Many think the gender equality was won with women’s liberation, but women are often still seen as the weaker and more fragile sex. For evidence of this, all one has to do is look towards the media.
A recent example of women being treated different in the media is in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. The front page features a photo of Julie Bishop. The headline states “I need a hero. Bishop gets bodyguard after budget.” She wasn’t the only minister assigned a bodyguard, three males ministers were as well. Why is it then she is the one who needs a hero? Because she is a woman, it can be assumed.
Another example is headlines and stories surrounding author Tara Moss’ recent new novel, The Fictional Woman, in which she shares her story of sexual abuse. Headlines called this her “demons.” She was quick to state on her Facebook page she has no demons. Rather she calls them experiences that far too many others share. She is shown as fragile because of these so-called demons. By referring to sexual abuse survivors as having demons, it depicts them as them having evil inside them. But surely it’s the offender who does, not the victim.
The media’s depiction of women as being damsels in distress, thus much weaker and reliant on men is harmful to young girls and boys. Media is where many of us get our information from, about the outside world and often about ourselves. We need to stop gender stereotyping if we want to give our daughters an equal and fair chance at life. Feminism cannot be pushed into the past and both sexes must engage in ways continue to fight for gender equality.
We must ensure the media are accountable for how society perceives females and they must review the negative effects their stories about females are having on the quest for gender equality.