For Women in America, Equality is Still an Illusion In her article, "For Women in America, Equality is Still an Illusion", Jessica Valenti subject matter is to describe the discrepancies between what is perceived as gender equality to what is really occurring in America in hopes of ending the mistreatment and injustices of women. Valenti writes this essay in hopes of disillusioning women that believe they have the same equal rights and treatments that men have in America. She conveys a certain emotionally upset tone in her work (mainly due to her being a woman) to grab the reader's attention. She uses selection of detail to show the hardships of women not only in America, but in other countries as well. Valenti provides many statistics of abuse against women here in the United States as well as examples of evidence for the mistreatment of women.
“The construction of gender stereotyping of both males and females in the media is based on outdated and unfounded beliefs and therefore has had and continues to have a detrimental impact on society.” (Yes!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUyfD1F7k1I Women are subjected to many stereotypes in today’s society. Movies and television shows suggest that all women are airheads, whose sole purpose in life is to please men and rear children. Magazines and other advertisements push photographs of very slender, over groomed and “sexy women” into our minds. Men’s magazines write articles on how to seduce a girl into sleeping with them.
Sexy Sells Sex is everywhere in our society. It is on the television, radio, billboards, magazines, and basically everywhere you look today. Advertising has a great influence on what men and women buy, what they wear, and how they look, but is that always a good thing? "Pornography is more dangerously mainstream when its glorification of rape and violence shows up in mass media, in films and television shows,in comedy and music videos, and in advertising" (272.) Jean Killbourne, author of "Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt", has a very strong opinion of women being used for sex appeal, and that is that advertising has reached a point where bodies are portrayed as objects therefore normalizing attitudes that lead to sexual aggression.
Due to the limited amount of resources and the restrictions laid upon women for practicing rhetoric, it is astonishing how many women were still able to make a significant impact on the field of rhetoric which I feel has paved the way for women’s liberations rights today. Christine de Pizan portrayed the art of rhetoric through language and letter writing as she challenged the boundaries of women’s input at the time. She sought to save the reputation of women, who at the time were being slandered and shine a new spotlight for women’s advancement. It is imperative that more time and space be dedicated to Christine De Pizan in Herricks textbook of rhetoric and many more to follow. Christine De Pizan is a brave woman who stood up to the verbal assaults on women in the 14th century.
Whether we realize it or not we are constantly surrounded by images of sex; in the media, advertising, movies, and even in schools, sex is everywhere. So it is not uncommon for us when we open a magazine and see images of half naked women and barely legal girls posing provocatively in order to sell a product. In Jean Kilbourne’s article, “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt” she explains how much women are objectified and dehumanized in advertisements like this. Constantly in the media there are women who are looked up as sex objects rather then actual women. Kilbourne describes how when you depict men or women as sex objects rather
Women, were so unhappy without having rights and it made them feel less loved and wanted. With this theory being applied to this issue of Women’s Rights, they come out on top of the situation. It took 130 years or so for women to evolve in society. “Utilitarianism is a normative ethical theory that places the locus of right and wrong solely on the outcomes (consequences) of choosing one action/policy over other actions/policies. As such, it moves beyond the scope of one's own interests and takes into account the interests of others.” (Cavalier, 2002) With the Women’s Rights Movement, there were a lot of pros and cons that can about, mostly positives.
The Exploitation and Misogyny of Women by the media The passing of the Woman's Right Act empowered women to do things that would have once been considered impossible such as, taking part in beauty pageants, modeling in the nude to holding high positions in offices. In hip-hop and advertising Jean Kilbourne and Joan Morgan concur that woman's bodies are being dehumanized, over sexualized and objectified. Consequently, although women have made remarkable progress, their unbridled autonomy and power are being exploited by the media.Hence forth, the explosion of pornography and the mentality that sex sells anything and everything have caused advertising agencies and the music industry to use woman's bodies as the main tool for commercializing and selling their products. Hence, the media uses sexism and violence in advertising to get people’s attention in order to get them to buy their products, and also to obtain free press. In “Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt” Jean Kilbourne believes, that sexism and violence in advertising is systemic and rooted in our culture.
‘The Beauty Myth’ is an obsession with physically looking ‘perfect’ and traps the modern woman in an endless cycle of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to achieve what society has deemed "the flawless beauty" regardless of whether it is realistic or not. Naomi Wolf censures the exploitation of women by the fashion, beauty and advertising industries, particularly in women’s magazines as we delve deeper in to the chapter on ‘Culture’. She claims that as a result of being sequestered from the world and isolated from one another, the only real women’s space in modern mass culture where women can seek solidarity is through women’s magazines. Ironically, it is through the same myth that women are brought together and driven apart. These women may not share any particularly close relationship, but develop a sense of solidarity through sharing similar interests, agenda, or worldview.
Graff asks, “Why was she out so late at night, provoking men into rage by being openly female?” People blame women for being out so late and night, and it seems like women want men to enjoy them. It is absurd that people would blame women on everything, even when it is not women’s fault. Another cause of rape culture is that men as a whole are stronger than women. In the past women do not have more power than men and now they aren’t physically stronger than them so they would be over powered by men. For example most of the men can force women not to move with their strength, so women cannot escape from men.
The period 1971-80 was a period of economic depression, growing number of women poets emerged, approving new associations and gaps. Though what became known as feminist poetry was discharged by an academy as hysterically partisan, in openly tackling sexuality, and taboos like lesbianism, abortion and the physical and emotional abuse of women, feminism helped to change what British women wrote poetry about. On the other hand political and literary differences between radical and liberal formalist and experimentalist, proved as divisive among poets as in society at large; remaining silent about the social tensions of the moment. The major literary events in this period include the celebration of the First International Women’s Day with a march in London and Liverpool, death of Stevie Smith, Phoebe Hesketh was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1972 PN Review was launched , Wendy Mulfoed found Street Editions,Kathleen Raine receives W.H.Smith Literary Award, Molly Holden and Joseph Smith wins Cholmondeley Award, Liz Lochhead wins Scottish Arts Council Award, Virago Press launched, and International Poetry Festival inaugurated .