Communicating Professionally

Competitive UO Senior Planner

(16) Return of the Quack: Not a solid representation of UO November 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen J. Ashley @ 7:19 pm

“Return of the Quack” is a music video created by three middle class, white, male students at the University of Oregon about the success of the school’s football team. Although the song is catchy it disregards members of different races, focuses on ideologies of the ones that are represented, and demeans women to only appearing in scantily dressed clothing. Basically, it isn’t how I want UO to be seen by the media or other schools.

The video is focused on the white male producers. The only other race seen is African American however; they are only represented as football players. Yes, we do have some amazing black football players, but that is not all they do. Not to mention the utter lack of asian representation in this video. Having only three white males produce this cut off a whole world of diverse views and fairness to all races. It is making Oregon appear like we are just a bunch of white, middle-class males.

Stuart Hall defines ideology as “those images, concepts, and premises which provide the frameworks through which we represent, interpret, understand, and ‘make sense’ of some aspect of social existence.” You can see an ideology of African Americans when the music begins on “Return of the Quack”(0:41). You see the producers of the video dressed in stereotypical ideologies of black male rappers clothing. They are wearing all black, enormous chains around their necks, dark glasses, and one man has done his hair into an afro-like style. They dance in formulaic ways seen on shows like “In Living Color,” a show produced by black performers. Hall refers to using this type of stereotype as inferential racism. Inferential Racism is when we draw on more subtle forms of racism that is embedded into our culture. This type of attire has become accustomed in our society as being a part of black gangster rap music. Without looking at this video with a critical eye for race representation, it is possible to miss this observation because this ideology is extremely effective because of its widespread popularity. Not only are African Americans ideologies being used in this video, but a woman’s stereotypical position is being filled as well.

In “Return of the Quack” you see about a dozen women. It isn’t the number of women that make this an unfair representation; it is how they are depicted. You only see them if they are wearing mini-skirts and cropped tops. They dance with the white male producers in a sexual manner and do not speak the entire four minutes. Not only are these women being used as objects and not people, they are incredibly thin. Jean Kilbourne argues that one reason these women are so skinny is because our society polices women to be ‘cut’ down to size. It emphasizes women’s ‘helplessness’ and need for the white males protection. You can see th real power in this video is to the three white males as the women hide in the background just slightly seen enough to show off their small bodies in provocative dance movements.

I like the song “Return of the Quack.” It riles up school spirit and gets stuck in your head. However, I am severely disappointed in how the music video was reproduced. We are better than that here at Oregon.


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