About this sample
About this sample
Words: 987 |
5 min read
Published: Oct 2, 2020
Words: 987|Pages: 2|5 min read
Close your eyes, and picture a doctor, a superhero, a CEO, a firefighter, or just someone that is really strong. Who did you think of? What came to mind? What did he look like? The reason why I say ‘he’ is because most of you sitting in this room would of thought of a male. Why do we automatically think of males as the dominant gender in today’s society? The answer to this question is because of the Media. The media is delivering content that is shaping our society into believing that women must look, dress and eat a certain way, and if not, they are looked upon differently from others.
Good morning everyone and welcome to the annual Media Representations conference. I will be analysing two media texts to support my perspective and be exploring ways as how we can overcome this stereotype which has been going on for too many years.
To begin with, the first medium that has been analysed is the documentary ‘Missrepresentation’ which was aired in 2011. This documentary is about how the media is sending an unnecessary message to young women and men that a woman’s value and power lies in her youth, beauty, and sexuality and not in her capacity as a leader. This stereotype is seen in ads, magazines, video games, tv shows, movies, toys, everywhere we look women are being misrepresented. For example, young girls are been given barbie dolls with a face full of makeup and are wearing revealing outfits. They are watching movies where they same stereotype is being played over, and over again. The female is waiting for their man in knight in shining armour, to come and save them and provide for them. These movies always end with them settling down, getting married and having children-living a happy every after. By the media sending this message to girls that their value lies in their bodies, it is leaving them feeling disempowered. They will grow up with the concept of this perfect woman in their head, and because of this it is distracting them from making a difference and becoming leaders. As quoted by Ariella, who is a high school student “It is all about the body, and not about the brain.”
Every day, the average person spends 10 hours and 45 minutes on the media. Whether it is watching TV, scrolling through Instagram or just simply reading a magazine. We are constantly being exposed to women who are being mispresented in the media 24/7. For example, take a look at women who are seen in news. What outfits are they seen wearing? How old are they? These women are being seen wearing very low-cut shirt/dresses, their hair perfectly curled and over their shoulders with a face full of makeup. With women journalist dressing this way it is distracting the viewers from listening to the important news that they are addressing to the public. By the media continuedly showing these representations of women it creates a belief that women must always look presentable wherever they go.
“Only 31% of Australian federal parliament are female, ranking Australia Federal parliamentarians at 50th in the world for female representation.” The second medium is from Pursuit, which leads us into how women are being misrepresented in politics. How do we expect our country to make executive decision if the parliament is dominated by men? They don’t have the women’s perspective, insights and experiences. Women are being told that the parliament is for the masculine pursuit, which is discouraging them from becoming leaders. Even if women are seen are seen in politics, the media views this as a negative thing. They are constantly being judged on how they look instead of what they have done. Julia Gillard is an example of how women in politics are judged more harshly just for the simple fact that she is a woman. There are constant sexist remarks being aimed towards female leaders. As seen not that long ago, David Leyonhjelm said ‘stop shagging men’ which was aimed towards Sarah Hanson-young. If young women, are growing up and not seeing any female role models in the world how do we expect them to become leaders if they have no one to inspire to be?
So, what can be done to change this misrepresentation of women in the media? How do we fix the damage that is has been already caused? How do we find a way to change this culture? To begin with everyone needs to be aware of the power that the media has and the toll it takes on the image on women in our society. The media is the message, and the messenger. People learn more from media then from any other source. We need to shift our focus from that the women’s only value is in her youth, beauty and sexuality to the potential that women have to become a leader. By standing up and challenging the media, it will be the first step towards changing the world. We must support women in their journey instead of criticising them, and most importantly women need to live their own vision of what a woman can be. Quoted by Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
In conclusion, it is clear that we need to change this outdated misrepresentation of women in the media. It has been seen that our understanding on certain topics is mediated by the attitudes, values, and beliefs of speakers and writers. The media plays a huge role in shaping the way people think and act in this world. If we don’t take action now, then how do we expect the world to be a better place? As quoted in the ‘Missrepresentation’ documentary “The media can be the instrument of change. It can maintain the status quo and reflect the views of the society, or it can hopefully awaken people and change minds.”
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