Women,Media - Women and Politics Women in the Media In a...

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8/7/09 Women and Politics Women in the Media In a culture of advertisements, the film “Killing Us Softly” profoundly illustrates how it has become impossible to escape ads that are overly suggestive, such as a half naked women selling kitchen cleaning products. It seems the use of the media to portray women in this manner has become so socially acceptable that the consumer merely sees the product and not any sort of gender inequality. Thus, as gender discrimination only increases, society as a whole must reexamine the underlying causes for such obvious gender discrimination and male dominance within the media, beginning with the social construction of gender. Finally, women as a collective group must seek empowerment and freedom from such exploitation. The idea or portrayal of women as mere objects has deeper roots than our current society. The first issue at hand is the perceived dichotomy of men’s bodies and masculinity and women’s bodies and femininity, respectively. In “Sex and the Body,” Nelly Oudshoorn examines the construction of gender through time periods and notes first that the ancient Greeks stressed similarities instead of differences between the male and female body. Around the eighteenth century, the concept of sex as gender became more akin to ideas today. Anatomical differences were used to reinforce male domination: “the depiction of the female skull was used to prove that women’s intellectual capabilities were inferior to those of men,” and “physiological ‘facts’ were used to explain the passive nature of women” (Oudshoorn, 1994). Thus, social constructions of gender and gender roles have undoubtedly set the stage for the current depictions of women through more advanced means of media.
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Women,Media - Women and Politics Women in the Media In a...

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