The Ayo Technology video staring 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland takes sexist objectification in music videos to the next level. The video incorporates the main message of the song, "I'm tired of using technology," by showing the musicians using super high tech telescopes, binoculars and computers to stalk women. 50 Cent looks like a sniper or deer hunter on a roof, and then he is featured following a woman in her car. Timberlake is parked outside another woman's home watching her undress. Is he trying to bring stalking back too? Their technology allows them to see through women's clothes and control their bodies from afar. In addition, the video is spliced with images of strippers and women having sex night vision style.
It is disgusting that they are bringing stalking to a mainstream "sexy" level. More than a million women are stalked annually. Stalking is a terrifying experience for victims, causing them psychological trauma, and possible physical harm. Some affects on the victim include panic attacks, isolation, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal feelings and decreased ability to perform daily tasks. According to CFW.org, stalking is one of the most common predictors of more violence such as physical abuse, rape and/or murder. More information can be found in the Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women from the U.S. Department of Justice.
It is absolutely pathetic that those involved with this project are so creatively limited that sexual objectification of women was the chosen way to display the song. Their total disregard for the dignity of women is beyond disappointing. Thankfully the documentary "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" explores sexism in hip-hop. The film pays tribute to hip-hop while challenging the industry to take responsibility for glamorizing stereotypes of manhood.
This blog was originally posted on August 27, 2007 on http://www.youngpeoplefor.org/blog/posts/1255