African American adult females have historically been viewed as hyper-sexual animals. due to alone anatomical characteristics non frequently seen in other races. This hyper-sexualized position of Black adult females dates back every bit early as the yearss of bondage when European imperialists traveled to Africa and were overly intrigued by ( and abashedly attracted to ) the adult females in the folk. Europeans were in awe of the build of African adult females. comparable to none. every bit good as their dance and traditional garments.
Europeans strangeness with a organic structure type that is non unusual amongst African adult females resulted in a projection of hyper-sexuality onto Black adult females that did non truly exist and has been hard for Black adult females around the universe to free themselves of. Saartjie [ Sara ] Baartman. besides known as the “Hottentot Venus. ” became the design for degrading and mortifying the Black adult female on a world-wide degree. Saartjie Baartman was a South African born adult female who was enslaved by a Dutch husbandman near the metropolis of Cape Town.
Her maestro was approached by going Europeans to go to Europe to hold her organic structure examined and put on show. In 1810. Saartjie’s maestro informed her that she would be free and assume luck and celebrity in order to carry her to go forth his plantation for the sideshow act she would unwittingly go in. It was this promise that led to Saartjie’s willingness to go to Europe. Saartjie traveled to England and upon her reaching. she was placed on public show. frequently times in a coop. so her big natess and chest could be observed by 100s of funny Englishman.
These invasive witnesss were recorded as laughing at her. naming her names. and throwing points at her. Saartjie’s organic structure was so dramatic and unusual to Europeans that medical pupils were able to utilize her for scientific research. She was once more sold from England to a Gallic circus to dance in the nude as amusement and was one the chief attractive forces. Saartjie ne’er enjoyed the freedom she was promised and turned to alcohol to get by with her humiliation and entered harlotry to back up her when she was no longer necessary as a side show attractive force.
She died in 1815. merely five old ages after her reaching to Europe. Saartjie’s humiliation did non stop with her decease. She died of unidentified disease in France and her organic structure was turned over to a museum. Her encephalon. vagina. and her skeleton were removed from her organic structure. preserved and put on show. Her frameless organic structure was so preserved in such a manner that she stood erect every bit good. Her organic structure was finally buried in France but the parts removed from her organic structure remained on show in a Gallic museum until 1974. The shows were removed that twelvemonth and replaced with dramatis personaes of Saartjie’s confiscated organic structure parts.
Saartjie Baartman’s mortifying captivity marks the beginning of the Black woman’s debasement. She could be considered the first “video-vixen theoretical account. ” However. civilization has changed such that adult females volitionally dance erotically while barely clad or wholly bare. whereas Saartjie was forced. This willingness has transformed the manner the Black adult female is viewed and the manner the Black adult female views herself. The mode in which Saartjie Baartman was treated is declarative of European attitudes about Black adult females and African criterions of beauty.
Saartjie was renowned for her build. which Europeans responded to Saartjie as an object with disgust. machination. sexual attractive force. and superciliousness. The remotion of her variety meats indicates a perverse compulsion with the organic structure of the African adult female. This attitude about the Black woman’s organic structure has persisted. taking on new faces as civilization alterations and pop civilization emerged. Media images of Black adult females have long been degrading. unflattering. and/or extreme. Black adult females have specific functional functions in the media: typically and most frequently as Jezebel. Mammie. and the public assistance ma.
The Jezebel stereotype of the hyper-sexual. manipulative Black adult female is more prevailing and more widely seen in the media from telecasting. films. magazines. and music picture. It is the Jezebel who is the African American adult female who is non ashamed to take off her apparels in exchange for things she may necessitate. The music industry particularly popularizes strippers and picture theoretical accounts as an acceptable and desirable business for a Black adult female. Not merely do bulk of hip-hop wordss degrade adult females to the lowest degree that a adult female can be degraded. but the music pictures take particular attention to degrade the black adult female even more.
Rap music picture depict a false image of what a existent adult female looks like in world: “music pictures have gotten so raunchy they might every bit good be erotica. showing a hyper-sexual word picture of adult females that distorts and demeans the image of black adult females in peculiar. Even in the tamer picture. adult females might every bit good be cocottes. They are objects. portion of the bling-bling. like the Pt ironss and diamonds sported by rappers” ( Daily Review 7/4/04 ) .
It is merely in this manner that Saartjie Baartman was displayed and responded to and it is in the manner Black adult females have been systematically considered: as objects of sexual development. Hip hop music has become explosively popular in the US and much of the remainder of the universe in the last 20 old ages. Hip hop music influences larger society in powerful ways and has become a subculture that has transcended race. socioeconomics. and gender. Its popularity and ability to exceed across many societal lines that are normally impenetrable is the biggest menace to the perceptual experience of Black adult females by others and by themselves.
When leaders like President Barack Obama and other outstanding politicians reference lines from popular blame vocals. they are frequently received with esteem and exhilaration by the media and larger public. Such a response from a pop civilization mention reveals hip hop music’s ability to act upon civilization on a greathearted degree. Hip hop music is an industry tally by work forces. with overpoweringly male creative persons who provide amusement for other work forces. In this apprehension of the industry. the images of adult females presented through this massively popular music are entirely chosen by work forces.
