I recently watched Miss Representation, a documentary about how women are portrayed in the media and how the media has skewed the way women and men perceive women. The film focused on the media’s representation of women professionally and socially.
Take a look at many of the female news anchors. Most of them are dressed in ways that are provocative and sexy. Men just wear a coat and tie. In looking at magazine covers, the expectations that young women have to set themselves up for are completely unrealistic. Any magazine cover that features a female model has been airbrushed and photo shopped in order to show the “ideal woman.”
The film shows many of the models in real life and compares them to their magazine covers where they are unrealistically photo shopped to be even skinnier than they already are. This industry sets up expectations for how women should look and act that are impractical. The media has played a huge role in how women are viewed and treated.
News anchor Katie Couric talks about the way women dress and how she tries to keep her look more conservative as to not distract from the story. The way she and other women dress professionally seems to be very important while the way men dress is irrelevant.
In watching the way many news anchors discuss women, the language they use is inferior to the way men are described. Men are described as “intelligent” and “strong,” while women are viewed as “hot,” “annoying” or “ugly.”
The way women are attributed have nothing to with their credentials — Hillary Clinton’s basis for running for president has to do with her husband and his role in politics, not her career as a senator, secretary of state or her law degree from Yale.
Within the media, women are inferior; the way women are talked about is vastly different from the way men are. Until the media starts to portray women as they are and discusses men and women in the same way, the wrong message will continue to spread.
We live in a country where women have always been inferior to men, and in recent years, there has been slow progress in the right direction. However, that progress won’t make a difference until women are viewed as equals to men in all facets — professionally and socially — and the media has the power to jump-start this change.