Media Representation Of Different Genders, Sexualities, Races, Religions And Mental Disorders

Media Representation Of Different Genders, Sexualities, Races, Religions And Mental Disorders

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Media representation of different genders, sexualities, races, religions and mental disorders has been under fire in the last few years, as the awareness about social issues and inequalities grows. More than often, the conversation about representation of women in media comes up and is often scrutinized, and for a valid reason as well. When the United Nations criticises the global film industry for their under-representation, misrepresentation, sexualisation of female bodies, and the sexism women face in the film industry, you know you have a problem.
In 2014, UN women found that there was only 1 female visible for every 2.4 men, and that only 30.9% of all speaking characters are female. Even more worryingly that only 7% of the films had female directors; they analysed movies from 11 different countries. Another analysis of film dialogue done by Anderson and Daniels found that only 18% of movies that have at least 2 females of the three main characters, while the same scenario for men occurs in 82% of film.
As somebody whose blog is focused on fighting issues of inequality, I needed to speak up about this issue. The importance of a variety of people represented in the media is essential for breaking down gender roles and previous stereotypes about females, especially women of colour, who make up 23% of female characters in movies and are often put into harmful stereotypes. Certainly, I will not be able to cover all of the stereotypes that exist in movies today, or their impact, however, I wanted to briefly discuss the problem.
The importance of representation lies in the fact that media is essential for supporting and setting societal expectations, and determines how we perceive the world. If we view the world through a prejudiced...


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...hard for women to learn to love and accept their body and identity, especially if they do not fit into the exact mould of what is expected.
Creating multidimensional female characters, even if they aren’t in a main role, and having more females of more races, backgrounds, and sexualities will allow women to break out of the stereotypes and expectations that are often re-enforced by movies. Obviously, the sexism and discrimination of women face today and have faced in previous generations did not originate from movies, and has long roots in our culture. However, changing the type of media, especially the messages we receive from them, can have a long-term positive impact and teach the future generation of women (and men!) that they can achieve the things they want without the fear of being scrutinized by society, and that their value lies in more than their sexuality.

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