Irresponsible Portrayal of Women in the Media

Irresponsible Portrayal of Women in the Media

Length: 936 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

“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” ( 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.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Irresponsible Portrayal of Women in the Media." 16 Nov 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay Gender Portrayal

- Gender Portrayal. The 1950s. Change. One may wonder what these words mean, today, here, these words shall be explained . Gender portrayals are how a gender, such as the only two, Male and Female, are portrayed in media and social life. In the 1950s bread was .14 cents, bomb shelter plans were sold, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and people were afraid of communists invading America and turning them into communists (American Cultural History). New technologies were arising, like computers and color television, and with this new technology; the advertising industry was born, and with them, new kinds of gender portrayals....   [tags: change, media, social life]

Research Papers
1601 words (4.6 pages)

How Gender Portrayals Changed and Remained in the Same in the 1950s Essay

- How Gender Portrayals Changed and Remained in Place in the 1950s Gender Portrayals. The 1950s. Change. You might wonder what these words mean, today, here, you will learn about gender portrayals in the 1950s. Gender portrayals are how a gender, such as the only two, Male and Female, are portrayed in media and social life. Now, in the 1950s bread was .14 cents, bomb shelter plans were sold, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and people were afraid of communists invading america and making us into communists (American Cultural History)....   [tags: family, media, television]

Research Papers
1630 words (4.7 pages)

The Media's Role in How Women are Viewed Essay

- Media within our society constantly degrades women and sends negative messages about the ways in which women should be treated; women are becoming objectified in the sense they are viewed as objects with little value. The media, which seems to endlessly show women as sexual objects, has the capability of limiting a woman’s potential and damaging their self worth. More often than not the media depicts the way people go about their daily life. People look at the media to determine how they should dress, act and in some cases even how they should perform sexually....   [tags: Media's Portrayal Of Women]

Research Papers
987 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Portrayal Of Women During The Media

- ... The mirror approach used in their study assumes that the media provides a truthful and objective portrait of social reality. However in this case study they founded that not to be true and that magazines “distorted or ‘false’ accounts of an objective reality”. Another thing they found was that women are often underrepresented or stereotypically portrayed as playing passive, submissive, and dependent roles. The media are thus hypothesized to fulfill the structural needs of a patriarchal and capitalist society by reinforcing gender differences and inequalities....   [tags: Sociology, Gender role, Mass media, Gender]

Research Papers
1513 words (4.3 pages)

Portrayal of Gays in the Media Essay

- The media has had a significant shift from the past in their portrayal of gay people including in gay marriage and gay rights. In the 1980’s and 90’s the subject was much more taboo and the idea of gay marriage was popularly opposed. However today, the majority of Americans support legalizing gay marriage. What could be the reason for such a change. Could it be the media portrayal. Beginning in 1975, the first gay couple was shown on television. After that a variety of other programs included the ideas of homosexuality until 1991 when the first kiss between a same-sex couple was shown....   [tags: Media portrayal of LGBT]

Free Essays
636 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on The portrayal of young people in the media.

- This essay will look at the different ways in which young people are portrayed in the media. It will focus on how the idea of childhood innocence has been challenged by the media and rather than ‘little angels’ children are now seen as ‘little devils’ in the public eye. By looking at ‘The Bulger Case of 1993’ we can see where the idea of ‘little devils’ and children as evil beings began. It will examine why media stories of young people are focused much more on negative aspects such as crime and gang culture rather than positive ones....   [tags: Media]

Research Papers
1220 words (3.5 pages)

Portrayal of Women in the Media Essay

- Portrayal of Women in the Media Gender is the psychological characteristics and social categories that are created by human culture. Doing gender is the concept that humans express their gender when they interact with one another. Messages about how a male or female is supposed to act come from many different places. Schools, parents, and friends can influence a person. Another major factor that influences millions of impressionable females and males is television. Not only does the television teach each sex how to act, it also shows how one sex should expect the other sex to act....   [tags: Women Television Gender Psychology]

Research Papers
3135 words (9 pages)

