The Sexual Objectification of Women
The sexual objectification of women on the mass media is becoming an alarming affair. According to Faridah, et al.’s study, the uses of sex images of women in advertising by different companies who seek to promote their products are doing an injustice to women (Faridah, et al. 4). It is a challenge the in the modern democracies with regards to the objective of building an egalitarian society.
It is worrying that the modern democracies would still promote women objectification. It seems that the leaders have remained so dormant and silent in pointing out the levels of discrimination exercised in the mass media in the name of advertisement (Berberick 12). Another thing is that mass media has been used as an instrument to advocate for equal rights among different genders in the society; while on the other hand, it is used to discriminate women sexually.
This study is done through different means, which include social, psychological, philosophical and economic rights that examine the way sexual objectification of men infringes on their rights. In this milieu, the media should not be used to exploit women but should be used to promote their rights and the protection different people from the various levels of discrimination.
Therefore, this study is important to address the issues of exploitation and discrimination perpetuated by the advertisement companies that promote various products in the market.Literature ReviewThe portrayal of women in the mass media makes them appear vulnerable to manipulation. Scholars such as Turner are worried that women are thinly represented in as actors in the existing news programs, but are instead used negatively in advertising certain products (Turner 2).
They appear as young and slim in the advertising programs in the televisions as well as magazines for eye-catching purposes. The women on such advertisement platforms are explicated as instruments to inspire women to like certain products. Their main role is just to make men happy as sexual objects rather than people with value and personality. They are shown to embody every trait of beauty aimed to attract men in like those products.
The society is tailored in a way that women are only perceived to look good to impress men, not for their own good. The products are advertised and made to imply that when used, the skin becomes flawless and beautiful that can be admired by men. It is a very unfortunate affair that should be discouraged by all means in the contemporary society for a sustainable greater posterity.Another thing to point out is that the decision to place anything in the media program is influenced by the current state of cultural and social values.
In different societies, such values are greatly based on gender. Females in that respect are considered weak and lesser beings to their male counterparts. Through cultural and social norms, women’s rights have been violated, and that is why the same spirit spirals to the media advertisements, which portrays women as objects, not humans with values and images to protect.
Punyanunt-Carter did a study on the African-American portrayals on the televisions and confirms that this group of people is more objectified in the American televisions (Punyanunt-Carter 245). Faridah, et al. on the other hand states that the movies produced around the periods of the fifties portrayed women as perfect objects of domesticity, while in the contemporary world, women are portrayed as sexual objects that make men happy and satisfy their sexual desires (Faridah et al. 7).
The most important question to answer is why women must just be implicated negatively and vulnerable. Even if at times they are portrayed as professionals at times when out of their offices, they are given a negative image. They are only seen as those that can only be teased, admired, played upon and desired by men.
In her study on women images in Polish and Malaysian print media, her findings pointed out that even if done in done in different cultures, the study about women portrayal has some profound similarities and commonalities in the findings.The regrettable thing addressed by the experts involved in the subject of women discrimination in the social media is that despite the efforts to establish a gender sensitive society where people are treated equally, there are still rampant cases of discrimination against women in various fronts.
Faridah et al. is worried about the same, more so the words used to describe women when portrayed in the social media (Faridah et al. 5). She says that when the media decided to focus on women in the public space during the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, the terms used were very unpleasant.
In fact, she considers the words like ‘burning bras’, ‘hardcore feminists’, and ‘nude women running around the streets of Huarious’ among others to be devilish and uncalled for in the contemporary society. This is a weighty proof that the society still remains negative about women and only considers them objects of sexuality that cannot stand for anything good. Even if they try to do something significant, they are only seen to be irrelevant.
The study relies greatly on the existing pieces of literature to paint the image of women portrayal in the televisions. It is part of the wider study of women and children’s representation in the contemporary media, which include unprinted and printed media. It is generally a qualitative study that relies on the literature about women negative portrayal on the televisions in the United States of America, which is used as a case study to represent some of the discriminations against women that are undertaken silently in the social media.
The ideas by Faridah et al. and Punyanunt-Carter are significant since they explore different findings that have common issues worth addressing in women discrimination in the social media.
The scholars are credible in their studies as they explore different pieces of information from different scholars to justify their arguments. They use longitudinal approach to expose the various stereotypical ways in which women are disregarded in the society. I chose the sources since they provide a thrust of the investigation, which is thought-provoking to the readers who are carried with their findings to be part of the fight against women discrimination in the social media.
I do this study with an aim of addressing some of the injustices done on women in social media. The negative portrayal of women in different fronts like television, magazines, and internet makes them feel less valued in the society. It appears that the society is only happy when they are used. They are seen to best fit as objects to make men happy and satisfy their sexual needs.
Sexual objectification lowers their self-esteem. The awful thing is that women from other cultures are more objectified than others are. Women from African-American communities are more portrayed negatively than those from other cultures. This means that social media are only used by the society to promote the cultural negativity about women, something that seems to be more embedded in people.
This implies that there is a serious need for attitudinal change to ensure that that mindset is alleviated. Women deserve recognition and respect just as their male counterparts are. They should not be seen as second-class citizens but should be regarded with an utmost value they deserve.Studies show that the spirit of discrimination against women stems from the tradition that only regarded men to manage media. Women are meagerly represented in the employment positions.
Faridah et al. states that only 33.3% of women are in full-time employment among the 59 countries they surveyed (Faridah et al. 3). It implies that women do not equal men when it comes to job competition and other important positions in the society. Another unfortunate thing is that different studies have been done on the subject of women discrimination in the social media, but nothing much has changed.
It means that various experts need to be more vigorous in addressing the problem of women discrimination in the social media. The revolutionary change in technology has made it easy to sexually objectify women, something that needs to be addressed with sufficient attention to change negative attitude that makes it easy to discriminate women in the social media and other areas.
The numbers of women that appear in the social media as main actors are few, but those that are shown on the negative side of the shows are many. Even though men are also objectified, their number is smaller. It means that there is much to be done to deal with the issue of women discrimination. It is also apparent from the study that women are highly discriminated in the social media.
The negative portrayal of women on television is fueled by the social and cultural norms that consider men to be superior beings to their female counterparts. They are seen to best fit to make men happy by serving their sexual desire. This mindset does not believe that women can look good for their own sake, but that they do so to attract men.
As a result, it is ostensible that it is a negative mindset, which kills women’s self-esteem, significance and values, as opposed to men who are seen to be important and worth the best in the society. It remains a serious matter that should not be allowed to thrive in the contemporary society.
This study confirms that it is utterly bad to continue the negative portrayal of women in the social media, more so in the contemporary world. As pointed out herein, the portrayal of women in the social media has been marred by a lot of discrimination. For instance, during the fifties, women were pictured as perfect objects of domesticity.
Today, they are portrayed as sexual objects that can only be used to make men happy and satisfy their sexual desires. As a result, they are seen to be significant and less valued in the society apart from being there to make men happy. The most regrettable thing is that besides the numerous studies than on the same area, the discrimination against women still thrives.
This means that social and cultural norms that disregard women should be attacked and changed. The best way to attack such norms is attitudinal change communication, which would make the society to see life more differently. Instead of being viewed as objects to make men happy, they should be seen as entities that should be incorporated in different avenues to help the society to grow.