The Media Objectification of Women

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According to the readers digest library of modern knowledge (1978) all media, to a greater extent, inform and entertain. There are, however, less obvious roles which the media either consciously or unconsciously play. The aim may be expressly to educate as, for example, in school programmes. Alternatively, the intention may be to persuade. By selecting what material is to be transmitted the media can stress the greater importance of one issue with its topic of everyday discussion, they are in a strong position to influence public opinion by the way in which the present the issues. Kilbourne (2002) suggests that advertising can be one of the most powerful educational forces in our society. Advertising is an over 100 billion dollar a year industry and every day people are exposed to over 2000 ads daily. Through the mass media women discover that their bodies and faces are in need of alteration, augmentation and disguise. In addition, women are taught to internalize an observers perspective of their own bodies (Greening, 2005). According to Rockler-Gladen (2008) media that objectify women see women as physical objects that can be looked at and acted upon and fail to portray women as subjective beings with thought, histories and emotions. In reality, human beings are both subjects, as they are physical collection of molecules as well as individuals. To objectify someone, then is to reduce someone exclusively to the level of an object. The nasty corporate climber the sex-kitten, the supermom, the femme fatale; we all know the stereotypes. Whatever the role popular magazines, film and television are full of images of women and girls who are desperately thin and made up. Nevertheless female stereotypes continue to thrive in the media. Media activist Jean Killbourne notes that women’s bodies are often dismembered, reinforcing the message that women are objects rather than human beings.

Women are frequently in the media men are sometimes as well, but the...
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