The EWL is deeply concerned with the increasing sexualisation of young girls in media today. The problem of sexualisation refers to the imposing of adult sexuality on children, especially girls, at an age when they are mentally, physically and emotionally not ready. Further, it gives young girls the belief that they are valued on their physical attractiveness leading to an objectification of women. The issue of sexualisation can be seen everywhere today, in advertisement, computer games, movies, magazines, music, fashion, cell phones…
The problem has been acknowledged by the European Parliament. For this reason, a meeting was held regarding the sexualisation of young girls on 06 June 2012 in the Parliament aiming to raise awareness of the issue among public authorities and develop concrete strategies to combat it. This meeting was organised by MEP Joanna Skrzydlewska, author of the upcoming report, as well as the the EPP Group of which she is a member. Experts from all over Europe were invited to share their observations and experiences regarding the sexualisation of girls.
Sexualisation has become like a wall paper, all the time constantly in the background, to the extent that we do not even see it anymore as Dr. Linda Papadopoulos described it. Dr. Papadopoulos is a psychologist and an expert on the subject of the effects of sexualisation on young people. She presents statistics concerning the issue as well as concrete examples:
- When asked about future profession, 62 % of young girls wanted to be a glamour models and 25 % want to be a lap dancers.
- The playboy bunny is a logo on writing pads for young girls today.
- There is a computer game where you score points for beating up a prostitute. This game was given 10 out of 10 in several reviews and the NY-times said it gave “a new level of depth for an interactive entertainment experience.”
- Violence has been made into something sexy in media.
- 1 out of 3 teenagers have experienced sexual violence from their boyfriends.
- 11 years old is the average age of being exposed to porn.
- 10 year olds are being sexually harassed in school.
Press release, in its entirety:
WMC Releases Media Guide for Gender Neutral Coverage of Women Candidates and Politicians
March 26, 2012
Contact: Rachel Larris at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today the Women’s Media Center releases a new Media Guide for its Name It. Change It. Project, which works to identify, prevent and end sexist media coverage of women candidates and politicians. The Women’s Media Center’s Media Guide to Gender Neutral Coverage of Women Candidates + Politicians (click to download) shows members of the media how to avoid injecting sexism into their own coverage and how to spot sexism in other’s.
Julie Burton, President of the Women’s Media Center, says “This guide was created to show journalists and other media professionals how the use of even subtly sexist language affects woman candidates’ success in the political arena.”
The Name It. Change It. project, a joint partnership between the Women’s Media Center and She Should Run, addresses sexism in the media directed at women candidates, politicians and high-profile individuals.
“With the release of this guide, the Women’s Media Center hopes to make the use of all sexist language both recognizable and unacceptable in politics,” Burton says.
Gloria Steinem, Co-Founder of the Women’s Media Center, says, “Studies show that like bullying, the trivializing sexism used against women candidates makes voters not want to associate with them. The problem is that sexism itself is viewed as trivial. This guide makes its seriousness clear, and helps reporters be fair by using parallel language for both female and male candidates.”
The Women’s Media Center’s Media Guide to Gender Neutral Coverage of Women Candidates + Politicians features groundbreaking research by Celinda Lake on the affect of media sexism on women candidates, as well a glossary of terms from Rosalie Maggio’s Unspinning the Spin: The Women’s Media Center’s Guide to Fair + Accurate Language, which provides definitions, background information, and suggested alternative uses for many loaded and politically incorrect terms.
Robin Morgan, co-Founder of the Women’s Media Center says, “Media sexism is used against women candidates and elected officials of all political viewpoints; it isn’t limited to one political party, and the Name It. Change It. project fights that sexism wherever we find it. We hope that members of the media sign our pledge to treat all subjects with respect, regardless of gender, and to create an overall media culture in which sexism has no place.”
“This shouldn’t be a radical notion,” Morgan says. “Giving women unequal treatment in media coverage is plain bad journalism–and its bad for democracy. Hopefully with this guide and the continuing work of the Name It. Change It. project, more members of the media will understand why this is important to them.”
