Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Strippers, Video Vixens and Black Feminists

TwitThis


Jeff "Im saving and egg for him" Chang has a blog post up
about Women and Hip Hop.

The posts
cites an article by Matt Birkhold on the 2005
Feminism and Hip Hop Conference
. Matt notes that:

Melyssa Ford argued that there wasn't a problem with
her portrayal in videos because she was in control of
her image. Terrero stressed that women were portrayed
in videos in a manner that guaranteed profit for both the
director and the label.
Melyssa's argument is dangerous:
1.) Because it does not take into consideration who Melyssa
represents, and whether or not the people that she represents
HAVE POWER.

2.) If she, in fact, has so much control OVER how her image is
used, could she CHOOSE to appear in rap videos Fully Clothed?

NEGATORY!

Her value lies in displaying the skin and the curves. And the
moment she decides that she won't show it someone else
hungrier will come along and do it, for less CAKE to boot.

Some time the crack game remind me of the rap game.

Now M.dot is no prude. <<she greasy. We know that sex sells,
especially in a culture that has a schiozphrenic attitude
towards female sexuality.


However, just how I watch the D' Boy's turned
rappers try and explain away their accountability.
Im peeping the Vixens too and analyzing
how they deal with being asked, "What do you think
of your image?"

Smell me?
Terrero's "sex sells" position was interrogated during the question-and-answer period, when Tricia Rose asked
panel participants, "If having the Klan come through your
video and lynch black folks is going to make you money,
are you going to do it?" Terrero responded "No."
Rose followed up by saying, "We have drawn a line with race.
When will we draw a line in regards to gender?"
Terrero
responded evasively (and elicited applause) by saying
that if education were better, viewers would be equipped
to make informed viewing choices and women dancing in
videos would
peruse other options.
Jeff goes on to argue that:
Terrero's response is problematic because it indicates
an unwillingness to take responsibility for the sexist
images he creates which are then
televised around the country to a
market that awaits subhuman,
hypersexual images of black women.
This is why Jeff is that Dude. As with his Imus/50 analysis,
Jeff argues that you cannot analyze Black Male
VIOLENCE
in rap music/pop culture, and I add for that matter, Black female
SEXUALITY in Rap music/pop culture without mentioning:

a.) The sterotypes that are being perpetuated.
b.) Whose interests, moral and/or financial, are being served
by said stereotypes.

c.) Whose pockets are caked up as a result the
SELLING
& CONSUMPTION of said VIOLENCE and SEXUALITY.


==========
==========

In other stripper news,
Mark Kriegel over at Fox Sports
gets The Two-Fer in with the headline:
"On the Mark: The Strip Club Epidemic"
First it was cocaine. Then it was steroids. Now it's
clear that America's ballplayers have fallen victim to
another insidious epidemic. Contrary to the theory that
athletes don't like playing on artificial surfaces,
strippers have become the drug of choice for the sporting set.
This sh*t is so goddamn racist I don't know where to begin.
Let me just start by making a list of inferences. Based on the
title there are two inferences the reader is suppose to make.

Inference #1= That women who strip are an insidious epidemic.
a. insidious =
[1.] Intended to entrap or beguile: an insidious plan.
[2.]
Stealthily treacherous or deceitful: an insiduous enemy.
[3.] Operating or proceeding in an inconspicious or seeminly
harmless way but actually with grave effect: an insidious disease.


b.
epidemic
[1]
A
ffecting many persons at the same time, and spreading
from person to person in a locality where the disease is not permanently prevalent.


Inference #2
= That strippers are SO F*cking seducitve and
powerful,
that the men can't use ANY of their faculties to
resist them. The poor helpless things. Awwwish.

Honestly. Mark sounds like a hater who ain't had that good good

since Michael had a hit.

Feel me?


Which brings me to Strippers, Video Vixens and Power.
In
looking for a clever way to close this post, I found this article,
by a mother who read AND ANALYZED Confessions of a VV.
Hearing about this woman and her legacy I could not
help but be captivated. Not in the Ugly Bettysense, but
in the way that we women secretly "envy these type" of women.
We don't necessarily want to be them, we just want to
learn their secrets of manipulation and control over
men....especifically the powerful men to get what they
want. We secretly crave their POWER while trying to
balance that good girl role.
"We secretly crave their power while trying to balance the
good girl role."
I would take it step further and say, that we
want the power, but down want to be seen as a slut as we
try and get it. <<<<
Im going for the gristle this week.

