Treatment of Women in the Media by Eva McEneaney

I recently watched a video on YouTube that depicted how women were treated in the media in 2013 and was utterly shocked. This video was ultimately the reason that made me believe I had to do something to change society’s view on women. Right then and there I emailed Cork Feminista to find out how  I could get involved.

The video starts off with a brief montage of all the great achievements women have accomplished in the media and in society in 2013 . Amongst these were really successful films which featured strong female lead characters such as Jennifer Lawrence’s role in the Hunger Games.

This positive tone is quickly ripped away from the video, however ,and it morphs into a depiction of how women are belittled and objectified in today’s society. A number of music videos are chosen to convey how women now seemingly feel like they must prostitute themselves for the music industry to sell records instead of being admired for their talents as so many men are.

Some clips of movies which came out this year are shown where the directors resorted to unnecessary scenes of scantily clad women who are there to boost a mans ego or to be seen as some sort of trophy to be won.Movies aren’t successful if they don’t feature some sort of females in underwear or tight clothing. If there is a lead woman , it sometimes seems like there is a fear of making her too powerful and strong. One of the movies I remember seeing last year that really stuck in my mind was Iron Man 3 . Toward the end of this movie, Gwenyth Paltrow’s character , Ironman’s girl friend , must save the day and more or less become completely bad ass. After all of the excitement however of her taking over the hero role, she comments about how all of that action was ” really violent” . This bothered me so much. The directors had brought the character this far , why did they then have to belittle her saving the day just because she was the atypical hero and is usually  there as an ornament for iron man?

Video games, and the gaming industry in general, has become so offensive to women .It is the biggest entertainment industry in the world and yet there are so many double standards. The action filled games are all aimed at men and the pretty coloured, calm and boring ones are aimed at women. Games like Grand Theft Auto take this even further and even if you don’t think women are demeaned enough in real society , there are now prostitutes and strippers for hire within the gameplay . This to me is just a step too far! There are 3 main characters to play  in this GTA , none of which are women. The only way in which women are represented in this game are women who can be bought.

In this YouTube video there are many instances which show men being quite clearly threatened and afraid of women’s progress in society. Rush Limbough on an American radio show comments on Beyonce’s marriage to Jay -Z that instead of trying to make it on her own ,which she clearly has done for the last number of years, she realises that it is “worth it to bow down” to males. Esquire magazine are shown telling how the women in their magazines are purely “ornamental” . The thought that a women a might have something to say  worth putting in their magazine is clearly mind blowing to the people who work on this publication!  A Fox channel agent is on camera claiming that women should have to pay more for health care as they have breasts and ovaries. If this is reason to pay more , then why shouldn’t men have to pay more for their private parts?

It seems nowadays that if a woman is in any position of power it is purely seen as unacceptable to some men. A shot of a current affairs debate programme conveys this when a woman presenter tries to take charge of her discussion , she is quickly interrupted by a male member of her panel calling her “O Dominant One”. Another lady commentator was told to “know her place and shut her mouth” If this is the kind of abuse women get for trying to do their job, I think there needs to be questions asked about today’s society. Hilary Clinton , a very successful woman in her own right , does not need to be associated with her husband Bill In everything she does. Also , why , when a woman shows passion for something she believes in is she called hysterical yet when a man does it he is being strong and taking control. A headline is shown with a picture of Hillary , deep in debate , looking passionate and expressive. The attached headline is “No Wonder Bill’s Afraid. ” if this was a man , there wouldn’t even be a headline to make.

After watching this video , I genuinely felt sick to my stomach and wondered to myself , why woman feel that it’s ok to be treated like this. As  Alice Walker , an African American writer said ” The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. ”

The video that all of this is featured in is on YouTube Here is the link

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One Response to Treatment of Women in the Media by Eva McEneaney

  1. Nicola says:

    Thanks for this great piece. I hadn’t seen the vid so it was great to be alerted to it, and also a timely reminder of how many challenges we face in the media as women…

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