Global Music Videos as an Artifact on Gender Inequality

Global Music Videos as an Artifact on Gender Inequality


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The power of music is currently undeniable, particularly as a social change platform. While the great technological and structural changes in our society are reshaping livelihood, music is the main soundtrack for many visible changes. For instance, the united states adult musical showed the country’s rapid change in the 1970s. Mostly contradictory attitudes that concern sexuality and genderin the same period when the sexual revolution seemed to give way to women liberation movements and gay.Thus, music can act as a medium by which gender relations are (re)expressed and negotiated. Though, if the gender and music relationship has been recently documented, it has happened as many times with no appropriate contextualization in globalization. This is to say, (Lemos 2011) did point out that there exists no debate concerning the relationship between gender, globalization and music. The concentration is currently majorly on music and gender, music and globalization, and gender and globalization separately. Thus, it is important to find how music and gender relate not only within a society but globally since “music […] functions as a vehicle for mediating ideas and experiences about modernity and its crisis.”It is significant to know how globalization is allowing or disallowing music articulation or articulation of gender relationships. The paper aims to solve the relation between gender and music at a global level. The role of such relations to different actors involved will also be understood in the process. The paper also sets an annotated bibliography section that analyzes the various sources and how they helped in the work.

Global music videos as an artifact on gender inequality

Music has currently transformed into a global localism, which has hugely caused consequences on gender relations. According to (Lemos 2011), music globalization has currentlymaintained gendered hierarchies and hegemonic racial. There exist numerous reasons for this. First, the unbalanced market forces are present. Western music is highly penetrating in developing countries, while the opposite is near to impossible. The huge number of musicians performing are particularly men. The genres that were originally performed only by women are also starting to be dominated by men. Musical cultures are also compared to each other andranked as per their origin. Hence, Western music is considered way more important by various audiences and is by far global music. As an effect, some cross-cultural styles are highly favored and commodified. Some are marginalized and have unequal distribution. However, some music globalization has exacerbated various stereotypes as well (Gondola, 1997). For instance, Latin female singers, more so in its visual kind, portray Latin women’s sexualization. In Denmark, the explosion of Latin music videos from musicians like Beyonce, Shakira or Jenifer Lopez has extensively sexualized Latin women’s bodies. The videos’ images seem to be more relevant than the song’s content compared to other promotional devices (Skolnik, 2018)upon watching several times.The Latin female overseas is thus stereotyped to be exotic and hot from the music videos. In a way, this has changed how Latin females in the diaspora are viewed positively.

Hip-hop is the other globalized localism that hasan effect on gender. Hip-hop started as a pacifist song and musical atmosphere, which has no racism in the United States. It borrows more from othermusic styles like punk, detachment, and, to some extent, opposing mainstream, designated, polite society (Lemos, 2011). Hip-hop has gradually transformedfrom the influence of the market and is currently a distinct way of expression. Today, it is particularly associated with violent and misogynistic values that are highly consumed by audiences worldwide. Like many products from America, hip hop became part of our day to day lives. Even though it still contains a few original information of race, class and gender scuffle, (Wang 2019) affirms that “the globalization of struggles has often rendered the specifics of race, gender and class struggles in the South silent.” Notably, the gender struggle in the South differs from that in the North. For instance, hip-hop dominance has diluted the original local message in South Africa and devalued the native form of struggle. This is not only applicable to South Africans by many people in various parts of the world. The people are consuming assimilating cultural values, which rests on the misogynistic division of gender (Edvenson, 2017). The images displayed y hip-hop male artists portray females as sexual objects to men with most of the time referred to as “whore” or “bitches”. It seems that hip hop male artists add to the real societal problems’ women have hard from the early days of gender inequality.

In the same hip-hop industry, women have emerged tougher than men portray them. Musicians like Rihanna, Beyoncé and the like are taking music videos on another level, which is also already very popular as an artifact of global culture. Most of the music videos by female artists are focusing on feminist issues and girl power. Extensively, they are directly addressing the available gender inequality. Issues of stereotyping women as the lesser sex, sex objects (as portrayed in male hip-hop), and not capable of achieving what men can, is also addressed in countless music videos. Pop culture is at the top of ensuring social change that will shift the beliefs that women and inferior creatures compared to men. Rihanna, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and many female artists continue to captivate their audiences’ attention with their attitude on feminism via their music videos and songs. Such girl-power themes and anthems are starting to change people’s views towards feminism globally, particularly in America. Their songs seem to be permanent cultural artifacts that are particularly created from popular culture and are impacting female gender inequality. This problem has been in our society since the beginning of times (Streader, 2020). “Take a Bow” by Rihanna is among the popular girl power anthem released in 2007. The artists gained popularity through this song, and since then, she has continually built on it. A summary of the song is Rihanna declaring her power over her ex-boyfriend, who she has discovered unfaithful. She kicks him out of the house even though he asks for forgiveness. The whole scene shows how a damaged relationship cannot be repaired, and most certainly not by the words “Girl, I love you. You’re the one,”the boy tells Rihanna. She is portraying that girls can control their emotions too and can be independent. In the video scene, Rihanna is driving with confidence does not give into the ‘fake’ apologies of the guy. She is opposing the norm that girls need guys to be happy.

