I remember my first boyfriend, Gary. I was 12 and he was going to be mine forever. I would go home and write my name over and over with his last name, draw a house with a white picket fence with 2 children (boy and girl - of course) playing on the swings and I was busy in the kitchen cooking. What is so wrong with this picture? I was swept up by media's portrayal of how women should dress, how they should act, and that the man was in charge of the house, finances, and my future. By the time I was 15, Gary was gone and I found another boy to take his place. This time I was "all grown up" (rightttt) and ready to show him how much I loved him by having sex. I gave him all of me physically and mentally. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept with him always
on my mind. I thought that he loved me too because he was always willing to have sex. I wasn't wined and dined, I was a "drive-through date" and had sex in the back seat, in the public bathrooms, or in empty buildings. It wasn't romantic, there was no love-making, it was "slam, bam, thank you Mam." I found out that he had other females so I showed him by having other males. It went from a fantasy of love to revenge and the only thing I caught was an STI. Yuck!!
It never occurred to me that as a female I could demand respect, show my creativity, leadership qualities, and sexuality that was precious and not there to be used for the disposal of others. Music videos show that females can be smacked around, expected to "Shake It" "Twerk it" and perform with multiple partners while always coming back for more. Lyrics that portray females who "like the way it hurts," "like the way you lie," males demand - "where are you going? I'm leaving you, No you ain't" "Next time I'm pissed, I'll aim my fist, At the dry wall, Next time, There will be no next time," "If she ever tries to fucking leave again, I'mma tie her to the bed, And set the house on fire." Eminem and Rihanna "Love the Way You Lie" . Relationships are transformed from flowers, dinners, and respect to using, and demanding with power and control. Verbal and physical abuse, the "If I can't have her, nobody will" syndrome becomes Domestic Violence. This is just Wrong!
The images encourage society to normalize individual and cultural attitudes about male and female sexuality. Society portrays males as dominate, powerful, and demanding, females as submissive, helpless, and wanting. But I think that young adults can protest media of today by rejecting the influence of music videos, advertisements. Don't get me wrong,, I like a nice beat thumping in my car just as much as the teen next to me with his 20" woofer. But wouldn't you agree that debunking the myths that boys play with power tools, pound with hammers, and play the role of the leader and that girls cook, have babies, and submit to the man/men is more important? If we don't start now, then these narrow minded myths will continue to form the identities of young men and women's sexuality and gender through a dangerously narrow mind set as is shown in the video by the Ying Yang Twins and Pitt Bull "Shake".
Watch carefully in this clip of "Dreamworlds 3" by Sut Jhally where he asserts just how wrong situations become because media displays these type of normalized roles. Individual females are sexually harassed by groups of men and men suggestively make sexual advances to unwanting females. "Desire, Sex, and Power in Music Videos
I am leaving all of you with a challenge. Try every day to demand respect of your body, soul, and self-image. Males don't need to have power and control and Females are not submissive, weak, and present in this world to be taken advantage of free of charge. I know I have given you a lot to digest, so take your time. Watch the clips and think to yourself as you walk amongst society "How can I make change?" Then Do It! Be demanding, assertive, and when you find your friends following the myths of society - Debunk Them! There is nothing wrong with questioning your friends when a situation looks wrong, because if it does, it probably IS!
Let me know what you think and how you will make change for the future!