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What is sexism in the media

All forms of discrimination have no excuse. Racism, sexism or any other should be uprooted from our communities. Learn how sexism in media affects people.

The word “sexism” may sound new to you, but the thing it describes by all means is not new. Unfortunately sexism has been a part of human history and culture for thousands of years. It is described in the Bible in the Book of Genesis and in the Book of Judges. Presently it has taken on a new shape – media sexism. So, what is sexism in general and what is sexism in media in particular? Let’s get some answers.
What is sexism in the media

Basically sexism is gender discrimination. It stands in one row with racism, religious discrimination, and human rights violation. It is manifested in the form of gender inequality. What is gender inequality? It is when one person is considered to be less worthy and is treated poorly just because she is a woman, because of the way she was born. People in Nigeria are well acquainted with the racism. This inequality is based on the color of skin, on the amount of melanin one has in the body. Racism is absurd, but for many years Nigerians were treated poorly, enslaved, abused and sold by their “white masters”.

Today most countries including Nigeria perceive such things as unacceptable. Still, how come gender discrimination in Nigeria and all over the globe continues? Is there any good reason why a human being should be abused, poorly treated and bereft of dignity and basic things in life just because she is not a man? Any discrimination is absurd and has no logical background.

What is sexismOne of the common examples of gender discrimination which is also found in Nigeria is low access to education for girls. In many African villages girls are not even sent to schools. Their fathers see no use in such a thing and deny their daughters the right to education. There are many more limitations that women have to put up with even in our modern world.
In some countries they have no right to drive a car. In others they are forced to wear certain attires. In some places women are forbidden to travel or to pick their mates in life, etc. In many regions women are just viewed as sex objects. They endure harassment and abuse and have no place to turn to for protection and help.

Now, what is sexism in the media?

In our days media bereft humans of their dignity. It is done through advertising, film making and other means. People get publicly shamed and bullied on the internet. Naked bodies can be seen all over the place: on ad boards, on flyers, on TV, in the cinema, etc. Media shamelessly utilizes human bodies to promote various goods and services.

 sexism in the mediaHowever, the use of male and female bodies in it is different. In many cases they are presented as sex objects. Women take sexy positions on ads. Their bodies get “chopped up” and the parts are used to promote various goods. This is rarely done to men and their images. Plus, the new “beauty standards” make things only worse.

Women are demanded to look very unrealistic. They have to be super slender and young looking at any age. Recently Renee Zellweger showed up on the red carpet and the media got up that “shock” campaign about how she has aged. She is just a human and has the right to age as all of us do.

No one can stay young forever. However, media demands from people the impossible and women are deemed as beautiful and attractive as long as they stay super thin and young.

Moreover, the use of Photoshop creates an impossible standard for ladies. It changes the shade of the black women’s skin to a lighter shade adding racism to sexism. They cut out certain parts of the body to make ladies look impossibly thin and shape that lack of self-worth in all the girls and females, who cannot meet it. Sexism in media targets female self-esteem, brings it down to nothing and stimulates women to buy more useless products which promise to keep them young and make them “perfect”.

sexismWhich is worse, sexism in the media shapes male perceptions about the female beauty. They start measuring the real women in their lives against that ideal and women suffer even more. Media objectifies female body parts, thus it turns them into products. The products are meant to be consumed. We consume such things as yogurts or meat and never hear it complain to us about the abuse, right? So, why should women complain, when they get sexually consumed?

Such an approach shapes rapist mentality and increases the level of gender violence in the society. Advertising and media has a huge role to play in it. So, what are some of the consequences of sexism in the media:

  • low self-esteem in women;
  • objectification of their bodies and parts;
  • increased level of sexual crimes and violence;
  • home violence;
  • gender discrimination;
  • sexual immorality and sin;
  • people trafficking and sex abuse.

Seems like such a “harmless” thing as a cool ad with few photos of nice girls does have some grave and even life threatening consequences. We get so used to seeing naked and dissembled bodies in the media, that we become rather insensitive to them. We stop seeing it as immorality and tweak our moral standards up to the media fashion. We fail to follow God’s standards of purity in our lives.

READ ALSO: What is culture?

Solutions for sexism in the media:

What is to be done about this problem and how can it be solved? There are several things to do:

  1. Female education
    What is sexism in the media 1First of all,  women in society have to become its valid part. They need to be able to get education and the ability to provide for themselves. In some countries the parents of a woman even pay dowry to the man’s family, as they view girls as financial burden. Many women struggle with abusive husbands or end up homeless or even killed just because they have no way of providing for themselves and their kids.

