English 1301 Final Essay

Submitted By bradennichols11
Words: 1622
Pages: 7

Imagine the past five media images you have seen of women. It's highly likely that most of them were either depicting a mother or a woman dressed a touch on the scandalous side. Modern day media portrays women in a negative light nowadays, and also setting high standards that are almost impossible to meet. Throughout history, women have always been seen as inferior to men and expected to fulfil their every desire. Every historical reference, from the Bible to an old western movie, teaches society to view women as incapable, helpless, and needing a man to come to her rescue.
Since women are perceived as inferior to men, they are also viewed as incapable. This is especially true in our government, past and present day. Beginning in the 1920's with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, female government officials have been becoming increasingly popular; however, in the past few decades, these numbers have somewhat leveled out. Women have gone great lengths to be seen as equals to men, but still have not quite met the mark. According to Susan J. Carroll, author of "Women in State Government: Historical Overview and Current Trends," states, "Nevertheless, in recent years progress has slowed, and nationwide statistics show the numbers of women serving in state-level offices have leveled. The 2006 elections did little to alter the recent pattern of stagnation, with the numbers of women nationwide showing only small changes, most positive but some negative, following the elections" (Carroll 1). This has always been "normal" in our society because of women being viewed as incapable. As we grew up, media sources such as Disney movies and fairytale books have taught us that every woman needs a "Prince Charming" to save the damsel in distress. Does every Cinderella really need her Prince Charming to come and save her or could she have saved herself, without the help of another man? "The characters depicted in stories help children to determine what it means to be male or female as it applies to behavior, traits, or occupation within a child's culture" (Kuykendal, Sturm 1). Think back to all your childhood favorites, few if any contain a female hero without the assistance of a man. This is why we think of women as dependent of men in our society today. For example, in The Lion King, "the lionesses are weak and need a male hero: when Simba runs away, the lionesses cannot protect themselves from the evil Scar and must wait for years until Simba returns to save them" (Maio). Not only did this idea stay with us as we grew, but we have new sources of media feeding this anti-feminist idea everywhere we go. Also, in movies such as Snow White, the women clean the house waiting for a man to come and take care of her; however, women do not rely on men to come “save them.” Disney movies such as the ones I have listed teach young girls to rely on a man to come to their rescue, instead of teaching them to be strong and courageous. Women should focus on their happiness and success rather than basing it on the stereotypical outlook that the media gives. This is not reality. Cinderella never needed her Prince Charming to come and save her, maybe she could have found her way out of bondage on her own.
Television shows and advertisements constantly feed us degrading images of women that do not give them the respect that they deserve. Victoria Secret models degrade women as a whole and give us the idea that women should have a strong desire to impress the men in their lives. When you pass a billboard sign with a woman on it, the billboard usually puts children with a woman. Also, in television commercials people tend to see women at home with their children, unlike when you see a commercial with a man either at work, with his friends, or taking his wife out for a date. These types of advertisement give the viewer the idea that women are “stay at home moms” rather than being capable of maintaining a job themselves. The