Monday, October 22, 2012

Generation M: Misogyny and Media Culture

The last reading, Cinderella ate my Daughter by Peggy Orenstein went hand in hand with the film, I saw Generation M: Misogyny and Media Culture.  Ronnie and I were the only ones at the film so we had a lot of fun and were able to make a lot of references and connections with the media culture they were showing.

I was going to write about the whole Barbie thing in this blog, but that was before I read the piece by So thOrenstein, but anyways.  I have always had a problem with the media because of the "neat little boxes" they put genders into.  Why do we always depict boys in the media as playing in the mud and girls playing house?

Although, I love the pink room, it's so ridiculous!

So what does this stuff mean?  What is Media?  According to they say Media is the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, internet, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely.  

And Misogyny?  Noun - hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.  

So someone's hatred, dislike, and mistrust of women is being depicted in the media that is being seen and heard by millions and billion of people every day... cool.

Did you know that every second, 3 Barbies are sold?  And did you know that there is a lingerie Barbie?  I don't know about you but my favorite part about my Barbies was dressing them up, so why am I going to pay to get a Barbie that doesn't even come with a real outfit?  

The film believes that society is defining femininity in a bad way.  Although it is a great thing that there is female empowerment happening all across the world, it may not always be the best thing for females overall.  The movie classified it as a growing hatred of women because of our growing empowerment.  And therefore we have become sexual objects, second class citizens, and there is an increase in violence against women.  The movie says women are empowering themselves through sex, which in turn is causing them to loose their power later on.  It is evident in music videos like:

Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland

And of course another obvious song: Don't cha by the Pussy Cat Dolls.  (Side-note:  Ronnie and I felt as though their name brings a reputation to girls too, we think they should just change it to 'feline mannequins')

 Now notice how there are no girls everyday average girls in these videos.  And why is that?  Because these girls are the epitome of perfection.  They are what every guy wants, and what every girl wants to be.  Throughout school all most girls want is to fit in.  That's what I wanted and I would do almost anything to get it.  But looking back at it, I was crazy!  Society is crazy for putting these thoughts into young girls minds.  Thoughts about being a size 2, about having sex with boys to be popular, about shopping being better than studying.  And Pink realized that.

Pink - Stupid Girls 

Dove Soap - Real Beauty 

The movie said that happiness is linked to how we look.  Which I completely agree with.  Which is why with all these images in the media of how girls "should be", it is easy for them to be depressed, anxious, or have lower self-body images.  It's how we've been socialized, for example in the 1990s, there was a study done in Fiji, where tv drastically altered their views of bodies.  Where once they had healthy body weights and sizes and saw nothing wrong with them, as soon as the tv was brought in, they began saying they were "too fat" and stopped eating.  It's commercials like the Victoria Secret commercial, that ask women, what is sexy?  And give them the idealized beauty with no room for imperfections.  

Society has created a "perfect" idea of what a women should be and the "perfect" idea of what a man should be.  So while women are forever on a quest for beauty perfection, men have to put on their "tough guise" in order to fit their roles.  They must be aggressive and competitive, play video games like grand theft auto, like having sex with girls, and not care about their feelings.  Guys "need to look tough to impress girls by wearing baggy pants and hoodies."  Which is weird because I was talking to my boyfriend after we were watching "Breaking Bad" one night and the history of baggy pants came from a prison.  

For all that enjoy wearing their pants below their butts... This trend was born in United States Jails.  Prisoners who were willing to have sex with other prisoners needed to invent a signal, that would go unnoticed by guards, so they wouldn't suffer consequences.  By partially showing their butts, they showed they were available to be penetrated by other inmates.  

Ronie and I also noted that it's not right that the "N" word is so horrible, but rappers can say "bitch" is every other lyric and it's socially acceptable.  We've made great strides in race but not in gender.  Men like Rush Limbaugh, and movies like Borat put women in a roll that are almost impossible to get out of.  

The movie closes with boys and girls are just different - that's the way it is.  It's in the genes.

1 comment:

  1. What a lingerie Barbie? That is totally inappropriate... But I liked how you used videos along with your examples.