The Media: Changing Its Perception
Many people nowadays are influenced by what they see in tv and social media with all the trends happening. Entertainment today show off women in a sexual manner or as powerless and the man being the strong hero, plus advertisements also showing off these images of women with the ideal body. Ads like Victoria’s Secret make women feel like they need to reach that goal and it leaves them self conscious. The media should be less male dominated and should have more people of color, specifically woman of color. This could decrease the sexist images currently all over the media.
The effects of sexism in media shows very clearly in our society today with women standing up and Leading political movements. An example would be the Women’s March. Movements that bring women attention from all over so they can promote that they are equal to a man and to show they are more than just objects. This is important because if more and more women stand up, which they are, the less they will be sexualized and start to be seen stronger. A quote by Beyonce says “Your self- worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” She is such a huge feminist influence and who is always herself. She is an example of someone who uses their power as a media influence to be a voice for women all over.
Objectification is a main issue when talking about sexism in media. We have many movies, shows, and music where women are degraded as just an object. It makes you think that women are just for sexual pleasure and constant images of this can affect how women feel in our society. In research done by Dr. Rick Nauert in the report “Negative effects of sexism” he shows how sexism can take a toll on women emotionally and how it changes their view on men based on the way they are treated by men. Sexism causes depression, anxiety, and anger towards men. Article research concluded that men are affected as well and it can be horrible for both genders.
Rick Nauert, Ph.D., conducted research on women that go through sexism in their daily lives. He says, “Sexism also has the potential to shape how women think, feel and behave towards men in general. Chaudoir & Quinn examined women’s reactions to overhearing a catcall remark and, in particular, how observing a specific sexist incident affects women’s feelings and attitudes toward men.” In society today people still believe in stereotypes about women, these stereotypes or gender roles including that women should be responsible for the house cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids all day. That kind of mentality is what pulls society back in time and affects women’s emotions towards men and their behavior. This is why women have decided to rise up and put a stop to stereotypes defining who they are. Real world example would be a father and his daughter where the daughter (has an interest in technology and would like to pursue a career in the field ) tells his father than she wants to be in the field of technology and pursue a career on it, the father can say that (he supports her ) great but he pictured her as a fashion stylist. This is a form of sexism, not directly expressing it but more indirectly.
With the wage gap between men and women, it will usually be the men earning higher pay. Jennifer Lawrence made $52 million in the 12 months to June 2015, that is amazing until you compare it to the world’s top paid actor, Robert Downey Jr, who made $80 million. Women who do the same job that men do usually get underpaid. Lilly Ledbetter was a worker at GoodYear tire factory, also the first woman to work in the factory, and she worked there for years. She retired but once she retired she learned that she was being underpaid doing the same job that the men were doing in the factory. “Lilly received an anonymous note revealing that she was making thousands less per year than the men in her position. She filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear, which she won—and then heartbreakingly lost on appeal. Over the next eight years, her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where she lost again: the court ruled that she should have filed suit within 180 days of her first unequal paycheck–despite the fact that she had no way of knowing that she was being paid unfairly all those years. In a dramatic moment, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, urging Lilly to fight back. And fight Lilly did, becoming the namesake of Barack Obama’s first official piece of legislation as president”. Even though Ledbetter has no experience in the media industry, this is still relevant information to bring up because this woman had to fight for equal pay at a job where a man had the same job as her. In the media industry this happens as well where this unequal pay happens a lot. Lilly Ledbetter had to fight for years to get justice for herself and for women all over the world that are currently in this situation. Ledbetter won this fight and got the attention of President Obama which on January 29, 2009, signed into law and it was the first new law of his administration and it was called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
An article titled, “The effects of sexism on women’s body image” posted in 2013 by GoodTherapy.org talks about how exposing young women to thoughts of body image and how what they see affects them mentally even when they are confident they are they can get down and affects women’s body image negatively. ” Whether it is a model in a magazine, an actress on television, or a mannequin in a store window, images of how women should look, dress, act, and even react are everywhere. Adhering to society’s unrealistic and often varied models of the ideal woman makes it difficult for women to find and accept their own Identities and bodies.”. Images of women that show up on tv and articles show women to be a skinny or slim fit woman with what is an ideal body by society standards since these images always appear. This makes women feel like their body that they were born with feel like they need to be like that. This cause depression and eating disorders. A big blame would be how the media promotes “Ideal Model Type” through models like the victoria’s secret or Calvin Klein. Always appearing slim, skinny, thigh gaps and curves . It’s become so engraved in our minds that it can make many women with already self conscious about their bodies. This is a serious cause of eating disorders and depression.
