The Media's Degradation of Women Essay
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Women have been fighting for the right to be equal members of society for centuries. In the past women were treated as second class citizens and didn’t have the same rights as men did. Women later lead a movement to change these ways. Although some drastic changes did come about from these movements, equality wasn’t fully attained. In this day and age, equality between men and women still hasn’t been achieved and the media is to blame for that. For decades, the media has dominated society’s views and perspectives of others. Due to recent media, it has been difficult to regulate how women are being influenced and treated by other people in society. The media influences society tremendously and subconsciously steers the way…show more content…
There also seemed to be an unwritten norm in the work place that women weren’t supposed to cross. This day and age, the roles of women have shifted however, women are still expected to follow the 1950’s norm in a sense. Although, many women are now in the labor force and are now independent, there are still barriers that aren't permitting women from being equal to men. The media has glamorized this barrier and has influenced society to think that it is normal. Advertisements with cleaning products, appliances or that have anything to do with children always feature women instead of men. The media has influenced society to think that a woman must perform house duties, take care of the children and still maintain a steady job. This has become excessive and overwhelming for women. “Women spent more time on shopping and other domestic work in 2005 than on paid work. In comparison, men spent more time on paid work than on domestic work. If paid work and domestic work are combined, women still spent 20 minutes more on average per day on work than men” (Gauntlett 2008). The average woman’s work load has essentially doubled and it has also created a greater gap between men and women. This has created many problems for woman and has undermined them tremendously. The media has also advertised certain fields of employment to specific genders. Women are highly underrepresented in many fields of
I watched this happen among our Sensational Six — watched as our pastimes shifted from having goofy singalongs, to trying on clothes, to pointing out one another’s flaws, to primping before a mirror, and the final stop, making boys laugh. We were still friends, but we were suddenly aware of a new dimension. I went to a different middle school than my friends did and that new dimension persisted, except that now I was taking it in with fresh eyes. And because of my size and my status as a new kid, I stayed an outsider.
Here’s where I took a page from nature and decided that my indirect aggression, rather than self-promotion or discounting my rivals, would take the form of what’s called warning coloration. I took myself out of the battle. If I was unappealing, then I would advertise — like those butterflies with the warning spots — that I was not to be considered a worthy opponent. I would be ugly on my own terms. I wore artfully ripped clothes and enormous combat boots and old men’s pants.
In high school, I decided that all of my female friends were stupid and traded them for guy friends. I loved horror movies and heavy metal, and used these interests to become a “guys’ girl.” I thought that by segregating myself, I would save myself from the awareness that I wasn’t ever going to be pretty/perfect/cool enough, and occasionally I would get to make out with a male pal because hormones were running rampant. When another guys’ girl joined our group, she and I became fast friends by lamenting how stupid girls were, and when we met new boys, we threw each other under the bus to flirt with them. I felt sick when she did this to me, felt a sick thrill of power when I did it to her.
Instead of openly hating women, I used hate’s sneaky little sister and told myself that I pitied women who worked hard to be conventionally attractive, who had jobs that utilized their feminine wiles, who were “too girlie.” “Poor her,” I’d cluck at parties, “wanting attention so badly. I wonder who hurt her. Let’s discuss this art rock band I saw last week.” Self-promotion: check. Degradation of rivals: check.
In my 20s, there were two girls in my social group in New York — brash, gorgeous creatures — that owned every single room they entered. I hated them on sight, even as I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I thought they were magical, but with a dark magic that could steal my husband. Once I found myself in a bar bathroom alone with them and, feeling cornered by their spectacular perfection, mumbled something. One responded by complimenting my coat; the other started talking about the guy she was there with and how he was acting funny. I saw them for who they were: magnanimous, charming creatures, but also kind and obsessive and weird. My negative view of them had nothing to do with them at all. It was just a warped mirror.
Research tells us that women are compelled to level the playing field by any means necessary to make sure we have access to the best genetic material, but since these are not real concerns in our modern lives, our competitiveness becomes something a bit more private and understandable.
That’s the third theory of female competitiveness that I’d like to propose: We aren’t competing with other women, ultimately, but with ourselves — with how we think of ourselves. For many of us, we look at other women and see, instead, a version of ourselves that is better, prettier, smarter, something more. We don’t see the other woman at all.
It’s a fun-house mirror that reflects an inaccurate version of who we are, but we turn on her anyway, because it’s easier. But we don’t need to lower the stock of other women, either for the future of the species or for our own psyches. When we each focus on being the dominant force in our own universe, rather than invading other universes, we all win.Continue reading the main story