The Representation of Women in Press: the Example of Turkish Media

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In Turkey, analyzing media is somewhat difficult work. Because, media is a male-dominated branch. In fact, the problem of being dominated by men is faced with almost every aspect of life. Moreover, the scholars go further and explain this domination as a beginning of the new discourses which are called as the separate spheres. The doctirne of separate spheres assumes that woman’s place is in the home and man’s place is in the labor (Haas& Hwang, 2007: 55). Altough the employment for women are seen in every field, media is the most difficult working area to be involved for women. They are not the subject of it, they are always the object of media.

Representation of women in the media is not only the desires of audiences’ desires, but also the choice of the one who exercise power. Since there are conservative tendencies in Turkey nowadays, the contradictions are derived from this tendencies. In the press one can see a news about one of the newspapers’empolyer and his wife. While he does not want his wife to wear mini-skirt, his first demand from his woman announcer is to wear a mini-skirt. Media is interested in women’s hemline, not even more. It is the perception of most of the feminist tutors. This means existing only in name. In the media or in the working areas women are subordinated ones. This fact is valid for years. It is because individuals are taught in this way. What a child sees in everyday life is the example of his future attitudes. This truth can be seen almost everywhere in the world. For instance as a Swedish Context, it has same understanding. Many narratives from the past tell us how women were often characterised as the saviour of the family economy. When the boys started working, wround twelve years age, girls stayed at home and helped their mothers with cooking, care of younger siblings, sewing, animal breeding and keeping, as well as the continuos washing of the boys’ and husbands’ working clothes (Lundqvist, 1999: 584). They are far from serious topics. Nevertheless, in Turkey one can easliy observe that women are everywhere, even under the health column or under the sports columns with their half-naked bodies.

At the same time, girls’ education is one of the important topic in media. There are lots of advirtesements which are for supporting their education. Turkey is a two-dimensional country. It is impossible to analyze gender issues just looking unidimensional. Because, on the one hand women in Turkey face with the problems that the women from developed Western countries experinced. On the other hand, they struggle for the problems which make the life more difficult with the cultural and traditional constrains. These constrains, sometimes may cause women have any right to live and voice. In the papers and magazines the women’s education rates take a broad part. It is the way for making people aware of this issue.

In Turkey, main idea on women is not about gender discrimination. It is actually about honour. The understanding of Islam, unfortunately, in some communities, it is still accepted that men superior to women. According to their view, it is inevitable to see a woman as just a mother. Before media and politics, religion confirms this. Thus, there is nothing remain. There is nothing to do for making men and women equal. Media is the supporter of government’s policies. The family policies are one of them. Women are the mothers on the advirtesements. They seem while taking care for children. Womenhood is still constructed through caring and responsibility for relationships. Women still are responsible for family life and parenthood in a more extensive way than are men, regardless of all striving for gender equality and regardless of public day care for children. Mothers who live in Sweden have to construct their motherohood within the context of a gender equality discourse, but in everyday reality that is not gender equal (Elvin-Nowak & Thomsson, 2001:...
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