Why is it that today in media that they promote this “Ideal” body for women and show women in this way if so much research is done on what happens ? Women constantly have to watch that ideal body that is being promoted everywhere. What the media does is that it goes to any extent in order to make money and giving people what they want to see. What the model industry does is just promot skinny slim girls, almost all models are slim girls and rarely see much of other body types. This is what causes so much pain for women everywhere when images are constantly shoved at them with this ideal body. Every day more young girls are depressed because they hate their bodies they are in which leads to eating disorders.
Advertisements are a key part of media. It’s how they cater to their audience or get attention. Advertises use tactics to appeal to audiences and uses phrases to catch the people’s attention, even if it’s absurdly sexist. An article written by Swetambara Chaudhary posted on May 4, 2015 shows a series of images on how these companies create ads and show how women are very objectified. One images that catches your attention is a Burger King ad that on the small tests it says “Fill your desire for something long, juicy” with the image of a woman with her mouth wide open and the burger getting closer to her mouth. Burger king really is not the only one who does ads like this. Carls JR. are big on making over-the-top sexual ads. The burger and the over-exposed women have no relationship to each other. The food is food. The women are women. Carl’s Jr. are only appealing to one type of consumer group. The executive who allowed these ads was a man. Women would not have designed such an ad. Perhaps they would have actually been more straightforward about the product being advertised. Advertisers always try new ideas to catch the people’s attention creating over the top ads that objectify women. Advertisers and the company do not care if it hurts or objectifies women, they just go with what makes the money and this is what is wrong with society. If people keep watching them, companies are going to keep going with these types of ads.
Currently today sexism in media is an issue. Some shows today have so much harassment to women involved and actually encourage sexual abuse. Consensual or not it is a messed up thing that happens in today’s shows or movies. This is an issue that goes way back into history with women not being seen as power as man. It took them a long time, many fights, and many women standing up and fight for their rights. Today is no different. Women are standing for the inequality and image that they are seen in the media changing how they are viewed in the media today.Ways that this can get fixed is that the we shine a brighter light on women and create advertisements that promote how powerful women are and how they can feel comfortable in their own bodies. Showing more women from different races and bodies on tv. Doing so will prevent women from feeling depressed about how they look and how their body is, its showing more body types that are not just one image. A unanimous woman that works at KQED was asked what advice do you have that are interested in being reporters. “I think it’s really important to have women reporters. I think it’s really important everybody to do journalism. Journalism is not something that you need a graduate degree for. Journalism is something that anybody can do who is Inquisitive and wants to have an open mind. The media is really important because the media reflects back to its own comunity of who they are. It’s really important to have people creating who are demographically like the community they are in.” Controlling what messages gets put out on the world is vastly important, we need more women controlling that message to spread more positivity.
