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Women In The Media Essay

1237 words - 5 pages

Since the early 1800’s women have struggled and strived to obtain equal rights of the average man. It was not up until 1920 when women were even granted the right to vote and it was not until 1981 when the United States finally appointed a woman Supreme Justice (Weinbaum). It has been a long and tedious process to acquire equal rights for women and fairness in politics. After over two centuries, women have almost completely overcome the gender barrier and established an equal dominant role in society as men. However, the recent provocative portrayals of women in the media have questioned the idea that, if in fact, the years spent overcoming this gender hardship was to ultimately come back to ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, the women portrayed in magazine ads and commercials furnish the same highly provocative and sexually overbearing image as what is perceived in television shows. According to author and Professor Steve Craig, “Although sexual objectification of women characters in ads is often quite subtle…portraying women as blatant sex objects is doubtless good business in the daytime or primetime” (208). It is clear that today the image of the everyday women have degraded into an image of a type of sex goddess willing to do anything for a man. Craig states, “When women appear in men’s commercial women are portrayed as physically attractive, slim… and usually dressed in revealing clothes” (207). This over used and deliberate scheme used in commercials and the media creates a new standard young women feel like they need to meet. Ironically, this new standard that women should be sexually erotic and ready to please a man at any cost would usually be looked down upon and acquiescently degrades women. These are the models of femininity presented for young girls to study and emulate.
The highly provocative method a women’s sexuality is portrayed in the media has surpassed its means and has become a leading role in young teens sexual self-objectification. Psychologist Barbara Frederickson has identified “self-objectification” as a key process whereby girls learn to think of and treat their own bodies as objects of others’ desires (Frederickson 270). Virtually every media form studied provides ample evidence of the sexualization of women, including: television, music videos, music lyrics, movies, magazines, sports media, video games, the Internet and advertising (Report of the APA). Through television shows and nationwide broadcasted ads, young developing females are exposed to this new wave sexually objectifying women and are highly susceptible to this influence. According to Frederickson, “Frequent exposure to media images that sexualize girls and women affects how girls conceptualize femininity and sexuality… girls and young women who more frequently consume or engage with mainstream media content offer stronger endorsement of sexual stereotypes that depict women as sexual objects” (273). In this time of age, it is almost evitable to not be influenced by what is seen in the media. Nowadays, every teenager is able to obtain some sort of media outlet, thus including the Internet, TV or magazines. Thus making it easier for young women to be highly influenced and susceptible to self-objectification.
Critics may argue that the key societal messages that contribute to the sexualization of girls come mostly through interpersonal relationships and not the media. Parents, friends and close relationships are what influence how a young teenager develops and exactly how they objectify themselves. According to author...

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