Machismo is the ultimate counter-movement of feminism. In essence, the former is the assertion of patriarchy in society while the latter is the expression of equality in the sexes. However, music was a pool of gender inequalities as artists are seemingly unaware of the repercussions of their musical prejudices. The youth today more or less sees artists as their inspirations. By using Uses and Gratifications Theory, Cultivation Theory and Social Learning Theory, we can understand how problematic it is if machismo prevails in music.
Music is actually a form of economic engagement that seeks to sell a song as byproducts of marketing strategies. To sell, artists engage in different modes to persuade consumers to purchase their products. Some use sexual images, while some use derogatory treatments with each other. In the cases of consumer, people seek to buy the songs that will complete their lacking identity.
If the songs available are only about the derogatory interpretation about females in the perspective of males, or women’s false assertion of sexuality in female music videos, then the kinds of products that will be available for the incomplete audiences will not be sufficient to complete them accordingly. It will only fill the gap of temporary being on top, but not ultimately addressing the issue that what they lack is the esteem needed to be comfortable in their own skin. This type of reproduction of worldview will not even be enough to help in alleviating a decent amount of inequality in society. It would not even be advantageous in countering unfair power relations that are already prevalent nowadays.
Machismo is the ultimate alteration of gender roles in society, where women are not viewed as productive members. In machismo music, women are only seen as effective stimulators of men’s sexual desires. They are nothing worth more than fulfilling lustful wants of males, who feature women in their videos as merely skimpy dancers clad in their bikinis. As cultural texts, music videos become a manner in which the youth can possibly imitate what they see. Thus, the proliferation of unfavorable conditions for women would be unstoppable.
To further illustrate this event, the Uses and Gratifications Theory can be used. In such, the assumption would be, “The sexual behavior of adolescents, especially teens, are influenced by their consumption of media culture.” Therefore, “media consumers come to the media with different needs and motives and that what they take away from the media will depend on why they came to it.” If they came to see it as source of satisfaction but they see it on an entirely fallacious level, then we could encounter severe social problems.
Meanwhile, Cultivation Theory asserts that television is the “dominant cultural story-teller of the age, predicts that viewers who watch a great deal of television are more likely than those who watch less often to accept the worldview most frequently depicted on TV.” Now, if they see that machismo is prevalent, what kind of dominant worlview for women would be promoted?
Social Learning Theory, meanwhile, “predicted further that viewers will be more likely to assimilate and perhaps imitate behaviors they see frequently depicted by attractive models who are rewarded and/or not punished. It also predicts that imitation is more likely if the media consumer thinks the portrayal is realistic and identifies with or desires to be like the media character.” Can this be any more realistic than it actually is?
Now, machismo is counterproductive in music because it only creates a cultural divide between men and women. It is also reactionary because it relies on the hegemonic characteristic of society that patronizes what the ruling elites want so that they can sell their products. In this, machismo music sold by the ruling elites uses women as the ingredients to their products so they can actually sell a great deal. Sex sells. But if we treat women as mere sex objects as exemplified in machismo music, then we have a great problem and we should seriously talk.
FDRMX Eyes: Check out Colin Cowan and The Elastic Stars’ music video for “Whispers to Rockefeller.” The video focuses on an individual trying to cope with a recent breakup.