Gender Representation Aim of lesson: To examine feminism, the male gaze and post-feminism
Initial Thoughts on Gender Representation How are males and females typically represented or portrayed in music video? E.g. Men are likely to play a musical instrument Women are more likely to dance
Gender Stereotypes In Music: Current Research Findings
Men engaged in significantly more aggressive and dominant behaviour
Men represented as independent, adventurous, unemotional and competent
Stereotypical Gendered occupations apparent (i.e. Males as FireFighters/Mechanics Women as Cheerleader/Waitress)
Women engaged in significantly more explicit, sexual and passive behaviour
Women represented as objects of sexual advances or as sexual objects
Sex role stereotyping and negative attitudes towards females
Women more likely to be presented in provocative or revealing clothing
Women portrayed as decorative objects that dance, pose and do not play instruments
Research findings NOT restricted to the Hip Hop genre
Research Findings taken from ‘Joining the Dots’ May 2009 OBJECT
A movement in which women questioned their position within patriarchal society & the ‘private sphere’ of ‘home/children/domestic bliss’
Serves to uncover, challenge and eliminate oppression and dominant gender imagery
Women began to debates the narrow range of stereotypes present across all media;
Women as virgins, mothers or promiscuous
Women as sex objects
Women are inferior to men
Women as domestic/based in the home
Sexual Objectification and the Male Gaze (Laura Mulvey 1975)
Definition of Voyeurism: Erotic pleasures gained from looking at a sexual object (who is unaware of being watched)
Presence of women solely for the purpose of display (rather than narrative function)
Female on display is passive and objectified for a male gaze regardless of viewers gender
Voyeuristic treatment of female body in ‘male’ videos – use of dancers as adornments to the male ego
The inclusion of women for display is a staple element in music video’s – across all genres
Women connote to-be-looked-at-ness and are the object of the male gaze .
Stereotypically ‘Female’ Occupations
Britney adheres to traditional gender stereotypes by taking on the roles of:
Each occupation emphasises highly sexualised costume & behaviours
Video Case Study:
( Pussycat Dolls/Snoop Dogg )
- Watch the Buttons video. - Taking Mulvey’s theory into account what do you think a feminist reading of the video would say ?
Pussycat Dolls - Feminist Reading
Sexual power derived from physical attractiveness to men.
Snoop’s voyeuristic male gaze/POV shots invites male viewer to join in.
Suggestive body language.
The Doll’s used literally as objects to create patterns in an aerial shot.
Post-Feminism and the female gaze
A re-appraisal of Feminist values
Does not strive for ‘equality’ as this assumes men are ‘the best’ - they wish to surpass male achievements
Objected to theories which position them as objects of the ‘male gaze’
Identifies a ‘female gaze’ - women actively desiring men
Women began to assert their right to dress and be sexually attractive
Rihanna is not on show for the benefit of male audiences, but is enjoying herself experiencing different identities.
She is successful, independent and in control.
Connotes messages of Empowerment/Confidence/ Independence to female audience .
In contrast to other representations here Britney is in control and dominates men within the narratives. She also takes a variety of identities e.g. super heroine. There is also opportunity for the female gaze.
Pussycat Dolls - Post-Feminist Reading Thinking back to the Buttons video what post-feminist readings could be made about the representation of gender?
Pussycat Dolls - Post-Feminist Reading
Offer messages of sexual empowerment - assertive, provocative and in control of ‘the gaze’
Confident, sassy, sexy icons challenging traditional assumptions about passive female sexuality “I’m a sexy mama/ Who
Uses a provocative male address challenging Snoop to “loosen up my buttons babe” - however, the dolls prove ‘too hot to handle’ for Snoop
Video Case Study: Watch a more recent of the Britney Spears video. Try to identify feminist and a post-feminist reading in regards to representation of gender.