Women in the media
Debate Rounds (5)
I would like to start the debate with an example of how the media is NOT very bias nor are they damaging the image of women:
http://www.msnbc.com... (Awareness for a War on Women)
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com... (A Republican Senator on Fox News claimed if a Presidential Election were held tomorrow, Hillary Clinton would win, That seems to be very empowering for a woman)
http://www.foxnews.com... (Female obtains Gold Medal in Winter Olympics, this is very empowering)
http://www.foxnews.com... (Raising Awareness for sex trafficking)
I can continue to do this all day. The media has actually worked very hard to improve the rights of women, I hope you noticed. Look at MSNBC or CNN, they are great hubs for raising that type of awareness. You should probably include specific media outlets on your debate topic. You made a generalized assumption, but that is not the case.
I would like for you to explain your position further. The media reports a lot of bad news, thats a big part of what they do to attract larger audiences.
I'll stop here, I don't want to invest too much time without hearing your side first.
So you begin by saying you will produce examples of media not being demeaning to women, or indeed being very 'pro' women. I would like to say that this message of negativity towards women, that I believe exists, is very subtle and disguised. Also I am not the only person who sees it, many people in the media itself don't conform and try to combat it even. But the message of women is still very prominent if your eyes are open, most people cannot see the wood for the trees, so to speak. So there may be examples of women appearing to do well but overall these examples are few and far between.
Your first example, I am afraid to say, is very weak. I implore readers to follow the link. Perhaps you could explain what relevance this has to the image of women given by media. For to me it just looks like yet more steps forward in Texas' government, towards helping women/mothers. Indeed, the very subtitle 'another kind of 'achievement' for women' is demining. You would never see that title replaced with 'men' would you? It seems to always be the underdog that is praised in this way. For example males have been subject to this type of praise in news stories, but it was fathers, and the issue was child rights. Fathers are known to be the underdogs when it comes to custody battles and this is why it was news that they where being better treat. Women are praised for just being better treat in life in general.
So the point is weak, and to some extent highlights my point in the fact that it praises 'women' specifically for merely achieving something. Highlighting the fact that it was women, for if it was men it would not of said 'men' it would of said something like 'campaigners' or 'the sufferers of...' This last sentence is just my speculation.
Your second point is just an example of a woman potentially being president. There has never in US history been a female president, also there are only 79 representatives (18%) and 13 senators (13%) that are women in Congress, does this sound even to you? We live in an officially 'gender-blind' society (equals). So it is no surprise that many slip through the cracks and break the trend, but the message is still quite clear despite these hiccups.
Your third point. Women's participation in the Olympics has never been 50%. Indeed it has only risen in recent years, and even as close as the year 2000, participation was only just above 30%. Again this is a needle in a haystack, a tiny blip amid a sea of other influences and messages. women see on average 400 to 600 adverts a day (1). They may or may not watch the news and they would see this story maybe once, twice? It is so small that the effect is minimum.
Raising awareness for sex trafficking has nothing to do with the image females get from the media. Also when females are young they do not watch this kind of thing and so it has no effect on them. Watching this on the news is not going to help women's self esteem in any significant way in my opinion.
You say the media has worked very hard to improve the rights of women. Which part of the media? Which company? Every major organization I see stigmatizes and demeans women. It is very subtle and on the face of it they are pro women, but you only have to spend a day in our society to see the differences between men and women in the media. For example, somebody bought my baby some shoes (he is a boy) they said 'future heart breaker'. Am I the only one who finds this mad? The girls shoes (I looked) said things like 'princess' or 'tutties'. Nobody thought anything of it but me ((can anybody please comment if they understand my issue with this)).
But most of all its the adverts, have YOU not noticed that almost every women in an advert is a supermodel? Unless the advert is aimed at a specific audience. And that she is extremely sexualized? It is used to sell almost everything, even seemingly totally unrelated things. if you want an example, look out of your window or turn on the TV for 30 seconds. A survey found that 63% of girls regaurd being a supermodel as their ultimate career. This seems obvious, like I said, cannot see the wood for the tree's. But anybody with a spec of wisdom who gives it more than a few minuets thought can see how strange and disturbing this actually is.
I do not use specific media outlets because I believe that ALL adverts either depict nothing relevant to women or they sexualize and objectify them. Adverts pay for T.V and so they are common to all mainstream media. Also music video's depicting women are, 9 times out of 10, objectifying and sexualizing them. And film, have you herd of the beckon test? (I think that is the name) (2) this is a test for movies and consists of three questions: 1. Are there more than one female characters? (i.e. that have lines) 2. do they talk to one another? 3. do they talk about anything other than the man they are with? Only 11 out of 100 films pass this test. Now this I shouldn't neeed to explain why it is damaging to women, and I cannot understand why you would think that this is equal.
My view is that women are sexualized because it: A) sells products for men, and B) it makes women think that if they buy the product they will look like them. Also, depicting women as objects is good for the current economy and in particular, the beauty market. (by the way an American study found that 100% of funding for T.V comes from advertisers) This is good for business as women who feel like all they have to offer is their looks, they will spend money their whole lives to imrove them. Also the media is responsible for the extreme insecurity that women feel. For adverts are characterized by the message to women that to be happy you must be impossibly beautiful, that if you are beautiful you are worth it, if you are not-you are not worth it. This is excellent for the status quo, let me elaborate. Apart from the need for glamour supporting business like I have said, it also makes women more depressed- and this is good because it reduces their chances of seeing the bigger picture and buying out of this capitalist economy, It helps them stay a slave to fast foods, 'junk' magazines and other shallow commodities. People who are depressed are more likely to become addicted to all things such as alcohol/tobacco, food and materialistic goods. This is of course good for the economy, a truly happy person, well grounded and wise is going to try and save money, be harder to please (sell goods to) etc.. so it may be cynical of me, but I don't believe that the powerful people in our society will rush to change this culture if its benefiting them so much.
That's enough to be getting on with
Second, you brought up the subject that was to be debated in your first argument.
"The media depicts a very bias and damaging image of women. It is damaging to them in every way. It is shallow and is, very much, depicting women as less than men, as subordinate to men, and as weak and needy."
You have not argued your points. You're second argument talks about something even I agree with you about. Maybe you should have stated either in the title of the debate or your first argument, "the media exploits women in a sexual way which is wrong". I agree with that, but that was not the topic of discussion. I can see how you'd can pull it out of the phrase "it is shallow".
As for argument points:
The media is all about ratings, and it gives society what it wants to make money. Look at the t.v hit series The Bachelor. The target audience is women, and guess what, it is very damaging to women. But that is what their audience wants.
Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant, Real Life, and so many others...many women watch it. When my wife watches The Bachelor, she says she likes the drama. So I would like you to take that perspective into consideration.
I have noticed that they use Super Models all the time. But the media only gives the audience what they want. That's the reality of things. It's a business, and if you don't like it, don't watch it.
The debate topic broad, and you ran away from your initial argument. How does the media portray women as subordinate to men? How are they depicted as less than men? I can see how they are portrayed as weak and needy.
I would just like you to elaborate on you're original position because I already agree with you're second argument.
Also in regards to the media, I am referring to news channels, cooking shows, sports channels, travel/discovery/history channels as well. They don't fit within the model you presented in your first and even second argument.
You may be referring to CBS, Fox, MTV, and some of these other stations that have reality TV shows.
So I will just argue that at least if not more than half of all Cable Channels do not portray women badly, if you want I will name them all out for you.
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