Degradation of Women Through the Illustration of Music

Source: http://www.lilwayne.us- Lil’ Wayne with a bed full of women in his video “Bed Rock.”

Throughout history women have been portrayed as sexual objects of reprisal in various media outlets;a advertisments, movies, consumer products, and music. In the last 10 years the role of women in the music industry has vastly changed; this includes the way women are portray and idolize by the male counterparts of the industry. Females are continually viewed as adamant sex objects and are subjective to sexual idolizations. Not only through the obvious imagery of music videos with women in bikinis and high heel stilettos, but today’s also through the subliminal and conscious messages in the lyrics of songs. There are many genres that so lovingly characterize women as bearer of children, lovers and trustful friends. But there are others, that contextualize women as hoes, bitches, gold diggers, and one-night stands.

This new movement and wave of music has caused a retreat in the feminist movement that has taken years to overcome. This not only creates a barrier in the fight for gender equality, but it also creates a impediment doom for those who have already established gender neutrality.

According to an article in the Washington Post, women are continually used as sex objects because today’s music industry is solely dominated by men and men ultimately use women to sell their music. The article also goes on to say that if we do not purchase or listen to music that is degrading to women, the industry will no longer produce it. But how long will this take to happen? And are feminists the only group of females that should address this issue? In a larger context, is this issue unavoidable? Or is this form of main stream media open for change?

Source: Musica Beta- Daddy Yankee in his new music video “Llegamos a La Disco.'” This video portrays women as sexual objects subjected to the dominant ways of a male society.

Realizing that women have come along way in their fight for equality is just one small piece of the puzzle. Advocating for radical change in the music industry is another key, but not just picket signs, and Facebook pages. Creating change requires a strategic collaboration of plans to educate consumers, policy makers, and artists alike. We cannot sit back and let the music industry promote our breast and big booties as the only qualities and assets we women have.

 

Youtube: This new song “Trouble” by Bei Maejor ft J. Cole portrays a women in “sexy” clothes as someone who wants someone to have sex with them. Women are often portrayed like this, and are viewed as “asking for it”.

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Women, Weddings, and War: The Society of Afghan Women- Past, Present, and Future.

The history of women’s rights in Afghanistan is deeply rooted in political hierarchal and moral terriorism. Women in Afghanistan have been persecuted for centuries, even before the Taliban rule. Women were subjected to gender roles inclusive of arranged marriages, covered manes, and limited political freedom. Afghanistan is one of the few countries that still practice societal oppression on women. Currently, afghan women still are subjugated in acts of war and terriosim, are victims of political assimilations for refusing to marry sutures approved by their father, and are targets of random acts of sexual abuse. It is important to the note the history of women’s rights and social pressure in Afghanistan at different points in afghan’s history. A few turning points in women’s history in afghanstian were:

January 1, 1921 Amunallah Khan’s wife, Queen Soraya, opens Afghanistan’s first school for girls in Kabul. During the early 1920s, she also starts a women’s hospital and a magazine called ERshad-E-Niswan (Guidance for Women).
Jan 1, 1978 The PDPA takes over the government, resulting in further social reforms including separation of religion and government, banning burquas and raising the minimum age of marriage.
Oct. 1, 1924 Khan grants women the right to choose their husbands, something previously decided by male relatives.
Oct. 1, 1978 A decree from the PDPA-controlled government requires education for girls, abolishes walwar and sets the legal age for marriage at 16.
June 2, 2010 Over 1,600 tribal leaders and community activists meet to discuss the peace process. President Karzai proposes economic incentives to discourage Taliban members from fighting. Many women’s groups are outraged at the idea of negotiations with the Taliban that could leave women’s rights vulnerable.
Oct. 3, 2011 At the ten year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, 2.7 million girls are in school, compared to just a few thousand in Taliban times, according to an Oxfam report. But those improvements are already slipping and could be lost in negotiations with the Taliban, the report warns. Another report marking the anniversary, by Action Aid, says that 72 percent of Afghan women believe their lives are better now than 10 years ago, while 86 percent fear a return to Taliban rule.

Source: Timeline of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

The most impressive of these climactic points in history is the milestone reached by Afghan government and the U.S presence in that country. Even though Taliban forces still lurk and cause great desperation among the women population, the Afghan society find hope in American forces establishing a democratic system of , religion, and social moral. However, women living in Afghan are continuous victims of oppression and are always trying to overcome the conservative and restrictive limitation set forth by family morals, politics, and society.

A documentary examining the rights of women in Afghanstan as well as how women have played a role in the War on Terrorisim. This documentary can be found on PBS and you can also view part of the documentary here.

Small Steps for Female Marines in Infantry Training & Gender-Neutral Physical Training

“They (Women Marines) don’t have a nickname, and they don’t need one.

They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post.

They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.”

LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Source: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images Sgt. Sheena Adams, 25, US Marine with the FET 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II blows bubbles with Afghan boys surrounding her while on patrol on Nov. 21 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan

After a year-long study and a lifted ban on combat jobs for women in February, the first group of female marines will prepare to partake in the officer infantry training that was once male-only marine training for combat. This new initiative will allow women to train as do their male counterparts and later be assigned to infantry battalions to further evaluate how well women perform in their job. Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers writes in a blog post on the Marines Official blog, “This recent change takes the issue one step further for females Marines.” Not only will female marines be allowed to undergo the strenuous infantry training, but the United States Marine Corp looks to equalize the physical training for females as well by implementing a gender-neutral test. This means that women will be qualified against their male counterparts in the marine corp physical training test. Marine Corps looks to train female marines to keep up with their male brothers. The blog goes on to mention this move as “controversial”, being that the original role of women in the marines did not include direct contact with combat. However, the Marine Corps will continue to evaluate the position of women in infantry battalions for a while till they are sure women can become a successful integral parts in battle.

