International Women’s Day this year is a mix of issues. The media image of women is primitive, backward, and insulting. It’s also a natural product of media, and that’s the problem.
This is a subject I literally bumped into. I didn’t even know it was International Women’s Day. I happened to see an article.
Sam Brett of the Sydney Morning Herald chose to commemorate IWD with a column looking at the image of women, and a pretty apt choice of subjects she found. After commenting on Limbaugh’s recent rich geriatric peasant droolings, she took a look at the image of women, and it’s not a pretty picture:
In an article in the Weekly Standard, journalist Charlotte Allen insinuated that women these days actually enjoy it when men "drag [them] by the hair into their caves" and asserts "there's currently a buyer's market in women who are up for just about anything with the right kind of cad." Ahem.
Sam Brett is a bit young to recognize the psych angle here because she wasn’t born when this type of phraseology was invented. Typical media psych still works on the public as it was in about 1960, and still uses caveman analogies. The public are idiots, “Just add the slang and keep saying the same old things, tee-hee, aren’t we clever?” These writers are hacks trained by hacks, and it shows.
Her point is valid enough. The image-abuse of the modern female is as backward, and as pointless, as ever. This is 51% of the human race we’re talking about.
Brett also mentions, very aptly, the PR take on younger women. She found this briquette among the diamonds:
Over the past weekend, a survey carried out by Westpac told us that, after polling 900 women, it was found that all Gen Y chicks want is a "wealthy man" and a "ritzy wedding", and they won't settle down until they get exactly that.
Westpac is an Australian bank. See any possible banking applications to this prattle? Yep, a mortgage, the lifestyle ephemera, you name it, it's all dollars. And Westpac presumably paid for something it wanted to hear.
PR at work- “All our surveys are right, and this is the market trend, now we can go back into our alcoholic coma and pick up our $5000 a month retainers for doing absolutely nothing.” It’s been working well for decades, and nobody in industry has woken up to it yet. About time they did.
Brett is polite in her assessment. (Read the article, because it’s an interesting take on a multi-dimensional issue.) I’m not going to be polite.
The Rash Limburgers of this world, on their pitiful $80 million per year, and the PR hacks doing the surveys, who are literally living in 1961 at the absolute latest, aren't just out of touch- They're out of their tiny little minds. These sitcom-dwellers are the self-proclaimed norm, regardless of the fact that the world they think is normal has been in a museum for 30 years at least.
Added to this atrocity, feminism was hijacked in the 90s by the middle class "let's make an industry out of it and make money" cliques and claques, which hasn't done anything good for the basic independence/equality movement. The media image of the modern female is therefore a huge directionless Photoshop with few if any real women getting a word in edgewise. Little Miss Mass of Compound Fractures in a shelter isn't getting much representation. Try and find a mention of the staggering loads on single mothers in the worst depression since 1929. Homeless women, ditto. International Women’s Day 2012 is commemorating a return to a raw deal in so many ways.
This is mainstream media at its most appallingly mediocre. What representation? By whom? When? Where? Word count?
Maybe the only thing which has shifted into a slightly positive position is the general attitude of men, which has moved a hell of a long way since I was a kid. It’s still pretty primitive, much under-evolved and very basic, but it’s not the animalistic thing it used to be. There is some genuine sympathy, and a bit more understanding, however vague. There’s also some affirmative support, old style, but a bit more conscious of the issues. Even an intellectually deficient ape in a suit knows that badmouthing the girlfriend or wife is a potentially fatal move asking for trouble and rarely if ever tolerated.
Men who hate or fear women aren't men, by definition. Real men like women. As a matter of fact, there's nothing more amusing to guys than seeing one of those peasant woman-hating “male” animals made a fool of by a woman, which happens quite regularly. Serves the useless, petty-minded bastards right, too.
Ladies- Just remember that the glass ceiling is made of the same material as their jaws. Most of us can’t afford the shining armor (it’s damn uncomfortable, too) but we’ll be around. Happy International Women’s Day, and keep at it. You’ll get there.
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