Response Essay for “Killing Women: A Pop Music Tradition”
Since the birth of multi-media, people became more exposed to several cultural elements that through time turned into an instrument of social torture. To most people, media is a form of entertainment that embodies their social interests in different forms. One of the popular and most effective form of media that has been a part of cultural legacy since the beginning of civilization is music. After several generations, music has evolved dramatically to the point that it also became an influential element in domestic violence. Others may only see music as a form of art that promotes stress relief and a way to set mood transition. If you were to just plainly listen to a song, the first thing that would trigger your interest is the systematic arrangements of the melody and rhythm that inculcates the overall characteristic of the song. However, a song has two parts the music itself and the lyrics. Most of the time the music arrangement overpowers the lyrics, concealing the true nature of the song and at some point people fail to realize that the music they are listening to is already provoking negative thoughts.
As a result of overexposure to negative thoughts brought by some music through its lyrics, people listening to it would eventually adapt the personality depicted in the song in general and that includes violent personality. Because of such development the mostly occurring victims are women. The ignorance to the contextual meaning of the song is common in the pop music culture and largely becoming a tradition. A tradition blinded by good-looking performers and catchy tunes that in reality hides a culprit in their music.
Stories of violence particularly killing women foretold in music create an adverse effect to the listener and this includes developing thought patterns resulting to aggression. It can be strongly related to the study conducted by Malamuth and Check (1985) to measure the correlation of excessive exposure to sexually violent media to people’s thought patterns in relation to aggression against women (Malamuth, Briere. Sexual Violence in the Media: Indirect Effects on Aggression Against Women, PDF). In other words, being exposed to violent media including music will develop a thought that triggers aggression. When the subject of aggression is women, it is more likely that the listener would think of re-enacting what the lyric of the music is trying to depict. As stated in the essay by Hamerlinck (1995), the Family Violence Prevention Fund revealed that domestic violence happens in every nine seconds in the United States (Hamerlinck, Killing Women: A Pop Music Tradition). “In 2005, 1,81 women were murdered by an intimate partner so that’s an average of three women everyday (Violence Against Women in the United States Statistics, Web)”.
One example of a violent music is the “Dirty Deeds Done Cheap” by AC/DC. Part of the lyrics says: “got a lady and ya want her gone, she keeps naggin at ya night and day, enough to drive you nuts” (Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap Lyrics, Web). These words describes the cowardly nature of the guy that does not have the courage to pacify his lady. As a last resort the guy would have to call someone to kill the lady. “pick up the phone, leave her alone, it’s time you made a stand, for a fee, I am happy to be, your back doorman (Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap Lyrics, Web)”. These particular lines in the song talks about hiring a killer and the singer is the main man that provokes the guy to get a gun-for-hire for a reasonable price. In a way the lines provides an idea of committing a murder or conspiring with someone to accomplish it and the main target is a woman.
In conclusion, too much exposure to violent media or music for this instance delivers an inevitable effect to the personality of the listener. The provocative nature of killing-women music obviously attributes encouragements to violence resulting to an increasing number of killing incidents. The fact that media poses a strong influence to the people, it is safe to say that whatever negativity media tries to portray would eventually cause a socially destructive outcome. Therefore, control measures has to be taken into consideration to prevent if not to lessen violence caused or influenced by media and that includes better media policies.
Malamuth, Neil and Briere, John. “Sexual Violence in the Media: Indirect Effects on Aggression Against Women.” Journal of Social Issues. Vol. 42. No. 3. 1986. PP. 75-92. PDF file. Retrieved October 11, 2011 from http://www.johnbriere.com/malamuth%20%26%20Briere.pdf
Hamerlinck, John. Killing Women: A Pop Music Tradition. July-August, 1995. Web. Findarticles.com. Retrieved October 11, 2011 from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_n4_v55/ai_17100249/
Metrolyrics.com. Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap Lyrics. N.D. Lyrics: AC/DC. Web. Retrieved October 11, 2011 from http://www.metrolyrics.com/dirty-deeds-done-dirt-cheap-lyrics-acdc.html
Now.org. Violence Against Women in the United States Statistics. N.D. National Organization for Women. Web. Retrieved October 11, 2011 from http://www.now.org/issues/violence/stats.html