AND.
Women Vixen-esque women are resented by both MEN
and WOMAN for the impact that their sexuality has ON MEN.


The author goes on to state,
"as mother of a 'tween daughter and young son,
I find myself constantly in a battle with the Video
Vixen
. In my daily battle against peer pressure,
media images and societal rules, I am constantly
searching for ways to make sure that my daughter
and son do not define themselves by the seeming
"success" and over sexualized message created
by the Video Vixen."

I started looking for vixen footage for this post.

I sucked into you tube.

I found this.

--AND.--

--I.--

--WAS.--

***DEAD.*** eyes. rolled in the back
of my head.

Yall it's like simulated sex as a spectator sport.
Maybe there is more to this vixen sh*t than WE ALL KNEW.

I am going to give THIS VIDEO its OWN POST tomorrow.

========
========

What would hip hop do w/o Strippers and Vixens?

=======
=======

24 comments:

She Hate Me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
She Hate Me said...

What would hip hop do w/o Strippers and Vixens?
==================


Be forced to think of another way to entice the 18-34 year old male demographic to watch videos and listen to their albums.

Be forced to think of another way to warp the 12-18 and the 18-34 female demographic way of thinking into believing that you must "look this way" and "wear next to nothing" in order to get a "baller" to pay any sort of attention to them, or to "make it" in the "real" world.

As sad as it is to sad, some of these females do it WILLINGLY. Because of the vicious cycle of what some "men" have done to them, or what their mothers and sisters have "taught" them about getting that paper.

Melyssa Ford says she's in control of her image. I doubt it seriously. I mean, if she could appear in videos fully clothed, she would have done so already. But just like you said, as soon as she brings in 1 dollar less than normal, some young lady will do what she was doing before, with less clothes, and making more money.

So, my question is, where does the line get drawn? Even better, who draws the line? Will Terrero stop having all the nakedness in his videos? Will Melyssa and Vida and Esther stop appearing in videos with little to nothing on? Will MTV and BET (or should I say, Viacom as a whole) stop airing the videos all together? And even if all of this happens, will it be enough?

Sorry for the long post, but you make a brother think.

And that's a good thing.

M.Z. said...

What would we do w/o Strippers & Vixens?
===================================

Rap videos would be more concept driven like International Players Anthem. Videos would go back to complementing the song, instead of making the song what it is.

Alot of artists would be exposed because there is nothing to distract the audience from their lack of talent (Would Laffy Taffy have blown if the video only had D4L in it?).

As for Ford, in her mind she may have control over her image. But only because her image is the same as Terreo's. She's also gonna say that now, because this is her profession now and she has to capitalize while she can. The ones who really have control over their image don't have a career. No one will hire them.

Now I'm gonna read those articles you linked M.Dot and see whats up.

Lastly, what you think about that Chrissette Michele? A little A. Keys, a little Jill Scott, a pinch of Corrine Bailey Rae. I'm enjoying it a lot.

neo said...

You know what's funny? These vixens have such a short shelf-life. Melyssa's been in the game for what? Almost 9-10 years now..soon the reality of biology will set in, there's only so much you can do with plastic surgery. I'd like to see these vixens 10-20 years down the road.

What will they do?

Many say they get into videos in order to pursue their dreams of acting. But what filmmaker will actually hire a vixen for a leading role? When he/she can equally get someone who has actually been schooled, and honed their craft as an actress/actor?

It's a trend and precedent that has been set from the moment hip hop got bigger and bigger. I don't know where it all started it'd be interesting for someone to chronicle the rise of the vid vixen. My observation holds it wasn't until the late 90's that more emphasis on the eye-candy in the video began to go up and they became 'stars' as big as their rap counterparts.

I wonder how many of them deep down in their hearts really feel they rep the right image? None of them have any control over what they portray.

