Sex Scandals

By: Brandon Alik
One familiar phenomenon that has been circulating in the media recently is the release of sex tapes. These tapes were primarily made for personal and private use, but somehow, they always somehow become publicized out to the world. The attention that the sex tapes get from people is interesting. Mass media will provide as much information and detail about who were involved, where did it happen, etc. Consumers will find an interest into either the information of the tapes provided by mediums such as newspapers, articles, websites, or they will find interest in the video itself and download it illegally online, or purchase a copy at an adult shop or online/offline. The attention for the tapes can be high, which brings question upon our ideologies: Why do we care about getting into other people’s privacy? Do celebrities truly feel ashamed about the release of the tape, or do they have a sense of pride for all having all this taboo attention?
Some examples that have been brought up in mass media are the scandalous sex tapes of Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian. Possibly the reasons why these girls have the most attention is because they are girls, they are gorgeous in popular culture, they are simply celebrities, and it is uncommon for celebrities’ sex tape to be released. However, I think the big reason is because they are girls. In America, one ideology that has been embedded in our culture since history is that women have to protect their innocence. Women are supposed to be angelic, perfect, clean, dainty, etc. On the other hand however, another ideology is that women are to portray the look of being sexy. The scandal of women catches the consumers’ attention, which goes against the ideology that women are angelic, or goes along with the ideology that the women are scandalous and sexy. Whichever ideology the person possesses, women will always be compared to and be placed as good or bad with attention.  Another reason why being a girl is a big factor is because most men are already portrayed as always engaging in sexual activity. The definition for men who sleep with a lot of girls are called, “pimps”, and girls are called, “whores”, “hoes”, “sluts”, “skanks”. Men have the positive term, but women possess the negative. If a guy says he is sleeping around, the audience would react in a nonchalant way. As opposed to girls, the audience would react possibly in many ways: surprised, disgusted, disappointed, etc.
This topic is important in popular culture because it represents and questions our ideologies as one consumer in this media consuming culture. What are expecting in women? Do we want women to only satisfy a man because that is all she is worth? Topics such as this should challenge our views as how do we portray women. We should not see women as just material to help satisfy, but we should them as equal as males. From the reading of The production of Popular culture. Popular Culture: A User’s Guide, by O’brien and Szeman, Imre, there is a statement saying “the cultural industries are the industries of culture- those institutions whose product is generally culture” (103). This topic goes supports this phrase because after the release of the sex tape, other sex tapes have been made and released. Other celebrities will possibly make a sex tape and release “on accident” to gain attention from the media, and make money. We will be in a culture where losing your integrity is not a bad thing. Thus, whatever is popular in the media industry make then affect our values and morals.
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