Monday, September 1, 2014
Summer: Perpetuating Gender Stereotypes
“Summer”, by Calvin Harris has been a hit song in America since it was released in March 2014. The dance-pop song includes extremely surface level lyrics describing a Although, the lyrics are extremely simple and superficial, describing a jovial relationship which began in the summer. It is clear that the song is mainly liked for its upbeat electronic music, however, the music video is not quite as enjoyable.
Despite the innocent and lighthearted lyrics, the “Summer” music video exaggerates egregious American stereotypes about gender. Ironically, as the lyrics “You act so innocent now,” are played, nearly naked women are displayed dancing promiscuously. The video proceeds to show groups of women dancing sexually and doing ridiculous poses around cars or in swimming pools. The video serves to perpetuate the disrespect for women in America. The women are represented not by their achievements, aspirations, or their power, but solely by their beauty and sexuality. The women shown in the video also reinforce the American stereotypes that in order to be feminine, a woman should wear makeup and high heeled shoes, be extremely skinny and wear very little clothing.
Along with stereotypes about females, typical American stereotypes about masculinity are also exhibited. While there is a multitude of females doing ridiculously sexual things and humiliating poses, Calvin Harris is nearly the only male in the video. He wears simple and traditionally masculine clothing and is surrounded by females. He also displays no emotion and is shown as independent and powerful as he walks alone and drives a race car. Cultural contributions similar to this video negatively intensify the division between accepted masculinity and femininity, as well as perpetuating the disrespect of women in America.