M.Ford knows the moment she can't do a particular scene in a certain way she loses that gig. Plus, most go by how much they get paid to do what...if money is the major motivation, sky ain't even the limit.

M.Z. said...

You know what's funny? These vixens have such a short shelf-life. Melyssa's been in the game for what? Almost 9-10 years now..
==================================
You just hit the nail on the head Neo. She's the only real execption to the norm. So her perspective is scewed because it became a career for her.

M.Dot. said...

entice the 18-34 year old male demographic
=======
WHITE BOYS FAM.
Not n*ggas.


So, my question is, where does the line get drawn? Even better, who draws the line?
=========
Whenever I analyze a conflict.
These are precisly the questions I ask.

Post like this make me feel like I shoulda got that Ph.D in human sexuality at NYU.

Feel me?

M.Dot. said...

---m.z---

Lastly, what you think about that Chrissette Michele? A little A. Keys, a little Jill Scott, a pinch of Corrine Bailey Rae. I'm enjoying it a lot.
========

Um I ain't heard it all yet.
But I ain't a Bailey Rae fan. Her ass is fine and I would..... She bad!

But. She remind me of my class mates who ain't got no scares and I just can't f-ck w/ 'em.

Amy W. is more my lane.

I Fux said...

Sometimes I just want to look at some booty and listen to music at the same time, I dont find anything wrong with that. Also these "video vixens" need to be accountable for their actions being that they are grown woman and not little girls. Just like the men who should be held accountable if every single one of their videos has booty shaking in it, whether the song is about booty or not. I also say when it comes to something that you dont like just change the channel and if the young are so influenced to suck a dick cuz its being simulated in a music video, then the future is fucked. I remember watching Dre's video when they doused the girl in beer, did I go do that ish hell no; it may have gotten me slapped. But now days you can pour or piss on a young bitch and they take it(young girls stay giving the pussy away). So who really is too blame for this Rap Videos or Education/Family Values. 1 hunnnnnnnndredddd

M.Dot. said...

Fuxie, Fuxie, Fuxie.

I makes this argument enough I need to patent this b*tch.

[I] MEN, WOMEN AND @SS
"Sometimes I just want to look at some booty."
--a.)Clearly. Don't we all?
--b.) The issue isn't that YOU want to watch ti**ies and @ss.
--c.) The issue is that 90% plus of THE VIDEO's feature women greased up, silent, vamping and available.
--d.)SH*T at least 'lil kim was OUT THERE AND HAD A VOICE.


[II]VIXENS SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE.
a.) What should they be accountable for exactly? And to whom?

[III]"Change the channel and if the young are so influenced to suck a d-ck"
a. Youngin's been suckin since before Hip hop.
b. Why does fellatio spell the end of the future?

[IV]I'T AIN'T NO FUN.
"But now days you can pour or piss on a young bitch and they take it(young girls stay giving the pussy away)"
a. Your statement indicates that the p*ssy is something that should be controlled like a product, shelved, sold, monitored and regulated.
b. Do you have a problem with a young lady/woman allowing a man to do to her WHAT she wants/likes?

[V] THE FAMILY VALUES SCAPE GOAT.
"So who really is too blame for this Rap Videos or Education/Family Value"
a. Your statement presumes that only one or the other is accountable.
Its both.

Now peep. I stand on no soap box. ON MOMMAS, I know that the best sh*t in life is "GREASY & DELCIOUS"
a. Martini's
b. That n*gga w/ that sideways mash that you don't need to be fucking w/ buts its bananas.
c. Fried Shrimp, Fries, Okra. <<---Get it? Greasy.

Both the audience and artists get scruitnized.

[VI]. NAPPY HEADED HOES.
The reason why Imus hurt so many Black women is because he called Black women NAPPY HEADED Ho's. We are neurotic about our Hair, the way white women are neurotic about FAT.

e. FROM MAMIES TO VIXENS.
Since the begining of the moving image, Black women have been, present, yet silent, melting into the background. Now as VIXENS we are present, greasy, beautiful, silent, available and replaceable.
^^^^Damn. Im on a roll.

That was fun.

Juicey said...

