mass media and culture Essay

Submitted By hwildbore
Words: 2275
Pages: 10

Haley Wildbore
Mr. Wheeler
English 101
November 24, 2014
Mass media and culture For many years the inhabitants of the United States have thrived on mass media and its use is growing greater every day. Upon awakening after a nights rest what do you do first? Turn on the television? Check your various social media sites? Read the newspaper or a magazine? Listen to Pandora while getting ready for work or school? Many of us can agree that they do one or more of the following things in the morning, so it’s safe to say mass media helps shape our culture and the way we think. Does sexism and misogyny in the media affect the way we act and view others? Many statistics prove that the things we are constantly seeing do have a major impact in our lives, while others simply feel a person has a choice to make their own behavioral decisions, sights do not provoke actions. Mass media is the main contributor of rape culture in America and should be regulated because it sexually objectifies women, condones rape and victim blaming and also glamourizes sexual violence. First of all, mass media is the main contributor of rape culture in America and should be regulated because it sexually objectifies women. Sandra Bartky, a professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois, clearly defines sexual objectification in The Objectification Theory which states "Sexual objectification occurs whenever a woman's body, body parts, or sexual functions are separated out from her person, reduced to the status of mere instruments, or regarded as if they were capable of representing her” (Bartky). Frequently, mass media such as television, music, reading materials and the internet contain content that corresponds to the definitive manner of The Objectification Theory. Television of which seems to be the leading contributor. There are many different things to be viewed through a television such as advertisements, a series of shows and movies. Advertisements vary from automobiles, fashion, fast-food and even alcoholic beverages. Most commercials now feature a young, slim and beautiful woman as if she were to be packaged along with the product. Many Super bowl commercials contain sexist messages and images such as the Dorito commercial that Nina Bahadur, a writer for the Huffington Post, summed up as “The only way to get a man to pay attention to you instead of a football game is to strip naked and cover your body in nacho-cheese flavored chips.”, which had gotten across to an estimated 111.5 million viewers in 2012 alone (Bahadur). The Dorito commercial alone shows not only men but women as well that a cow-skin covered ball deserves more attention than a female, unless of course she offers up her body as a snack platter. Then again that commercial is considered “normal” compared to the shows and movies overflowing the average American’s TV set. Some of the most popular detective shows are Criminal Minds, Killer Instinct, and CSI are well known for their “grotesque ways of slaughtering women”(Berg). While the main theme of these shows are the death of women, Majority of the most popular movies are too, mainly horror films, such as Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Scream. Stephen Young, the author of Psychology at the Movies, reports “The most recent analysis of this issue confirmed that, indeed, sexualized female characters are less likely to survive slasher films and that their death scenes are likely to be extended” (Young). What is being messaged through many shows and horror films is the female characters either survive or die according to their sexual nature and behavior and are easily disposable. The massive audience television shows, movies and commercials reach is critical in how we perceive and treat others, for our actions and thoughts are influenced by what we see and hear and should contain more gender neutral and appropriate material so women will less likely be treated as sexual objects. Bringing the internet into play adds a whole other