Culture and Lifestyle

How Nigerian Entertainers Normalise the Abuse of Women

Pauline Tallen, the Minister of Women’s Affairs and Social Development, has condemned artists for encouraging the abuse of women’s bodies by using filthy lyrics and presenting female dancers in a demeaning way. Tallen spoke at the presentation of the State of the World Population 2021 Reeport in Abuja on Tuesday, addressing the topic, ‘”My Body is My Own: Claiming the Right to Autonomy and Self-Determination’.”

Tallen argues that musicians are hindering the government’s efforts to address the dread and shame of victims of sexual assault dread and shame. “It’s depressing to know that, despite our efforts to break down these barriers and promote activism, the entertainment industry, which has a large presence among today’s youth, continues to unwittingly endorse the abuse of women characters as sexual objects through profane lyrical content and the use of female artists in morally compromising roles.,” Tallen said.

Nudity in the entertainment industry sells like hard drug.s: The American hip-hop stars will not produce a music video without flaunting the female nakedness because it ’is in high demand by their teeming fans. And Nigerian hip-hop stars are not lagging behind; t, rather they are faithfully keeping up the trend. Today, the prevalent culture of nudity in the Nigerian entertainment industry is can be said to be grossly offensive as it diminishes the morality of the society.

In the past, women were only seen naked when they were fighting for a cause. Naked women were sometimes seen protesting an unfair action or a repressive regime. For instance, the Aba Women riot of 1929, is regarded as one of the most dramatic expressions of nude protest throughout the past century. It was a notable display of black Nigerian women’s opposition to colonial authority and radicalised Western conceptions of the body. The historical relevance of this tactic is shown in naked protests, which have occurred as recently as December 2012 in West, East, and Southern Africa. However, it is worthy of note that this act was borne out of the pangs of marginalisation and segregation, ; and was used as a “weapon” against their foes.

However, today’s obscene trend of nudity perpetuated by the entertainment industry is a reflection of what our society has degenerated into in the last two decades. Sadly, we have moved on from perceiving nudism for what it was to a sexualised society, which is exacerbated by music videos and other kinds of media that discreetly encourage the improper way of looking at the body.

In many countries, entertainment appears to have undergone a paradigm shift from what they were previously known for, and Nigeria has not been left out of such a development. The Nigerian entertainment industry has evolved into a sexual outburst in recent years, portraying vivid images in the minds of their viewers and encouraging immorality in the society. Gone are the days when the producer would show a close-up of two pairs of legs entwined, to signify the sexual act are long gone. Full lip action, cleavage glory, butts, amongst others, are now easily watched on our silver screens.accessible from directors.

Certain films have been prohibited by the National Film and Video Censor Board (NFVCB) due to the high presence of sexual content. Many movies have been banned by censorship boards for a variety of reasons. For instance,Some of these include Ben Chukwuma’s Room 027, Bold 5 Badges, The Benjamins, Bedroom Assassins, and Taboo;, Andrew Odiase’s Strange Act;, P. Collins’ Sexy Game;, Chibuike N.’s My Soul Mate;, and Omist’s Fulton’s Mansion, and Judith Mazagwu’s are just a few examples of films where women were massively sexualiszed and projected in highly undignified postures.

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Some music videos have also been banned by the NFVCBational Film and Video Censor Board. These include ‘“Story for the Gods’”, by the artiste, Olamide album, because it was seen as capable of promoting rape. So also is ‘“ Iskaba’ ” by Wande Coal, banned for its vulgar lyrics. , Others include ‘Tesojue’ by Reminisce, ‘Gbesere’ by lilkesh, “‘In the Bed’” by Wizkid, to mention a few.

It has become a common culture in a Nigerian hip-hop video to casually exhibit the female body, particularly the breasts and buttocks. The lyrics are dominated by references to women’s bodies, while the videos feature sexualised female dancers twisting their waists in very exposing or tight-fitting costumes. These images tend to “monetizeobjectify” women ’s bodies, and foster the desire among young people to exploit.

Unfortunately, the image of womanhood has been massively dehumanised by these stereotypes, and gender inequality is knowingly or unknowingly elevated. These negative messages pervade the subconscious, influencing women’s conceptions of femininity and womanhood.

It ‘is disheartening to learn that women are still employed as objects to satisfy male audiences. While their male counterparts are fully clothed, the female folks willingly reveal their bodies. Even though both genders perform different roles in the videos, women continue to expose their bodies at a higher rate than their male co-stars. Despite greater awareness of the objectification of the female body and recurring figures mapping the paucity of male nudity on-screen, Nollywood marketers and viewers desire to continue to promote the usage of near-naked or naked female bodies. Movies remain trapped in sexist views that female bodies should be displayed on-screen, with the figures remaining significantly skewed in favour of female nudity.

Interestingly, various reports claim that music and movie promoters are driven by research that sex and nudity sell much more than other factors, Experiences, many analysts reveal, have confirmed such studies. But must we sacrifice ethics and our existence on the altar of materialism?

Mr. Keji Hamilton, President of the Global Centre for Drug Eradication, says the mind is a man’s most potent weapon. The influx of what enters into the mind, according to Hamilton, would be polluted if it wasn’t disciplined. “Information is the catalyst for change. This is extremely awful. I’d like to take this occasion to ask producers and writers to join us in ensuring that society can assure an atmosphere where young girls can make decisions about their bodies without fear of repercussions or seeing someone make those decisions for them,” he said. He pleaded that the government should strive to provide an effective mechanism for state and non-state entities working to end violence and the dehumanisation of women.

Many scholars have seen that the most vital factors for a successful society are decency and good morals. Sexual distortions do not bring value to any society; on the contrary, it devalues it. If nothing is done, the nudity and sex culture that is being fostered in our society would most certainly engulf us all.

Mrs. Ruth Isibor, president of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) in Ijegun, a Lagos suburb, has equally charged the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) with upholding its constitutional mandate.

“The NFVCB should censure and prevent television stations from playing music videos that celebrate nudity. If young musicians are given rigorous guidelines in the production of their music videos, they will double-check the content and make sure it doesn’t go off the rails,” she told NAN recently.