Recently I’ve been thinking – and talking – a lot about how women are portrayed in the media. I’ve also been thinking about how women are seen in society – and in, particular, how they see themselves.
Yesterday I watched the aptly titled, MissRepresentation, a documentary that explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America in particular, and the role the media plays in this. If you haven’t seen it, it’s well worth watching.
There is no denying that women used to be seen as possessions for the convenience and entertainment of men.
There is no denying that that is possibly even more the case than ever.
Women are increasingly packaged as sex objects and everything is now sold to everybody, using women’s bodies.
I am not suggesting that women are to blame for this phenomenon. I don’t think it’s caused by hormones or cattiness or any of the other rubbish accusations designed to disempower women.
But I am suggesting that women stop supporting it.
Stop believing the illusion that tells you that being thinner, younger-looking, compliant and presented like a sex-object will make you happier. It won’t. It can’t. And when you aren’t happier even though you are complying it isn’t your fault – you’ve been sold a big, fat lie. Even if you have to wrestle with yourself until you retrain your psyche – do it – that might actually make you happy.
Don’t buy the handbags or the magazines or perfume or clothes that are advertised by women portrayed as objects of sexual fantasies or with distorted, unnatural body-images.
Don’t watch the films or TV shows that reinforce the stereotypes.
Do watch the films and TV shows that don’t. One of the interviewees in the movie (a man) makes the point that in the cinema of the 1940s and ’50s, women could get to play real people in movies – bitches, saints, moms, murderers, adventurers – not so nowadays, shockingly.
Stop believing that you have to be like a man – or be liked by a man – in order to make a success of your life. Let’s face it, men are not any happier than women and have, largely, made a very unfriendly, unhelpful, unsafe and unsatisfying world for themselves as well as women.
Don’t get me wrong – men need to get on board with this boycott as well.
But women – come on – let’s stop waiting for the men to come along – maybe they’re not the early adopters they think they are?
How about we just stop supporting the system and stop accepting the stereotypes and stop conforming to the ‘way things are’ and try to create a new way for things to be – a way that is good for everyone, not just women (let’s not make the same mistakes as men).
Worst case scenario, if it all blows up in our pretty little botoxed faces we can always go back to what we have now…