Female gender stereotyping in American popular music.

Essay by mjustice52University, Bachelor'sA+, April 2002

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Mark Justice

Soc 311

Dr. Doreen

Due: 5-15-01

WOMEN IN AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC: A Brief Look At Gender Stereotyping

Humanity requires music. For most individuals and groups--circumspect of culture, time, or space--music is metaphor for heartbeat. Music is ensconced with the soul. The female role in the development of music over the millennia surely must have been dramatic. Today, women's voices fill the air all around us. However, their voices seem reduced to commercial opportunism in our material culture-deprecated by the color of money and MTV. The reasons for this gender paradigm are still alive and well as America enters the 21st century, women are still subjugated to whatever role provides for the optimum profit of the dominant group running the music industry. The reproduction of gender stereotypes, myths, and role models by this media perpetuates and mirrors the view of women in modern society.

For its relatively short history America has had a fantastic impact on the music world.

Reasons may stem from its freedom, diversity, and persons developing many styles in isolation and then sharing these styles. However, one may view the verity and richness of how all our music developed, gender-based social underpinnings is a central reason. Popular music has generated guidelines for the appropriate behavior of women in American culture, as well as men's response to them both in the musical instruments they should play, if any, to the ubiquitous sex attraction level whether as a front-person for the musical group and or a solo artist.

Almost every song and musical group from the 1940's to the present includes female stereotypes. Portrayals of women in lyrics and demands on women musicians are historical and have been seen in other media as well, particularly film or video. These ideas strongly impact a broad spectrum of public...