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Dear Amy,

I am attending college and am involved in a panel discussion talking about women in the media. I need a correct feminist view on some questions that are: If women are objectified in the media, then why do they [model/pose as] sexual objects, subservient to men, etc.? What is the feminist point of view of women in the media? Are positive roles of women moving forward and if so, how?

Any information will be most helpful to me. Thank you for your time.




Dear Lynnette,

I actually get asked a lot about women in the media and though I'm not the definitive feminist opinion, I am certainly full of different perspectives. I think that this is a particularly interesting question for young women who grew up both with these stereotypes and with an analysis of the ways in which the media inaccurately represents women. This means that young women can choose these stereotypes and simultaneously know that the media isn't giving them the full story. They can oppose the media's narrow view of women and simultaneously know that they can choose this for themselves.

As for why women continue to buy into the media's portrayal of them, I think that the answer isn't to do away with these images, but to make sure that other images are available and equally respected. For instance, it's just as bad and inappropriate for women to be told that they have to be skinny and blond as it is to tell them that they can't be skinny and blond. The good news is that with magazines like Honey, Latina and Mode, we are getting more images of women.

Another point is that many of the women whom I know who complain about the media's portrayals of women are the same women who buy these magazines and thus support these images. If women are really that outraged then they shouldn't buy the magazines. Yes, some women choose to be objectified by the media, and that's their choice. Other women choose that role because they don't think that they can choose anything else. So again, the goal of feminism should be to ensure that women have more choices as well as to ensure that women have enough resources to know what choices exist.

I hope that helps - and good luck with your panel .



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