Sunday, 8 December 2013

Women in Media 2013 - How's that equality thing working out?

Upworthy have compiled a video (above) of the successes and failures of women's portrayal in the media in 2013. 

First off, before everyone gets all defensive, it's important to remember the discussion of sexism isn't aimed at solely at men. Without recognising the repeated shortcomings of women as well in the equality race we won't really be getting very far. 

As Sheryl Sandberg points out, it's down to each individual (man, woman, anything in between) to take responsibility and stand up for what they think is right, fair, equal, unbiased, and so on. To stand up for women AND men.

Some may feel the pressure from the group to join into the jokes, maybe even find it genuinely funny, or have found themselves at a point where demeaning words are hardly even recognised what they represent or that they may cause offence/be incredibly outdated. Others are simply un-aware. 

And sadly some may even look at all of the below and see nothing wrong with it whatsoever, "is it not just harmless banter or home truths?" they might ask. "Must we really start this boring debate again?" 

Judging from the below, YES. We need a loud and clear debate, from all parties (girls, that means you). 

Was the wardrobe crew only available at specific shoots? Surely GQ could afford clothing for the ladies too, no?

Onto a subject very close to me personally, Sport. 

BBC Sports commentator John Inverdale 
decided to start the debate of looks-requirements for a professional Tennis player while stating Marion Bartoli wasn't ever going to be a 'looker' after she became Wimbledon Champion. As naturally this was the relevant response to the win. 

However, perhaps more disconcerting were some of the views reflected on the Twitter verse as can be seen above. Of course, and refreshingly, a large portion also erupted in outrage over the comments. 

Damon Bruce, a well-known US sportscaster, decided to share some personal views on how Sports has lost it's way due to women giving directions, and of course re-iterate the fact that us girls are playing in the boy's sandbox and must therefore toughen out and accept it or get out. 

Stylist tried to get a healthy debate going with their Fair Game campaign. 

Speaking of Sports... 

UniLad of course didn't stop there, but has shot itself in the foot repeatedly with self-help quotes like below. 

But let's not forget the 'apology', nor the comments expressing the lack of appreciation for the damn lass who reported the obviously 'harmless' rape-banter. Hmm.

Roxy's add campaign featuring pro surfer and five time world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore involved a surprising lack of.. Uhm. Surfing. 

American Apparel didn't want to be left out, so they happily jumped on the advert bandwagon featuring the above. 

Robin Thicke had some penis issues, and felt the need to ensure the whole world was aware he had both a big dick and could surround himself with naked girls (/models if he paid them for said modelling), and Miley Cyrus fancied a piece of the action.

Let's not pretend it doesn't effect the highest levels of Politics either. We may have seen American elect a black man (baby steps) but from the looks of online commentary there still appears to be a shocking amount of outdated childish opinions when it comes to the idea of a female leader. 

Why, exactly, is it we can grasp the issue of racial inequality within, for example, politics but sexism still prevails so easily in the same debate? 

Food for thought?