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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rihanna, Mimi Faust, Donald Sterling, Chris Brown and the Continued Objectification of Women

Stripper culture, pop culture and the continued public ridicule and objectification of women.

Recently we've been inundated with negative stories and publicity focused on women. 

If we don't hear Chris Brown's new single with lyrics "these h*es ain't loyal" blasting from some audio speaker, we see some patronizing meme sweep across our timeline about Vanessa Stiviano being a Golddigger for exposing Donald Sterling as a bigot or some display of ignorance on a World Star Hip Hop video.  

Now we see the story of 234 schoolgirls being abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria with no public outrage, even though the girls have been missing for two weeks now, having been abducted from school when they were called back to sit for an exam. The latest is that they have been forcibly taken as brides. 

Then there's Mimi and Rihanna.

The Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and newly minted porn star, Mimi Faust = Pop-superstar-naked-spread-eagle-in-a-magazine, Rihanna, as far as I am concerned. 

It's the same wide-spread objectification of women. 

On one end of the spectrum you have these misappropriated girls forced into marriage in a form of modern day slavery and on the other you have these celebrity women willingly exposing themselves under the false notion of liberation.

It's stark how women, willingly or not, have become commodities valued for how much of their private parts they confidently expose to the world for public ridicule and inspection. It's inhumane and frankly, disgusting. 

This stripper culture, where women aspire to be objectified, is a growing phenomenon and a hard pill to swallow. 

Yes, you do what you must to survive in life, but certain things still warrant shame in the action. Certain acts should not be glorified. You are not "knocking someone's hustle," or being a prude by wanting to be valued for more than the physical. But the messages that are constantly reinforced by mass media can be seen as contrary to this perspective. 

This post is focused on the actions of both men and women. Both sexes are playing active roles in the objectification of women. I find that women easily criticise and write-off other women for their actions, but turn around and forgive men for the same dehumanizing act. We are all guilty of it. 

I can't imagine being a growing girl in this climate. It would be so confusing and so hard to find the value of myself within, when every source is telling me that my value is only skin deep. From the songs that I listen to, to the sports that I watch, to the stars that I emulate, to the school that I attend.

And then there is the 6-minute viral video of the Caribbean mother brutally whipping her 12-year-old daughter for posting semi-nude photos of herself on Facebook. What can you expect from a girl-child when she is constantly inundated with dehumanizing and oversexualized images of herself and then is humiliated for partaking in the same act? 

How do we become more conscientious of this issue and work to rectify it in an era of mass consumerism, extremism and an unrelenting quest for immediate gratification and fame? Am I the only one concerned? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. 

Who is brave enough to open the dialog?

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