The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

WAGE holds women in music discussion

Posted at 3:00 p.m. 2/14/10

A woman on a tour bus kneels and holds her blonde hair back from the borage of deli meat being thrown at her naked torso.

“Are you guys sure I’m going to get a (backstage) pass for this?” she asks.

Junior Tessa Cash was upset by the clip from “Dreamworlds III: Desire, Sex and Power in Music Video” while attending an event sponsored by the Women and Gender Equity Center this week.

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“I was very offended by that,” the elementary education major said. “It was probably one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the WAGE hosted its first article discussion of the semester in the Sutherland Hall TV lounge titled “Sex, Desire, and Power: The Portrayal of Women in Music.” The discussion was based off of clips from the film “Dreamworlds III: Desire, Sex and Power in Music Video” as well as two articles: “Sexism and Misogyny: Who Takes the Rap? Misogyny, Gangsta Rap and the Piano” by Bell Hooks and “Claiming Jezebel: Black Female Subjectivity and Sexual Expression in Hip-Hop” by Ayana Byrd.

Graduate student and women’s issues program coordinator for WAGE Abby Vercauteren led the discussion with about 25 students in attendance.

Vercauteren said that the article discussions are a means to shed light on gender issues on and off campus and to brainstorm ways to fix and find alternatives to these concerns.

The group ate pizza and discussed issues such as positive and negative female role models in the music industry, sexism and misogyny in different genres of music and what effects music videos have on younger people.

“It’s presented as something that’s ok. Normal.Women are just body parts,” freshman Olivia Batien said about the portrayal of women in music videos. “You see it so often that you become immune to it.”

The social work major also expressed concern for young people exposed to these messages and the effect it may have on them.

According to Hook’s article, “mainstream white culture is not concerned about black male sexism and misogyny, particularly when it is unleashed against black women and children. It is concerned when young white consumers utilize black popular culture to disrupt bourgeois values.”

The discussion also focused on the behavior and careers of female artists in the music business.

For example, “Dreamworld III” showed singer/songwriter Jewel’s transformation from “a serious and authentic artist” to caving to the “pressure to conform” in her video for “Intuition.”

The album “0304” which included “Intuition” became Jewel’s highest-debuting album in her career, entering the Billboard 200 at number two with 144,000 copies sold in its first week according to the Billboard Web site.

“I think it’s kind of disgusting that they think that’s what they have to do to get anywhere,” sophomore Mary Wolf said.

The next article discussion sponsored by the WAGE Center, “Women in the Military,” will be held March 3 in the President’s Room of the Davies Center. Guest facilitators will be Rachel Woodward and Selika Ducksworth-Lawton. The event is free and open to the public.

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WAGE holds women in music discussion