by King23 on April 21, 2017 - 4:06pm
Media, is a global tool that has for purpose to share specific content to a targeted group. Media has therefore the power to easily shape and create public opinions among people in society. However, not all the means used to obtain the desired goal are considered as ethical. In fact, negative outcomes have followed these actions. For example, the idea that “girls’ and women’s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not in their capacity as leaders.” (Miss Representation). In particular , representations of women in media, play a drastic role in increasing the gender stereotypes and often use women as sexual tools to attract more views or to target a specific group of people. However, according to Christopher Meyers, media networks have the right of “free expression, including criticisme…” (3) combined with a tautological view where they require the “freedom to do the things a free state requires of it” (6). In other words, they have the liberty to share media content freely without any barriers and because they play an absolute role in democracy, it allows them to use any means necessary to deliver the required content.
“Advertising images provide culturally sanctioned ideal types of masculinity and felinity” (57). In fact, female stereotypes have always appeared directly or indirectly in the media. These stereotypes vary from degrading women and their skills by objectifying them sexually. They play a drastic role on women’ self-identity which may cause them to lose self confidence and self-hope.
Representation of women in a sexual way is often used in media for a desired impact as they have an effect to attract more views specially from men. For example ads like Fiat’s Arbath edition Super Bowl advertisement objectify women as a tool (car). They also used purposely an attractive women who is thin, slim, sexy and confident to say that the car is sexy, aggressive and attractive. Similar ads may use the same approach in order to make their message funnier. However, sexual representation of women have negative impacts such as effects on body image. In fact, all advertisement which uses women as sexual tools often put pressure of women’s figures and implement specific body standards which man and woman will adapt to their personal standards. Women are often subject of body figure pressure because of sexy ads, shows and popular content, where women are seen as sexy, tall, very slim with a face full of makeup and sometimes photoshopped. Ages from young girls to older women are all impacted by those ads. Resulting in losing self -esteem, doing harsh and dangerous diets to doing surgeries.
From a deontological perspective, media network’s actions are immoral and must be changed in order to have a better outcome. Their use of women in media contexts downgrade gender authority or objectify women sexually. In fact, these negative actions brought forms of ramifications in sports and politics. Some international organizations have already promoted change in order to obtain non-stereotypical portrayal of women in media networks. For example, “Nigeria has sponsored the production and airing of jingles in English and Hausa to promote positive images of women, with a special focus on successful women in traditionally male-dominated professions.” (ONU). Moreover, actions that would show that stereotypes and body image is not important but skills such as leadership, creativity and knowledge are much more important. Campaigns that limite gender stereotypes should be more promoted. And the use of women as sexual tools of attraction can be slightly modified in order to promote inner beauty and important skills.
Media networks have a right of free speech. Thus they have the liberty to express, argue and deliver any content they wish too. Limiting free speech could be a good solution, but chances it will solve the bigger problem are little. In order to limit the immoral representation of women in media, certain actions must be followed. According to a deontological point of view, moral actions must deliver good outcomes. Therefore, actions such as giving a positive representation of women in media in order to promote the ad’s purpose but to also to encourage equality of genders and gender stereotypes.
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"Miss Representation." The Representation Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2017.
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