Misogyny-a deep hatred of women- is the sentiment that the media is brewing with the content that it is spawning each day and yet we have allowed them to get away with it-even becoming accomplices to the crime ourselves as women.
Representation violence! Anyone ever heard that expression before? When people hear of violence against women, physical violence comes to mind-the one that leaves bruises and scars on women’s beautiful skins.
Yet everyday representation violence is in our faces yet we hardly see it and we do not even comprehend its consequences and how it fosters mindsets that make the other forms of violence permissible in our society.
Naked women on advertisements of cars-do boobs drive cars?
Naked women on realtor’s websites-what has that got to do with selling houses?
Movies in which men beat up their girlfriends because they caught them cheating-what happened to dialogue?
Music videos with naked women caressing and (whining up) to a fully dressed man-and the songs are about making money-explain the link between nudity and money please?
Yes each day the media, print, electronic is prostituting women’s dignity and perpetuating violence against women.
Oh yes some of you right now are thinking-but the women want it. They love posing naked. They consent to these adverts-They are paid for it so what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that the media has cheapened the body of a woman to such an extent that any advertisement without an attractive woman will not sell. What sells is not the product but the face of the advertisement.
So if the industry has already laid out its rules driven by masochistic tendencies, what choice does a woman who is fighting for survival in a harsh world have besides capitulating to its demands.
If the first advert had not had a naked woman, would this woman have such a terribly sexist precedent to fend off?
The reality of today is that nakedness sells and the choice is limited to selling or not selling. At the end of the day, that is no choice.
The media names and shames a woman, blaming her for being sexually assaulted and imputing that she “asked for it.” In films teenage girls who get raped will either be wearing a short skirt, flirting with the guy or get drunk and so when they get raped the sentiment is why were they doing all that-. They should have been more careful. -But what excuse ever justifies a man who forces himself upon an unwilling woman-drunk or not, naked or not??? In other words, the media through such films represent rape more as a sexual act rather than focus on the violent aspect which makes it a crime.
Criminologists have conducted studies which have shown that the majority of child sexual offenders, child molesters and other perpetrators of sexual offences are regular consumers of pornographic material-be it films or magazines. Pornography increases behavioural aggression and cultivates views of women as objects rather than beings. Again the media’s representation of women is to blame.
The media has normalised the face of rape as that of a woman and so no one is shocked anymore when they hear that a woman was gang raped by 12 men.
The media has made it seem as if fat and big women are unattractive and so women starve themselves, deprive themselves of the food they love in a bid to be smaller and hence more attractive. Is this not psychological violence?
How do we make it stop when few women worldwide own the media? How do we restore the value of women? How do we negate repair terrible representations that paint women as objects? How do we repair those who already view women in this manner?
I was inspired by the lyrics to the song Times like these by the Jamaican artist Queen Ifrica in which she bemoaned the negative role that artists and the media have played in ploughing under society’s decency and exploiting women when she says:
“They took away the voices, that gave the people pride
Now we’re plunging into darkness
We all have to play our part, make a bold start
Every disc jock[ey], tell every artist
Media houses, we notice you love [to] support the slackness
How so much alcohol [is] in our parties
While the girls are broke out
And the something she drinked [has drunk has] knocked her out
Now she don’t [doesn’t]care where they prop her up”
Watch the rest of the video here