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.

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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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."

It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.


Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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