Additionally. hip hop music tends to sell a life style and non merely a vocal or beats. As was antecedently discussed in the quotation mark from Daily Review. expensive stuff things and several beautiful and bare adult females are things to accomplish and obtain. An object is for usage of some sort and the hip hop music industry has individual handedly crystallized the developing impression that adult females in general are objects for sexual pleasance entirely. This thought is peculiarly harmful for Black adult females and misss in the face of a media that has really few other images of Black adult females.
White adult females are of class objectified and hyper-sexualized in the same mode. but the harm of such objectification is buffered by other images of a scope of professional White adult females. heroines in movie and telecasting. outstanding White actresses. politicians. businesswomen. journalists. etc “Historically. white adult females. as a class. were portrayed as theoretical accounts of self-respect. self-denial. and modesty – even sexual pureness. but black adult females were frequently portrayed as innately promiscuous. even predatory. This word picture of black adult females is signified by the name Jezebel” ( Pilgram. 2002 ) .
Black adult females and misss have really few other images to mensurate themselves against or look to for motive or encouragement. These permeant images of the Black adult female as a promiscuous and manipulative Jezebel juxtaposed with the deficiency of other. more positive images. is highly detrimental to the Black woman’s self-pride. These images besides inform others of how to comprehend and finally treat Black adult females. which is further caustic to the Black woman’s self-pride. As if the power that images tend to hold on the human mind were non plenty. hip hop music besides incorporates wordss that correspond to the tone of discourtesy for Black adult females.
Negative names that refer to a woman’s sexual and societal behaviour like “ho” and “bitch” are common. frequent. and acceptable in hip hop wordss and function to farther minimize Black adult females. Often. rappers and fans likewise make alibis for the disturbing images and wordss featured in vocals and pictures. showing that the adult females featured in the pictures are working of their ain will and are non being objectified. While the adult females of these pictures are take parting of their ain will. the degrading wordss and the degrading images are non negated merely because the adult females are taking to take part.
The message being sent is still clear and omnipresent: Black adult females are objects of sexual satisfaction that do non hold to be spoken to or talk of as human existences. Viewing audiences are influenced by these images and wordss and are encouraged to develop erroneous thoughts about and massive perceptual experience of Black adult females. Additionally. because other. more positive images of Black adult females are losing in the media. viewing audiences are left with small existent information about the Black woman’s experience. life. and character.
Hip hop music has besides set the criterion of presentation for female rappers every bit good. Female rappers who have debuted in the last 20 old ages invoke the power the same sexual images and presentations as the male rappers do. More recent female blame creative persons like Nikki Minaj have amplified the hyper-sexual stereotype about Black adult females with her sexually charged wordss. provocative manner of frock. and assorted implants to enlarge her chests and natess. looking non unlike Saartjie Baartman and the many beautiful adult females of Africa.
Artists who pre-date Nikki Minaj. like Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown. debuted in a similar manner. utilizing their gender through wordss and blue media airss in which they were about ever barely clothed. to impel their callings. These female rappers merely serve to further force the music industry’s docket to minimize adult females. Black adult females in peculiar. by purchasing into and proudly exposing the really stereotyped behaviours that function to maintain hyper-sexualized images of Black adult females in the heads of viewing audiences. Female rappers serve the same intent as those adult females dancing in hip hop picture: to force the sexual docket of a sexist music industry.
However. the message delivered through female rappers is marked entirely due to the fact that the creative person is a female who is advancing a hegemonic patriarchal message. The sexual nature of hip hop in general is made more acceptable if the objects of sexual development. adult females. besides become hip hop stars. Last. the current female hip hop stars are following images of beauty from childhood icons such as Barbie. as is the instance with Nikki Minaj. The version of Barbie for the intent of hip hop is a clear indicant that there is an docket to capture all viewers’ heads to believe the images they are presented with about Black adult females.
The most effective attack to disputing the erroneous and negative images of Black adult females in the media is for those who are cognizant and knowing to expose the falsities of the permeant stereotypes and thoughts about Black adult females. Bibliography Frith. Susan. “Searching for Sara Baartman. ” Johns Hopkins Magazine. June 2009. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. jhu. edu/jhumag/0609web/sara. hypertext markup language ( accessed April 20. 2013 ) . “The Hottentot Venus. ” Accessed April 22. 2013. hypertext transfer protocol: //whgbetc. com/mind/hottentot_venus_emory. hypertext markup language. Payton. Brenda. “Sorority Sisters Combat Explotiative Rap Images. ” Daily Review ( Hayward. CA ) . 4 July 2004. Pilgrim. David.
“Jezebel. ” Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia. . hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ferris. edu/jimcrow/jezebel. htm ( accessed April 23. 2013 ) . Clemlyn-Ann. Pollydore. and Jennifer A. Richeson. “Affective Reactions of Afro-american Students to Stereotypical and Counterstereotypical Images of Blacks in the Media. . ” Journal of Black Psychology. no. 3 ( 2002 ) : 261-275. Simmonds. Felly Nkweto. “’She’s Got Tas Have It’ : The Representation of Black Female Sexuality on Film. ” Feminist Review. ( 1988 ) : 10-22. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. jstor. org/discover/10. 2307/1395143? uid=3739936 & A ; uid=2129 & A ; uid=2 & A ; uid=70 & A ; uid=4 & A ; uid=3739256 & A ; sid=21102132644181 ( accessed April 22. 2013 ) .