Taylor Aschenbrenner – Olympia, WA

What is interesting about these music videos and music videos in general is that they are implicitly making people feel/think a certain way about gender, but people don’t realize how strong of an effect these types of videos actually have. T Swift is the ideal image of feminism in Western culture – she is the woman you bring home or marry. Most men in Western culture have created a very fine line of how they treat women (depending on the type of woman) and this is shown very clearly between the t. swift versus the MIA/lamar kendrick video. T. Swift’s video made her seem extremely dependent on a male for happiness, for one because of her lyrics, but mostly because of the way she looked at this guy that she had just met and basically came to the conclusion she was in love after knowing him for a few minutes. I think in a round about way this makes women seem submissive and any woman that looks up to t swift as a fan will feel that they should act this way, which has a huge influence on girls! Essentially, t swift was complacent, quiet, shy, etc. This is what men look for in a wife or anything long term (this is one type of femininity). I liked that MIA was played directly after because her video was completely the opposite in terms of femininity! While t swift was considered feminine because she is virginal, MIA is considered feminine because she is sexy/scandalous.  She was surrounded by guns and cars, which are normally associated with males (a sign of masculinity). This seems like a sort of complex portrayal of women, which is important. I was sort of torn because part of me really didn’t like the video because I wasn’t sure if it was disrespectful of middle eastern culture or not – but after we talked about the video I think it actually had an empowering message for women. I think that by the men covering their bodies while MIA took on a ‘masculine’ (essentially dominant) role, she is sort of reversing the gendered ideas in society. Lastly, the other two videos that I thought contrasted each other were the lamar kendrick versus one direction. What I found interesting about this was that heterosexual girls can be extremely attracted to either type of guy! What I mean by this, is there are girls who love lamar kendricks type of music and are very sexually attracted to the type of masculinity that was portrayed in the video (which is the typical view of society, dominant, sexualized, strong, non-emotional etc) while there is a complete obsession from many young girls in Western culture who are completely infatuated with one direction. However, one direction is the opposite of lamar kendrick as we saw from their video which had a hint of homoeroticism (they kissed on the cheek at the end) where they were not necessarily strong, were emotional, goofy, etc. Anyway, I thought that this demonstrated two very different views of masculinity and how there is sexual attraction to both.

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