Just this past week, The Representation Project released a video highlighting the ways in which the media has failed women in 2013. The included ads vary from hypersexualization of women in advertising, to blatant misogyny on the news, to Miley Cyrus on the VMAs.
“Imagine a world where the media inspires women rather than degrading them,” they say. However, while over-sexualized representations of women arguably do provide potentially questionable role models for women, the reactions of viewers nation wide revealed further questionable societal behavior.
Comments online included serious chastisement of the girls in the videos for using their sexuality in ‘demeaning’ manners, comments to other commenters on how the women on the ads chose to use their image sexually and had a right to do so, and comments on the larger debate of sexuality vs. scholastic ability. Despite the point of the video, viewers everywhere have contributed to degradation of women by perpetuating the belief that there is only one right way to be feminist, and that women who do not behave in this singular, appropriate fashion are up for discrimination. It is truly this idea that allows the negative representation of women to continue, a social conception that allows women in the media to be judged upon this nonexistent binary scale.