Thursday, April 8, 2010

2 Very Different Ways to Promote Ending Sexual Violence

The internet can be a window to understanding, or just more of the same tiresome sexist and sexually violent crap posing as ways to build "awareness." In a rape-culture ridden society, it is far too often the latter.

Kiely Williams, former Disney Cheetah Girl and even more formerly, member of girl-group 3LW, has come out with a new single called "Spectacular." The song is about going out one night, getting reallllllly drunk and having sex. It's all very confusing and you can't remember much but hey, the "sex was spectacular." Shockingly enough, part of the chorus repeats: "Ass up, clothes off, broke off, dozed off". The music video is graphic, badly-made, and features a scantily clad Williams cooing about having Spectacular drunk sex. But wait a second, before any feminist rebuke can be formulated! Upon the admonishment Williams has received for the video, she released a statement:

"ATTENTION: I am an actor and performer. I have been so since my first role in a television pilot at five years old. I played a character when I was a Cheetah Girl. I am playing a character in the music video for the song Spectacular, as I did in the Cheetah Girl movies. Young women across the country get intoxicated and have unprotected sex. That's a fact. I recorded the song to bring attention to this frighteningly prevalent activity. It is absurd to infer or suggest that I am condoning this behavior.

Are Lady Gaga and Beyonce advocating murder with the Telephone video? Of, course not. Was Rihanna encouraging suicide with Russian Roulette? No. Was Madonna suggesting that young unmarried girls get pregnant with Papa Dont Preach? I dont think so. Is Academy Award winner Monique a proponent of incest because of her portrayal of Mary in the movie Precious. Clearly, the answer is no.

I wrote Spectacular and made the video to bring attention to a serious womens health and safety issue. Please don't shoot the messenger."

What's interesting is that she puts messages from the film "Precious" in the same category as the Lady Gaga and Beyonce "Telephone" video - both are filled with isms, but guess which of the two glamorizes those isms? Here is her video.

However, it isn't all bad out here on the interweb. There is a very funny, extremely effective new cartoon about realistic ways to stand up to sexual violence. Via Sociological Images:

Monica C., who teaches ethnic studies and works with survivors of interpersonal violence, sent in this 9-minute satirical video (posted at Consent Turns Me On) she created for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It highlights the way that rape prevention campaigns often put the onus on women to avoid being raped, providing lists of things to avoid doing (that basically add up to never doing anything where a man is present, ever), rather than focusing on educating men about not raping women.

The video is awesome and really well done. It hearkens to mind the film "Robots" with its industrial animation. Check it out, and always use a media-literate eye when filtering through what promotes sexual violence and what promotes ending it.


  1. "that song is sexist and it sucks"

  2. I feel as though the difficulty of the situation is that I can't evaluate her intentions - I can't call bullshit or not on the quote above. Maybe she really did mean to call attention to something or maybe she didn't. But I can evaluate what the effect of the song is. And if the effect is the glamorize sexual violence, the intent doesn't really excuse anything.

  3. this second video is hilarious when red sings rofl