I was recently asked by a director friend of mine to be in a music video he was directing. He stated I would be one of 3 women who would be shown in the video. Now, a part of me, my ego, was for a split second flattered. But I quickly checked myself as I processed through my head all of the other times I’ve ever seen a woman portrayed in a video. They are usually clothed in a way to showcase their sexuality. They are usually posed in a way to showcase their sexuality. They are usually featured in relation to the men to showcase their sexuality. And they are usually not given speaking roles. So as not to take away from their sexuality. In short: they are not given any other identity other than their sexuality. Objectified. Exotified. or reduced to a sexual accessory of the male protagonist…
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a very sexual creature. I’m overtly sexual one may say. I have never feared discussing it. And encourage other women to embrace their sexual power as well. However that is all done on my terms. With my own words and actions.
But I thought to myself… I know him… he knows me… perhaps I’m not giving him credit…
So I replied “In order for me to make an informed decision, I’m gonna need the lyrics to the song, the storyboard for the video, & the design for makeup & costume”
He emails me:
The song title: “She Wants A Man”
The concept: Homage to Prince; 3 women are painted like animals, a Cheetah, a Leapard & a Zebra; Apparently, I would make the perfect Zebra!
The lyrics: includes a line of “fucking like animals”
My role: one of the animals (the Zebra to be exact) he fucked??
My response: NO THANK YOU
My feelings: Slightly insulted (Does he not KNOW who I am? My sexual preference? My beliefs? Has he never heard me go off on a feminist rant?!?!? I thought EVERYBODY had by now!)
And now I can’t get over the obvious fact that there is still so much more work to do!
So I say a BIG THANK YOU to my very talented director-friend for reminding me why I do what I do.