Sexism in Media: The Objectification and Discrimination Against Women

Every year, my school has an essay contest. You have to answer one of two questions: How have you been affected by Dr. King's work? or If Dr. King was alive, what current issue would he be fighting to fix? I chose the latter, and wrote this essay on sexism and discrimination again women, in the media, and in every-day-life.


2. Sexism in Media: The Objectification and Discrimination Against Women

Martin Luther King Jr. Essay

Hope Jones


When George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones) was confronted with the question “Why do you write such great female characters,” he did not even hesitate before he answered with: “Well, I’ve always considered women people.” That question, and the answer, show a bigger issue in today’s society: how women are treated.

I think a problem Martin Luther King Jr. would be very passionate about today-if he were alive- is women's discrimination against women. Many people discriminate against and downgrade women because they ‘are not men’, or ‘can not do as much as men’.

I believe Dr. King would be interested in this issue because, even when blacks were not treated as people, he believed that they were. And currently, a lot of people don't treat women as if they were people, and more like objects and/or prizes. I believe Martin Luther King Jr. try to help people understand that women are not to be treated as objects, instead as people; because women are people.

Discrimination against women is a big deal today because (A) women are often not being treated as equals, but as lesser beings (i.e.being judged on how they look, being “hit on”, being treated as objects instead of humans ect.). (B) women have many contradicting stereotypes (i.e. many women are expected to wear make-up but, wearing make-up makes women “fake”, ect.). And, finally, (C) people have many, many more stereotypes for women than men (i.e "blondes are stupid", "only 'sluts' wear shorts that short", “women belong in the kitchen”, ect.).

There are also many things in today’s culture that show that women are “less than people”. There has never been a woman President, and when a woman tried to run for President, she did not make it into the “final cut”. Many women are considered “sluts” if they wear too little, but “boring” if they wear too much. Men do not have that problem. Women are often oversexulized in commercials and, in many movies and television shows, portrayed as “damsels in distress” or “incapable”. Often, in the media, women are shown as objects and/or playthings.

One of the best examples of the oversexulazation, and the objectification of women is AXE commercials. AXE’s target are males ages 15-25, and often show ‘normal’ men using the products, with models, and/or very skinny girls with larger than average breasts as the women. Most of the commercials focus on how using AXE makes women more interested in men. Not only does it portray women as superficial and materialistic, but it also makes women out to be objects that men can use. Many AXE commercials show women wearing little to nothing, and often have women shown in sexual situations. One of their most offensive commercials ‘Office Love’ shows an office romance between a head, and boobs. The slogan states “Hair. It’s what girls see first.” Which implies that men see women’s breasts first. And, again, making women out to be superficial and materialistic.

Another commercial that shows how different how women are portrayed in media than in real life is Dove’s ‘Evolution’ commercial. It start’s off with a normal looking woman, with no make up or anything special on. It then shows the woman having make up put on her cheeks, her eyes, her mouth. By the time they finish, her face is almost completely different. Then, it shows her hair being curled, sprayed, gelled, even colored a bit. She then looks almost completely different from the beginning. Her make up touched up, and they begin photographing her. They blow wind in her face, but continue taking pictures. They find a picture they like, and open photoshop. They elongate and  make her neck skinnier, making her seem taller and skinnier than she was, they enlarge her eyes. Soon the ad is on a billboard, the woman does not look like herself.

Many people do not understand the discrimination against women in our society. Dr. King would try to help people understand that making women out to be objects is not okay, and people can not do it.  I believe Martin Luther King Jr. would fight for women.

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