I can't help but wonder if it's not just hip hop, but media on a whole where the problem lies. Who chooses which videos get more air time, MTV BET etc. know sex sells so are they gonna play a 50 cent video with vixens in it or de la soul? I wonder how much creative direction an artist gets in their video or if it is the label paying for it making all the decisions. For labels, tv etc. it is all about the bottom line and they push this on us because people buy it. I know i am tired of it and want some substance.

M.Dot. said...

Juicey.

I am this close to forming an organization that buys shares of companies that Create this music JUST SO that we can have a say in what the F*CK is put out.

SERIOUSLY.

neo said...

Lemme know about that org. I'm looking at shares to buy anyhoo and best beleev I'mma invest in that org.

Anonymous said...

m dot. your piece is mad interesting. i think the question you pose is an important one. personally, i tend to think that if rap had no video vixens, the masculine image of the thug/pimp would be forced to collapse upon itself. one requires the other for it to make sense which then allows profit to be accumulated on the backs of the image. by the way, the stuff you quoted jeff chang saying was actually said in the article he posted on his blog.

M.Dot. said...

@ anony, who ARE YOU?

one requires the other for it to make sense which then allows profit to be accumulated on the backs of the image.
===========
The Vixen/Rapper Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

i'm just a concered citizen named matt. to further explain that comment let me say that what makes a pimp a pimp is/are his hoes and what makes a professional hoe a hoe is her pimp. otherwise she's just promiscuious. one validates the other, and in mainstream hip hop where these are the only images major labels put out, 50's p.i.m.p., etc. needs hoes to be validated and taken as a serious thing.

Aunt Jackie said...

Well living here in LA where most of these videos are made I must say this...black girls shake their asses make a little loot and go back home..most white girls can't become video vixens because there is no market for them. White girls go to the valley and make pornography!

Real Talk!

With a reality show about girls competing to become the Next Big Porn star in the remake of Debbie Does Dallas.

We as Black Folk have our problems but trust Uncle Sam is still the same old pimp as he ever was and Hoes are being recruited across the board!

Had I my druthers I would prefer a video vixen then a teenage porn star but that's just me....

Marilyn Mason is having real sex with a 19 year old girl (he's 40 something) in his new video then she's bathed in blood...

the problem is large!!

M.Dot. said...

what makes a professional hoe a hoe is her pimp. otherwise she's just promiscuious.
=========

Matt. Your PIMP power analysis is astute.

I would add to the above statement that "convention states that what makes a professional hoe a hoe is her pimp. otherwise she's just promiscuious."

Do you agree?

50's p.i.m.p., etc. needs hoes to be validated and taken as a serious thing.
========
Who taught you this?
Are you a teacher?
Do you write?

M.Dot. said...

black girls shake their asses make a little loot and go back home..most white girls can't become video vixens because there is no market for them. White girls go to the valley and make pornography!
============

Girl. Now you starting some sh*t.


"Strippers, Vixens and Porn Stars".

^^^Book would be banned in 24 states.

Zentronix said...

actually i can't take credit for the writing--that's all matt birkhold. i'll take credit for reading it and agreeing with it.

stay dangerous, m-double!

M.Dot. said...

Oh word.

My bad.

Matt is the truth too then fam.

Roooooaaar!

Anonymous said...

m.dot, i agree but i think that adding 'convention' is not needed. these particular gender roles are a consequence of patriarchy. they function like a mirror of sorts. its a gendered dialectic.

i learned it from many different sources. in many ways the reality of the situation is a product of the way we think about gender roles and as a consequence of the way they are presented to us. we buy into them and then act them out or critique them and reject them (or sometimes do both). it just becomes reciprocal.

yes i write and also teach.

M.Dot. said...

Matt.

Let me contact you.

I have some idea's percolating regarding the Vixens, Labor, and Black Hollywood.

I could certainly use your perspective to evaluate my project idea.

You break down complex gender relations in a way thats attainable to the every day jawn, and that is invaluable.

2,3 emails tops is what I ask for.

While I am smart, I am also naive :(

Meaning that I presume people will "get" my project pitches.
I guess my enthusiasm is swag injected, lol.


-m.

Anonymous said...

yeah go head, holla at me. birkhold@gmail.com

M.Dot. said...

Mat.

Mat.

Mat.

Thank you.

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