We firmly believe that violence against women and girls does not happen because men are naturally evil but is the result of a culture that does not value women and considers them inferior human beings.
Media play an important role in reinforcing such culture by portraying women as objects. Today we want to focus on one particular medium, which we feel is very powerful because it is targeted at a young audience: music videos.
A report from 2014, Pornographic Performances, finds that racism and sexism are endemic in music videos. Men are dominant and hyper masculine while women are portrayed as ‘endlessly sexually available’ objects. They are mere props put there for a man’s pleasure. Black women in particular are depicted as hyper-sexualised and animalistic, with the camera focusing obsessively on their buttocks.
The video below, which was put together for a university coursework, collects a few examples of these harmful images.
According to Pornographic Performances those who have watched this type of videos are more likely to have attitudes that support or condone violence against women.
The report, which was commissioned by the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Imkaan and Object, was sent to music industry leaders, media regulators and politicians.
Some progress has been made since then. A government-back scheme to introduce age rating for music videos was launched last year in the UK and is currently undergoing.
While this is certainly a step forward a lot more need to be done. Children are not the only people that can be influenced by these harmful images. Changing the way women are portrayed in videos is the only way forward in the fight against sexism and the violence that results from it. We urge the music industry to think more responsibly about what it puts out in the market and to let women have their say on the matter.
For more information and to download Pornographic Performances click here: http://www.rewindreframe.org/