Hip-hop magazine, “The Source” has recently declared that they will no longer publish advertisements that promote pornography. (Click here for the full story.) The impetus behind such a move is not to divorce the hip-hop movement from the sexual exploitation of women, but to gain more corporate sponsorship by extracting lewd elements that alienate certain groups of people with access to funds. While such a shift may be viewed as a victory, there is no doubt that women are not only overtly commodified in pornographic advertisements, but that the same is true in mainstream advertisements where such commodification is also deliberate but more subtle.

Unfortunately, multiple manifestations of violence against women are dramatized, glorified and sold through commercial hip-hop music and videos in particular, and mainstream marketing in general, which help to create a cultural space where violence against women is viewed as normal and expected.

Here’s a question to get the conversation started: can we envision a world where marketing and mainstream consumer culture does not rely on the commodification, eroticization and sexual exploitation of female bodies? What does that look like? Do we consider such media representations to contribute to the perpetuation of violence against women? How so? As participants in the anti-violence movement, what is our role in creating awareness around this issue and shifting popular consciousness and acceptance?