Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Social Justice Event - T-pain

For my social justice event I went to the talk about T-Pains songs. They talked about two different songs. One of the songs we talked about what "Take your shirt off".
Basically it was set up so that we heard a couple of T-pain's songs and then we had a discussion the influence and meaning of his songs. I thought that there were a couple authors who this related to. The very first author that came to mind was Christensen. Both T-pains songs and video portray certain stereo types in the media. If you watch his video we notice that the women are always in the background and you never hear them speak. The women in the video are all very willing to take their shirts off, and are typically seen as more of objects rather than people. The video portrays them as body parts and the men view them in context of their bodies. Also notice that the women are all very skinny and pretty, and it's showing that that is what men want. This totally influences society making girls want to look like this because this is what a girl is supposed to look like. Christensen would say that this video is very stereo typical. We can also notice that this is portrayed as a college Frat house event. This is so influential because girls see this before they even get to college and it's embedded into their brains that this is what you do. Now someone in the seminar said that it is a women's decision and it also has to do with your morals at home. I totally agreed with this. I do believe that it starts with the morals you get at home. However that might not always be enough. 

There was a man in the seminar who talked about his daughter, and how since an early age he tried to shelter her from this stuff and stray her away from it. But now this is the kind of life she is headed for and he can't help but feel that she was influenced by this type of media and no matter what he says he can't bring her back. It was actually a really sad story because this kind of media is portrayed everywhere. Women are most likely always portrayed for looks. Take nike for example. I bet it's difficult to find a female ad who is not being shown in her sports bras. This media is out there and Christensen wants us to be aware of it so we can try fix it. Look at a women's nike ad vs. a man's. 

NikeWomen_NTC_High.jpg  vs 

Men are always portrayed doing something athletic, where the women are shown for their bodies not really doing an sort of activity. This is not the case for all ads but a majority of them are like this. 

In the seminar professor bogad mentioned something that i really liked. She said the world is saturated by the media. Whether is beauty norms, race, class status, or the shoes we buy a lot of it is influenced by the media. It gives us a false sense of beauty even. I thought this really related to that Dove Evolution video we watched in class.

I thought this seminar also related into Grinner's article about S.C.W.A.A.M.P. I think it mostly relates to the maleness category. The music videos in T-pain's videos portray men as the ones in power. The women are like i said before just body parts for them to look at. Some of the lyrics are degrading toward women. In one of his songs it says 

Baby let me rope you up
Tie you down
Do it right
No matter how hard you buck
Gonna get wild all night

These lyrics show men as the one in power in a degrading sort of way. That women are supposed to please men. In society men who sleep around are applauded, yet women are seen as sluts. Is that right? why should one be more favored than the other? Women shouldn't be frowned upon while men are applauded. It's not right. 

The last connection that i made was johnson. After the professors talked about their opinions they took questions from the audience. One girl stood up and said that it's a women's choice to portray themselves that way and take their shirts off. We are creating that image for ourselves by doing those things. Men aren't forcing them "to take their shirts off". We have to come to stand up for our morals. Be straight forward. One girl in the audience was actually one of T-pain's dancers. She said she had the utmost respect for him as an artist. It's all up to you as the dancer what you do. They aren't forcing you to take your shirt off. She doesn't portray herself like that and she said T-pain had the utmost respect for her. Like johnson says we have to come right out and address the issue. 

I really enjoyed the seminar i thought it was interesting to hear everyones opinions. I thought people brought up a lot of interesting points, but what I thought was great was someone said "T-pain is only a small representation of a larger problem", which i believe is totally true. But he has to make a living too, and it's this type of material that sells.


  1. definately glad I went with you Courtney and things were certainly made clear (about the lyrics and T-Pain himself) that I did not know ahead of time

  2. sounds like it was a really good discussion. i learned a lot just reading your blog

  3. I really wanted to go to this event. It sounded really interesting but i have practice. I guess reading your blog about it is the next best thing :)