The modern world has brought about many changes in the way gender roles are viewed by society. The media portrays women through hip-hop and rap music videos in a provocative and objectified way.
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Most recently, music videos and movies have become much more open-minded and uncensored. Women are shown to play the role of possessions “…not unlike the luxury cars, Rolex watches, and platinum and diamond medallions…” (Perry 135). The article “Bad Sistas” refers to a concept that women use rap to show how men are promiscuous and consider the number of women they can get as a form of social status (Rose 267).
This is very much true because it has always been considered masculine to have many girlfriends while for women to have many men would be frowned upon. Performers such as “Salt’N’Pepa” show how ridiculous men look in the pursuit of as many women as possible.
The division between genders has been evident for a long time, with history to support this fact. Women have been fighting for equal rights and fair treatment, and it has almost been achieved. In the present times, sexuality and gender play a differential role in society and communication, which is needed to attain specific results.
Nowadays, the majority of rap and hip-hop videos show women half naked, and thus, society’s views are reinforced. It is one thing that men want women to be in music videos and play a particular role, but women are willing to participate in the videos. From one perspective it is possible to see that women are made out to be possessions which are looking for money and prosperous men, but at the same time, there is a double standard, as the evidence speaks for itself.
Previously, after women have gained equal rights, the lyrics and the general style of hip-hop or rap were much different. As “Salt’N’Pepa” sing: ”…He thought I was a dummy…” (Salt’N’Pepa Tramp), which is a humorous way to show how full of themselves some men are. This sort of hip-hop empowers women and illustrates that they do realize what is happening when men are trying to throw money or gifts at them without having any particular feelings.
The changes that have taken place are definitely for the worse. A civilized society should not portray anyone as objects, especially in sexual terms. The society that views these sorts of videos will get predisposed to the roles that men and women have and will expect the division. The most negative effect of these videos will influence the younger generation of boys and girls. Young children will expect girls to be a certain way and will repeat such behavior in schools.
It seems that the cycle has been reversed, as women were fighting for equal and respectful treatment for a long time but now, people are starting to think that there are very few women who can do anything else except explicitly demonstrate their sexuality in music videos and movies. Partly, this is due to the freedom of expression and the open-mindedness that has been so welcome in modern times. People are given an ability to do almost anything they want, and this has led to a few bad choices which must be rooted out from society.
Perry, Imani. Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004. Print.
Rose, Tricia. The Hip Hop Wars. New York, Basic Books, 2008. Print.
“Salt’N’Pepa Tramp”. YouTube 28 Mar 2008. Web 28 July 2013.