    Education is the way to women empowerment. It opens up new opportunities and prospects in life for them and their entire families. Even the old Africa saying goes like this: educate a woman, and you would educate the entire family. As she would pass on her knowledge and dignity to her children.
     
  2. Dignity
    Men should finally realize that they cannot preserve their own dignity humiliating another human being. Those, who deem themselves very spiritual and Christian should realize that God has created both men and women in His own image and likeness. The Bible tells us that we cannot show love and respect to God, if we put down and treat poorly a person created in His image.
     
  3. Stop gender inequality
     sexism in the media 1There is just one thing to be done: give women equal rights with the men. Yes, we are different, but we are equal. We do things differently and have different abilities, but they all should be celebrated as those coming from God and being endowed by Him.
     
  4. Stop making sexual objects out of female bodies
    All bodies are great, because they are given by our Creator. There is no standard of beauty we all should fall under. He has never introduced one, so why should we even worry over another person’s ideas on the beauty? We should accept and be thankful for what we have and enjoy our lives to the fullest.
     
  5. Self-worth
    sexism 2Any person is a worthy human and a precious soul regardless of their race, color, gender or age. This is something many outstanding African leaders fought for and such values should be installed on our children from the very young age. Then they would grow up having no notion of discriminating others just because they differ.

As you see, sexism in media is a serious thing. It has the power to damage lives of many women around the globe and in Nigeria in particular. Once we stop consuming such “products”, the media would stop producing them. As the supply is regulated by the demand. 
 

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Expert
7 comments

More dangerous stereotypes in general and media in particular? Every cliché - is fraud, enshrined in minds of population, especially exaggeration and unfair use of facts. In journalism stereotypes hamper search for truth, stop professional development. Stereotypes - socially dangerous phenomenon. They prevent people from becoming citizens, reduce their social activities, generate frustrating. It must be remembered, that media often shape our way of life and thought, and has huge impact on children. Of course, we must be able resist this, but in any case it will have impact if not for you, then other people.

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Student
Answered 1 year ago.

wasswabisaso@gmail.com

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Newbie
Answered 1 year ago.

One more possible solution to cease sexism in media came to my mind: it's creating an alternative way of depicting women in advertisement. If companies find using the image of a female body in ads the only way to sell their product effectively, they can at least make them look more dignified: wearing more clothes than just a bathing costume, having closed mouth and opened eyes (unlike some oblivious creature in need of guidance), standing or sitting on a steady surface in a comfortable pose (denoting confidence and self-sufficiency).

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Newbie
Answered 1 year ago.

I understand all your opinions and feeling but let me explain why we come to this situation. Firstly I should mention that all this discrimination and sexism is a consequence of marketing. For a marketer is important to catch the attention of the potential customer. Today all modern marketing motivation theories are based on Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory on Instincts. By this theory sexual instinct is the crucial one that may influence your attention, retention and motivation about a product. This problem as you mentioned in the text might be solved only by education , and especially female education.

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Newbie
Answered 1 year ago.

Sexism - it is rather fiction. And who wants - he will find it. It is necessary to approach life with a sense of humor. However, if in the life of someone does not respect you, you must explain your concern, to raise the hype and do everything to avoid a the company with that person. To eradicate sexism, it is necessary to take care of the upbringing of their children, to teach them respect for the mother and the women. The only way to avoid violence and humiliation.Improve yourself and the world.

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Newbie
Answered 1 year ago.

I fully agree with the author. Nowadays sexism is very dangerous for the world, after he began to promote media it was a disaster. Wherever you look, you see corruption, lack of understanding of the situation. No one wants to think of others, it's scary.

I hope to soon, people have their way. Someday, every man would be free to step on a new path, freely. The main thing is spreading this problem, then we can show that sexism is terrible. The fact that it can now be seen in movies, on television, even in advertising - not normal. Good luck to all who want a better world! =)

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Newbie
Answered 1 year ago.

Discrimination against women in the media is destroying the foundations of the state policy of equal opportunities for the human development of women and men. First, it undermines the position of the most active and dedicated women, it becomes a barrier to their career in prestigious areas of public life, favored by men - in business, in politics, in culture. After all, if a woman - a man of limited abilities read, "second-class", it must know their place and do not qualify for the same high-paying jobs as men, patiently bear his authority in the family and society.

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Newbie
Answered 1 year ago.
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