MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Bronwyn M Douman
Comments: 20
Article views: 26677
Latest Badges:

View all Bronwyn M Douman's badges.

Women objectified in music videos

04 August 2013, 19:25

Women are objectified in music videos, especially in hip hop and rap; from sexy dressing, speaking in seductive tones to acting and dancing in a sexual manner. The perfect portrayal of women as sex objects.

Why women constantly need to be exposed or half-naked is beyond me. Is it to sell records, or to further impose the idea of a woman as being the object of a male’s pleasure?

Sometimes in music videos, the woman’s face is not shown. Instead, her body becomes a showpiece and is put on display. It depicts her as not having an identity or a sense of individualism thus, reinforcing her role as a sex symbol. 

 “Women’s bodies are often dismembered and treated as separate parts, perpetuating the concept that a woman’s body is not connected to her mind and emotions,” states the sociologist, Erving Goffman in his book, Gender Advertisements. For example, certain body parts like the woman’s breast, her buttocks or her legs would be emphasised. This relates to the notion of sexism with reference to canting (to lean to one side, slant) which conveys submissiveness. According to where the woman is placed, it may also convey male superiority.

Take the canting for example, a woman has to bend over to “show her ass” and in the words of rapper Lil Jon, “stop and wiggle with it”. I’ve seen Lil Jon’s “Get Low” music video. Disgusting.

I will be the first one to admit (with great shame) that when that song was first released to the public, I was captivated by it. But I was a teenager and didn’t think or care about the content of the music video. I was more interested in the beat and the catchy tune of the lyrics “to the window, to the wall!”

Watching the music video now, all I see is how men and women are portrayed as sex-starved maniacs. The shots that appear as flashes try to distract the viewer from the pornography-like images on the screen, blurring out the most visible body parts, when in fact, this concept for the music video in question, is feeding into the idea of raunchiness and clearly showing the ‘sex sells’ attitude of the media and advertisers.

But to be fair, Lil Jon is not an isolated case, there are many examples in the music industry that fit this profile. The women in these music videos are portrayed as females who would ‘bend over backwards’ literally and figuratively for their man, and also the bending of body parts conveys submissiveness and appeasement (to give the man what he wants). This links up to my earlier mention of superiority. “Three common tactics used to establish superiority is size, attention and positioning,” says Goffman. Indeed. 

So in these hip hop and rap music videos, women are always seen in supporting roles beside, behind and below male counterparts. This is done in a subtle way of course, but with close scrutiny you see how these women are never portrayed as strong, independent, and career-driven instead, their focus is completely on the man – on getting his attention and keeping it - by all means necessary.

The presentation of the message has to change. Negative messages should be reinforced with positive ones. As it stands now, the portrayal of women in music videos is degrading.  The perception created is that women have little integrity, low self-image, her body nothing but an object. The music video as a creative platform is abused to sexualise and objectify women.

This needs to change. It’s as simple as that.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Gerhard Combrink
SAICA: In the public interest

Failure by SAICA's leadership to get their house in order will result in the resignation of each and every Chartered Accountant from SAICA as mandated by the Code of Professional Conduct. Read more...

0 comments 3914 views
Submitted by
Phillemon Mahlape
VBS saga shows corrupt politician...

The politicians will never be accountable as long as government officials continue to engage in things which are generally wrong. Maybe we should ask officials this question: is the smile of politicians better than your service? Read more...

0 comments 1463 views
Submitted by
Tatiana Peo Smalberger
Runners' club doing its part for ...

We as an Athletics Club engaged in a charity drive. After a lot of deliberation we decided on Bet Sheekoom women's shelter for women in crisis. Read more...

0 comments 618 views
Submitted by
Philip Maytham
Some Brazil in South Africa

It would seem that there is only one party in South Africa capable of leading us out of the proverbial Amazon Rain Forest with its various indigenous tribes and natural pitfalls which in our context are self-interest, lack of inter-cultural respect, greed and then similarly to Brazil, crime and corruption. Read more...

0 comments 1270 views
Submitted by
Ryan Smith238
Crying wolf with the race card on...

In the recent fallout between Patricia De Lille and the City of Cape Town, De Lille’s supporters were quick to flash the race card and preach racial martyrdom as a convenient scapegoat for more serious allegations. Read more...

0 comments 3216 views
Submitted by
Apathetic firearm organisations

That firearm organisations sit idly by saying not one word of objection to ANC intentions of removing citizens firearms is unbelievable but their actions show they have no intention of any action at all. Read more...

0 comments 1271 views


Press Code We subscribe to the Press Code.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

Terms and Conditions Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2018 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.