Blurred Lines: Power Relationships In The Media

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Power relationships exist throughout society and determine our social position in the world. These relationships are presented in the media, especially through the use of music and their visual representations. Popular music is powerful due to the wide audience that it reaches and also because its audience usually leans towards young and impressional adolescents. Individuals consume these images and they are problematic because they present and reinforce hegemonic tropes of power, in this case patriarchal power. In this paper, I will discuss the power relationships are shown in music videos, and how parodies can serve as a way to reverse and challenge power dynamics presented in the media. In the controversial hit music video “Blurred Lines”,…show more content…
There are three fully dressed women and three men in their underwear submitting themselves and relinquishing their masculinity, something that is rarely shown in music videos. The parody reverses the gender roles presented in the original video and states lyrics such as: "what you see on TV / doesn't speak equality / It's straight up misogyny.” and the women proudly declare that “we are scholastic/ smart and sarcastic”. According to Nancy Hartsock, “power is associated firmly with male and masculinity”. Hartsock calls for a theory of power for women that would not only give attention to the ways that women are dominated, but also to their capacities, abilities, and strengths, that would serve as a potential transformation of power relationships (159). She believes that there needs to be a theory of power that doesn’t ignore or resist power relations and that “we need to recognize that we can be the makers of history as well as the objects of those who have made history” (171). I believe that by using parody as a tool to call out moments of sexism in music, women are attempting to expose power relationships that are defined by masculinity, and attempting to transform them. The video is an example of participating in a call for change of power relations in the modern age of social

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