Vixen Resistin’

In correlation with previous readings and texts by Audre Lorde, Murali Balaji of Penn State University reviews the post-hip hop era along with the redefining of black womanhood in hip hop music videos. The idea of who controls the images displayed in the media is heavily prevalent, leading to the idea behind the study as to describe the “self-definition” of black women and the exploitation of their sexuality amongst current hip-hop music videos.

This displacement of the discourse of African American women has created a sense of otherness throughout the community, leading other women to see and group all women of color into the category of degraded women used in the music industries videos. Black women have been controlled by these images presented in the mass media, showing them to be strippers and hoes, as examples of “animal sexuality”.

Women’s bodies are seen as a commodity, to be used, produced, and dominated by men and the public eye, rather than being seen as an equal human being to that of men. While women are taken back into this scope through hyper sexuality, men are elevating themselves through hyper masculinity because not enough women/organizations are standing up to change the rights and portrayal of women, allowing men to create a dominance hierarchy for themselves.

In closing of the article, Balaji discusses the idea of gaining empowerment amongst women and the importance of it. She touches on the basis of women artists empowerment and the importance of portraying themselves as strong and independent women like Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, and Missy Elliot.


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