“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
According to Miss Representation, the average American is exposed to 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media every single day. So, in order to understand the gender gap and the patriarchal power that has taken hold of our society, we must begin by analyzing and understanding this media. Nobody is safe from the media; media infiltrates every aspect of our lives in the Western world. We are fully surrounded by TV, movies, commercials, magazines, tabloids, ads, billboards, etc. You get the point. The way the media portrays women, as well as men, shapes the national discourse. It shapes the way children’s brains are trained to think about the world they live in. It shapes our emotions about nearly everything and everyone. But seriously, when aren’t we glued to our cell phones or computers sucking in as much social media as we can get our hands on?
As mentioned in Miss Representation, objectifying images and ads of women are way too common in Western society. These ads all contain subdued women who have been tied up, held down, or appear to be unconscious/dead. They are all made out to be powerless, female bodies in a patriarchal society. These ads, which are intended to sell clothes and perfume, are simple objectifying the female body and making it okay for everyone to assume that a woman’s body is something controlled by men. We are sending dangerous messages to both little girls and little boys. Girls are raised believing that their body and looks are everything and that their brains mean near nothing; this view of women is also reciprocated in young boys minds. Women are brought up to be insecure, and these sexually offensive and demeaning images that surround us are not causing these insecurities to go anywhere fast. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, girls are becoming insecure and body conscious at younger and younger ages every year. This is due largely to social media and the portrayal of the “perfect woman” that we see everywhere we turn. Young girls are trafficked at the average age of 12-14 years old, and you can guarantee they have already been affected by this misogynistic media epidemic. We need to change our society to fight this misrepresentation of women that is affecting all of us. We need to replace these disturbing ads and false images of photoshopped women to show girls and boys what real women are and how real women should be treated. Real women need some representation in today’s society.
YOU CANT BE WHAT YOU CANT SEE.