughts. First, the beginning of her song already stated, "I've been a bad bad girl". Just from this first line, we can already assume what will be portrayed about women. As many of the lyrics showed, women were also portrayed as helpless, careless, and in search of acceptance from the world. From reading the critique of this video, I felt women were also portrayed as subordinate. As the critique stated, women should be at fault if they were being abuse because it would be they who enticed men and made men abused them. This meant that women had no powers. In addition, women were supposed to be perfect, and if they were not they needed to be cleanse in order to be good enough. Other parts of her lyrics: "suffer for my sins", "need a good defense", "need to be redeemed", "got to cleanse myself", "I'm begging you", and "need to make a play to make my love stay" all showed how low women are portrayed. This goes back to the point that women should be perfect. On the other hand, men were indicated to be perfect, and lack nothing. Also, according to her lyrics, men were delicate.
All the other characters in this video had no faces. This could mean that the focus was only on Fiona, which made perfect sense because she was the singer. The point was, the men in this video also had no faces, but had more roles than the women had in the video. Fiona was also seen to be doing scenes that were more explicit with the men in the video. Those scenes also indicated her subordination. One example was her scene in the tub with the feet of a male on her face. According to my understanding, putting a foot on someone's head, or the other around, showed that the person whose head was being touched by the foot had less power. Fiona's character in the video seemed to be vulnerable. This can be perceived as an indication that women are vulnerable and always in need of protection.
Since I have talked a lot about women, I think men should be talked about first here. The men, as portrayed in this video, were subordinate to women. With the verse, highlighting the different men that she slept with, it showed that men were replaceable. They should do things right or they are replaced. A written piece on the screen but was not sung stated, "she doesn't satisfy you, satisfy her", showed that men should work for the women and not the other way around. Women were portrayed to be independent and high class. They also possessed a lot of power with their beauty. This was something that should be irresistible to men.
The video production was explicit, but not as explicit as the lyrics itself. One scene that helped me realized how subordinate men were portrayed was the scene where Lil' Kim was standing up, and a male character was sitting on the ground with his head between her legs. Just from their position, it already showed that she had a lot of power over this person. The indication of his head being between her legs also showed his subordination to her. That position showed how demeaning he was compared to her. This was also in Fiona Apple's video, but the situation was switched around. Instead, Fiona was between the male character's legs, which showed her subordination to the male character.
How have roles for women and men in regards to love and relationships changed?It was clear to see just from these three videos how the roles for women and men in regards to relationship have changed. In the first video, which was released in 1963, women were portrayed to be passive. This also meant that they did not speak against any wrong men did to them. Men, on the other hand, can be unfaithful, yet are still wanted as companions. This continued in the second video, which was released in 1997, but was less significant. Fiona's video showed women's vulnerability and carelessness. Yet it also portrayed how women needed men, and should try to be perfect for them. The men, in this video, seemed to be portrayed as being perfect, and godly. All these roles dramatically changed in the third video. Lil' Kim portrayed women as high class and independent. This video showed men as sex slaves, or in other words, subordinate to women. Instead of women trying to keep the men, the men should be trying to keep the women.