Daily Archives: December 2, 2011

Misrepresentation of Women in the Media

I’ve watched this video about 10 times, and I keep thinking about its message.

Basically, the trailer is about how women are represented in either a sexual or derogatory context (or both) towards even the most powerful women in the United States and the world.  Women such as Hilary Clinton, Condi Rice and Sarah Palin are spoken about with no respect.

A part of me is so angry, a part of me is very saddened, and a small part of me is hopeful that some change has taken place – though not enough.

I feel angry because I know women are treated unfairly, and it seems that we have to fight so much harder to be treated equally as men.  And yet, the media (both men and women) makes a joke of it.  Seriously, “Hilary Clinton looking haggard”?!  For goodness sakes, she’s the Secretary of State – she is a busy lady!

I am sad because this is happening in the United States/North America, also known as the land of freedom and equality, as opposed to a nation where women cannot even vote.  Where is the equality in this?

I am hopeful because I see young women questioning why society is presenting them with these messages.  They are questioning why their friends are putting on 10lbs of make-up on in the bathroom, when they are at school to learn.

I truly believe that speaking up, questioning society and not accepting status quo is the only way women can make progress towards an equal society.

I was very hopeful with the messages at the end,

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”
— Founding President, The White House Project

“It is extremely important for women to be writing their own stories, and be giving them to people who will really be emotionally impacted by.”
— Rosario Dawson, Actress and Activist

“Media can be an instrument of change.  It can awaken people and change minds.  It depends on who is piloting the plane.”
— Katie Couric, Anchor, CBC Evening News

Blogging

When I got to the part about women writing their own stories, I immediately thought back to the personal finance blogging community that have discovered over the past few years.

In this community, I feel we have a little utopia where women (and men) write their own stories, have discussions and share our opinions in a respective manner.  We encourage one another in reaching our goals and celebrate those achievements – no matter how big or small they are.

My Experience

Being a female in a male dominated industry – I can appreciate the different strengths and ideas that women (and men) bring to the table.   For example, in my experience, women are more diplomatic in dealing with peers and staff and are also pay more attention to detail.

I also observed common weaknesses amongst my female colleagues, such as avoiding confrontation and not speaking up (for salary/raises, for bullying), and not being aware of their finances.

Please note, I am not making a blanket statement on ALL women, these are simply my observations from my small sample size.  Obviously, there are women who stand up and negotiate their salary and many of us are very aware of our finances.  I just don’t think there is enough of us. Yet.

I encourage everyone to watch the video and share your thoughts.  How do you think representation of women affects you, or how has it affected you?  

Cheers,

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Filed under Personal, Politics