Surfing through my Facebook news feed I come across an article about certain artists not being invited to college fests. I quickly click on the link to read further. The women student union members of various DU colleges took a decision to not invite rappers whose songs had lyrics which were derogatory towards women. I am sure listing those songs is not necessary; most of them feature in our playlists. Almost every song these days objectifies women. So what exactly is objectification? Objectification is commonly confused with appreciation of beauty. While there is nothing wrong with noticing and appreciating beautiful people; objectification involves viewing and treating a person as an object, devoid of thoughts and feelings. Today women are progressive, financially independent yet these songs put forth the idea that still today we are capable only of strutting in high heels and spending our boyfriend’s money. In an age where people are afraid of being called feminists it is commendable to see college students standing up for a valid cause.
Objectification has been going on for ages but women are not the only victims. Men are also objectified. Reducing men to the size of their assets (I meant the monetary ones…), invalidating their emotions (because men don’t have feelings!!!) are various forms of objectification. Besides being unjust and insulting to the person being objectified it also develops competition in society. Phrases like “Mere paas gaadi, bangla, bank balance…” become part of conversations. People face societal pressures to look and behave in a certain way. Media influences people of all ages; young men grow up fantasizing of hot air heads, girls dream of rich prince charmings. It is therefore necessary to constantly critique objectification because it is normalized by mass media and rendered unproblematic.
One can argue that these songs are meant for entertainment but can’t we be entertained without reducing women to brainless dolls and men to wallets. I laud the decision taken by the student union members; I just hope it has the desired influence.