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.
I noticed this on an episode of the Today Show. The panel included 2 men and 1 woman. The topic? Do women want to see females depicting violence in the media? I thought then, why the hell do you have 2 men on the panel? It’s absurd yet it happens all the time. Can’t we speak for ourselves?
(Ironically, this article is written by a male!)
When it comes to abortion, men were quoted 81 percent of the time. Women were quoted just 12 percent of the time. Birth control? A 75-19 gap. Planned Parenthood? 67-26. The findings are even more damning when we consider the fact that all three issues took a turn dominating the political discourse during the period of the study.
Blog in memory of Dr. Tiller until June 7th – make sure to link to the Abortion Gang’s site. Here’s the 1st question:
How can the pro-choice and reproductive justice movements better support the people who have later abortions and providers who perform them?
It’s my understanding that teens tend to have later abortions because they’re so frightened and anxious about the pregnancy they take longer to come to a decision. The other group is women with medical complications. Of course, the anti-choicers would have us believe an evil woman doesn’t want the “inconvenience” of a pregnancy – as if anyone would call being pregnant convenient or not. The decision to raise a baby to the age of 18 has nothing to do with convenience. You need maturity, financial means, child care, proper lodging, etc.
Your post can directly answer this question, or use it as a jumping off point to talk about other issues, such as:
- Why is it so difficult for our movement to talk about and support later abortions?
- Reflecting on Dr. Tiller’s famous quote: ”Make no mistake, this battle is about self-determination by women of the direction and course of their lives and their family’s lives. Abortion is about women’s hopes and dreams. Abortion is a matter of survival for women.”
In your post, please link back to this blog post so that folks can come here and find links to other reflections on Dr. Tiller.
Representing Self-Representing Ageing
Look at Me! Images of Women & Ageing
Women in their 50s–60s felt more pressure from media and advertising imagery compared with participants in their 80–90s.
Eighty-eight per cent of visitors to the project exhibitions wanted to see more images of older women, like those created through the
project, displayed in public.
Participants captured various experiences from continued public involvement, friendships and fun to fears of increasing limitations and invisibility. Images challenged stereotypes such as the ‘grumpy old woman’ and reﬂected rarely represented grief and loss.
Participants wanted to see more images of ‘ordinary’ older women who were still ‘making a contribution’.
Images produced by participants showed that women experience ageing at the site of the body, for example in the form of wrinkles and
greying hair. Participatory visual methods gave women a sense of solidarity and ownership of the research process, impacting on well-being and a feeling of public validation.
The New Dynamics of Ageing Project was launched in Sheffield in October 2009. The research project, based at the Department of Sociological Studies at The University of Sheffield, aims to harness the power of the creative arts to transform the way society views older women.
The research team are in the process of running a series of creative, group workshops to explore how women are represented in the media (newspapers, television, magazines) and society as they grow older. The workshops are investigating the messages these images give out and how they affect women´s well-being. The workshop facilitators will then work with participants using photographic, art therapy, and video techniques to create new and alternative images of women and ageing. To date, “ordinary” older women have not had the opportunity to either comment on, or create, their own images of ageing. This project aims to use a variety of visual methods to enable older women in Sheffield to represent their own experiences of ageing.
PARTICIPATORY MEDIA TO TRANSFORM OUR SELVES & OUR WORLD
The Allied Media Conference advances our visions for a just and creative world. It is a laboratory for media-based solutions to the matrix of life-threatening problems we face. Since our founding in 1999, we have evolved our definition of media, and the role it can play in our lives – from zines to video-blogging to breakdancing, to communicating solidarity and creating justice. Each conference builds off the previous one and plants the seeds for the next. Ideas and relationships evolve year-round, incorporating new networks of media-makers, technologists and social justice organizers. We draw strength from our converging movements to face the challenges and opportunities of our current moment. We are ready to create, connect and transform.
Well, if you count (mostly non-speaking roles) scantilly-clad or naked women, we would have representation in the media but then again what kind of representation is that if they’re not speaking!!
Okay, like most people, I’m a little uneasy at seeing a 3-year-old boy pose for a photo by sucking at his mother’s breast for the cover of Time Magazine (there is a discussion on parental attachment in the issue). Is it a sick version of kiddie porn or a cheap shot at showing a breast on the cover?
I’m not sure how Time can get away with this photo at a time when seeing women breastfeed babies in public is receiving controversy. I think Time could have used more tact. Why is it we have to show our body parts in order to get attention on important issues? Would they show a covert penis by a clock if they talked about viagara’s side effects? Would they use the image of a man’s bare back while jacking off to porn? Well, you get it. Men simply don’t have to show their penises in public to stir public discourse.
“Are you Mom enough?’ Are they serious? Nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day” like a cover that continues with today’s parody of moms – wasn’t the Toast of the Town available?
I have one little word: Ugh!
The article attempts to support its premise with the not terribly precise estimate that “between 31 percent and 57 percent of women entertain fantasies where they are forced to have sex” (according to Psychology Today).
Picture for a moment a mainstream magazine arguing that men feel there is something “basically liberating about being overcome or overpowered.” Imagine a male author positing that men have an “incandescent fantasy of being dominated.” And try, just try, to envision that cover with a blindfolded male model.
Is it paranoid to suggest that Newsweek and Roiphe intentionally portray women as fearful of equality in order to grease the wheels for rolling back their rights? Is it too extreme to suggest that the cover image and the article work together to convey the message that women want to throw in the towel on being in charge of their sexuality and their lives in general? Would it be going too far to characterize articles like this as contributing to a cultural environment where it’s not so bad when men physically assault women, even rape them, because that’s what women really want?
Roiphe argues that feminists are “perplexed” by the persistence of dominance/submission fantasies, but when Gloria Steinem tries to explain it, Roiphe shrugs her off, writing that “maybe sex and aggression should not, and probably more to the point, cannot be untangled.” Sure sounds like a writer with an agenda that’s hostile to women’s empowerment and safety. Not to mention the fact that Roiphe never asks why men might want to dominate and hurt women, and what that might say about them.
Someone recently shared this site (Southern Poverty Law Center) with me – it’s current:
Misogyny: The Sites
The so-called “manosphere” is peopled with hundreds of websites, blogs and forums dedicated to savaging feminists in particular and women, very typically American women, in general. Although some of the sites make an attempt at civility and try to back their arguments with facts, they are almost all thick with misogynistic attacks that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express. What follows are brief descriptions of a dozen of these sites.
Read more here
To many, the shutout of women in those categories was a perfect indicator of the byline gap that plagues magazine journalism—particularly when it comes to ambitious narrative reporting and nonfiction. It’s a subject we’ve been obsessed with for years (read more here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here), and one that got special attention when a group called VIDA began focusing on the problem among magazines known for fiction, book reviews, and literary non-fiction. The upshot: Some of the most prominent magazines in America had byline counts that continue to be discomfiting.