Irresponsible Portrayal of Women in the Media

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“The foolish human,” Lord Krishma preached in the Bhagvad-Gita (holy book of Hindus), “who forcefully suppresses his or her sexual desire is a hyprocrite.” Between the two genders, does not this saying of Krishna prove true of females? Women are reduced to the status of objects due to the insistence of male dominance and desire in our patriarchal world. They are denied full expression of humanity if, as Lord Krishna preached, feeling desire is a very human “thing.” Society employs many mechanisms that perpetuate patriarchy and maintain the sexual imbalance in our world. One such mechanism is the media. The media bombards humans with images that portray women as passive objects. It is unfair that the media cites the First Amendment as the reason for not censoring such depictions of women that are degrading and robs women of their desires. The media – through advertisements, films, and music videos – portray women as desirable objects for those whom the media and therefore society, assumes to be the genuine sexual beings, men. By posing the “thin-ideal,” advertisements convince women to believe that their bodies are objects in need of constant improvement. Striving for the “thin-deal,” however, causes many girls and women to become self-conscious and dissatisfied with their bodies. One research group has found that after being exposed to women’s magazines – such as, Vogue, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan – “girls…showed more dieting, anxiety, and bulimic symptoms” (www.media-scope.com). Interestingly enough, a newspaper that has no photos, The Wall Street Journal, does the best job at advertising diet doctors, pill mills, and weight loss scams. Among the many reasons, advertisements are one reason why only a body is what a woman is see as and becomes. For the sake of selling products, advertises purposely normalize unrealistically thin bodies in order to create an unattainable objective for women. Another form of media humans enjoy, namely films, reflects the language of patriarchy. In most American films, a woman is seen as the “other.” The lead actress exists only as an icon or object that is incapable of making things happen. The visual presence of a female in films tends to bring a pause in the story line, which is inevitably driven by a subjective and desiring male.

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