Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quit Hollering Will You

So while the objectification of the female form is hardly ever surprising at all, this post at the racalicious website conveyed in a succint manner every reason why rap videos are not offensive but destructive in informing society about ways in which Black women are viewed with respect to societal heirarchies.

While I'm all for celebrating diversity and promoting self-love through the positive presentation of stereotypically negated aspects of people's appearances across the colour spectrum, I have to admit that I have avoided rap videos for years now. For the same reasons that are stated in the above article.

It is disturbing, as an individual who considers themselves head first and body second, to have to acknowledge the fact that my body may be viewed as nothing more than a "communal" object to be publicly spoken about, groped and gazed upon. Even more disturbing is that society encourages this kind of behaviour from men as some kind of male bravado expression.

So the messages that rap videos are transmitting are harmful because they fail to portray Black women in a non-sexual light which means that as a Black women, no matter how you try to prove yourself as an intellectually-competent individual. There will always exist those latent sexual associations which hinder your capability as an intelligent individual in the eyes of those that know no better than to absorb images from rap videos without applying any sort of critical thinking.

Rap videos are essentially misogynstic. This is an aspect many scholars and academics have pointed out in their critiques. Yet as Black people we continue to support a music that rejects the idea that women of colour are in any way able to function on an intellectual level. When little boys and girls are exposed to this, what is it that they learn. That to be a man is to dominate women and utilize them as passive sexual tools, collect them in an ornamental fashion and dress them up, parade them to the public as modern-day Venus Hottentots only to exclaim "Hey, look fellas, my woman is hot!" Furthermore, that to be a woman is to tolerate this as "normal" and sexualize oneself. Dumbing herself down in the process only to be bestowed with the crown of male appreciation and have one's self-esteem boosted as a result of male applause.

As long as women remain stuck in the notion that in order to maintain self-love and that they must live up to beauty standards that society sets up for them progression will not happen. Progression toward a state of gender equality. Women are not afforded the chance to operate as individuals outside of the consideration of aesthetics. How can one spend their whole life wasting money on beauty cosmetics and hair-do's waiting for another to validate their appearance by calling it beautiful when self-acceptance of one's natural form has not taken place?

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