Music is one way that has proved possible to re-enact social construction concerning gender roles and behavior, while it also maintains traditions. And while music is used to promote various values regarding gender, various people choose these values differently.  An example is The 12 Girls Band from China. This group faces critics of their musical and marketing proficiency, with most claiming that it is solely based on the sexuality of their body. The main reason is that most fans worldwide are majorly impressed by the girls and not the music played/content of the music. Therefore, they are said to depend on their attractiveness through which they reap monetary profits.Concerning gender, it is said that body sexualization is the way through which they show submission to male-controlled authority. The same music band is portrayed to promote feminism by a different audience (Battige, 2014). Though, the argument is that some of the global music in the market have feminized the sexual performance to the extent that its aesthetic has become more important than the music.Thus, female pop artists in countries like Japan prefer to perform and act in a different way of feminine cuteness. The music is celebrating the innocence, pure, genuine, adorable traits of women, and thus, most women idealize cutely and by far want to be cute. However, these songs are not empowering women in the intellectual sector but rather continue to portray they adore their looks and are still weak creatures. The main reason why American pop is still going popular than other songs. The strong intellectual ‘Beyoncé’ is reflected in their songs that disregard the inferiority associated withwomen.

“Behind every strong man, there is an even stronger Beyoncé” is an interesting article by feminist Samhita. This author persuades the readers that the song by Beyonce “Run the World (Girls)” is supposed to empower women. She affirms that girl power is always a pop culture tool used to inspire women to buy into normal products. Hearing encouraging words from women adored like Rihanna and Beyonce makes the audience feel empowered, particularly girls, and have the power within themselves. While those who argue that these musicians’ music videos cause people to re-think their purpose, these pieces of songs have methodical recipes, with every song having its main intent to empower women. For instance, Rihanna showed girls that they have power and do not need to include fights to solve situations. She controls the situation she is placed in with intelligence showing her power. She is not any remorseful while the guy begs for forgiveness, which is not common in pop culture. Music videos enhance girl power and help girls feel better about themselves, whether through love or self-empowerment. Hence, music videos, particularly by such powerful female artists, are a significant part of pop culture as they make girls feel more powerful and less inferior. Unlike the male hip-hop videos where women are sexualized either through dances, costumes as the boys become followers in the background. This is also the main reason why music video is becoming an artifact of culture in society. It is addressing the problems in society that have existed and are still unsolved.

Nevertheless, there exists females and males who are feminists and those who are against it too. By extension, there exist those who are both. While some men and women have taken the girl power songs as a culture to bridge the existing inequality among men and women, some see them as lies and false hopes that cannot happen in a real sense. For instance, Rihanna’s song “Take a Bow” that have been used in the paper as an example, is viewed to show that girls can also be strong and control their emotion, be independent and not depend on men for happiness. Though, it is, so all audience listening to this song has the same view. 19percent, a vlogger is one of them. They stress that the man-controlled society still exists in many aspects,so there is nothing different. While Rihanna, Beyonce and other similar musicians contributing to the change of the patriarchal society through pop culture, many obstacles are also available trying to make people think otherwise. This is, however, different from country to the other. In countries like America, people are becoming more informed about the common pop culture than the laws of the country. Thus, celebrities are impacting society in the feminism sector compared to the full-time working feminists.

Regardless, music can act as a tool to either threaten or challenge the construction based on gender and even change it. In this category, the music contains open messages from feminism, girl power, critics in society. As it is visible even in the music industry, the music video impacts many pops start female artists emerging every time. This is different from the early days when men solely dominated such industries. Even with the many critics, people are gradually changing their views on women (Tulalian, 2019). Many societies are reporting women education increasing as well as taking men’s job positions. Music is playing a huge part in such social change. Even with the different viewpoints, as presented in the paper, feminism will soon become more prominent. The cultural artifacts of the 21st century are evolving with us as a society. Pop culture is enabling girl power anthem to spread in every corner of the world, and soon, feminist ideas will reach everyone. Even those with a varied viewpoint may decide to change positions. It is a matter of time, and with the aid of pop culture, the possibility of creating a cultural artifact and growing feminism is not any far.

Annotated bibliography

Lemos, L. (2011). Crossing Borders,(Re) Shaping Gender. Music and Gender in a Globalised World. e-cadernos CES, (14).

