Traditional Feminist Theoretical Norms In The Media

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From the view of the traditional feminist lens without delving too far into intersections of theory at this point, feminists broadly agree that sexism of this nature is unacceptable. Feminist theory seeks to restore balance between the genders through breaking down and eradicating the patriarchal norms that have bound society for thousands of years. One of the main examples of patriarchal norms in practice is the way in which the media, and news outlets in particular, talk about female politicians in comparison to the way that they discuss their male counterparts. In an article by the Daily Mail, Theresa May was described as “fashion forward” and “quirky” (Daily Mail, 2014) due to her taste in clothing. On this day, she spoke in Parliament…show more content…
Take for example, the Sun’s Page 3 which printed naked women on the third page of each issue. These newspapers are bottom-shelf publications and are widely available to people of all ages, including young children. Leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas aimed to tackle the issue of naked women in newspapers by campaigning to have them removed on the grounds that they objectify women. She spoke on this issue to other MPs in the House of Commons while wearing an item of clothing with the text ‘NO MORE PAGE 3’ printed on it. (The Guardian, 2013) As she ended her argument for the removal of this segment, she was asked by the debate chair to cover herself up as her attire did not conform to standards. Lucas was quick to point out that despite the pictures of naked women in daily newspapers being readily available in no less than 8 areas of government property around the House of Commons, her clothing was deemed unnecessary. Through this we see that not only has the media become increasingly sexist over past decades, but due to this sexism MPs are now being penalised themselves for wanting to abolish those sexist and damaging institutions. Political figures have a vast amount of influence when it comes to changing and amending policy, but many women find that they are underrepresented within the Houses of Parliament and with such little support from other female government officials…show more content…
The emergence of mass media and celebrity culture hasn’t come about over the last decade or so, but instead it has been gradually building and creeping into everyday life. Street suggests that “Certainly there is a strong desire on the part of the political order… popular culture expresses the wishes and desires of the people.” (Street, 1997, p. 17) which reinforces the idea that the media manipulates and contorts the opinion of the many to play into the ideals of the few. Street suggests that popular culture, such as the media, is to blame for why the public no longer see politicians as people but rather as a vehicle of representation. He also queries whether changes to popular culture take place because of, or exclusive of changes to political processes (Street, 1997). Street’s work is pivotal in answering the question of whether the media is biased towards one gender as he discusses issues such as globalisation and hegemony to dissect the dichotomies within both politics and popular
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