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Representations Of Gender

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Representations of gender in music videos.

Published in: Social Media
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Representations Of Gender

  1. 1. Rihanna – Pour It Up Rhianna’s video to ‘Pour It Up’ is an excellent example that addresses both sides of the debate over the hyper-sexualisation of women in music. This video was especially controversial, the original version was banned only 10 minutes after its release due to outrage caused by its provocativity and was soon replaced with a less explicit edited version. Although now clean, the video still deals with women’s over sexualised provocative dance moves and outfits. This is damaging as is demeans the standards of women and if males did this it would be seen as offensive. This representation is most commonly featured in rap/Hip Hop music. An alternative view is that women are simply using ‘the male gaze’ as a tactic, using their assets to manipulate men. This is also highlighted in Rihanna’s video as she is says ‘I still got my money’ and is pictured with 100 dollar bills, this challenges the stereotype that only men can be the ‘breadwinners’.
  2. 2. However, there are some female artists that aim to challenge and subvert the expectations of their stereotype. They attain this though powerful vocals and by wearing non-revealing clothing. Their music focuses more on their talent and the lyrics are often strong and empowering. Examples of these artists are Adele, Meghan Trainor and Lorde. Beyonce’s music videos can vary, some conform to the stereotype whereas others challenge it and focus more on empowering women such as ‘Run The World (Girls)’ and ‘If I Were A Boy’ in which she challenges the stereotypical female and male roles.
  3. 3. Masculinity is a popular representation of males in Rap/Hip Hop music. To conform to this representation the male needs to possess all of the qualities traditionally associated with men. To fit the male sex role, they need to appear both mentally and physically strong, handsome and driven. An example of ‘Masculinity’ can be seen in Rap artist Kanye West’s video to ‘Power’. He wears a heavy gold chain to symbolize his success and dominance as he is surrounded by women.
  4. 4. Hegemonic masculinity reflects a need for males to seek dominance over other males, making them very competitive and want to subordinate females. Characteristics of this include ambition, independence, heterosexuality and aggressive and misogynistic behavior. This representation is evident in Robin Thicke’s video ‘Blurred lines’ as it features men displaying dominance over women that are dressed in provocative outfits. A binary opposition that can be seen in this video is that the men are fully clothed in black suites whereas the women wear revealing white clothing, the irony being that white connotes purity. In the un-rated version of the video the women are fully topless, many women found the video to be offensive and demeaning, some giving an allegation that the lyrics were promoting rape.
  5. 5. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/miley-cyrus-address-robin- thicke-vma-controversy-he-wanted-me-as-naked-as-possible-but-i-got-the- heat-because-im-a-woman-10476029.html In a recent interview Miley expressed her outrage at the abuse she had been receiving after her performance at the VMAs saying: “He was actually the one that approved my outfit, so I thought that was very funny. He wanted me as naked as possible, because that’s how his video was. It was very much a collaboration. My part — “We Can’t Stop” — was all me. But when it went into “Blurred Lines,” that was his performance."
  6. 6. Homo-Eroticism is the Sexual attraction between members of the same sex both male and female Separate from ‘Homosexuality’ which is a permanent identity or sexual orientation, ‘Homo- Eroticism’ refers to the desire alone.

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