Misrepresentation Of Women

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In South Africa, our media noticeably underrepresents as well as misrepresents women every single day. Women make up approximately fifty percent of our population; yet do not nearly make up that much in representation in the media. When they are represented, they are either misrepresented as victims or are completely sexually objectified. Their bodies are advertised as goods, as ‘things’, and used as bait to hook the interest of buyers in anything, even products that are utterly irrelevant to sex and sexuality.

“Sex may sell, but the media has the power to change this.”
- Lwanga Mwilu. Consultancy Africa Intelligence. Buy a burger, buy sex: South African media representations of women. 2010. See more at: http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=438:buy-a-burger-buy-sex-south-african-media-representations-of-women&catid=59:gender-issues-discussion-papers&Itemid=267
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In recent times, the media is one of the most powerful and influential tools available to mankind. The media has the power to shape the way we think, and as Noam Chomsky believed, “the way we think shapes the way we speak, which in turn shapes the way we act.” (Moffett; 2003) Indirectly, the media portraying women as objects of sex, and as things men and/or women are simply permitted to, can standardize and even romanticize the exploitation of women. The sexual violence against women.

South Africa’s advertising industry virtually relies entirely on objectifying women, because the products they are selling profit from being associated with erotic, suggestive portrayals of society’s ideal attractive woman. Therefore, our media obeys and propagates the sexualization that belittles women’s pride, just because sex sells. It does not nearly matter enough that a) this downright breaks the law;

“The main objectives of this Act [Equality Act] are, among
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The ad displayed the words ‘No need for Gender Testing!’ and caused quite a stir in the public, because this was approximately the same time that Olympic athlete Caster Semenya was being scrutinized in the media, questioned about her gender. The advertisement was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority and Lolly Jackson, the owner, was extremely upset by this.

“…a bunch of idiots doing a worthless job… Some religious freak complained, only a religious fool would complain about that. Maybe the woman who complained should lose a bit of weight and her husband will then stop looking at the Teazers billboard, maybe she is fat and ugly. I don't give a s**t about her moral issues. I am sick and tired of bloody women who have nothing to do but look at Teazers billboards and complain. There are a lot more serious things that are happening in the country like corruption, crime and all that than complain about a billboard...It is a nice advert and the woman is a wonderful specimen of a lady. I wish there were a lot more in Sandton looking like
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