Mini Research & Discussion Paper 10 – March 22:
The three songs I chose to study were Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up, Kayne West – Gold Digger, and Beyoncé - Video Phone. All three were quite misogynistic in nature, and all of the videos were similar in their depiction of gender roles, masculinity, and femininity. That is, with the exception of Video Phone by Beyoncé; her video had a slightly different portrayal of femininity. In the Prodigy song, the only lyrics in the entire song are as follows: “Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up.” The music video depicted a man having a night out on the town. He got drunk and high and proceeded to fondle to abuse women. Women were mostly semi or completely nude, while all the men were fully clothed. He slept with a woman toward the end of the video and the closing seen was her exiting his apartment. In this video women were purely sexual objects; reinforced by the lyrics and cinematography. The Kanye West video was only different in its approach. The lyrics implied that women are only out for men’s money. They suggest that women will use you for your money and leave when it’s gone. The men in this video are clean cut and wearing nice clothes; they are hegemonic males. The woman in the video are all scantily clad in revealing poses; the submissive females. The lyrics along with the video suggest that men should be wary of women and only view them as sexual objects. Beyoncé’s video also suggests that women are sexual objects. In the video Beyoncé is scantily clad and dancing extremely suggestively. She has men around her watching “filming” her. There is a sense of empowerment however, albeit misguided. She is reinforcing the female gender roles by objectifying herself. The lyrics tell men to video her in compromising positions. They also affirm the man’s role as initiator of the relationship; specially by telling them she will put her number in their phone, implying they need to call her. I think that all three of...
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