2. Briefly define and discuss the way the “Culture of Violence” functions to oppress and endanger women in society. Be specific in your discussion using examples of specific activities, institutions and modes of being that work together to form a “Culture of Violence.” Be specific in your discussion of the affects this “Culture” has on women and their lives. Also discuss how this functions to oppress and maintain the oppression of women. You must discuss the overall “Culture of Violence” in relation to the dominant society in relation to at least two (2) of the institutions and you must discuss this “Culture” in relation to one (1) other mode of being from below (Ex: Family & Media & Race [Black Women]). Be specific: Music Industry and Fashion Industry and Race.
The Music and Fashion industry are two of the largest industries that have the most control over our daily lives. Women constantly are looking through magazines and on television to see what their favorite artist is wearing and what their next move will be. We are bombarded by images and music to what women should look like, behave like and in general how their every minute of their everyday should be spent. The pressure to be eternally young, rich, skinny and beauty is a never endless cycle that is targeting generations from a very young age and women of minority groups trying to assimilate and imitate what these women in the media are doing. They want to fit in and be like everyone else and the pressure to do so seem to overpower the ability to be their selves and strive to achieve their goals. The goal and sole purpose of the Music and Fashion industry is quite simple; to make money any way they can, even if it means oppressing women and exploiting them. It may seem like another injustice or a fable, but it is another one of the many taboos that is kept under the rug and no one seems to want to really put it out in the open. Women of color have become one of the targets of exploitation of both the music industry and the fashion industry. It is on very rare occasions that women of color are the cover girls for a huge retail advertisement or campaign. When they are they are portrayed as being exotic and unique, but then along with the glamor the stereotypes are also embedded into these campaigns. The pressure of these women of color in these industries is extreme. They already have it bad enough having to deal with the fact that they are women, now they must live up to an unattainable standard to make up for their lack of light complexion and for their nonexistent blonde hair and blue eyes. An example of how women of color have been oppressed in order to make it big in the industries of Music and Fashion is Shakira. In her early stages of her career she was unique and her clothing was much more conservative. In order for her to be able to properly transition into American Pop Mainstream her appearance completely changed; everything from her hair to her wardrobe and most importantly her lyrics. The type of music that she was singing no longer was about lost loves or events that occurred in the daily lives of women but now was more sexual and alluding to the things that a woman can and would do in order to please a man. It was difficult enough trying to make a name for herself in such a competitive industry and to fully make it and be able to transition into a new culture being a woman, and much more difficult was the fact that she was a Latina woman. Now she has become a house hold name and an icon in both music and fashion. People look up to her not only for her wonderful music talent but also her style.
Women do not realize that society is maintaining women oppressed by keeping this constant pressure to worry about our appearance. Our society wants to say that we live in a feminist culture where our women are liberated and criticizes women of other cultures such as Muslim women. One quote...
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