(Reprinted from the January Network page 14)
Commentary by LydiaLarson
Women want equal rights.
However, one of the things that is constantly setting women back is the surplus of music that is degrading towards women. When young men listen to rap songs that portray women solely as sexual objects, they think it’s okay if they treat women poorly because this famous rapper does.
When young women listen to these songs they are sup- porting the people who are spreading these degrading messages to society. “Sometimes we see negative portrayals in music which is not a good thing. Music reflects what is happening in society, good or bad. When music that degrades women is being put out, it gives an impression that as a society, we agree with this message,” Ms. Susie Sisson, English and women’s studies teacher said.
“We have a lot of power as consumers. We as people get to decide where we spend our money and time. We are giving people careers who put out bad music. I think it’s important for us to pay attention to the messages in music. Don’t spend your money on derogatory music,” Sisson said.
A lot of music videos can be vulgar. Some music videos often include half naked women surrounding the male singer. Again, it is as thought men are strictly using women for an image.
“I’m not sure why it is common for music videos to portray women just as bodies.
I think some men think they are complimenting women and showing off their beauty, but I do not see it as a compliment. On the contrary, I don’t think it should be the other way around where we exploit men’s bodies because that is just as bad. We, as humans, are more than that and more than our physical appearance,” Sisson said. “When female artists sing degrading things about men it’s seen as trashy, but when men do it, it’s popular music,” senior Kaelynn Eisele said.
“In my women’s studies class first semester, we watched the popular music video “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer which portrayed women as objects and an image of sex. Then, Shania Twain recreated the same video for “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” but the female and male roles were reversed. She got a lot of criticism and backlash even though it was the same concept as Robert Palmer’s music video,” Eisele said.
“As women, I think we need to pay attention to what we are listening to and supporting because sometimes we don’t pay attention to the lyrics of songs and like the sound of them, but we are supporting a terrible message,” Eisele said.