The Instigator
Tommy.leadbetter
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
StephLou92
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Sexualising women in the mainstream media damages their psychological state.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Tommy.leadbetter
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 604 times Debate No: 66441
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

The continual sexualisation of women, and even men, in the media is damaging to women. It encourages women to harken to the sexual side of their nature above all else, and then makes them feel inferior about their sexual appeal through the portrayal of unrealistically attractive women using photo effects. Because they see sexual appeal as their most important trait, and they fail at it, they are depressed. This makes them obsessively buy beauty products and stay distracted from the true issue, which is the fact that rich people own too much.

I'm talking generally, I'm sure women on here are less controlled by such shallow brainwashing, as its more effective on those who don't debate and question the world (which is the majority). And I know many women reject this worldview, but none the less one would be a fool to deny that it's what the vast majority of women are consumed by to a large extent.

My argument is that sexualisation is bad for women in society. Not that women are not sexualised.

Thank you

First round please post argument.
StephLou92

Con

I feel this argument is based on the assumption that women themselves do not want to be sexualised.
I simplify my argument by categorising women into three main categories: those unaffected by the media portrayal, those affected and those who embrace and/or make a successful career because of it. Of course this is over simplistic but I have categorized these to demonstrate there are different reactions to the portrayal.
For example, a large bulk of the mainstream media that would be seen to sexualise women are in fact targeted at women themselves. Perhaps this is not to reduce self esteem but to increase it. To be able to show that women can be feminine and be interested in beauty yet still be independent and be career focused. The director of Cosmopoliton, which arguably sexualises women to a high degree is a women who bases a bulk of her content to 'debating and questioning the world', however, also bases a lot of it on 'how to please your man in bed' or 'sexy dresses to get you noticed'. These articles are based at the same target audience which aims to legitimize that women do not have to choose brains or sexuality. We can and do have both.
To assume that women or girls are 'brainwashed' by these images is to assume they do not have the capacity to question what we see portrayed in the media as truth. It is possible to view these images as a distorted fantasy but to appreciate them regardless.
Also, sexuality is closely linked with confidence. If a women wants to mimic that of the mainstream media and embrace her own sexuality, boost her confidence and make her feel desirable then good on her. It is assumed because the average woman will never look quite like the images she sees then this is damaging, however, if she were to find to find the images appealing and strives on some level to recreate them by using the beauty products etc then in turn she would feel more confident and comfortable in her own skin which cannot be anything but good for society. I am not arguing that women need make up and beauty products to feel confident, merely if she wants to experiment and channel individual expression then this is a positive for both the individual and society.
What I think is damaging to society is women and girls being constantly told what oppresses them. This era of women is strong and opinionated, if they don't like what the mainstream media has to offer then they can stand up for themselves. At last we are in an era where the strong career woman doesn't have to act masculine, or unfeminine or asexual to be taken seriously. Finally, we have reached a point where we can embrace our sexuality through the media whilst being taken seriously as individuals.
Debate Round No. 1
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

You start off on the wrong foot by saying: "I feel this argument is based on the assumption that women themselves do not want to be sexualised". This is not true, I understand that women have an evolutionary instinct to want to be appealing. This instinct is ancient and designed for small ape-like groups, like many other instincts, they can be a hindrance to a degree in modern society. Scientists call it 'bad wiring', when talking about the way our brain works in modern society,when it was designed for something else. Anyway my point is that these instincts need to be curtailed and reduced in the cleverest ways we can, because they are powerful and already there. It should be the role of those with power to bare the responsibility of encouraging a healthy mind set. (With great power, comes great responsibility-Spider-Man!) What I'm saying is the media play off this instinct and not only amplify it, but cheapen it by portraying women as sex objects. Like, this is not the only way it could be; sex, and all things sexual, could be considered a private thing that is at least not plastered on billboards, or on mainstream media. We don't need sexualisation to have good tv! We don't need attractive women to play all good characters in films for the films to be appealing! We don't need attractive news hosts to watch the news! And we don't need to get turned on at every music video! I think the media is controlled by rich people hell bent on making us stupid, because the content has to be so awful, sex is needed to sell it all. Sorry, I digress. What I'm saying is, this argument is not based on the assumption that women don't want to be sexualised; it is based on the assumption that this desire does exist, but its manipulated by the media and distorted, to a degree that is potentially detrimental to millions of women, through cheap sexualization and impossibly attractive role models. Only 5% of women are capable of having just the body shape that is endorsed by the media (1). So it's no surprise that 8/10 women don't like the reflection they see (1).

You say: "For example, a large bulk of the mainstream media that would be seen to sexualise women are in fact targeted at women themselves. Perhaps this is not to reduce self esteem but to increase it. To be able to show that women can be feminine and be interested in beauty yet still be independent and be career focused."

Firstly, I know they are targeted at women as well as men, and that's the point. I'm saying its effecting women...it's meant to effect women, because women with low-self esteem who attribute attractiveness with confidence are easy to sell too. Also a less-esteemed population is easier to control. Its in the interests of all those powerful and rich, to keep the majority of people feeling weak and distracted.

