By Sarah Copeland
I’m usually the type of person who keeps my opinions to myself, or at least to my close friends. I don’t try and force my opinion on anyone or think that my opinion is always the correct opinion. That being said, the following blog post will have a lot to do with my personal opinion. I couldn’t avoid it. After a recent class in my Race, Gender, and the Media course, I became very heated about the subject of women in the media. We watched a documentary called “Miss Representation”. I highly suggest finding a way to watch this film because it is very well made and reveals a lot of information that I think few people take into consideration.
Anyway, throughout the film I got angrier and angrier. The main point, presented early on in the documentary, is that the media is a messenger and a strong messenger. And the public learns more information from the media than any other source (Newsom 2011). Therefore, the representation of women on television, through commercials, through music videos, and any other form they take visually, is important to analyze.
How often on television are women used as sex objects? What about damsels in distress? Female characters are rarely a strong main character who avoids drama. This documentary points this out very well while also proving how women are under-represented and are often portrayed disparagingly.
As women, we see the impossible in media. We see models and a plethora of incredibly beautiful women that we, as mortals, can never live up to. Not only does this give young women a false view of what they should be, it also gives men a belief on what they think women should be and therefore how to treat women. Obviously, this is an important matter because the media has too strong a hold on our beliefs and attitudes.
How do we fix this? How do we, as women, prove ourselves to be more than what we are depicted on screen? This is yet another reason I became angry. I didn’t have any good answers. So, as a conclusion to this blog, I request your opinions on how this could be rectified. Are we already progressing? Or do we need to make some serious changes? We, as women, need stronger role models and correct representation, and we need to fix this now.