Essay Sample Focusing on Gender Inequality in Popular Culture

Published: 2022-06-22
Essay Sample Focusing on Gender Inequality in Popular Culture
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Gender Discrimination
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1299 words
11 min read

Popular culture has elicited mixed reactions across political and religious institutions. In particular, gangsta rap has been at the center stage of all these controversies as it has attracted protagonists and antagonists alike. A notable issue emanating from popular culture is gender inequality in which it advocates for male dominance over women. This paper seeks to examine how popular culture portrays both men and women, analyze gangsta rap, and identify other sources that use sociological perspectives on popular culture. Also, it seeks to identify patterns and messages that the media gives on pop culture and underlying values from a personal analysis of popular culture.

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Popular culture, for instance, gangsta rap, glorifies misogynist, patriarchal, and sexist ways of thinking. According to Best, it portrays men as the dominant gender who engages in violent and non-ethical activities (14). On the other hand, pop culture depicts women as sex objects and inferior beings who must worship their male counterparts. It is worth note that the dominant culture portrays misogynistic attitudes as male deviance expression. In a real sense, misogynistic attitudes are mandatory for the maintenance of sexist continuum and patriarchal social disorder. Composers of gangsta rap, particularly African-American men need to be politically accountable for the promotion of sexism. Croom explains that composers usually refer to all women as "whores" or "bitches" hence popular culture should be contextualized or else people may decode gangsta rap as critical in promoting male violence and rape against women (pp. 139-154).

It is imperative to see gangsta rap as a pathological standpoint rather than a reflection of contemporary dominant male values. Some antagonists of gangsta rap view this music genre as a way of celebrating misogyny, sexism, and murder among African-American males. However, it is important to examine why this music genre has a wide audience that cuts across racial and gender divide. It is essential to note that in the contemporary world, whites, particularly male, are hierarchically positioned to perpetuate and maintain patriarchal systems that promote oppressive and exploitative systems. Critically, as Croom elucidates, hedonistic consumerism politics seduces young black males to venture into lyrical content that encourages sexism and violence since it is the easiest way to earn money and fame (pp. 791-822). It is paramount also to note that gangsta rap depicts the current happenings in the world like the glorification of material possession. For instance, the male members of the society do anything including killing for wealth. For this reason, gangsta rap should be viewed as norm embodiment rather than norm subversion tool.

The distinction between male and female portrayal by the popular culture is imperative as it highlights the real situation of one-gendered dominance in the society. It depicts the glorification of the male gender to have ultimate power and influence over women. On the other side, it pinpoints the role that women play in the contemporary world, the role of pleasing men through the scanty dressing. Therefore, in most cases, gangsta rap uses derogatory musical lyrics that objectify, victimize, and exploit women. For this reason, it reduces women to sex toys and objects that are good for abuse. The music genre also perpetuates beliefs, stereotypes, and values that debase women. In this regard, it is imperative that pop culture tends to highlight societal values that patriarchy creates. Thus, it seeks critical considerations of societal norms and values regarding gender and racial segregation.

Most folks acknowledge gender discrimination and unfair women treatment, but reluctantly admit the hatred towards women is pivotal in maintaining structural male dominance in the contemporary society. According to Travis, several factors such as class, race, wealth, and religion dictate misogyny (139-167). Additionally, it reveals itself in many forms and wears many guises. Another art that applies social perspectives to depict pop culture is the film "The Piano." It excites and seduces the audience with the depiction of misogyny and sexism. Many reviewers for this film tend to believe that Campion's gender indicates her feminist standpoint. Her work degrades actualization of feminist vision and celebrates as well as eroticizes male domination. For instance, ap Si pinpoints that men are not solely responsible for women-hating as some women learn at a tender age that winning provisional favor entails denigration of other women as well as acting as a "man's woman"(21). It is worthy to note that "The Piano" encourages sexism since it holds the belief that heterosexual women can easily relinquish their artistic work for the sake of true love. It is therefore evident that there is a close relationship or bond between folks in "The Piano" who condone and celebrate sexist values and ideas and those people that regard and celebrate the gangsta rap. It is imperative also to note that other than "The Piano," popular films and movies such as "One False Move," "True Romance," and "Indecent Proposal," and so on eroticizes male dominance through brutal violence.

Mass media conveys the message that young black males, particularly from a poor background, believe that being a "real man" entails the ability to be violent against women. It also entails maintaining resolute silence about a privileged white culture which is known to historically romanticized primitivism as well as eroticization of male violence (Herd 577). It is essential to note that contemporary films such as "The Bad Lieutenant" and "Reservoir Dogs" celebrate urban primitivism and films such as "Trespass, Rising Sun" exploit as well as create the cultural demand that depicts blacks as hardcore that are willing to be violent for material gain and fame (Skific & Petkovic 39).

In my analysis, gangsta rap and other types of popular cultures should not be considered in their entirety as anti-feminist backlash. In fact, most young African-American males involved in producing lyrics associated with violence and sexism due to the extensive audience from the supreme white capitalist patriarchy. Thus, pop culture genre such as gangsta rap should be considered as an expression of humiliation and subjugation by powerful invisible patriarchal gangster forces. In this regard, gangsta rap helps in giving voice to rage and brutal, raw anger against women, a situation that makes the civilized men initiate the debate among children as well as tutoring them to be gentle on women. However, social organizations such as the church and political systems that demonize gangsta rap need to develop strategic interventions that eliminate male dominance through the transformation of the existing supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

In conclusion, popular culture through gangsta rap is widely known for making lack males popular through the promotion of sexism and misogyny that the supremacist capitalist patriarchy embraces. Even though critics of gangsta rap believe that this pop culture genre demeans women, proponents hold the view that it sensitizes people on the prevailing patriarchal and derogatory practices and need to abolish them. Therefore, it is imperative to examine the role that pop culture has in respect to promoting gender and racial equality.

Works Cited

ap Si, Pwyll. The music of Michael Nyman: Texts, contexts, and intertexts. Routledge, 2017.

Best, Amy. Prom night: Youth, schools and popular culture. Routledge, 2013.

Croom, Adam. "An Assessment of the Negative and Positive Aspects of Stereotypes and the Derogatory and Nonderogatory Uses of Slurs." Interdisciplinary studies in pragmatics, culture, and society. Springer, Cham, 2016. 791-822.

Croom, Adam. "Slurs, stereotypes, and inequality: A critical review of "How Epithets and Stereotypes are Racially Unequal." Language Sciences 52 (2015): 139-154.

Herd, Denise. "Conflicting paradigms on gender and sexuality in rap music: A systematic review." Sexuality & Culture 19.3 (2015): 577-589.

Skific, Sanja, and Rajko Petkovic. "Stylistic and linguistic creation of suspense in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs." Approaches to Translation Studies 39 (2014).

Travis, Raphael. "Rap music and the empowerment of today's youth: Evidence in everyday music listening, music therapy, and commercial rap music." Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 30.2 (2013): 139-167.

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