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Sexism In Dancehall Music Essay

1940 words - 8 pages

In today’s society, dancehall music is one of the most popular forms of music, however, the themes and lyrics of many songs that fall in this genre tend to be vulgar, offensive, violent and sexist. Sexism in dancehall music is one of the main topics of this paper and is apparent through the negative portrayal of women found in both the lyrics and music videos of such songs. This is an important issue because since dancehall music is so popularized today these negative representation of women, are being popularized to a huge majority of people, potentially giving them the idea that it is acceptable to treat women in such demeaning ways.
The negative perception of women throughout popular culture in the form of music has greatly impacted the portrayal of women on today’s society. This study involves on examination of sexist ideologies in dancehall lyrics that portray women in stereotypical and negative manner. This particular king of music explored in the study is dancehall music, a popular genre in Jamaican culture today. The primarily focus is on the effect of popular songs have on women in society, as well as how song lyrics can cause objectification of women and how are the roles of men and women reflected.

Literature Review

The lyrics of music play an important part of interpreting the meaning of the song. The roles which women have been allowed by the society to embody have changed drastically. Women may question their roles because of what they see portrayed by popular culture or media. Change in female’s identity can be seen in how women are viewed or how they portray themselves in popular culture specifically through music. In general, music continues to present women in stereotyped ways that limit our perceptions of human possibilities. A stereotype is defined as “a term used to define all people of a certain belief into a mostly negative category that may only reflect a selected few of the racial demographics. All people of all nationalities have been victims of being stereotyped even those whom have made most of the stereotypes of other people.” One of the stereotypes was how women are considered to be “slaves” to men, fully surrendered and laying at the feet of their “slave master.” Many of the major advertisements portray women to be the “weak vessel.” You can see her holding on to the leg of her man, or lying next to a shoe of her man, or getting hand cuffed by the male. It is common to hear dancehall music on local radio stations these days. Lots of dancehall songs that are sung by men contain inappropriate lyrics that show no value for women. Exploitation of women has become an accepted part in the music industry, for both the singer and public. These explicit lyrics commonly lead other men to think that treating women disrespectfully is tolerable because dancehall music promotes the degradation of women. Dancehall music, even though is extremely well know, it...

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