“We were regularly encouraged to refer to women with misogynistic names like ‘tarts,’ ‘slappers’ or ‘hookers’ in our copy if there was conceivably any question mark over their sexual proclivities,” he said.
“We were expected to childishly objectify women. So blonde-haired women were described as ‘beauties’ and generously chested women ‘looked swell’, whether they’d wanted the attention or not.”
I know this story is now a little old – I’ve been behind on posting – but, look, even the WaPo is late in the game! This is an article about a California milk ad that goes too far in portraying men as victims of women’s PMS. It’s one of those campaigns that make you groan, ugh…
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California milk producers have modified an eyebrow-raising advertising campaign that promoted their product to men as a way to lessen the effects of premenstrual syndrome in their wives or girlfriends. But some critics wonder if it’s time the dairy organization moved on to greener pastures.
What is with Chris Matthews? I often watch him on Sunday mornings. He’s been called out more than once for sexist comments. Let’s try to put a stop to the media’s sexism, folks.
In light of the breaking news surrounding Rep. Anthony Weiner’s admission of having online extramarital relationships, the Women’s Media Center urges media to cover this story productively.
Stories of assault, adultery, and sexual misconduct from high profile male politicians such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn have garnered much media attention in the past weeks. In each of these stories, the women involved bore the brunt of media coverage on the wrongdoings of male leaders.
Since the story on Anthony Weiner’s photo tweets broke last week, media immediately began delving into the identity and other personal details of the women allegedly involved.
And already since Rep. Weiner’s admission yesterday, some harmful media coverage has turned to the women. Last night on MSNBC, Chris Matthews said of Rep. Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin: “Maybe she’s partly responsible.”
Placing blame on women, and outing lurid details of women involved in this issue hurts those women because it places them in a negative spotlight they do not deserve, just as excessive prying into Rep. Weiner’s personal life is also unproductive. As the Women’s Media Center urges media to cover the latest news about Rep. Weiner story in a fair and unbiased fashion, we ask you to be our eyes and ears. If you spot sexist coverage of the Weiner story, tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or report it on our website.
Even more importantly, media should focus their scrutiny and concern on our current cultural and political climate, and delve into why certain high powered male leaders use their positions of power to access women sexually — instead of obsessing on harmful, irrelevant personal details of the women and leaders involved. Media has the power to lead the conversation on these issues in a responsible manner. And we’re here to remind them of their power and responsibility!
Thanks for all you do,
The Women’s Media Center
I’m actually against all derogatory names being used on TV against women – slut, ho, bitch. We already have to put up with terms like gold digger, baby mama, bridezilla, etc. It goes on and on - terms like fembot and helicopter mom seem to come out of the blue on a regular basis - gee, let’s see what name we can come up with today to put down women. And then there’s the personal attack – like Ed Schultz calling Laura Ingraham a right-wing-slut. I can’t even imagine getting away with that with another group – gay men, lesbian, Blacks… So please, if you’re fed up with these attacks, sign the petition on Change.org:
While conservative bloggers and watchdog organizations are highlighting Schultz’s remark, the Women’s Media Center also calls on MSNBC to suspend Schultz for his comments, since they not only attack Ingraham, but all women. Ms. Ingraham is no friend to the Women’s Media Center, but a sexist and misogynist attack based on her gender and not her political views or comments is harmful to women in media, politics, and beyond.
Ingraham provides enough fodder for progressive criticism that such base attacks have no place in coverage. As a new generation of women enter media and politics, such comments dissuade women from exposing themselves to vile attacks, and perpetuate inequality in newsrooms and in congress. Join us in telling MSNBC that Schultz’s comments are just as worthy of suspension as Shuster’s, and to send a message to their on-air personalities that sexism is harmful and unacceptable!
