March 22, 2011 | life

Music & Porn

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a rant about Rihanna and her tendency to walk dangerously close to the porn line in her videos. Well, now UK artist Skepta has decided to throw any kind of caution in that arena to the wind and just go ahead and make a porno with his music in the background. The internet was ablaze last week when he released the video for his song ‘All Over the House’ and reaction has been predictably mixed.

I’m not familiar with any of Skepta’s work but just to bring you up to speed, his song ‘All Over the House’ is an intricate tale of how he and some random chick had sex, well, umm, all over his house. Deep and meaningful, it is not. I heard people were up in arms about the video but no one was really saying why. I made it through about 30 seconds before my inner catholic lost her shit and shut it off.

Clearly the boy needed some attention and bully for him, mission accomplished. But once again, I have to ask, why? Why does anyone give a crap where this guy had sex, how often or with whom? The unprecedented arrogance of writing that tune, committing it to wax and making a video that demonstrates, very graphically exactly what he meant (just in case you don’t know what sex is, I guess) is kind of off the charts here. What is this adding to the cultural landscape? I’m not saying every song has to be ‘conscious’ or deep and meaningful but this? THIS?!

Then of course, there’s his young fan base who will at some point come across this video and while it’s not his responsibility to raise other people’s kids, he does have a responsibility to at least attempt to send out a decent message. But instead he’s chosen, as so many hip hop artists have before him, to send the message that women are just objects.

Clearly, I’m not into porn. If you are, that’s your business. I’m not against sex by any means, but do I object to what porn stands for and how it treats women? You bet your ass. Someone pointed out to me recently that women in porn earn four times more than the men. The irony that seemingly the one industry where we earn more than our male counterparts is the one where we’re treated with zero respect and like objects there for the sole purpose of pleasuring men almost makes my head explode.

The guys over at Brothers With No Game discussed this video last week complete with the reaction video of two guys who watched it. The guys, not knowing what to expect before tuning in, were shocked at the extremely graphic nature of the video, deemed it unnecessary and said they were disgusted. One of the commenters said these boys were ‘fags’, adding ‘have they never seen a girl get shagged before?’ Ahh, of course, they must not be real men because they express concern and disgust at seeing a woman treated as an object. Of course! This is macho bollocks gone mad. You see the mentality we’re instilling in young men?

Porn is the extreme end, but it permeates throughout society and manifests itself in the smallest things. But now the envelope just keeps bring pushed. So while in the 80s, baring a bit of midriff in a video was risque, everyone has to keep one upping each other to the point of Nelly swiping a credit card down a woman’s ass in his Tip Drill video (a delightful song relishing the delights of just using women for sex), to Skepta saying ‘f*ck it – let’s just get some people naked and screwing.’ Clearly it gets people talking about the artist and maybe sells some records, but off the back of the message that women are just objects for you to stick your penis in? Really?

A couple of days ago as I walked down a street in London, two nine year old boys wolf whistled at me. When I ignored them, they did it again. And again. Street harassment from nine year olds, treating me like an object. Hmm, I wonder where they learned that?

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20 Comments

Andy Hemingway

Why the surprise ? Hasn’t the “rap” video historically been the most sexist and materialistic medium available ? Apart from promoting guns, drugs, cars, crap jewelery, and suspect fashion ideas, the whole premises is to portray women as being disposable sex objects, with no other useful function. The instantly forgetable Mr Skepta has merely pushed the envelope to it’s limit.

sesp

Women are also paid more than men in the modelling industry.
Er….where they are lovely props for selling clothes and products.

Jen

Absolutely couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said on this. Can’t help but feel women are running a losing battle; how the hell will we achieve equal rights when there’s so many ‘well paid’ women willing to do this shit? Objectification has become the norm, depressing.

Becci

Interestingly enough, my friend is the girl featured in this video! I don’t think that she feels she is being exploited in any way at all, she chooses to work in the porn industry, & earns a lot of money from it.

I have no problem with porn, but I do think that there’s a time & place for it, & this video was easily found online, so people under 18 could easily view it.

My main worry is that young men & women who are exposed to this type of material, feel under pressure to perform in a certain way, & think that this is the only way to have sex…..

Amma

Feel the same way about the video, absolutely despise the fact that porn is being used as a marketing tool for music. *shakes head*.

