In 2013, women were featured in the media in positive and negative ways. As you can see in the beginning of this video, Malala was featured on the cover of Time magazine, as part of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World." "Gravity" and "Catching Fire," did amazingly in the box office, both with strong female protagonists. Sweden started rating movies with the "Bechdel Test," named after the cartoonist, Alison Bechdel. In order to pass this test, movies have to contain at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Goldieblox ads went viral, (not without a lawsuit, but that's besides the point). Katie Couric was hired by Yahoo as their "global news anchor."
But the negative ways women were featured almost outweigh the positive. We are still being photoshopped for photos, creating insane proportions that are not even humanly possible. We are still being objectified for ad campaigns such as Grand Theft Auto, with the strippers scantily clad in g-strings; Carl's Jr., with more scantily clad women, seductively licking condiments from their fingers; Fiat, with women dancing on a beach in tiny bikinis; Ford, with women (with more seductive clothing) tied up in the back of a car; and of course, the ever-famous Robin Thicke, with his horribly sexist song: "Blurred Lines," and don't even get me started about the music video. There are so many more examples, but why go on about how terrible the media is to women? I'll tell you why. Sex sells. For companies, it is the norm to have seductive commercials and advertisements to sell their products. Even if the company is say, a fast-food restaurant that has nothing in particular to do with women. Grand Theft Auto has strippers on their ads, even though the game itself is about cars. The game, in itself, is horribly sexist as well.
But there is a way to fix this. We are already on our way to the solution by developing organizations to raise awareness about the way women are being treated. One example of this kind of organization is the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, founded by (obviously) Geena Davis. They are at the forefront of changing how women are portrayed in entertainment and the advertisement industry. "The findings of the Geena Davis Institute studies consistently encourage us to remain mindful of gender representations in our series. We appreciate Geena's dedication to bringing this issue to the forefront and reminding us that we can remedy it," says Linda Simensky of PBS.
It is surprising that we, as a country, haven't gotten farther in abolishing this treatment of women. But, we are coming closer and closer to the solution by raising awareness of this issue.
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media: http://www.seejane.org/
Hilarious feminist parody of "Blurred Lines"