Take a look at Anna Holmes’ column in the Washington Post about Trump’s sexism – and, while I understand Holmes has a column in the Lifestyle section – doesn’t sexism deserve a more news-worthy section? Would the WaPo place an article about racism in the Lifestyle section? Perhaps sexism, like racism, is considered a “lifestyle”? Hmmm…
Holmes provides sufficient evidence of Trump’s evidence but I particularly like these 2 conclusions:
…his utterance lay bare the modus operandi of the unreconstructed misogynist, in which women should be sexy, but not sexual (just as airlines once required of stewardesses, the Miss USA organization denies entry to contestants who have ever been married or “given birth to, or parented, a child”); a willingness to relinquish autonomy over one’s fertility is both an asset and a job requirement; and female worth is quantified not by character or accomplishment but by hip-to-waist ratio.
Perhaps this legacy of unapologetically gleeful misogyny — not his reputedly shady business practices or his absurd questions about President Obama’s birthplace — will end up being Trump’s electoral Achilles’ heel. Despite his protestations over the years that he “loves” and “respects” women, the fact of the matter is that whatever their party identification or their positions on the economy, foreign policy or abortion rights, women don’t take kindly to being defined by their body mass index, their mothering skills or their supposed disposability. (“People change their positions all the time, the way they change their wives,’’ said Trump confidant Michael Cohen earlier this year as a way to explain his boss’s newfound animus toward abortion rights.)
Not that Trump cares. “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of [expletive],” he told a writer for Esquire in 1991.
Ewwww! (also see: comment about his daughter’s body – double ewwww)
And here’s an article in AlterNet (probably not their lifestyle section) about Trump’s racism:
By implication of skin color, Donald Trump is more inherently American than Barack Obama. Which would come as a real shock to Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, a white woman born and raised in the American heartland of Kansas. Trump’s mother, on the other hand, was an immigrant from Scotland.
There is nothing more fundamentally anti-American than parsing out shares of American identity based in proportion to skin color. By any definition of the values and ideals of our nation, Barack Obama is as much or more an American — an inheritor and perpetuator of the American Dream — than Donald Trump who was born with America and everything else served up on a silver spoon. And the undocumented migrant mothers who are toiling in our nation’s fields today so they may create a better future for their children are arguably just as American as Barack Obama’s mother.
Too often, we treat American identity as a tangible birthright given only to some rather than an aspirational dream available to all. Yes, one has to be a citizen to be President — and Barack Obama (unfortunately) was forced to prove that previously and re-prove it again. But one does not have to be a citizen to be American. The America for which our ancestors fought and for which we continue to fight for today is not simply the soil onto which you are born but the spirit in your heart — the idea that all people are born equal and should have equal opportunity, that this hallowed nation shall be a place on earth where people from all walks of life can pursue their dreams together.
Come to think of it, I think I heard more hallaballu about Will & Kate accomplishing the American dream of rags-to-riches than I did for Obama. Go figure.
This is really appalling…and so stupid…
During Wednesday’s speech, Epps addressed about a dozen members of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Jersey City & Vicinity when he began discussing the $1 million per year the district spends on school police. According to Epps, the district’s “worst enemies” aren’t gangs or kids who bring weapons to school, but rather the district’s young women.
“Our worst enemy is the young ladies,” Epps said. “The young girls are bad. I don’t know what they’re drinking today, but they’re bad.”
Although Epps was speaking to a group of pastors, no one seemed to bat an eyelash over his comments
There’s an article in the New York Times today about “Reporting While Female” by Sabrina Tavernise. Indeed, women human rights defenders face the same risks as reporters:
But women reporters face another set of challenges. We are often harassed in ways that male colleagues are not. This is a hazard of the job that most of us have experienced and few of us talk about.
Last week, CBS News said that its reporter Lara Logan was assaulted by a crowd of men in Cairo. CBS News did not detail the circumstances, but the network’s statement — that she had suffered a “brutal and sustained sexual assault” — said enough.
