What is Oppression?

Oppression is a cycle between the oppressors and the oppressed. Specifically, I am referring to the oppression of women in the music video culture, as discussed in Dreamworlds III. The cycle begins in the fantasy world where men are the sexual superiors and thus the controllers of women, their sexual desires, and their bodies.

In today’s society, music videos have constructed a new sense of femininity, where to be a woman means to be sexually desirable and submissive to a man. When femininity is defined by men and in terms of men, then women are once again under the control of men. The music video culture has also actively reduced women down to their sexuality. Women are seen as men-hungry nymphomaniacs who have no purpose if not referenced to a man. As long as the fantasy world of the music video culture reinforces this idea, the cycle of oppression remains.

This oppression may seem imaginary, but this fantasy world serves as a reference for real life. In this specific cycle of oppression, men draft the idea of “woman” in the fantasy world, the women who are a part of this fantasy world (video vixens) accept the oppression by participating in the depiction, everyday men interpret this dream world as reality, men attempt to act out this fantasy in the real world, and everyday women are at the end of the cycle either fighting the oppression or welcoming it, continuing the cycle. Whether or not this oppression will end is unclear, but the important fact is that when it comes to the video music culture, the blame is not solely placed on the oppressors, but also the willingness of the oppressed to remain oppressed because the oppressors deem it favorable to be so.

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