Gender misrepresentation

ULM Hawkeye

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The formation of Femhawks is bringing feminist issues into light on campus. It’s easy to say women have the same rights as men and quickly move on. After all, women hold positions in office, women are executives, mothers and advocates. They manage firms and clients, direct boards and tuck their children in at night. Equal, right?

So why are women grossly underrepresented in leadership positions? Why are most women unsatisfied with their body? Why are one in six women survivors of rape or attempted rape?

Because media and the cultural consciousness sexualize women.

Advertisements depict women in subservient, helpless positions. In cages, car trunks, the ground.

Music videos feature scantily-clad women while men are often fully-clothed.   

Magazines featuring digitally-enhanced images tell women how to look and tell men how women should look. The standard isn’t only high, it’s impossible.

Furthermore, it seems strong, accomplished women are intimidating and need to be shut down.

Hillary Clinton is ripped by media for appearing “too masculine.” Sarah Palin was asked if she had breast implants. On national TV. Carly Fiorina, past CEO for Fortune 500 company HP and recent presidential candidate, was criticized for wearing pink nail polish. Apparently it wasn’t “presidential” enough.

Until women are praised for their accomplishments instead of criticized for their clothes, until women are interviewed on their plans instead of their personality, until women are portrayed as humans and not sexual toys, they won’t command respect because they won’t be taken seriously.

Verbally acknowledge girls’ and women’s achievements, not just their beauty. Take a stand against sexist comments and jokes. Recognize culturally-influenced biases.

Positive change begins with you.