Pink

I haven’t seen the video but I think I may have heard the song yesterday and I was irritated at just how awful it was. Thanks for the warning, I’m going to stay well clear. I think as women all we can do is influence the people around us to not objectify our sex, you’ll be surprised how many women don’t actually stand up to that behaviour and just accept it as the norm. I’ve stood up for myself and the man in question said I was up tight, no mate I just want to be respected for who I am as apposed to how I look! That shut him up pronto. I suggest we stand up for ourselves, in your situation I would have gone up to those nine year old kids and lectured them and then asked for their parents phone numbers, if anything you would have made them think about their actions. Who knows whether or not their behaviour would change but at least you’ll know you tried. I’m on a quest to change the world, can you tell LOL.

The Jaded NYer

I don’t know this artist or his music (but now that you’ve written about him I’ll, of course, google him & increase his YouTube hits *side eye*) but I am no longer surprised by anything today. at all. well there was this story about a roommate who made a sex doll out of spoiled chinese take-out…that was rather shocking…but yeah, I’m hardly ever shocked.

As for the easily influenced kids- He can be as skeezy as he wants; I’m the one responsible for my children’s moral compass. *adds him to the persona non grata list*

Harry

Oh shizzle!! I just watch it, I’m not easily shocked at all but I think he may have taken that a little too far… but at least he’s wearing a condom

Ruby A

At least Skepta was honest and made the porn video countless other rappers and singers like Pon de Forehead have been champing at the bit to make! I don’t fundamentally have a problem with porn – it’s not for me, but it has its place. Objectifying the opposite/same sex isn’t wrong, but if that’s the sum total of how we treat other human beings, then that IS wrong.

I agree that Skepta is just another contributor to the trash heap and he’s done nothing which, in any teeny-tiny way, inspires the next generation to do anything more productive than talk shit about the money they make and the hos they use.

What I do have a problem with, though, is a world in which I’m told that my place is either in a kitchen, or a bedroom. That men lusting after women and treating us like sex objects, rather than human beings, is the ONLY and BEST thing that we deserve, and that we should be grateful when they pay attention to us in the street. That being disrespectful – whistling, catcalling, all the rest of it – is OK. That young women who AREN’T porn actresses feel they have to look and act like one to get a man. That this stuff can be found by impressionable kids – and let’s be honest, some of us have stumbled on stuff we shouldn’t have seen when we were too young to process it – but not just found, but consumed on a daily basis. That, I have a MASSIVE FUCKING PROBLEM with (excuse my French).

This is a wider problem. Our kids are being fed FAR too much sexual imagery and messages – and as adults, we have to hold ourselves accountable for this. We don’t tell little boys enough that yelling ‘nice tits’ at women in the street is not OK; their dads sure as hell are too busy gawping at our tits to bother! We don’t tell little girls enough that there is more to life than being a ‘WAG In Training’ – an appendage to someone else’s success. Great. We’re raising a generation of sex-obsessed, superficial cardboard cutouts who value material things over self-respect, education and integrity.

(On a side note: there are a few powerful women in the porn industry behind the camera, but unlike their male counterparts, who set up companies without having to do movies first, they generally had careers in front of the camera before setting up their businesses. So while women wield the financial clout, they still have to get to the top the hard way. I can understand that they may have a lucrative ‘brand’ to build on after making movies, but it hardly seems fair that they still have to run to a position a man can stroll to. So the porn industry isn’t as equal as some might think.)

Debbie

OK having another go at writing something that makes sense in my head and on the page! I am just not sure that these videos are the root of all evil. The women in them choose to make their money that way, people watching them choose to watch them, sex sells, singers make money, job done. None of these people have a responsibility to our kids or for our self-worth or self-esteem. I know lots of men and there isn’t one of them that I would say objectifies women and I don’t feel that men in society on the whole do either. There are always the exceptions to every rule and yes there are some utter sleaze bags out there, but they would have been sleazey even without videos of this sort. I have never been made to feel that my place was in either the kitchen or the bedroom and in 45 years have only ever been made to feel the professional equal of the men I have worked with and for, in fact the only sexual harassment I have ever suffered was from another woman – but that’s a whole other story! I think it’s a parents responsibility to encourage their daughters to be whoever they want to be, as it is to tell little boys that holding doors open for ladies isn’t “gay” but is in fact good manners. Society isn’t responsible for bringing up our kids, we are and if we do a good enough job their heads will not be turned by the trash that assaults all of us every day. It’s part of life and if we have a duty as parents to equip our kids to deal with it. Life is full of trash and trashy people and only by experiencing life can we differentiate between the two and decide which side of the fence we are on. And I have to say I would flatten my son if he shouted nice tits at anyone, just fyi!!