Women, Crime, and the Media Essay

-   Media representation has always been a topic of debate, from representation of minority groups, individuals with mental illnesses and gender presentations. The latter, of course, turns mostly towards the female characters as they are presented in various medias; movies, news, and television shows. The representation of women in the media has always been leaning more towards ‘pleasing’ than it is towards informative or accurate. Representation of female offenders in the media has not deviated from the route that other representations of female factions has gone, focusing more on what is pleasing and entertaining than what is not harmful to the demographic as a whole....   [tags: portrayal based on race & ethnicity]

Research Papers
1867 words (5.3 pages)

Discrimination Against Men Essay

- Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. In today’s society, men are being discriminated against through the media, suffering from parental custody discrimination, being discriminated against in the courtroom and even for their choice of career. BBC reporter David Benatar said that, “the second sexism is that across the world men are more likely to be conscripted into the military, be victims of violence, lose custody of their children and take their own lives” (Castella, 2012)....   [tags: violence, stereotypes, media]

Research Papers
1363 words (3.9 pages)

The Portrayal of Women in the Media Essay

- The Portrayal of Women in the Media Redbook magazine are devoted to selling products ranging from shoes to shampoo. The entire magazine only has only 210 pages. Approximately 6-8 min of every half hour television show is produced by ad agencies. Americans are bombarded with advertisements. We see them everyday in many different forms and through different mediums. Advertisers study America’s population through a systematic breakdown and analysis of our likes and dislikes in relation to our differences....   [tags: Advertisements Advertising Stereotypes Essays]

Research Papers
3423 words (9.8 pages)

Related Searches

He pursues her. He makes their world happen.

Take the early film “Metropolis” (1927) for example. Wanting to replace human workers, Rotwang, the lead actor, creates a female-robot, a lifeless object, and he gains control over the workers by having the robot perform “certain tasks.” The most disturbing message from films like this one involves how patriarchal society fears any suggestion of female sexuality. Films employ an indirect, hidden method that emphasizes to women the importance of suppressing desire in becoming desirable objects. This is what patriarchy wants! This is what patriarchy tirelessly “teaches” women!

In Conjunction with advertisements and films, most music videos today portray women as sex objects to satisfy male voyeurism. For instance, the powerful music video, “Dreamworlds II,” creates a fantasy or “dreamworld” for men in which women are mindless nymphomaniacs, continually interested in sex with any available man. Music videos such as these provide women with yet another disturbing message: female sexuality does not exist because a woman’s function depends entirely on satisfying male sexuality. By separating women into body parts (that is, legs, arms, hips, and breasts), music videos distract viewers from seeing women subjectively as humans with thoughts and feelings of their own.

It is much easier on the conscience if one hits a punching bag, rather than an identifiable person. In most music videos however, that degrade women, men associate women with being their punching bags. As a result, immature male viewers may become emotionally desentsitized and begin to associate women with being their punching bags as well. Emotional desensitization and therefore violence against women increases with the number of music videos that are made, released, and viewed each day. After having faced violence, women begin to believe that feeling desire is a “crime” that is punished with violence.

The power of media is so great that humans literally depend on it to tell them what “reality” is. Our society needs to understand that the underlying messages provided to men and women involve two different realities: a subjective one for men and an objective one for women. Media does not register in consciousness the same way for men and women. The social-learning approach argues that individuals are rewarded for imitating role models of their own gender. Thus, “reality” for most women becomes imitating objects of male desire and for most men, imitating powerful figures who know how to act and desire. Despite our progress into the twenty-first century, one can only feel a certain irritation after realizing that the truth about how our society creates positions of desire diminishes the feminine gender.

The media may be making a lot of money but that gives the media no reason for not understanding the power of its imagery or becoming more socially responsible. People who work in the media need to portray not one but both genders as capable of defining themselves and asserting their own desires. This, in turn, will allow the media to present a more complete image of women and rectify the gross injustice that has been done to what Simone de Beauvoir once called “the second sex.” Women can transform their suppression into expression of their own choices once justice has been done to them by the media, as well as the society. Women can then, hopefully, feel desire independently of the dangers and dilemmas that are normally associated with it today.
Return to