The media misleads reality by forming and reinforcing gender stereotypes. Women are subjugated by being portrayed into categories like sex objects, victims and or dependents of society. We live in a world full of discrimination. People (men and women) are categorized and judged based on who they are. Both genders are victims of this act but men are often favorited more than women are. Men are praised for many things that women would be criticized for doing. Women are often underestimated in many things that men are praised for and also classified as the weak sex. Men are implied as the cultural standard. Women are looked as unimportant or invisible. Regardless of age or tenure, females face these scenarios almost every day. This is called sexism.
Let’s talk gender roles in magazines and ads. After doing some research, 78% of the covers of magazines are regarding women bodily appearance, weight loss, dietary habits etc. The point of these weight-related messages are to tell the women who are discriminated as big or fat that being skinny or slim is the key to having a better life. Women’s magazines focus on improving one’s life by changing their appearance. Instead of being supportive, why do we have to discriminate? Some men also made negative comments towards heavier women. One big thing is the target audience for all this discrimination towards women which is called social media, also known as the big stage. Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Music.ly, Facebook etc. are some examples. People use these apps/websites to say whatever they want behind a profile. People that make judgements or say things can put an influence on others viewing and they would think it’s acceptable to bash others.
What about the magazines with men on the covers? I asked myself. After surfing the web some more, I saw magazine covers with men that targeted their hair, perfume launches, clothing lines etc. Men’s magazines focus on hobbies, expanding knowledge and other activities. I recently read an article called Young Women Learn Harmful Gender Stereotypes from Reality Tv. They mentioned the famous tv show called The Bachelor. This is based on a woman who chooses a man among multiple men. The man must match her needs and wants she expect. When the woman chooses the man, it’s now his turn to say whether he wants this woman or not. I think it’s unfair because it’s basically a choice being made based on how the woman looks. This world is a male-dominated culture. Some people assume that doctors and pilots can be a man job. Men are featured nearly as twice as women are on television. Women are more featured in music videos and more sexually-related programs. Some people assume that doctors and pilots can be a man job.
The development of identity towards women and female adolescents in magazines, reality tv shows or even tv commercials portray the female gender unfairly. They show unrealistic beauty norms. Most of these people are photo shopped onto images and the media and are claimed to be flawless. The word flawless is used to paint a picture about women and it tells that they are only beautiful if they look a certain way. Perfect. Other women may feel insecure when they see things like that, causing them to have a low self-esteem. Having a low self-esteem can do a lot of damaging to one’s life. People harm their selves or even end up killing themselves. Instead of helping to prevent problems like this, the media is creating it. There needs to a stop to grouping women and teen girls based on how they look, how rich they are and or what they wear. Why do we have to categorize?
In some countries around the world, women are not respected as much. For instance, Japan. Women in Japan are not treated equally and do not have the opportunity as other women do around the world. In Japan men have essential roles just because of who they are, males. Women aren’t allowed to have a job if they have a family (husband and kids) and are expected to stay at home and maintain the household and the children. Why can’t a woman have a job? Why can’t women do what a man does in Japan? We need answers to these questions and unfair treatments. There are other women who are also unfairly treated in other countries. They want to speak out but why can’t they have a voice and rights? Where are women rights in other countries? Women are judged too much and need to have choices and rights like men do.
Men are favored more than women are. Let’s talk culture and status. We have yet to elect a female president. Why? Is women not empowered enough to run a country? Women are paid less than men are for similar jobs. In video games, women are weaker and significantly more helpless. Women characters are sexually provocative than male characters and are less aggressive. Typical video games do not include a female character. Women are always given a weaker position. What are we teaching our fellow younger ones looking on? What examples are we teaching them? What problems are we causing? What are we supporting? These are all questions I think needs to be answered by the media. The things they portray is no help to the society. It’s selfish. If a younger woman marries/dates an older man she is often classified as a gold-digger. Some may caricature women as a nag or even Jezebels. Women are looked at as prostitutes when they wear certain clothes or look a certain way.
There are so many labels that are placed against a woman for being whom she is, how she looks, her skin color, the way she dresses etc. These types of judgments made to a woman can negatively affect her. For example women can become very emotional. Much research has shown that women experience more stress and anxiety than men due to stereotyping. We need to prevent it. In my opinion, protests now-a-days barely solve any problem(s) caused. I look at it as a legal opportunity to speak your mind with a group of people who agree with you, while holding posters or signs. I do not see it stopping the media from influencing the wrong activities that they paint on society because of money or fame. So many people who work for these companies that delineate stereotyping against women are brainwashed by the money that they are offered. The negative stereotypes against females affect their ability to attain their potential by limiting choices and opportunities on their behalf.
We need to recognize how important this issue is and that it matters. The good news is that there are multiple ways to address to society, the problems occurring and what the media is causing. We need to put our thoughts into action and make it come to an end. It is a disgrace that women are treated unfairly and have to experience the feeling of being insecure because the person who they are is not accepted rightfully. So many natural talents and abilities are limited; educational and professional experiences and opportunities in life. I can go on and on about the impacts on women’s lives dues the stereotyping but how can we prevent women from feeling discouraged in situations like these in the work place, school or even in public.
How can we try to limit women stereotypes around the world? Well of course, not everyone agrees but, women also deserve rights in every country around the world. Creating groups to speak in the public, community centers and on social media can be a start. Anything is possible so why not have a protest so others who also agree can be aware and start something too. Writing letters to congress and to the media explaining how bad discrimination is and to give women their own rights is also a great idea. Women also need to stand strong and know their grounds. Every woman is not the same and may not take being stereotyped lightly. Some may become emotional about it, furious about it while some may not care. Ladies! Separate yourself from the stigma by reminding yourself who you are, what your abilities are, how strong you are and reflect on your achievements every time you are encounter a position like this. Finding humor in difficult situations like these is also a good idea. It is good to maintain a positive attitude even when things are not right. Talk to yourself and have positive thoughts every day. This trains your mind and who you are to believe that you are strong and nobody or nothing can change your mind.
Point out what you think is not right. Whether it is happening at school, a meeting, your workplace or in public, speak for those who do not have a voice. Help one another; after all we are one team. It is important to bring to attention the poor habits contributing to women stereotyping when you witness it, you may start a change in behaviors. Keeping a communication going on can help others realize the impacts of gender biases. We need to get women on board to participate in activities that men usually are a part of. Include women in more jobs. I think that training employees to avoid discrimination can be a big start in the environment.
Women stereotyping may not come to a complete end because it is always going to be an ongoing problem due to someone feeling as though women should always be treated as though they do not have a say in anything. The way the media portrays this biasness it reflects on children which causes them to view their gender a certain way. There may not be a definite way to end the discrimination against women but there are ways that can convince the world to have equal treatment step by step.
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