Media interferes with the fight for gender and equality in the society by misrepresenting women, displaying women as submissive beings, and by portraying women as sexual objects.
Around the globe, the media industry plays an influential responsibility on how people perceive gender equality. The media industry portrays how different genders relate. In the recent past, the media has been condemned for meddling with the intention of realizing gender equality and propagating undesirable gender prejudices (Hinman, 2010). Given these challenges and the historical stereotypes of women, the media fraternity should tackle the alleged accusations. They should try to expand their boundaries to allow equal representation of all genders in the industry. In general, the media has distorted the perception of women in the society by misrepresenting them, displaying them as submissive beings, and by portraying them as sexual objects.
A major issue with gender representation in the media is that women are portrayed as sex objects. In a number of newspapers, unwarranted objectification of the women has been reported (Hinman, 2010). Through this, they are reduced to sexual commodities. For instance, in most films the women misrepresentation is evidenced. In these films, the women portray themselves as submissive and promiscuous. Through these roles, the inherent risks of portraying false traits about women in the society are unavoidable (Hinman, 2010). The media’s portrayal of women depicts a standard of attractiveness, which is impractical and unachievable for a number of women. The women portrayed in advertisements are usually perceived as healthy body weight. The above sends an influential message that a woman should do whatever it takes to attain a model’s body to be perceived as attractive by the society. Studies indicate that women who are constantly exposed to distorting media content about thin ideals have higher chances of suffering from eating complications.
According to those who support the representation of women as sexual objects in the media, the strategy has proved to be an efficient means of connecting with the marketplace (Held, 1990). However, it should be noted that the method disadvantages the women with average appearance because they will feel less superior to the models portrayed in the media.
As such, women are underrepresented in the media industry. Women activists allege that their underrepresentation in the media industry have not only stereotyped them, but also limited their roles in the media industry. According to the activists, the media has preserved specific roles for women unlike men. In the media industry, there is an inclination for women to perform in impassive roles. For instance, women usually appear as victims of crime. By doing so, the media industry has perpetuated stereotypes and prejudices against the women. A disadvantage associated with the underrepresentation of women in the media is that their potentials and opportunities have been limited.
Another major issue about women’s representation relates to how women are characterised in the media industry. As such, the media portrays women as subservient. Considering that media has the capability to influence and shape peoples’ perceptions, portrayal of women as subservient beings has affected the manner in which the society perceives and treats women. Based on the above, it is apparent that society has been forced to set impractical prospects of how women should appear and act.
Held, V. (1990). Feminist Transformations of Moral Theory. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 321-321.
Hinman, L. (2010). Ethics updates. San Diego: University of San Diego.