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Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's YOUR Take?

  Kanye West is not exactly the type of guy you'll see at a women's rights march, but a trailer issued for the forthcoming video for Monster is drawing more heat than usual. In the preview, langerie-clad women are seen hanging from their necks. In addition, Kanye poses unconscious women sexually and Jay-Z is seen looking back at a naked woman who is dead or drugged. In other segments I have seen, Rick Ross appears to be eating a corpse and Kanye holds the decapitated heads of women.

Groups like Adios Barbie have set up a petition site that is attracting signatures fast. They want to prevent the release of the full-length video on mainstream music outlets like MuchMusic and MTV. It's felt that when young people are bombarded with images of sexualized violence and death, they become desensitized and view women as objects for their use and abuse. On the other hand, Kanye views his videos as art that should not and cannot be censored. 

So what's your take on this? Do you feel that Universal should pull the plug on this project or do you think musicians should be able to produce whatever they please? Is there a line, and if so, does this cross it? I'm speaking of your opinion of the video, which seems to deviate from the meaning of the actual song dramatically. 

In my opinion, the video is trash. It is an insensitive and misogynistic portrayal of murder for entertainment. With images that bring to mind rape and some that seem paedophillic, it should absolutely not be shown to children. Kanye West views women as there for his desires and those feelings are on full display here. However, what we do have is freedom of speech and parental responsibility. If anyone thinks MTV is a suitable babysitter, I would call their parenting skills into question. MTV screens crap like Teen Mom and The Hills, neither of which are suitable for viewing by children. 

It is my hope that the networks will not screen this video during daytime hours or that it will be released only on DVD, but whether or not kids watch this is a decision that is ultimately up to parents to make. If Universal releases this, you have the option to put a parental lock on the channels you deem unsuitable for your kids. You also have the right to sign petitions to pressure networks not to air material that offends you and complain when they do. The ball is in the court of the viewing public to determine what ultimately airs and if you don't want Monster on MTV, you can always go here. 

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