Media and its portrayal of women
Maybe arms are the most dangerous things which man created. But it can stand second only to media and mass communication. While mass communication arose as a consolidation of voices, and as forms of entertainment for a lot of people, it has slowly taken its place in society as the sort of weapon which can do great good, but it can also inflict great harm.
Nowadays, the question of what a woman should be defined as, and whether or not she should be made to stay within the bounds of those definitions have become important questions which are demanding an answer. During such delicate times, one must evaluate the roles which the different kinds of media are playing in reasserting a certain kind of image of what the “ideal” woman should be like.
While newspapers have become more conscious of the ways in which women are projected, there are various other sources off mass media which are, very cleverly drilling in certain notions of what a woman should be like, and these notions are far from being flawless. Most of these portrayals are bound very heavily in the patriarchal, chauvinistic spheres, and these portrayals are being sold off through these mediums as being the “proper woman’s ideal”. Take for instance, the T.V serials which are running quite successfully even today. Despite our tall-talk of change and growth, a majority of the more famous serials are made by women, and are primarily for women, and its through these mediums, that certain very misogynistic ideas are conditioned into the minds of the viewers.
In a majority of these T.V series, the “ideal women” in question are the stay-at-home housewives. Nowadays, even if these beacons of virtue do venture out of their homes to go out and work, the producers make sure that these characters come back home and do their household chores like dutiful housewives. The ideal daughters are always the ones who are ready to sacrifice their dreams in order to blindly follow the instructions of their parents. The “good women” are always the ones dresses in ethnic clothes, and the vamps, more often than not, come out wearing western clothes, or clothes which are slightly more revealing. Why this discrimination? What can’t a career-driven woman, wearing a good pair of jeans and a top (however revealing) be a good woman? These are the subversive ways in which media operates, impinging upon the growth of women’s empowerment.
The movies, however, have lead to a very different kind of mind-set. Most of them women in movies are sexualized to great degrees. That is what sells, and therefore, that is what the public must get. An ordinary woman with a little less sex-appeal will never do, because they must look overtly sexual, feral and “physically appealing”. This has lead to an objectification of women, which is becoming more ridiculous by the day. Even magazines choose to put up drop-dead-gorgeous, women who are air-brushed to perfection.
With these mixed signals, with these subversive media influences, it is only the voices of the women who can think for themselves, which will be heard in the future generations, as pioneers and change-makers. But they need to scream louder, they need to work faster, in order to overcome the overpowering influence of the media.