If more women control the message, less of these issues would persist today. In a study done by The Women’s Media Center in 2017 Male journalists make up 62% of bylines in print, Internet and wire news media. This will also slow down harassment and abuse because less of this can be shown in media. More ideas of a women perspective can and will improve what is shown and limit the overly sexual ads that we see on television today. A few examples of how companies are now changing ways how women are seen as would be Dove and their campaign ad they did called Dove Self Esteem project where they show off women with all differents sorts of body types. Ads like these will make young girls more confident on themselves. Another example would be GoldiBlox and their ad where they aim future female engineers. This ad breaks the stereotype of engineer is a “man” job and show how women can join in and be engineers in the future. These ads show a brighter light and helps to inspire women all over to not care what the negative press and media says what women can and can’t do. More and more of these ads has to be made so we can see more of a change and progress so we as a society can stop being so close minded and start to move further. Data research done by Dove on June 28, 2013 states that “When girls hold themselves back because of the way they think they look, society misses out. A global study commissioned by Dove revealed that six out of 10 girls opt out of important activities because they’re worried about the way they look. Studies in Finland, China, and the U.S. show that girls’ relationship with the way they look has an impact on their academic performance: girls who think they are overweight, regardless of their actual weight, have lower grades. And the negative impact of low body confidence continues later in life, with 17% of women claiming they won’t go to a job interview and 8% missing work on days when they feel bad about the way they look.” this means that we still have long ways to go so we can get that number high and reach a world where it’s more body positive, that we all have all different body types and to accepts how we are. How this relates to sexism in media is that these advertisements love so ovesexualise things to get a persons attention. It does not have to be this way. If more ads are more influential and positive, more and more people will go out and feel better about themselves. Man or woman. More people will respect each other no matter the gender or race. If companies follow the steps that Dove is doing, we will have less women depressed about how they look, prevent eating disorders from women that want to be thin, more fair pay if women stand up or join the media, and less harrasment and sexul abuse could stop or be prevent and done less often. Doing so will bring more peace into people’s mind and more positivity.
Some people would say that maybe these women chose to be shown in this way because they want to or because it’s part of a role for the video or Movie or Show, or that they don’t put the effort in joining in the media industry. Even if that may be true it does not hide the fact that it’s still objectifying and oppressed them. Women are the minority when it comes to media things like print journalism, news anchors, late night talk shows.
To conclude my research, when it comes to pay in media it is statistically known that men get paid higher than women and this has to change. Process is being made with new laws and regulations that is required to pay women equally. Sexual abuse and harassment is big behind closed doors in the media. There are many stories out there of women coming out and telling their stories of their experiences. Work is being done to prevent this from happening. Advertisements and the way women are being shown today are changing. We see more ads that show women in power and show that not every woman is the same. What dove is doing with their body positive ads is that they are creating more and more of those ads to influence young women to be comfortable in their own bodies and skin and that to be happy on how you are. While depression and eating disorders will continue to happen for a while. We can prevent from more incidents by showing positive things in the media. Today the media is the biggest influence in our century. If more positivity is shown, we can create a healthier society. Sexism in media has always been a big issue dating way back in history. Big solutions is that women can join in the media and shape up how they can be seen on tv. Fight back and stand up on what’s wrong and show what is right. If the media changes and creates a place of positivity and a place to not hate, a place that is for all people, putting behind race and gender. Create a medium where we all can come as one and stop disrespecting each other. Our society can become a better place.
Nauert, Rick. “Negative Effects of Sexism.” Psych Central News. N.p., 06 Oct. 2015. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Summary, A. GoodTherapy.org News. “The Effects of Sexism on Women’s Body Image.” GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog. N.p., 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Chaudhary, Swetambara. “20 Highly Sexist Print Ads That Objectify Women.” ScoopWhoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
“Our Vision.” Dove US. N.p., 22 June 2016. Web. 18 Mar. 2017.
Unanimous Woman, KQED
Chaudhary, Swetambara. “20 Highly Sexist Print Ads That Objectify Women.” N.p., April & may 2015. Web.
WMC DIVIDED 2017: THE MEDIA GENDER GAP. N.p., 2017. Web.
“Jennifer Lawrence Speaks Out On Making Less Than Male Co-Stars.” N.p., 03 Oct. 2015. Web.
“Everything You Need To Know About The Hollywood Pay Gap.” N.p., 12 Nov. 2015. Web.
“The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.” N.p., n.d. Web.