Harry

Now I’ve thought about it for a bit I find this less offensive than most rap videos.
The dangerous thing about the portrayal of women in porn and hip hop hoes is the idea that sex is something that is done to women. This gives boys and men a very slanted view of sex – ‘women are there to be fucked’
This video however shows two consenting adults mutually enjoying sex. There is no unbalance of power, the woman isn’t there just to jiggle and be ogled at like in the usual videos. she isn’t purely an object. It looks like great sex and that they are just enjoying each others bodys. she isn’t being fucked, they are having sex together.

he even says ‘I’ll make sure we come together’ – hes thinking about her pleasue rather than just his cock

That is not to say that it is appropriate for public viewing because its not, but I just think it sends a more possitive message about sex than the usual video

ps. I am female by the way, despite my name… not that that matters I guess

Kim

What the hell is wrong with people. Porn annoys me so much.

I’m not going to get into the main reasons why, but as a teacher, I have had to confiscate mobile phones from 12 year old lads that had videos ofporn on it… Being played in my lessons! Then… I have 11 year old lads whispering about the size of my breasts as I crouch down to assist them with their work. My point being- these lads are treating women like objects! They are seeing women as sexual objects (even their teachers!)

I am surprised how many people ‘get off’ on porn- I was led to believe sex should be between two loving partners. Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that people have sex with people they don’t love- but the thought of either partner being paid sickens me.

Perhaps I am a prude but hey ho… I’m married, own my own flat,have a decent job and a loyal family. I don’t need porn to get off on because life is enough of a high for me.

The sooner these rap artists realize the impact of their ‘creative’ videos the sooner the public will address the issue! If we make this acceptable by saying and doing nothing- this will become the norm.

P.s. I would like to add, I feel no need to have porn within my marriage because we are creative enough!!!!

fuyume

Hallelujah! Well said bangs. What are today’s youth learning? This video will be seen by alot of youths and is systematic of the lessons alot of boys are learning and frm a young age. It’s getting worse and worse. My son is in middle school meaning the oldest child is 11. There’s recently been cases of some of the male students touching up female students against their will. what does the school do? nothing. what do the parents do? nothing. It’s disgusting and shocking. Parents and schools have a responsibility to show boys that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. or where does it end? these boys could end up as the sex attackers of the future. This kind of degradation of females just leads boys/men to believe that they can treat women however the hell they like. I tell you something as a mother of 3 boys i’m teaching them to respect and value women and that every human being deserves that much.

Elle

At least he’s wearing a condom, as someone else says. That makes everything ever-so-slightly better.

Casee Marie

Bravo! So many people say sex sells but to me it says they aren’t creative enough to come up with anything original. Since I’ve (blessedly, I guess) never heard of Skepta I’ve never seen the video, but it seems like there have been a lot of musical artists (and I use the term loosely) in the past that have a tendency to take similar roads with their videos, lyrics, etc. It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed and I applaud you for taking the step to call attention to it!

bonita

~ * ? * ~

Oh my. I wondered when this line from insinuating everything but the actual sexual act in a music video to actually doing it would be crossed… I just never thought I would see it happen. It’s just beyond all ~ well, everything!!

xox,
bonita of Depict This!
~ * ? * ~

Tom

I think Add N to X made a porn music video in about 2003.

I absolutely agree with the above posters when they talk about young kids being exposed to porn too early.

However, I do take issue with the idea of porn as being wrong because it “objectifies” women. The fact is that we are sexual creatures, and we all objectify other people. If you lust after someone you meet in a club, or have a crush on someone you don’t know, you’re objectifying them. Porn might be an amplification of that, but there’s a reason it’s so popular.

It’s not solely a male thing either, my girlfriend loves porn.

Dan

this is the biggest load of crap I have ever read!!! Skepta didn’t release porn to gain attention and sell records, Skepta has already made it big in the UK and the fact that in porn women are objectified… women choose to be pornstars and are not forced to do anything they dont want to so they are NOT objectified. It irritates me hugely that people can bitch like this over the internet. F@#k all your politically correct opinions!

MzBusby

@ Dan – you’re hilarious if you think that Skepta didn’t release porn to gain attention!
The thing can’t be shown on regular TV, so surely he’s trying to create a n underground buzz. You clearly don’t understand the media world at all. All attention is good attention, and EVERYONE wants attention.

Link Love with a Twist: March 28, 2011

[…] bangs and a bun – Music & Porn: This post left and impression on not one but two of our Link Love participants. Faye of Fuyume decided to nominate the post because “[it's] about sex in music videos and how its representative of society’s obsession with sex and its effect on today’s youth.” Her thoughts were seconded by Mrs B of Mrs Bossa Does the Do. […]

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