Nowadays men and women are depicted very differently on all media platforms. Where women tend to be sexually objectified for the sake of entertainment, this is especially prevalent in the hip hop genre. Men masculinity often take the dominant role and are symbols of wealth and power being able to acquire luxurious items and even other humans in some instances. The number of women in music videos tend to be ten times that of the men, but are often used to increase the males image. Furthermore, women in these videos are often objectified and only shown in small bikinis or other provocative clothing and using their bodies to attract attention by dancing throughout the entire duration of the video. Using women as a mere tool to attract and serve as only entertainment is inappropriate and a disrespectful way to treat women in any industry.
The idea that male masculinity in music videos have a tendency of promoting men dominance over women and encouraging an attitude of callous disdain without even including violent contents. Additionally, in the study done by Lindsay Roberts called, “TOXIC MASCULINITY ON TELEVISION “, explains that masculinity is based on two ideas which are a hierarchy of internal dominance and the domination of women. I have witnessed this phenomenon in many music videos where there are usually many young half-naked women gather around one man, dancing for only him and projecting the idea that women have the role of entertaining men. The idea that women tend to subconsciously submit or have the desire to be dominated is ridiculous and only represents the idea of a hierarchy that is dominated by males. Thinking that women have no free will or desire to lead is also a misconception that does not allow for equal treatment between men and women. If we were to move away from the constant use of objectifying women and value what they represent we would be able to move away from these outdated methods of providing entertainment.
The Concept of Male Masculinity Then and Now
As time continues to pass so do methods of providing entertainment. This can be observed when comparing the video Dream worlds 3 which was produced in 2007 and current music videos, where the concept of male masculinity has changed over time. In the Dream worlds 3 video, male masculinity was projected as being more powerful and aggressive towards women. This was shown by actions such as treating women more harshly and disrespectful by ripping off their clothing or pushing woman against walls.
In the article “Redefining masculinity”, the author Rebecca A. Clay claims that American society socializes men to conform to a definition of masculinity which represent toughness, stoicism, and acquisitiveness. And that leads to aggressive, emotionally stunted males who harm not only themselves, but also their partner and entire community. This description matches what the given videos projects males as being and contribute to this idea that men are more aggressive and violent oriented compared to women.
However, in todays music videos, male masculinity is more representative of a hierarchy of internal dominance and domination of women by wealth. They do not really show off their power or toughness. They treat women as more sexual objects for entertainment and portrayed them significantly different than how men are projected in music videos. Women tend to expose a lot of their body and are often used as a mechanism to attract more viewers whereas men are dressed in more fashionable clothing and used to symbolize wealth and success. Additionally, the camera work has also changed where we tend to see more close ups on women intimate parts such as their boobs or butts during a video and often see a zoom out when shifting to the men of the videos. Their actions are often the same throughout each video remaining constant, but are not the same for both genders. Women in music video are always moving for men, such as dancing, walking, and letting the guy touch their body even though all men barely move in the entire of video.
For example, in Tyga’s Taste music video, all these characteristics can be found. All the girls are barely covered by tiny cloths and they look like they are having a great time with Tyga. One of the scene in his music video, Tyga was singing by himself on the roof top, and many girls in tiny bikini were dancing at second floor balcony, and often time camera work was zoom in their butt instead of face or other body parts.
For the entire music video (about four minutes), women do not face front and are constantly twerking which has been socially depicted as being a sexually provocative dance.
The image one gets from this videos is the idea that wealth attracts women and advocate the idea of submission and dependence on men. Picturing these scenes could possibly justify a hierarchy of internal male dominance over women to all viewers since none of the girls do not hesitate to do all movement and look like they are happy to be being dominated by men. People may misunderstand that women are willing to do anything for men of power and could send the wrong image of dependence for women and search of power for males who misunderstand the ideas portrayed in these videos.
In my opinion, mass media can possibly promote more real-life sexual violence and advocate unnecessary panic and harm to the community if they are not carful with what they show and discuss on the media. They often associate all men as being aggressive or power driven causing women to fear or despise men entirely for actions committed by the rest of their gender. Additionally, we see women being portrayed as victims or powerless individuals who don’t have the strength to make their own decision to succeed in this world. These and many other misconceptions are what gives rises to real life sexual violence and will become a hindrance for the next generation trying to make change for this unequal system. I do not believe everyone has this mentality and there are educated people with firm beliefs that allow them to see past this barrier. It is our job to educate those who are not mentally stable and not allow them to make a misjudgment or bad decisions that could ruin their lives and others and increase the presence of sexual violence in todays world.
The idea that women are naturally inferior to males and are therefore subject to being dominated is ridiculous. The actions and images portrayed by the media play a huge role in how women are viewed in todays society. Women are not some object meant to be used as entertainment for men, they are individuals who deserve the same treatment and shouldn’t be worried of their safely in todays world.