Gender Inequality In Hollywood And Mass Media

Gender Inequality In Hollywood And Mass Media

News flash: this isn't just a mans world and it never was.
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Hollywood and mass media have always had it’s fair share of controversy: racism at the Oscars, Harvey Weinstein harassments, and drugged up actors. Ironically, the most exploited issue is the most accepted one: gender inequality. It’s no secret that media loves to slut shame and ridicule female celebrities, but rarely ever for male celebrities. Remember the Lewinsky and Clinton scandal? While Monica Lewinsky became labeled a young temptress, Bill Clinton was let off the hook because “boys will be boys.”

Media shapes societies ideologies by creating gender roles. Women get viewed as sex objects but countering that they must keep up modesty to the public eye. In Western media, heck even world-wide media, half-naked women get exploited for marketing schemes, but women are slut-shamed for public “nip slips” in magazines. Interviews focus on beauty and looks, and never the female celebrities accomplishments. Men, on the other hand, are seen as dominant and intelligent beings. Put two very successful celebrities who are dating together, and the headline for them is most likely to say Johnny Depp and his wife, instead of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

A woman is always brought down a level when in comparison to a man despite working just as hard. If a woman’s nudes get leaked to the public they are called indecent, but if a males nudes get leaked it becomes the next casual joke on a talk show. Mass media controls every narrative we see in a way that will always discredit a woman no matter how successful they are. You could win 8 Nobel Peace Prizes and 6 Oscars, but if you're not skinny, sexy, and have a pretty face media doesn’t even bat an eye at your work. Women in media are more likely to get praised for having a “perfect” body before they receive the appraisal for a nomination.

The way media displays women ingrains insecurities in those reading and watching it; out of the 8 million people with eating disorders, 90% are young girls and women. Media expects and pressures women to reach an unattainable standard; be successful, but remember it doesn’t truly matter unless you embody the ideal woman. Oh, and also be sexy but not too sexy because then you’re branded a “slut.”

Hollywood on the other hand, not so open with their intentions. There is a huge lack of representation of women behind and in front of the camera. Growing up, especially when you're young, you don’t notice the lack of female faces on your screen. There are plenty of people talking about the gender segregation, but media seems to bury these stories under the rug. Tell me this- how many female filmmakers do you think won an oscar? How much more is the top male union executive making in comparison to the female? What percentage of Hollywood executives are male? What percentage of women have a speaking role in films?

You probably don’t know the answer to these questions because media, hollywood, and society are male dominated. Stories and statistics like these don’t survive even a week because lack of female representation isn’t taboo, but it should be. Only one female filmmaker has won an oscar before. The top male union executive makes 67% more than the top female union executive. 83% of Hollywood executives are male (92% white). Only 30% of women have a speaking role in films.

Really look at these numbers, they should shock you. By instinct you're probably searching for a logical explanation for this, but there isn’t. In universities and colleges there is an (almost) equal ratio of female to male film/media majors. So how does this ratio drop so drastically when they become graduates? We can chalk it up to blatant sexism within the buisness.

For generations society has had a lack of faith in a female's ability to do something great, and it’s about time this stigma changed. Little girls need women in the filmmaking business to look up to and not only film business but media as well. We are just as capable of becoming directors, new anchors, producers, or editors as men are.

Thankfully, although a slow and gradual change, there are more outspoken actors and actress’ discussing these inequalities; women and men like Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, and Mark Ruffalo. The more we talk about it and the more we push for female produced work, the more chances we give for the younger generation of girls to grow up seeing a face they can relate and connect with.

Cover Image Credit: via Unsplash

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Dear Young Voices Of America, Stand Up, Speak Up, And Do Something

Our time is now.

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Dear young voices of America, I think we can both agree that we are sick of being told we are America's future while simultaneously being told our opinions don't matter. Now I personally do not listen to the people that tell me I'm better seen than heard; however, I know there are people that are a little timider when it comes to raising their voices. I am here to encourage you to be loud and speak up on topics that matter to you. There is no better time than the present to make your voice heard. Whether you are advocating for change in your school or the government, your opinion matters and is relevant.

We are the future of our country. How are we supposed to evoke change and reform if we can't have our voices heard? I call bullshit and I think it's time to take action. Even if you're the first or only person to advocate for your cause, be that person. Don't be afraid of anyone that tries to stand in your way. The only person that can stop you from speaking up for yourself and your cause is you. No matter how many nos you have to hear to get a yes or how many doors you have to knock on to get someone to open up, never give up. Never give up on your cause, never give up on yourself or the people you're representing, just don't do it. There is someone out there that supports you. Maybe they're just too shy to raise their voice too. Be encouraging and be supportive and get people to take a stand with you.

It is never too early or too late to start thinking about your future or to take action. But don't hesitate to say something. The sooner you start speaking up, the sooner you have people joining you and helping you, and the sooner you start to see and experience change. So get up, make that sign, write that letter, make that phone call, take part in that march, give that speech. Do whatever you feel fit to get your point across. Shout it from the rooftops, write it on your profile, send it in a letter, ignore everyone that tries to tell you to give up. Maybe they don't understand now, maybe they don't want to listen, maybe they're afraid to listen, but the more you talk about it and help them understand what exactly you are trying to get across, they will join you.

Even when it feels like you have nobody on your side but yourself, I am on your side. I will cheer you on, I will march with you hand in hand, I will write letters and make phone calls and help you find your voice. My life changed when I found my voice and yours will too.

So dear young voices of America, the time is now. Your time is now. Don't be afraid of the obstacles that you may have to face. Someone is out there waiting for you, waiting to grab your hand and march on with you. As Tarana Burke once said "Get up. Stand up. Speak up. Do something."

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