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The Objectification of Women

Social Problems

Samantha Green

on 13 December 2013

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Transcript of The Objectification of Women

Samantha Green

of Women

About one-third of women say that someone tried to discourage them from running—most often an officeholder or political party official.
Only 6 out of 50 states
have a female governor.
Women constituted 54% of voters in the 2008 elections, but only 24% of state legislators.
Women hold only
17% of the seats
in Congress.
The United States trails behind
much of the world— ranking 90th
in the number of women in our
national legislature.
Stuck up
Eat cotton balls
Do drugs (Cocaine/Speed)
The average female model is 5’6” to 5’9”.
Weigh anywhere from 100-125 pounds.
Twenty years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average model. Today, she weighs 23% less.
Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index (BMI) criteria for Anorexia.
Plus Sized Models
V Magazines “Plus-Size” Issue
Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign
Plus Model Magazine
What do you guys think?
Sexual objectification of women in advertising is a social problem because it allows women to be seen as mere objects—they are seen as a pleasing appearance, and objects of sexual pleasure and gratification.

Objectification of women in the media is not only an action, but an attitude. It affects the attitudes of men and women of all ages today and the way they view and think of women.

It is also a social problem because it reinforces gender stereotypes in society and degrades women and their worth.

Objectification disregards the personalities, intellectual abilities, and other talents and capabilities of women by rendering them as objects of physical beauty or sexual pleasure.

This is a social problem today because it has many negative effects on women, girls and men in our society.
It is incredibly common but also incredibly harmful to society.
Objectification of Women in Advertising
Why is this a social problem?
“Advertising is an insidious propaganda machine for a male supremacist society. It spews out images of women as sex mates, housekeepers, mothers, and menial workers….which makes it increasingly difficult for women to break out of the sexist stereotypes that imprison them.”

—Lucy Komisar, The Image of Women in Advertising.
Objectification of Women in Advertising is a social problem!
A definition of Objectification might be:
“Portrayals of women in ways and contexts which suggest that women are objects to be looked at, ogled, even touched, or used, anonymous things or commodities perhaps to be purchased, perhaps taken- and once tired of, even discarded, often to be replaced by a newer, younger edition; certainly not treated as full human beings with equal rights and needs.”

–Phyllis B. Frank, Objectification of Women.
What is objectification?
The average woman sees 400-600 advertisements per day.

American women spend $7 million on cosmetic products per year.

In 2009, $10 billion was spent on cosmetic surgery and other enhancement procedures.

91% of all cosmetic/plastic surgery procedures are performed on women.

7 million American women suffer from an eating disorder.

Studies show that sexuality of women in advertising has greatly increased since the 1980s.

Surveys show that 69% of young girls say that magazine models influence their idea of a perfect body shape.

The average healthy U.S. woman is 5’4” and 140 lbs, while the average supermodel is 5’11” and weighs 117 lbs.

U.S. companies spent approximately $235.6 billion on ads in 2009.
Objectification of women in advertising has severe negative physical and psychological effects on women.
Ads present a framework considered “normal” by defining what is attractive, focusing on physical beauty and sex appeal.
As a result, many young women and girls start to feel unattractive and old, even in their teens and 20s.
Advertisements treat women as objects, and in doing so present a distorted view of women’s role in society.
They give women a false perception of beauty by using supermodels and other ideal images of perfection
Objectification of women in advertisements promotes unhealthy attitudes, ideals, expectations, stereotypes, and behaviors in our society.
“An Ideal That Is Not Real”
Dehumanizes women, or equates their worth to their body parts or physical attractiveness
Creates feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy in women
Can lead to depression, hopelessness, low self esteem
Body shame, self rejection, self hatred, negative self image
Dieting, eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia
Self harm and other dangerous behaviors
Increased anxiety and unhappiness, loss of motivation
Distorted attitudes about beauty, sex, and what is healthy
Diminished feelings of dignity or value to men and in society
Fosters the desire to alter one’s body through surgery or other enhancement procedures
Desensitizes women (and also men) to images of violence against women or women as sexual objects; which can lead to rape and sexual assault
Effects of Objectification of Women in Advertising Today
March 2013: Ford Motor Company publicly apologized for controversial ads that were seen on a website connected to Ford India. Ford apologized for the ads depicting bound and gagged women in car trunks, which was widely seen as inappropriate, demeaning and offensive
As a result of the incident, the employees involved in the creation of the ad were fired.
Ford Ad Controversy
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
Social Media
Many Twitter accounts are created to promote women in provocative positions.
Some accounts are created to bad mouth women, even dishing out advice on how to get a women to sleep with a guy.
There are parody Twitter accounts with a sports basis that also promote how being an athlete can make it easy to have sex with women
Men aren’t the only ones on Twitter who make objectifying accounts.
Women increase the objectification and stereotypes by also making accounts that feed into these stereotypes and males’ fantasies.
Facebook pages have been created to expose girls because they are “sluts” or “whores.”