If you are interested in reading the blog post, please visit the Marine Corps official blog site.

Semper Fidel~ For You Cpl. Rick Bello

Source: Marine TV- Youtube Channel
First Lieutenant Quincy Washa, platoon commander for the Female Engagement Team with Regimental Combat Team 1, speaks about the challenges, triumphs, and goals for her team in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The FET comprises female Marines from California-based units, and travels throughout the province to interact with Afghan men, women, and children. These Marines are responsible for gathering information related to security, development, and governance for their assigned area, while respecting Afghan cultural norms. The FET attaches to an infantry unit, and works as a go-between for male Marines and the local female population. Washa’s team deployed in September, and is scheduled to stay through early next year.

The Lonely Solider: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq

Happy Sunday! However gloomy it might be outside, my spirit still finds it way to the brighter side of life…somewhat, but that requires a whole entire blog post.

In order to further educate myself on military culture, I decided to start reading books that would be able to enlighten me during my journey as a Navy wife. I have always been interested in the role that dogs play in the United States armed forces, especially after hearing that a MWD (military working dog; promise to keep the military jargon to a minimal) helped a group of elite NAVY SEALS take down Osama Bin Laden in May 2011. However, my primary interest was in knowing what the role of women are in the military as stated in an interesting blog post previous to this one. During my research, a certain book had come to my attention and sparked some very intriguing thoughts.

The investigated book by Helen Benedict, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, examines the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006. Benedict follows these women all the way from their childhoods to their enlistments, while putting into context the true face of the war in Iraq.

The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq

I have read the first 2 chapters of the book and I have not been able to put it down. The author uses simple to read language that is both understood by civilians and military personnel. The book serves as a revelation of war and how women are not only fighting to instil foreign freedom, but a war free of sexual abuse, misogynistic military men, and gender degradation. I encourage you all to pick up a copy of Helen Bendict’s Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq available on amazon as well as check out her blog post on Huffington Post. Her book is also available on eReader! Please watch out for my book review coming very soon!

Misogynistic Military: Gender Bias and The Role of Women in the United States Armed Forces.

What a break! Hope everyone had the chance to relax, reflect, and relieve their selves of unwanted negative vibes. Back from Spring break with full-gear; ready for the end of the semester to quickly make its way home. In the mean time, I want to share with you all my excitement!

For those of you who know and those of you who are hearing this for the first time; my husband leaves to the Navy in September and I will officially have my own reality show! Well, maybe not my own reality show, but I will have to take on sort of a different role. I am excited and scared at the same time, yet I still cant wait to assume my duties as a Sailor’s wife! I have a cousin in the Marines and I am really excited about his tour as well!

This new found journey has led to me to further educate myself on military culture. What interest me the most is not the men in uniforms screaming “Hoo-Rah!” at the top of their lungs, but the role that women play in the armed forces of the United States.

Just to give you a little history, as per the Ground Combat Exclusion Policy of the United States Armed Forces in 1994 declared that women are to be excluded from operations that directly involve ground combat. Even as of the revisions realeased in February of 2012, women are still not allowed to occupy over 230,000 military jobs that are related to combat or serve in special operation forces. After brief, yet thorough research, women face several oppressive factors.

In the armed forces, women are subjective to:

1. Sexual Abuse– According to Helen Benedict, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and author of the book The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, 1 in 3 women in the U.S. military is raped by another service member.

2- Physical Ability Demise to their Male Counterparts- As set forth in the armed forces physical training examinations for certain military branches.

3. Gender Bias in Military Combat Roles- This is outline in the Ground Combat Exclusion Policy.

These three key points are invaluable in realizing where women stand in their service to their country. It is absolutely, and by far the most disturbing information I’ve heard about the military thus far, that women who proudly and courageously serve their country are subject to random acts of sexual abuse. There is no God given right for men to engage in such heinous acts of degradation towards the women that form part of their brotherhood.

Spc. Crisma Albarran detaches an ammunition case from its mount after a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter flight over Iraq, March 14, 2010. Albarran with Task Force 38's B Company, 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, volunteered for the job as door gunner prior to her second deployment to Iraq, and has flown more than 100 hours toward her door gunner certification. During her first Iraqi deployment in 2007 she was a petroleum supply specialist with the 3rd Infantry Division.

Also, the idea that females are less physical fit and able to engage in combat situations in comparison to their male counterparts is also subjective. Not to mention that women are evaluated by an exogenous pool of men during their physical and basic combat training. Corporal Kelly Dowlan writes in a blog post stating that, “Regardless of these factors, the sad fact is that women continue to be undervalued in the military because it is a predominantly male organization that prizes characteristics that many see as inherently masculine”. Which leads to the idea behind the gendered bias roles of women that are excluded from combat occupations. A predominantly male dominated organization has left no room for marginalized error; women in combat situations is an accident waiting to happen. Or is it the faint misunderstanding and underpinning of the female race, by men who so ignorantly cannot accept that women can perform as warriors in wars, as do their male members? To help sculpt your idea check out a fellow bloggers idea of women in the military, visit Joyce’s Worldand see what her thoughts are behind this issue.