Friday, October 29, 2010

Power... less?

When hanging out with friends it is socially acceptable to share your likes and preferences openly. However, I have come to find (in an uncomfortable way) that while hanging out with friends it is NOT as socially acceptable to voice your deep and profound distain for something that one of your friends thinks is awesome.

I’m referring to a situation I found myself in with one of my friends last week. We were hanging out and he had something he really, really, really wanted to show me. He told me that the new Kanye West video was a little different but completely AWESOME (and yes, he got that excited about this video).

So, he pulls up the music video for “Power” sung by Kanye West and we begin to watch it. The video itself is only 1 minute and 30 some seconds long (thank goodness). What I witnessed was essentially Kanye portraying himself as a God as all of these women fawn around him. The entire movie is just panning from one woman to the next as Kanye sings about being a man with sooooooooo much power. What was particularly interesting to me was when the two men come into the shot with swords and it looks like their attempting to bring Kanye down.

After the video was through, I looked to my friend and said, “Well, that’s some serious Baloney” (of course I used a more “colorful” expression than that but in order to keep the blog PG, edits must be made). I continued on to voice why a sincerely dislike the music video and disagree with the lyrics. To which my friend didn’t necessarily become defensive, but certainly reacted in a shocked way saying that it was awesome because Kanye is on the top of his game and he’s such an influential figure in mainstream society right now and he’s such a “man’s man” (whatever that means…).

I mean, seriously, why do we as a collective society seem think that because you can rap you’re a God? Furthermore, are you more of a man when you have women fawning around you? If so, I, tragically (or perhaps not so tragically), missed the memo; because there’s no way I could ever rap (even if my life depended on it) and I certainly do not have women fawning all around me. I just have to ask: If these are the messages we’re sending young men and women, is our society filled with power to achieve such great things as to gain adoration from others or are we just attempting to conceal the fact that we’re powerless to break free from the stereotypes of what it means to be masculine or feminine?

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