Most of these pages are for revenge or to embarrass or hurt girls.

Despite protests from several groups, Facebook has not removed these pages.
This social media site allows users to write blogs and post pictures and other images.
One blog in particular is a sarcastic take about the objectification of women, which was created by a female.
It is often thought that women are objectified in music videos where the male is featured as the star
The truth is that women often objectify themselves also
It is no unknown fact that, Sex sells
Objectifying Women in the Music Industry
There is a large focus on women being objects rather than being women especially in music (Mediaandchange)
This type of action is allowed because sex sells and society had proven what it wants to see
Sex is basically being sold (milkshake)
Media is shaping the way we see things and not in a good way
Something that is concerning, is how music artists portray women in their music videos
Many big name artists negatively influence our idea on how to treat women
women's role in many hip-hop videos is to dance, look provocative and hint at sexual interests towards men
If you examine the lyrics in these music videos you will see how explicit and usually disrespectful they are to woman
“ Adolescents may be exposed to sexual content in the media during a developmental period when gender roles, sexual attitudes, and sexual behaviors are being shaped. ”

Young girls are becoming aware things like weight and their figure as early as 8 years old now
Eating disorders have increased greatly
All because media is shaping how we should act and look (latimes)
Negative Impacts
“Girl the way you movin’ got me in a trans
Dj turn me up ladies this yo jam (Come on)
Imma sip mascato and you gon’ loose them pants” – Waka Flocka “No Hands”
The songs basically about girls dancing and men throwing money at them for it
In a lot of rap songs women are referred to as “bitches” and “hoes” which no women wants to be called
“It’s getting hot in here so take off all your clothes”-Nelly “Hot in here” (lyrics.com)
Men Degrading Women Lyrics
“There’s a she wolf in the closet, open it up and set her free”-Shakira “She Wolf”

“I'm a slave for you I can not hold it, I can not control it”- Britney Spears “ I’m a slave 4 u”
Women like Lady Gaga objectify themselves through certain glares and dance moves (I.E crawling on the floor=submissive)
Women Degrading Themselves
Women objectify themselves too, a study has concluded
The study observed Billboard’s top 10 music videos from 2006-10 in various music genres and found that sexual objectification happened equally to every race
Female country artists were found to be the least sexual in their music/videos (psupopculture)
It’s been said that African American women have been the most objectified but this study proved this wrong

Pop music videos were discovered to objectify by dance moves and body language, while Hip Hop and R&B objectified through the way they dressed
Movies &

Women in Government
Sundance Film Festival Winner (2011)
Opened a lot of people's eyes with shocking facts about women all over the world
"MissRepresentation.org is a non-profit social action campaign and media organization established to shift people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action, and ultimately transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, age or circumstance can fulfill their potential."
Hillary Clinton
A young single woman tend to conform to the typical “girl next door” type, tall, slim, “conventionally beautiful” and have a friendly and happy personality, without much intelligence

Having a nice figure is necessary for measuring a woman’s worth in the show.

Research shows that over-weighted actresses tend to receive negative comments from other male characters about their bodies, and “80% of these comments are followed by canned audience laughter”
female character’s professional achievements correlate with their physical appearance
Example: Big Bang Theory
Penny: dumb and pretty
Leslie: smart and ugly

Dora the Explorer was changed to a more “sexed-up preteen”
Influencing how children view
Horror Films
Most horror films have always placed women as the weaker sex, they are the victims who are usually brutally murdered and the first few to die by the murderer who is a male
women are always seen as needy, needing someone, usually a male to save them from the killer and if a male character does not intervene, then the female characters will be killed.
we see a change in how women are being portrayed in horror films from 1974 onwards
The “final girl”

These characteristics are also shown in many Action movies as well
For an example the Skyfall film
Women are portrayed in movies as sexy and willing to abide by the male's sexual fantasies, which causes society to degrade women.
It gives men the assumption that they can only receive sexual pleasure from women and not benefit from the actual knowledge and intelligence these women can bring to society
These movies and shows portray many high school and college women and putting the pressure and stereotypes into women at these ages is extremely harmful
Movies and Television
Women in
the Workplace
It is estimated that approximately 50% of women in the workplace experience sexual harassment (Gervasio & Rucksdeschel, 1999)