This an article by Luis Lemos that has helped to unpack much information about how globalized music is reshaping gender. In this article, the author talks about how various nations have used music to sexualize the female gender with various song genres like hip hop portraying women as sexual objects. The author says that while many international music and musicians hold to and portray feminism in their songs to change gender inequality in our societies, various audiences are perceiving it differently. Pointing to theperformers’ dances, the author says that females are only sexualized from their attractiveness rather than the information they tend to pass. However, there exists a noticeable change that has come with such feminists in particular artists. This paper has helped me understand how music impacts gender inequality in America and its environments but globally. It turns out that gender inequality is a shared societal problem that such music is aiding in reshaping. I have used the source in my work to show how female artists have raised from being the inferior being portrayed in the parts of the article to what it seems today, and women are also getting equality gradually.

Wang, J. (2019). Popular Music and Gender Equity: Integrating Popular Music into Gender Studies in Grade 9-12.

This article by Wang explores pop music and how it has resulted in popping culture. It integrates popular music to how it influences young people and its essence in gender equity. The article further explores the many gender equity available in our society and the many challenges that make it difficult to teaching gender equity. Wang explores how popular music displays gender and the various influences they impact onyoung children and adolescents. The importance of introducing gender equity education in schools, particularly K-12, is also the major topic of discussion in this article.

Further, the author analyzes how popular music can be integrated into introducing gender equity. The paper touches on the major sectors of gender equity and focuses on the influence it has on adolescents through popular music videos.The paper explores gender equity. It was useful for my writing in understanding the various effects of pop music videos and if they are an appropriate way of solving the gender equality issues in our society. The article made me do extensive writing on the importance of gender equity and how popular music, particularly music videos, is displaying gender.

Edvenson, A. (2017). Gender and music: can we hear a difference between female and male composers and performers?

Edvenson’s article particularly explores how women have come along way in the music industry. This is done b examining various composers and performers and the reasons behind it. In the survey, the author concludes that women are equally getting similar education in the music industry as men. Women are also starting to star gradually in music with various gendered characteristics that have been created over time. Feminism is also a concept that the author acknowledges taking force in women’s music. The author supports women’smusic characteristics to be relevant to those in our society, helping solve inequality issues.However, the author argues that the feminism path will not aid in solving gender problems as perceived, and so, women need to re-think their gendered characteristics or else they will seem obsolete quickly. This article has helped me learn how women have started to be identified in the music industry, which has been pointed out in several pieces of research to be male-dominated. They are also said to have relevant characteristics to society, thus causing massive impact through their performance and composition. The article has also been used in my paper to show how female musicians’ feminism has impacted gender inequality.

Skolnik, J. (2018). Beyond Representation: In Music And Media, Gender Equality Will Take A Revolution.

Skolnik explores how music and media are escalating gender equality practices. The author cites most women’s movements and the various forces they get through music, social media and other mainstreams. According to her, gender equality is soon to take a revolt since many feminists are stopping any soon. She is also concerned about how such a revolution is to take place, stating that there is a need to know who influences sources, nature, and even their intent. This article is in support of my view that gender equality will someday change, and while that change may take some time, it has gradually started to evolve. I used this source in my paper as well since it is very important, as per my view. It is supporting the new culture that is quickly enabled through pop culture through female artists.It has also added to my knowledge that media is also helping revolutionize gender equality in various ways.It is also significant to know what content promotes gender equality in a better way that will best help impact the culture in our society while solving the existing problem.

Tulalian, I. (2019). Gender Inequality in the Music Industry. Backstage Pass, 2(1), 14.

Tulalian acknowledges the improvements that have been there, particularly in the music industry. The industry that has always been dominated by men is getting a good number of female artists nearly every day. The author explains that massive moves have only been seen through the 2000s. And while it has the potential to continue, the societal influence of men dominating the field while women stay at home is dragging the female artists behind. Most of them are not recognizable, and their efforts in composing songs go in vain without recognition with all credits given to their male counterparts.Tulalian points out that inequality is shifting at a slow pace, but it is worth it. Women are not giving up either, and the next generation needs to keep pace if the gender issue were to be fully addressed. This paper has helped understand that there exists both males and females who are against feminism and those who are in support. Though regardless of the existing opinions or influences that impact this shift, the change is there, though slow but visible.This article has also contributed to writing my essay from the facts and insights that it holds. The female artists also seem to be more influential, though outnumbered by male artists, particularly in popular music.

Streader, K. (2020, March 6). Gender equality in the music industry: where do we stand and what needs to change? Beat Magazine.

Streaderanalyzes gender inequality in the music industry through compensation, music recognition and the female students opting to study music. In the analysis, the results seem to be competitive, particularly from 2016. This is more proof that women are rising up the ladder of inequality in the music industry and other sectors. Together with the women international day, women have often had a time of the year to evaluate themselves and continue to work against the existing inequality that males are the dominant creatures. This work proves that, indeed, women have changed the traditional culture of women being weak and can only fit in certain fields. The article helped capture the real analysis of how female artists are performing in the industry. It has also been supported by stand-in the paper that while inequality still exists, it is gradually changing, and women are proving not to be weak as men portray them to be. Even though the survey still shows slight domination and favor for the male artists, particularly on the compensation, some moves are noticeable, and soon things will change or be equal.







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