Tough Guise & Sex and Power in Music Videos

Karen Dayanna Cardona 


While watching the documentary ‘Tough Guise’ I found it extremely interesting the way they formed a point regarding the idea of gun violence being based and committed specifically by man and boys. The media usually portrays the idea of ‘kids killing kids’ instead of ‘boys killing boys’, this type of violence is rarely gender, when girls fight however the media immediately proceeds into the gendering of these fights. Just the same way as ‘violence against women’ has been turned into a “woman’s issue” when the perpetrators are all male. I believe it is extremely important to raise awareness that violence by men against women is a problem of males that affects women; men need to step up and begin to work against these acts of violence.  See these problems only seems to highlight race or gender when ever the group that is being focused on falls on the category of the subordinate. Its almost as if Caucasians did not have a race, heterosexuals did not have a sexual orientation, and males did not have a gender, when looking at this we can see how a Caucasian heterosexual male can easily get out of many stereotypes that the media presents.

The new culture that continues to spread is one in which boys are naturally born to bully, rape, and murder. Not realizing that this idea has been created by society, boys are taught to act by their teachers, coaches, male friends and fathers also known as the gender police. Since a very young age, boys learn ways such as to hide their emotions and simply ‘suck it up’ to not be called ‘pussies’ ‘fags’ or ‘gay’, all these names that have a female connotation then become negative as males try to be as far as possible from these descriptions. To think that masculinity is represented at such a young age, starting from cartoons such as ‘Sharks Tale’ teaching boys how to be real man strikes me since my little brother is seven years old and that is one of his favorite movies. This documentary allowed me to see a different perspective one that focuses on the male’s point of view and the way they endure large cycles of bullying, tormenting, and bashing that usually leads to committing crimes such as more intense bullying, rape and even murder in the future to simply represent their masculinity. Here the big question and the big theme is based around the problem that eventually boys begin to use violence in order to prove their masculinity.

Masculinity can also be seen when this is composed by the objectification and mistreatment of women. The media often presents us with this kind of objectification and hatred towards women through music videos. Women are presented as beings that are constantly demanding sex and constantly desperate, and dependent of the man. Not only do they become dependent of a man physically but they also become dependent for their emotional stability, even women with authority figures such as cops and teachers become sexualized. The porn industry also plays a huge role in the objectification and hyper-sexualizing of women this idea of the men being always in control and proving his masculinity through excessive violence against the women. These music videos clearly portray the idea that women bodies are clearly and strictly simply these for the pure enjoyment of the male.

When then looking at the racial part of the video spectrum the idea in which black males are presented as ‘threatening men’ , rapist, and ignorant takes it back to the earlier ‘The Birth of a Nation’ in which black males are controlled the same way . I say controlled because today just how back in the day the entertainment industry is in controlled by white men, this made me think about Lupe Fiasco’s music video ‘Bitch Bad’ in which he compares today’s music rappers to embodying the back in the day ‘black face’ at the end of the day simply putting a show for the white man, and the video girls simply allowing this objectification for the money. They way boys and girls grow up seeing these things and begin to identify with music videos instead of real life.


Here is the link to Lupe Fiasco’s Bitch Bad music video . WATCH IT 🙂 



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