Often times, women will not be hired for a job opportunity, not because they are not qualified, but because they are not physically attractive

Women will dress in a certain manner when going for a job interview to increase their chances of being hired

Some women purposely objectify themselves in order to gain attention from their co-workers/boss

“Many women work in environments whose main purpose is to offer explicit targets for men to objectify them and that reward them for treating themselves as sexual objects (e.g., exotic dancing and cocktail waitressing)”

Campaign against the objectification of women started by Norma Kamali
“Turn objectification into empowerment”
“Turn the camera around, and empower yourself by taking a photo of your favorite part of your body, and post it with your empowerment statement.”
Stop Objectification
In an article, Nancy Irwin addresses the question, does wearing heels make women appear more confident and professional in the workplace?

“Some feel sexy, powerful, more effective, able to be an equal/compete with men. Others feel completely cramped, uncomfortable and objectified.”

In 2009, TODAY show poll asked “Do heels empower or oppress women in the workplace?”

32% said they objectify women as mere sex objects

49% said they empower women
Do Women Have to Wear High Heels to Succeed in the Workplace?
“…The point is, we’re proud of who we are. Yes, we have a pretty face. And sex appeal is a part of our thing, but its not the only thing.”
Hooters Girls
Want To Be A Hooters Girl?
Hair Requirements
Eyes & Lips
“There will always be those out there looking to take a shot at us, or have the government dictate what we can or can’t do, but we’ll just take it in stride and continue our quest to provide a fun, enlightened atmosphere where you can enjoy the finer things in life. And really, what is so offensive about an owl, anyway?”
If something appears to be sexist against women, is objectifying them in any way, advocates for women have been screen shotting the image, tweeting it and hashtagging #notbuying it to get the word out about how many products, advertisements, newscasts, etc. are out demeaning women
Stugmas of Women in Government
Less Intelligent
Less Family Values
Agressive Personalities
Throughout her time in ANY office, Hillary has faced lots of public abuse through the media, attacking everything that she says, does, wears, etc.
Being a strong, opinionated, independent woman makes women targets for media
Focus more on her appearance than on her politics: Ed Klein claims the Secretary of State, 64, is planning to take time off to 'get back into shape' but - in comments that are unlikely to be welcomed by Mrs Clinton - remarked that she looks 'overweight' and 'very tired'.
"she laughed at the attention she had received for her sense of style, especially after the photographs of her make-up-free face"
You know, at some point, it's just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention.'
The faulty-French headline: "Hillary au Naturale."
President Obama faced some criticism for calling California's Kamala Harris "the best-looking attorney general in the country."
Sarah Palin
when McCain announced Palin as his partner, called the pair "Caribou Barbie and her grandfather"
An experiment conducted amongst college students found that when they were asked to comment on Sarah Palin's appearance, in turn, their perception of her level of competence went down drastically
So, you have to be pretty, if you're a woman, but not too pretty — but male appearance doesn't seem to matter one way or the other
Focus on a woman's politics, not her appearance.

Women AND Men - stop being so judgemental.

Do not ASSUME anything

Make your own political decisions - do not take your parent's opinions without being educated:

You ALL have the ability to change things
So, what can YOU do?
Generalizations of a group of people
Positive or negative
To help us know how to interact with others
Clearly visible and consistent attribute
Types of stereotypes:
Definition of Stereotypes
Supposed to be thin
Aren’t strong enough
Are inferior to men
Are weak
Have to be beautiful
Can’t defend themselves
Have to be domestic
Only supposed to work certain jobs
-Pink Collar Jobs
Stereotypes of Women
Women are responsible for raising children
Women do not have technical skills
Women love to sing and dance
Women are flirts
Women are never in charge
Women are meant to be damsel in distress
Women are liars
Women are jealous
Women are bad drivers
Women love to gossip
Women are simple minded
Women are emotional
More Stereotypes!
53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies
That number increases to 78% by age 17

17% of teens engage in cutting and self-injurious behavior

About 25% of girls will experience teen dating violence

The number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on
youth 18 or younger more than tripled from 1997 and 2007
What stereotyping women can lead to?
The United States is 90th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures

Women comprise 7% of directors and 10% of film writers in the top 250 grossing films

Women are merely 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs

Only 34 women have ever served as governors compared to 2319 men

Women may not achieve parity for 500 years
What else?
Using Stereotypes in Humor
Full transcript