The Steubenville Rape: The Media Violence Against Women

Decent Essays
Violence against women globally is so widespread a problem that it is now a widely understood fact that approximately one in three women have experienced either physical or sexual violence in her lifetime (WHO, 2013). The media plays a central role in shaping our understanding of the world around us and as a result its influence on how the wider community both views and understands violence against women is powerful. The media story titled: ‘The Steubenville Rape Case: Script goes awry for accused teen,’ tells the story of a sixteen-year-old girl who was raped by two high school football players who then shared photos of the rape on social media. This online article published by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) provides a startlingly…show more content…
Gender inequality is pervasive and the media plays a powerful role in shaping the ways in which gender inequality is re-enforced, as Wood puts forward; “woven throughout our daily lives, media insinuate their messages into our consciousness at every turn (1994, p 31). Gender inequality is a reoccurring theme that underpins this article, the assumption of which is that the ruin of a promising future for a male football athlete is more cause for community concern than his crime, and in doing so implies that the female victim is of little importance to us. Further to this it provides a clear example of Wood’s notion that “male perpetrators are often better accepted and excused for their responsibility than female victims” (1994, p 31). It does so firstly through its media narrative, which is focussed almost entirely on the perpetrator. As Wood again puts forward; the underrepresentation of women in the media reinforces that men are the “cultural standard” (1994, p 31), further arguing that in newscasts, stories about men outnumber those about women ten to one, and it is this distortion which promotes and implies male importance (1994, p
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