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Sexism in the Media

When sexism meets the media, what happens? I’m not sure I could give a straight answer myself, because the result is so artificial and chaotic. But I do know the two congregate far too much. It would be safe to say that the American government, who work to serve the supposed land of the free, have deemed sexism as a form of prejudice. So, why is it an issue that still seems to sneak up in our culture almost everywhere you turn? I say, “sneak” because sexism in the media works in sly ways; we are raised up on it, making it harder to recognize. But in no way is sexism ever acceptable. It is one of the most evil and perplexing forms of prejudice, because it is not even a matter of humans abhorring other humans. It is organisms discriminating against other organisms. And if that is not enough, sexism shows intolerance for a group that is literally vital in existence if we want a species to continue to survive. Now, how is that rational?

When sexism is mentioned, which gender comes to mind first? It is ironic the way in which society seems to have attached the sexism issue on females exclusively. This is an arguably sexist accusation in itself, in the sense that we are forgetting about the experiences of another half of the population completely. Believe it or not, but males experience plenty of sexism in their lives as well! And it is unfair the ways in which media tends underestimate this. In reality, the amount of masculist concerns and stereotypes of the male gender is rather extensive. For instance, men are required to pay higher premiums for auto, life and disability insurance. Some may argue, that this is only due to a statistical number, yet there are no discriminations as such in regard to race or any other criteria. Men also face less protection when it comes to defense against abuse. A 1992 study showed that boys are subject to the stereotype of needing less protection than girls when they are sexually abused. And during a military draft, it is only men who are called. These examples are only a few, taken from a long list of ways in which males are discriminated against. It is time for us to realize that sexism is an issue we are all subject to.

The media has a very different approach when it comes to sexism against women. Instead of neglecting societal issues, like what often happens to men, they have been exploited to ridiculous standards. The categorization of a woman has become an extremely visual and business-like promotion. The incessant reminders of constantly reoccurring advertisements tell us “what women want”-often in a materialistic sense-in order to become a better person. Nearly 70% of girls in one survey said that magazine models influence their idea of the perfect body shape. We are persistently subject to a market that tells us how to better live out our lives as females by buying the latest make-up, jewelry and clothing. All this accomplishes is putting an entire gender into a highly, more categorized box, completely deficient in individuality. There is absolutely no reason why any person should feel more pressure to work harder in order to look presentable, only because of their gender.
Sexism is neglected and forgotten about so much in society that it can often become difficult to recognize. Sexism is promoted to us like propaganda. We are exposed to standards that differentiate both genders through such innocent-seeming means from such a young age to the point that it is effortless to gloss-over and not think twice about. It is critical that others understand this issue so they can see for themselves the indirect ways in which media encourages it. Some may call equality no more than a dream, but I know that all dreams can come true if we want to work hard enough for them.





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andromeda13 said...
Sept. 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Great article, I have never thought about sexism alot, I have always thought it didn't happen to much anymore. I am glad you brought this to my attention.
 
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