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Popular Music Perpetuates Rape Culture Essay

3127 words - 13 pages

I am terrified to have a daughter, because the men of the world will be out to get her. She will be born into a world where she will spend the rest of her life being seen as less. She will be objectified. She will be bullied for her appearance. As she grows up, she will have fewer opportunities for success. She will have to learn how to defend herself not only from the dangers that face the whole world, but perhaps even from her own date. Her father and I will spend her entire life fearing for her physical, emotional and mental safety. She will need constant protection. When she steps up to the altar to marry the man of her dreams, her father will give her away. Because, for her entire life, she will be seen as property. She will be seen as a toy to play with, a doll to dress up. I have no factual basis for these fears. There are no studies that confirm that women are, in fact, seen as property. There is no statistic to prove that my future daughter would face a world filled with more danger than her brother. Society’s rape culture creates and sustains a standard of feminine weakness embedded within popular culture. While this means society is saturated with this toxic environment, it also supports social acceptance of these “norms”. Pop music’s public acceptance of rape culture has made it impossible for significant change to ever occur.
“Rape culture” is the society where jokes, TV, music, advertising, laws, words and imagery make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. In modern-day America, sexual advances, both warranted and unwarranted, are constantly glorified through pop culture. Through song lyrics, music videos, choreography and clothing, women are portrayed as objects to be desired. In this essay, “pop music” is referring to the music that is recognized by the masses. Regardless of individual opinion of the music, it is continually at the top of iTunes and Billboard charts, garners a majority of radio airtime, and comes with lots of publicity. In 2012 alone, the music industry garnered more than $16.5 billion in total revenue. Its global value is more than $168 billion; almost double that of the book and video game industries combined.
Given the stakes of pop culture’s global impact, it comes as no surprise that it relies heavily on the age-old conception of feminine weakness, especially through rape culture’s heavy reliance on that weakness. Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I’s “Blurred Lines” was one of the most popular songs of 2013, and reached #1 in 14 different countries. It has more than 220 million views on YouTube, and as of July 2013 had reached over 242.65 million radio listeners. It is one of the biggest songs in the world, and takes female objectification and rape culture to a new level. The unrated music video, which was banned from YouTube for violating their policy on nudity, shows Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell singing the song while surrounded by women wearing...

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