Music Videos, Sexuality, and Culture - Essay Example

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As alluded to by Jhally, the typical music video features a group of scantily clad women engaging in some kind of submissive or subordinate act with one or more other males (Dreamworlds 2008). Examples include…
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Music Videos, Sexuality, and Culture
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There is very clearly a highly sexual nature to most music videos. As alluded to by Jhally, the typical music video features a group of scantily clad women engaging in some kind of submissive or subordinate act with one or more other males (Dreamworlds 2008). Examples include men opening champagne bottles on the chests of women who are apparently too happy to oblige or men touching women in a way that would otherwise be completely inappropriate but which in the video seems to be invited by the woman in question. This fantasy-like world seemingly exists in a vacuum where social and sexual roles either do not exist or are extremely altered. In them, women are portrayed as sexual objects to be exploited by skillful males and not as mothers, sisters, and daughters (that is as people). They are simply figures to be gawked at and not humans deserving both respect and dignity. In the world of music videos, men wield all the power and need not care for social or moral customs.
This hyper-sexualized reality of easy, submissive women perverts even traditional female gender roles. Women, prior to the 1960’s, often did live in submissive-like situations if they were housewives. They depended on their husbands for their livelihood. The difference is that then they were portrayed as being chaste and virtuous as well. Sex was only for after marriage. In the world of music videos, women are submissive and sexually ‘liberated,’ in that they are free to have sex outside of wedlock. But when they do, it is only to satisfy the needs of men. As such, it could be said that music videos tell the story of a juvenile, freshly pubescent male, despite the fact that they attempt to present their message as being ‘male’ in general. The consequence-free world of the music video allows men to act out their most juvenile desires: disrespecting women, sex with no real relationship, and, perhaps worst of all, the power to defile and even assault women whenever they want. The stories these videos do not tell are clearly those of women who have been the victims of violence and sexual assault or rape. These women are the victims of men living in a world which lacks morality and sexual taboos. Sadly, these men can have their desires realized by watching MTV.
Works Cited
“Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex, & Power in Music Video.” 25 February 2008. Youtube website. Accessed 9 December 2011 Read More
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