Historically, women have been marginalised and even to this day, women still fight this battle. One area where this is particularly evident is in the media, in the way that women are represented.
Take the film industry for example, women are depicted a number of ways in films, these can include but are not limited to: the girlfriend, best friend, loving wife, victim wife, mother, mother-in-law, the bitch, feminist, princess and slave. Each character is a reflection of a particular female stereotype and the women are usually represented derogatorily.
The negative representation of women is everywhere in the media. Instilling damaging stereotypes and unrealistic portrayals of women in our minds from a young age is the classic example: Disney. The Disney princesses have totally perfect, unrealistic bodies, complexions, hair and the list goes on. These characters have absolutely no ambitions and apparently crave nothing more than a life as a domestic goddess… But who wouldn’t? We see these kind of idealistic characteristics constantly in female personalities, which is why it comes as no surprise that these negative representations translate to reality.
Until these representations of women change and we break through bogus depictions, I think we will be fighting the equality battle for quite some time. Furthermore, it does not help when the media romanticises abuse and sexual assault in the way that Eminem and Rhianna do in Love The Way You Lie, or the film clip to Robin Thicke’s song Get Her Back. Romanticising issues like sexual assault and abuse suggests that this kind of behaviour is acceptable and desirable. It is not, and it is truly unacceptable that women know what precautions to take to avoid being raped. If you’re not familiar, Cat Del Buono’s youtube clip observes one woman’s attempt to follow the many rules all women should follow to avoid getting raped. Because that’s the issue, women aren’t following the rules, so what else should we expect to happen? *Hints of sarcasm*
It doesn’t stop at a ridiculous, long list of rules; todays market offers anti-rape underwear, date rape prevention nail polish, several personal safety apps, and pocket alarms. It’s really reassuring knowing that there are so many handy tips and gadgets to ensure the safety of women… I’m sure you’ll sleep a lot better tonight with that knowledge!
Now, I’m just going to leave this here because Anna does a pretty good job of summing everything up.