Secondly; how does sexualising women, increase their self esteem in keeping them independent and career focused? To publicly sexualise somebody is to take away their independence, it cheapens womanhood. It reduces it to its primal level, taking away their humanity and intellectuality. Sexual desire is present in dogs and all animals, to reduce a woman to such, is to reduce her to her most simple function-ignoring all else that comes after. My opponent has given no reason why sexualising women in the media encourages women to be more career focused or independent.

Indeed, it does the opposite. I will elaborate:

Individuality: Reducing a women to her sex appeal takes away her individuality. Putting so much emphasis on sex appeal makes all women judge themselves on one aspect of their person. So although they might not give it too much focus (though in my experience women are quite focused on their looks) its still one playing field that all women are judged by. I know it's hard to see because its all you know women to be, but just imagine a man-they can be attractive, but its not noticed if they are not. They are upheld for being funny, confident, e.t.c. Attractiveness doesn't have to be paramount like it is in women. Don't believe me? Poll from daily mail: "The poll also found 45 per cent of young single women spend more on making sure they look good, rather than saving for the future. The average girl in her early twenties spends "90 a month on her appearance - splashing out most of her disposable income on haircuts, tans, clothes and shoes." This is not to mention the fact the almost 50% of women openly care more about their looks than job prospects (2), and that doesn't account for those to ashamed to say it! So, as you can see, women care a lot about what they look like. Because its so difficult to not compete in this domain, women are forced to all play the same game and this takes away their individuality. You mustn't misunderstand me, I know women can break the mold, but I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about the mould itself. It takes away their individuality to a degree because it means they have to focus being feminine. For instance-they might not do boxing because it make them less pretty, or they might not want to be strong because it makes them look less feminine. Women might want to play football, or do something spontaneous, but carnt because of their clothes. Or even they just dont want to look stupid. Any bets more males use this site than females. I have a wife and I know what it's like when she's out with the boys, her womanhood holds her back. So I'm not saying it takes away individuality, but it does stifle it somewhat, and it certainly doesn't encourage it!

Career focused: Well I think the readers are clever enough to draw their own conclusions from the research: 41% of women are more interested in their looks than career, and this is only the number that where willing to admit it. So sexualising women in the media, we all know, makes them want to be pretty even more, and tells them what is actually pretty (something they will never reach) : this encourages people to be obsessed with looks because they can never look like the people they see in the media. So it's not apparent that sexualising women encourages them to be career focused, and my opponent gives no evidence or reason to believe such. Indeed, 41% of women being admittedly caring more for their looks than their career, suggests the opposite is true.

I don't understand the relevance of your cosmopolitan argument. How do articles titled "sexy dresses that get you noticed" demonstrating anything but what I have been saying? Get noticed? not for brains, wit or achievement, for a sexy little dress. And yer it might base a lot of its content on debate e.t.c, but that's not got anything to do with sexualising women. Its a national newspaper (if I'm correct I don't read such propaganda) or course its got a debate section. The director didn't found it. Feminism isn't exactly endorsed on the debate section either so this point has no relevance.

You say: To assume that women or girls are 'brainwashed' by these images is to assume they do not have the capacity to question what we see portrayed in the media as truth. It is possible to view these images as a distorted fantasy but to appreciate them regardless." Yes but it's impossible to not be influenced by them. The average person see's 3000 adds a day and is exposed to two years of watching advertisements. Those who say they aren't effected are often the most effected. It's impossible to not be effected unless you remove yourself from society. And this debate isn't about whether anybody can avoid it or not, it's about the effect it has. Nobody can argue the media doesn't actually effect you.

You say: "It is assumed because the average woman will never look quite like the images she sees then this is damaging, however, if she were to find to find the images appealing and strives on some level to recreate them by using the beauty products etc then in turn she would feel more confident and comfortable in her own skin which cannot be anything but good for society."

So you think that being constantly shown better-looking women that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot look like, this could increase confidence? I'm sorry I don't understand.

You say: " I am not arguing that women need make up and beauty products to feel confident, merely if she wants to experiment and channel individual expression then this is a positive for both the individual and society."

Okay so you might not be saying that you need to look attractive to be confident, but the media are and that's what matters. 'Channel Individual expression'? Sounds good. But your not advocating that, your saying be good eye-candy for men, like you've always been. You argument is making less sense to me.

You say: "What I think is damaging to society is women and girls being constantly told what oppresses them. This era of women is strong and opinionated, if they don't like what the mainstream media has to offer then they can stand up for themselves. At last we are in an era where the strong career woman doesn't have to act masculine, or unfeminine or asexual to be taken seriously. Finally, we have reached a point where we can embrace our sexuality through the media whilst being taken seriously as individuals."

"A 2012 study lead by sociologist Stacy L. Smith found that in both prime-time television and family films, women were highly likely to be depicted as thin and scantily clad. They were also vastly underrepresented in STEM fields when compared to their male counterparts, and had less speaking roles. only 28.3 percent of characters in family films, 30.8 percent of characters in children's shows, and 38.9 percent of characters on prime time television were women"

88% of films don't have multiple female characters in, that talk to each other at all, or about anything besides the main man! (3) doesn't sound like equality to me.

(2)Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
StephLou92

Con

StephLou92 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

I will give my opponent chance to respond. Thank you
StephLou92

Con

StephLou92 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Tommy.leadbetterStephLou92Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture