What is Discrimination? Dreamworlds 3

The film shown in class, Dreamworlds 3, examines the narratives told about contemporary music videos pertaining to sex, gender, and sexuality. The film encourages viewers to consider how these narratives shape individual and cultural attitudes about what it means to be a man or a woman.  After viewing this film, it became clear to me that music videos discriminate against women and women of color.

This film made me fully aware of how this industry sells the sexuality of women simply to fulfill their capitalistic need to make a profit. Music videos depict women as sexual aggressors who fail to thrive without male sexual attention. Multiple women are often shown fighting for the attention of a single man, illustrating the heterosexual male fantasy. The depiction that women’s mental stability depends only on the fulfillment of their sexual desires is a discrimination against them. The fact that women have thoughts, feelings, intelligence, and intellect is completely disregarded.

Specifically, black women in rap, hip hop, and pop music videos are depicted as submissive sexual beings who are treated with disrespect and contempt. Black women, even more so than white women, are reduced to their sexualized body parts. As depicted in the video “Tip Drill,” Nelly swipes a credit card through a woman’s backside, implying that she is submitting to sex not because she desires to, but because she seeks payment. These videos repeatedly depict men and women in this way, showing the men disdainfully throwing money at black women’s bodies, treating them like prostitutes. Music videos are discriminating against black women by depicting them as individuals who perform sexual favors for payment. This implies that black women have fewer opportunities than white women, and that their only opportunity to be considered successful is to act this way.

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One Response to What is Discrimination? Dreamworlds 3

  1. chelseawilli says:

    It should also be noted that lesbian activities are highly featured in music videos, but gay men remain completely invisible. This provides a source of the cultural stories of masculinity and femininity. These music videos are created by and for the satisfaction of the heterosexual male gaze and the heterosexual male pornographic imagination. Because of this, it can be argued that music videos are discriminating against non-heterosexual men by depicting only male-female and female-female relationships as acceptable or normal relationships (Anything depicted in the media is generally understood as an expectation of how we could and should behave). It can even be thought that these music videos discriminate against anyone who is not a heterosexual male with these pornographic desires, because the depictions in these music videos place individuals in false categories pertaining to sexuality, gender, and race without their consent. For example, not all black men are violent sexual aggressors who take advantage of a submissive woman in order to express their dominance, and not all black men are heterosexual. There are many arguments to be made here, but discrimination is happening in so many ways in contemporary music videos and in the media, and these discriminations affect our individual and cultural understanding of gender, sexuality, and race.

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