The Portrayal of Women in Movies and Television

Every horror movie I have seen has the biggest cliché of a woman who cant run without falling down. They make women seem extremely stupid and klutzy that they cannot run across a field without falling over. Horror films portray women as hypersexual damsels in distress. In “ Friday the 13th” all of the young women are shown without much clothing and making stereotypical female mistakes such as falling, depending on a male for safety and making the mistake to go towards the scary noise. In comedy we find a lot of dumb women and “slutty” women. In “Mean Girls” Karen Smith is shown as a dumb blonde. Karen says things such as “There’s a 30% chance that it’s already raining!” And thinks its okay to make out with her hot cousin.

I remember when this movie came out I thought it was hilarious and really enjoyed watching Karen. It made it seem like it was totally okay that she was stupid, because at least she was funny and beautiful. I found that whenever I acted stupid people though it was also funny. In many movies young women especially blondes are shown as ditzy and I have defiantly seen people reflect that stereotype on me because I am also blonde.

Women are characterized as weak, easily frightened and hysterical in many movies and TV shows. When women are seen as  fearless and overpowering they are generally characterized as a bitch or a villain. Women in TV seem to either be pretty or smart, successful in family or workplace but hardly being able to accomplish both. Women characters seem to be very dependent on men, and make being single look bad and if a character is single there must be something wrong with them.

Media gives women and men a very unrealistic vision on what women should be like, that they need to look absolutely perfect all the time- even after they just got out of bed.. I would think that because the world is half women that the TV company’s would make shows that target women positively, but obviously they don’t have to because women must be okay with what is out now. I think that especially shows targeted towards preteens and teens should show a very positive light towards women and not throw around these expectations. Disney Channel and programs like this defiantly play a huge role in influencing teens because they look up to these characters. If these characters are displaying bad traits or unreasonable expectations the kids will still grow up believing them.

American teenagers spend an average of almost 11 hours absorbing media in just one day. What is shown inevitably affects the way teenagers are seen by others and themselves. Because media is so relevant today you would expect more people to stand up against certain programs and company’s and that there would be a difference in how women are portrayed. Unfortunately it is hard to find a show or movie that gives women a strong and positive representation. I now notice little things in movies and TV that I find surprisingly sexist and offensive that earlier I may not have just because it is so common in media. Shows and movies are making a huge impact on how people live because they are always trying to live up to the standards that media starts. By not changing these ideas we will continue to grow up always comparing ourselves to the media, which can be both unhealthy and unrealistic.

Miss Representation is a company trying to raise awareness of these actions and they are fighting misrepresentation of women by boycotting certain programs and spreading the word out. If more people stand up against this we may be able to find new shows that give are a positive influence on all ages and to all sexes that don’t put down a certain sex or set up certain standards.

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