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Excerpt from Research Newspaper:
Sexual Objectification of Women in Music
When compared to the female singers from the early 20th century, the women in music today showed a much more blatant example of sex objectification. This is simply not to suggest that three-quarters of any century in the past women weren’t also objectified; it is in order to acknowledge the fact that objectification has become amplified so much that women in music happen to be eroticized in their music videos (in virtually all cultures, East and West, since the music movies in K-Pop, J-Pop and Western Take all indicate) and in their particular performances on stage. Women artists from CL to Miley Cyrus to Beyonce almost all contribute to this sexual objectification by essentially flaunting their particular sexuality and utilizing it within a post-feminist manner of being the sexual aggressor rather than the sexually passive device of the “male gaze, inches as Mulvey called that in her deconstruction from the sexual objectification of women in cinema. However , as different researchers possess noted, in adopting a post-feminist method of sexual enthusiasm and assertiveness, women singers have not escaped the lovemaking objectification restrictions of the previous and the two reinforce that objectification even as they attempt to redefine their particular sexuality by using a more aggressive, flaunting design of female sexuality. This paper will treat the issue of the sexual objectification of women in music simply by describing how this phenomenon is exhibited in the modern music industry today.
Award-winning reporter Ginny Dougary has left a comment on this incredibly specific theme in her op-ed piece for the London Instances from 3 years ago: she mentioned the actual issue is the “pornogrification of mainstream culture” which is maintained the fact that “serious” girls, such as Nicole Kidman or perhaps Maggie Gyllenhaal, who have display screen presence frequently denude themselves for their jobs – a great act which in turn supports the concept women happen to be mere things, according to Dougary. The popularity of girl music videos on streaming sites like Vimeo certainly reinforces the notion that ladies in music are utilizing their very own sex symbol status and power to build blockbuster-like followings on social media that translates into sources of income for the corporations that sign the ladies to extensive contracts. That they promote their tours plus the women arrive onto the stage in little more than bathing suits, some flaunting their particular bodies in all manner of sexually-explicit representations that audiences are sometimes astonished with the level of vulgarity to which these kinds of female artists degrade themselves (the performance of Miley Cyrus together with the male performer of “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke at the MTV Online video Music Accolades in 2013 was excellent example of the female singer’s dual-role as sex aggressor and sexual object: Thicke was dressed in tuxedo, while Cyrus came out in nude under garments and tennis shoes and “twerked” on Thicke as he gratuitously ogled her body).
Incongruously, what happened after the Thicke/Cyrus performance only offered to complicate the issue: Cyrus was acclaimed for her depiction of rebellion – the idea that “sexual liberation” can make one great (Jones 2). Thicke alternatively saw his marriage to Paula Patton fall apart and he was viewed scornfully like a “womanizer” (Holson). The irony is the fact without Thicke on stage, getting involved in his “womanizing” with Cyrus at the MTV VMA, there would have been no “male gaze” below which Cyrus could showcase her body system. The women performers in music today are thus situated in a bind: they want to escape from the idea that they are only sex emblems – yet at the same time they wish to capitalize for the sexual electricity they maintain over the men gaze and reverse their role in that task from getting objects to being the objectifiers. The problem, as Eileen Unger points out, is that it does not work.
In respect to Judith Bulter, such representations as that of Cyrus or any of some other popular (and sexy) girl singers today perpetuate the depiction of women from a “phallic-centric” point-of-view (Butler 30). And even if they happen to be more sexualy assertive depictions (such since CL’s overall performance in her music video “Hello Bitches”) that you can put women’s aspire to dominate at the front and middle of the lusty message the truth remains that the male-gaze is still the ultimate arbiter. Thus, Rosalind Gill maintains that what defines the post-feminist style is the switch from objectification to subjectification (i. e., the woman is no longer the object in the male gaze, rather you is the subject of the woman’s desire to control sexually) (Gill 147) – yet the depiction of desire that women in music today offer to their audience is usually one that overtly and explicitly reconfirms all of them as items of the male-gaze even as the women display a dominant sculpt of sexuality. As Jordan Unger as an example notes, “the K-pop woman group music video can be described as paradox of (re)presentation” – the artists are celebrated and energized, as Unger states, but at the same time they may be “objectified and reduced to a commodity of idealized beauty” (Unger 25).
The problem with this is that this presents a source of discord for how women discover themselves. Classic feminists like Dougary want to think of ladies as some thing more than a love-making object: the view outside the window the whole point of feminism as a mode for escaping that typology. But, today, they will observe that the young are usually more and more fascinated and emboldened by the explicitly sexual and eroticized girls in music (whether these are the Pussycat Plaything or alone artists just like Rihanna, Britney or Miley). These same young view as being a sex target or sexual symbol as a way of getting power and authority. It is a much more sensuous basis pertaining to power than the early feminists ever imagined. Their particular basis pertaining to power and authority was intellectual, based upon rights as well as the ability to do jobs as well as males could. Today’s young era persists with a post-feminist strategy that exults their libido even as this reduces them to mere objects, just like during the past.
One could argue that women just do not know what exactly they want in this age of digitization, photo-shopping, hyper-sexuality, and gratuity. They want to imitate the smutty behavior of girls in music but they also want to assert their particular dignity while women. It is as though terms like smutty have no meaning, or are dismissed as relics of an outdated world, patriarchal terminology. Males may be viewed as smutty, as the falling legend of Robin the boy wonder Thicke shows – nevertheless for women, raunchiness equates to autonomy, strength and assertiveness. CRAIGSLIST in her “Hello Bitches” video can be surrounded by a posse of scantily-clad girl back-up singers, who look like a dominatrix-style of beauty. They chuckle and snarl at the camera as they party and show away their systems, suggesting that they want to be looked at by men and objectified by simply them – but they are likewise not going to deal with any of the requirements of guys.
It is a problematic discourse for some – but it may also symbolize a rebalancing of the electrical power dichotomy – a change from patriarchal sexuality to matriarchal libido; the woman, not really caring whether she is objectified or not (in simple fact, she sees her objectification as a means of ensnaring the man through his male gaze), turns the tables around the viewer and asserts that she is in control. Thus, libido becomes a way of control to get the post-feminist. It is an action of prominence on the part of the woman in music. By adopting a soul of objectification, she includes a lasso around the hearts and minds of men. Indeed, this kind of idea was explored by German filmmaker Fritz Lang in the 1920s during Berlin’s race toward decadence within the Weimer Republic. Lang’s film Metropolis portrayed a world eliminated mad with desire. A false Maria resembled the poster girl of burlesque at the moment (Anita Berber) by grooving lasciviously on stage for the all-male target audience. In the film, the men right away lose their minds and become captive by the false Maria: your woman uses these to do her bidding and they, thus lured, set about destroying the city in which they live. Lang portrayed the phony Maria being a femme-fatale, whose unification of sex, music and party was enough to bring about a downfall in social relationships. But Lang also viewed the true Maria, the girl of humility, hope and constancy, as the ideal female (a vision plainly modeled around the Madonna, Mom of God). Lang’s film ultimately showed a culture-clash in Weimar Germany – a clash between the lifestyle of the “new Frau” (new woman) plus the culture of the old world. That same clash is apparent in today’s global rendering of women in music, since the old time pioneers of feminism find it difficult to make sense of the new generation’s adoption from the burlesque methods of the “new Frau” – there is the sense that this is going to all end badly.
To summarize, the objectification of women continues in music today (in both shows on stage and in music