And, not only do reporters and women human rights defenders face these challenges but also Peace Corps Volunteers and many other women working, volunteering or travelling abroad. I’ve travelled quite a bit and have been harassed by men – groped, cat-called, and looked at like a lion looks at their prey. But I’d also caution that these actions happen in the US too – men asking women to show their breasts or butts, men touching women inappropriatedly, or – as many of us female bloggers face – crude and threatening sexist remarks on our posts.
But – getting back on topic - the NY Times ran another piece similar to the above referenced artice:
Look at the articles about women who set themselves on fire in Afghanistan to protest their arranged marriages, or about girls being maimed by fundamentalists, about child marriage in India, about rape in Congo and Haiti. Female journalists often tell those stories in the most compelling ways, because abused women are sometimes more comfortable talking to them. And those stories are at least as important as accounts of battles.
There is an added benefit. Ms. Logan is a minor celebrity, one of the highest-profile women to acknowledge being sexually assaulted. Although she has reported from the front lines, the lesson she is now giving young women is probably her most profound: It’s not your fault. And there’s no shame in telling it like it is.
Here’s a press release regarding the National Fatherhood Initiative. Notice that single Moms (even gay & lesbian couples) running a household and raising children are now absent themselves and relegated to being “father absent”households. I’m quite surprised Obama is supporting all of this. Can you imagine being referred to as “husband absent” or “boyfriend absent” if you were single?
What about “mother absent” households?
“Father absence” is also used as a proxy to say single moms are the the cause of social ills (instead of things like say poverty, gun laws, drugs, etc.) and the reason their sons are incarcerated. Oh, those horrible single women!!
$150 million – at a time of belt tightening? When programs to help women & children are being cut? If the money went directly to single women – wouldn’t that help these families more?!
Saying fathers hold the key to ridding society of social ills – Why? Because patriarchy has worked so well?!?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2011
National Fatherhood Initiative Applauds Congress’ Extension of
Fatherhood and Marriage Funding
One-Year Extension Needed to Allow Critical Family-Strengthening Work to Continue
(Germantown, MD) — National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) hails the one-year, $150 million
extension of the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grants program, as passed in
the Claims Resolution Act of 2010.
The grant program, first passed in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 as part of a 5-year TANF
reauthorization, is set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year. NFI applauds Congress’
foresight in passing a one-year extension of the program ahead of an eventual multi-year
reauthorization of TANF and the corresponding fatherhood and marriage funding.
Allowing the funding to continue uninterrupted is a critical step in ensuring that this important
work continues to be carried out by community-based organizations across the country. Since
2005, hundreds of organizations have been able to enhance their family-strengthening work
through funds from this program, administered by the Administration for Children and
Families’ Office of Family Assistance. Additionally, a national clearinghouse for fatherhood and
a national resource center for marriage were funded, providing support for such programs at the
national level, and media campaigns drawing attention to the importance of these issues.
Roland C. Warren, president of NFI said, “At a time of tight budgets and fiscal constraints, this
work is especially valuable, as it produces significant cost-savings on other government
programs designed to deal with the consequences of family breakdown. NFI’s “100 Billion
Dollar Man” study found that the federal government spends at least $100 billion annually
supporting father-absent homes. The relatively small investment represented by the Healthy
Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grant Program serves to help prevent family breakdown,
saving billions down the road. Call your members of Congress to express your support for this
Congress’ work in this area reflects priorities expressed by President Obama since taking office
in 2009. The President’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has made
responsible fatherhood one of its four focus areas. The President also formed a Healthy Families
and Responsible Fatherhood Task Force, of which Mr. Warren is a part, to advise the
Administration on how to best approach family-strengthening issues. Finally, the President’s
fiscal year 2012 budget included $150 million in support of these programs.
As the premier fatherhood renewal organization in the country, National Fatherhood Initiative
(NFI) works in every sector and at every level of society to engage fathers in the lives of their
children. NFI is the #1 provider of fatherhood resources in the nation. Since 2004, through
FatherSOURCE, its national resource center, NFI has distributed over 5.7 million resources, and
Vice President of Public Affairs
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