Two dead women in lingerie swing back and forth from the ceiling from a chain around their necks.
Two young women are slumped on a silk-sheeted bed, like corseted lifeless mannequins. A man advances on them. His intentions are clear.
Another woman in fetishized clothing lies spread-eagled on a table in front of a man eating a huge plate of raw meat.
Have I been exploring the far reaches of on-line torture pornography and snuff movies? Was I checking out necrophilia genre?
No. I was watching rapper Kanye West’s new video teaser for the single ‘Monster’, from his new chart-topping album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
With contributions from Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Jay-Z, the Monster preview is a mini horror movie – with all the horror suffered by women. The men don’t seem horrified at all by the female corpses littered through the haunted mansion, the apparent victims of a serial killing. In fact, they seem to quite like it. It seems to turn them on.
Some of the descriptions of the sneak preview video mention ‘bodies strewn around’. Yes, there are bodies. But they are all women’s bodies. As far as I could tell, there are no dead men, just dead women.
This is gendered violence. It’s not depicting just any old corpse but a clearly female one and then, clearly eroticised.
Dead women a turn off? Not at all. Kanye West, on the bed with the two young white dead women, shows no hesitation. He moves the lifeless arm of one onto the leg of the other, before cupping the porcelain like face of the first woman to kiss her.
Hanging from the rafters in stiletto heels, standing rigid in lingerie, expired on a bed. The white women in these scenes are depicted as subordinated to the black man, reminiscent of the pornographic representation of black men who love to ravish white women, to tarnish and spoil their ‘pure’ bodies.
Limp, floppy, rendered powerless these doll-like bodies retain their seductive, sexual allure. Sure, they might be dead. Sure they can’t consent. Sure they wanted it.
I wonder who thought of this scene?
Also on the table, a dead woman, in underwear, her stockinged legs spread-eagled on either side of the plate. Perfect viewing for the royal Ross as he tucks into the meat and wine (her flesh and blood?).
In another scene, Ross reclines on a long couch, nonchalantly smoking a cigar while women hang dead and slightly swaying, from chains around their neck.
The only two living women seem to be a maid and the black female rapper (often likened to a black Barbie doll) Nicki Minaj. They may be alive. But they are still subordinated.
The maid genuflects to Ross as she serves him. Minaj is on all fours baring her teeth like an animal about to be attacked. Her backside, swathed in black lace, is in the ‘presenting position’. As one of the youtube preview clips describes it: “This is a 30 second sneak peak of Nicki Minaj’s HUGE ass.”
This representation continues the legacy of the fetishization of black women’s ‘booty’.
As to the lyrics, there’s the usual repetition of ‘muthaf-ucker’ and bitches and the obligatory references to oral sex (‘Head of the class and she just want a swallowship’).
Then there’s these lines: “I put the p-ssy in the sarcophagus” (which, in case you’re wondering, is a flesh eating coffin) and “rape and pillage a village, women and children”.
The clip is not only interested in fetishizing female bodies – it revels in fetishizing female pain, female passivity, female suffering and female silence. The ultimate female is the quiet, passive female – a mannequin – who accepts violence, abuse and suffering while remaining hot and sexy.
Expect to hear boys singing along to it soon. This is the message they are imbibing:
Women are slaves and bitches who can service a man’s sexual needs, even in death. Men are brutal and dominant, and have no empathy for women. Men enjoy dead women as sex and entertainment. The female body is to be devoured, reduced to the same status as meat. Female bodies should be displayed before men as a great feast for their consumption.
And the creators of this feast of violence will probably win a ton of awards and commendations and sponsorship deals from major companies.