Sexualization of Women

It’s impossible to ignore – everywhere you look, pop culture is sexualizing women to an almost absurd degree.  Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake move fully clothed through crowds of naked women.  Miley Cyrus is criticized for taking her clothes off, while Taylor Swift is called a prude for leaving hers on.  It seems that pop culture has taken the sexualization of women to the point where no one can win.  But there are many female performers who are taking a stand – clothed or otherwise – against the overt sexualization of women.  The following essays discuss different ways that those performers have embraced or rejected the oversexualization forced onto them.

 Cunnilingus and Cunts: A Study of Female Oral Sex in Pop Music

In “Cunnilingus and Cunts: A Study of Female Oral Sex in Pop Music” Missy Nelson explores the current state of the terms cunnilingus and cunt, which are portrayed throughout media and common speech as negative and taboo. There is a strong reaction from the public towards these terms, and many believe they should be reclaimed as anatomical as well as positive words to refer towards the female genitalia as they once were used. Nelson conducted an interview with several participants listening to songs where cunnilingus is being sung about in a discrete manner and others not so much.


Increasing Women’s Ass-ets

“Increasing Woman’s Ass-ets” is an article discussing the focus and objectification of women’s behinds in popular music. Going through various genres of music, such as pop, hip-hop, and country, this article points out specific songs and lyrics that are used to objectify women and portray them as sexual objects as opposed to a human beings. Later on, healthy bodies are discussed and how woman and men can take control and love and appreciate a woman’s body without objectifying it.



Nipples Making Ripples: The Oversexualization of Female Nudity

In “Nipples Making Ripples: The Oversexualization of Female Nudity,” Becca dives into the hot topic of nudity among female performers, specifically Amanda Palmer. She flashes back to Janet Jaskson’s nip-slip from the Super Bowl and comments on how much attention that slip got over the actual performance. In addition to the music industry, popular fast food establishments and clothing companies oversexualize women as well. She uses Amanda Palmer as a beacon of hope to change the way women are being portrayed in popular media.



Female Pop Stars Keeping Their Clothes On

The shock factor of stripping naked is not the only way to fight oversexualization.  In fact, there are many artists – such as Adele, Taylor Swift, and Lorde – who make a point of staying covered up.  They believe that in order to fight the sexualization of women in pop music, one cannot give into the temptation to make themselves into a sex object just to rocket to stardom.  Their clothed performances force audiences to pay attention to their music over their bodies.

So Love Songs are Less About Women and More About Men

This essay takes a slightly different approach to the issue than the others within the section.  Through analyzing different people’s reactions to music videos such as Justin Timberlake’s “Tunnel Vision” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” we can see first hand the effect that the sexualization of women has in society.  We are given a first hand account of how the male gaze is cemented into the experience of pop music, and how even media typically seen as “for women” are, in reality, still made for men.

Fighting Misogyny in Hip Hop

In this essay, the genre of hip hop is given a close examination through a feminist lens.  It explores the gender inequalities and stereotypes in the genre while also discussing several female rappers – such as Queen Latifah and Missy Elliot.  These women have been taking a stand against the misogyny in hip hop and working to change it.