Can you think of the last time you saw a movie or commercial in which a woman was portrayed as strong, smart, not overly emotional, athletic, or powerful? A situation in which she was seen as the heroine in the way that men normally are? Chances are, you’d be hard pressed to find one during the course of your day submersed in all types of media. Part of the issue is that most producers for all types of media are men-it is rare that a female is hired for the job. Subsequently, what you as the consumer see on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or television is catered towards what men would prefer to see. This wouldn’t be an issue if our lives didn’t revolve around all types of media—but they do.
It is learned behavior that men and women alike, more often than not, believe that men are supposed to be in control. We were not made to think that way. Evidence of this comes from the fact that when boys and girls are in their first several years of school and asked what they want to be when they grow up, an equal number of kids say the want to be the president of the United States. But fast forward a few years when those same kids become teenagers, and their responses become completely unbalanced with the scale tipping far towards the male’s side. What changes their mind over the course of those crucial adolescent years? The media. Society brainwashes kids everyday to believe that men should be strong, powerful and emotionless while women should serve men to please them, accept lower paying jobs, and most importantly, worry about their body image. How are young girls supposed to believe they have the ability to become the first woman president if they are fed with impression that they can’t? As Marian Wright Edelman, an American activist for the rights of children one stated, “You can’t be what you don’t see.” If girls don’t see a woman in the position that they dreamt of filling as a child, how are the to believe they would be any more capable than the rest of the women in this world? Women need to be writing their own stories in the 21st Century. They need to be venturing into new fields, taking new risks, and pursuing their dreams beyond what they could have imagined. Veteran in the broadcast world, Katie Couric sums it all up saying, “it all depends on who is piloting the plane.” If we continue to let one sex dominate the majority of influential roles in this country, women will forever be taken advantage of, used as subjects of obscenity, and stuck in the place 1950s America left them-as housewives who can cook, clean, reproduce, and wear pearls & lipstick for when their husbands come home from the same jobs women themselves are perfectly capable of.
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