What is a feminist mother of four daughters to do these days? Look at our media and how girls and women are portrayed to our daughters, teens, and young adults. Then take a look at how media portrays the face of feminism, promoting every negative stereotype out there. As I scroll through the magazines, listen to songs on the radio, and watch the programming targeted at girls in junior high and up, I cannot help but ask the question – Is the media trying to destroy feminism?
While this introduction might sound drastic, much truth lies behind the questions. One merely needs to look around and watch former Disney Star, Miley Cyrus, twerk and make lewd gestures with a foam finger while grinding against a man, almost twice her age, as he sings about the blurred lines of sexual consent. When I saw the news stories and yes, watched the video, I was utterly mortified and stunned. Gloria Steinem, in a statement that seems to condone this behavior stated that Cyrus’ performance (actions) is not a new phenomenon, but a product of American culture. Instead of looking at it through the lens of degradation and influence, she defended the young star by saying:
“I wish we didn’t have to be nude to get noticed. But given the game as it exists, women make decisions. For instance, the Miss America contest… the single greatest source of scholarship money for women in the United States. If a contest based only on appearance was the single greatest source of scholarship money for men, then we would be saying ‘this is why China wins.’ You know? But that’s the way culture is. I think that we need to change culture, not blame the people that are playing the game that exists.”
When Cyrus’ actions are boiled down to being “nude to get noticed,” and we accept this behavior by merely chalking her performance up to culture – isn’t it time to change culture? Continue reading ““Enlightened Sexism” and The Media: The Cultural Attack on Feminism by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”