Music Videos Degrade Women?

  1. http://www.redding.com/news/national...24nat026.shtml

    Students say nasty music videos degrade women

    Protestors at black women's college target rapper Nelly




    Kristen Wyatt
    Associated Press



    April 24, 2004-2:07 a.m.
    ATLANTA-Maybe it was the credit card that rap superstar Nelly swiped through a woman's backside in a recent video.

    Here at Spelman, the most famous black women's college in the country, a feud has erupted over images of women in rap videos, sparking a petition drive and phone campaigns.

    Nelly planned to visit Spelman earlier this month for a charity event enlisting students for a bone marrow registry. But the rapper canceled the appearance after hearing that a protest was in the works because of his videos-especially "Tip Drill," the one with the credit card, which also shows men throwing money between women's legs and women simulating sex acts with each other.

    Misogyny in pop music, especially hip-hop, has been around for years. What's new, students say, is an explosion of almost-X-rated videos passed around on the Internet or shown late at night on cable channels like Black Entertainment Television, also known as BET.

    Never before, students say, have the portrayals of black women been so hypersexual and explicit.

    "It's very harsh. This is something we have to see and listen to on a daily basis," said senior Shanequa Yates. "Nelly just didn't want to come here and face the criticism for the choices he's made."

    Not all students agreed that rappers are to blame, or that the images were harmful to society. At a recent meeting at Spelman to decide what should be done to protest rap music, some pointed out that women in the videos know what they're doing and are paid to do it.

    The issue especially incensed some men studying at Morehouse, a black men's college closely affiliated with Spelman. "These are grown women. I'm putting the blame on the women," said Kenneth Lavergne, a senior who was loudly booed by the 300 or so women at the meeting.

    Another student, Bradley Walker from Clark Atlanta University, talked about the credit card swiping. "Bottom line, a woman let him do that," he said. "I do think sometimes the total blame is put on artists themselves."

    Nelly's record label agrees. A spokeswoman for Universal Records, Wendy Washington, complained that the charity event fell apart just because women at Spelman were looking for a scapegoat. She said the feud unfairly made Nelly an example to fire up urban radio stations and music writers across the country.

    "He did not think it was appropriate at all for students to use that as a forum," Washington said. "I think he was profoundly frustrated. He was not the first, certainly, to do a video like that."

    Spelman women have low hopes of getting a change from BET, which shows bawdy videos with genitals and breasts fuzzed out on "BET Uncut" at 3 a.m.

    The network has no plans to stop running it. " 'Uncut' has developed an almost cultlike following because of the freedom of artists to express themselves," said network spokesman Michael Lewellen. "It is specifically for adults. These are music videos whose content is too strong for our day points. We exercise more scrutiny than is required."

    That sums up the basic message Spelman women have gotten from rappers and TV executives-if you don't like it, don't watch the videos or listen to the music. But the student activists insist the stereotypes in rap music hurt black people even if they don't listen.

    "Black entertainers have become the new myth makers, showing gangsters and bikini-clad women with hyperactive libidos," said Zenobia Hikes, vice president for student affairs. "For nonblack children it creates a gross misrepresentation of the black experience."

    The next move is a petition drive, and a campaign to phone complaints to TV networks and radio stations that run offensive material. If Janet Jackson's breast sparked such a crackdown on indecency in the media, the students say, surely a woman shaking so violently her bikini bottom pops off should anger people, too.

    "We need to organize and say no to this stuff, this nasty, disgusting stuff," said Beverly Guy-Sheftall, director of the school's Women's Research and Resource Center.

    It won't be easy.

    "I don't see a solution as long as you have people willing to do it," said senior Nikole Howard. "You have to demand respect, but I doubt these women even thought they were being disrespected. It makes me sad, makes me realize how much work we have to do to educate women."





    Saturday, April 24, 2004
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  2. 96 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm glad I'm not the only one disgusted with this sort of thing. I've tried watching some of these videos on BET so I can know what my sons are seeing and hearing, and I'm just appalled at the utter crap they show......some of it even worse than MTV.

    Now, I'll be the first to admit I LOATHE most rap 'music' (if it can be called that), but the lyrics are one thing; the visuals are the worst! While I can certainly say I've never had the experience of being a black woman, I can't possibly imagine allowing myself to be exploited in such a way that I'd let somebody run a credit card through my buttcrack on camera!! What are these people THINKING?!
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I blame the women (in the video) themselves for doing this sort of thing. If you're going to ALLOW yourself to be degraded, they yeah someone's going to make a buck off of it.

    And i cannot help but feel, it's crap like that on why a lot of women aren't taken seriously.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Credit card through a buttcrack, well i hope that plastic didn't have a sharp edge on it. OW!
  6. by   jnette
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    I blame the women (in the video) themselves for doing this sort of thing. If you're going to ALLOW yourself to be degraded, they yeah someone's going to make a buck off of it.

    And i cannot help but feel, it's crap like that on why a lot of women aren't taken seriously.

    Agree. And too many men like to keep it that way.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    And they're targeting Nelly??? Anyone remember 2 Live Crew??? Nelly's videos look like a G rated movie, compared to those.
  8. by   nekhismom
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    And they're targeting Nelly??? Anyone remember 2 Live Crew??? Nelly's videos look like a G rated movie, compared to those.

    Exactly!!! What about Too Short??? OMG, I LIKE rap music, and his song "shake that monkey" totally offends me. YUCK.

    One thing I would like to know is this: why is it that the vast majority of hip hop on the radio talks about nothing but butts nowdays??? When did this happen???/
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Did a google search and found an interesting article.

    http://www.uga.edu/~womanist/rhym2.1.htm

    I think from what I read recently about BET's late night videos is that they are basically porn. Way worse than 2LiveCrew.

    steph
  10. by   nurseunderwater
    Originally Posted by LPN2Be2004
    I blame the women (in the video) themselves for doing this sort of thing. If you're going to ALLOW yourself to be degraded, they yeah someone's going to make a buck off of it.

    And i cannot help but feel, it's crap like that on why a lot of women aren't taken seriously.




    Quote from jnette
    Agree. And too many men like to keep it that way.

    WOO HOO Jnette!
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from nekhismom
    Exactly!!! What about Too Short??? OMG, I LIKE rap music, and his song "shake that monkey" totally offends me. YUCK.

    One thing I would like to know is this: why is it that the vast majority of hip hop on the radio talks about nothing but butts nowdays??? When did this happen???/
    I think it all started with Sir-Mix-A-Lot. :chuckle

    As tacky as that song it, i laugh everytime i hear it. Cheese City. Unfortunately i know all the lyrics.


    ("I like big butts and i cannot LIE, you other brothers can't DENY...")
  12. by   scrubs70
    Unfortunately, we still live in a Male-dominated society, especially when it comes to big business. And, lets face it, like it or not, SEX SELLS. Whether it be rap music, alcohol or cigarette advertising etc.
    Personally I think it is disgraceful and demeaning but as long as there are women willing, and men to exploit it, it will continue.
  13. by   VivaLasViejas
    How very true. Sad, but true.
  14. by   fergus51
    I find it tasteless. Whether or not these women allow themselves to be treated like that or not, it doesn't change the fact that this male rapper chose to treat them that way. I don't feel a lot of sympathy for Nelly. Disrespecting a woman is at least as bad as allowing yourself to be disrespected. I don't consider myself a prude by any means, but some of these videos are really disgusting.

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