Thursday, March 10, 2016

Society Doesn't Provide a lot of Choice

In today’s society, women are often glorified and praised for the “amazing victory” in their fight against social equality injustice. Since the early twentieth century, women have built momentum to establish suffrage, guarantee equal educational rights, and pursue careers. However, as in modern America, while women are shown as “confident” individuals, women are often portrayed to be a glowing and an eye-striking object. Magazines target young women and produce an unrealistic image of what women must aspire to be. Moreover, companies’ advertisements use the unrealistic image not only to sell a product, but to promote a culture that will further harm women’s efforts to prominently advance in society. Society is a combination of all distinct parts of American pop culture; a system in which women are stuck to the types of burdens that may force women to unconsciously assume roles of earlier time periods. Despite women’s recent historical triumphs, modern American women still experience the unrelenting pressure and objectifying societal oppression to revert to original social functions.

Women are usually subject to several forms of pressure society creates. Gloria Steinem, a leader of a modern women’s rights movement, once stated, “I've yet to be on a campus where most women weren't worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I've yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing.” Here, Steinem expresses her concern for the state of welfare a woman struggles to cope through in today’s society. Women have to conquer all; From juggling a full-time career, to a stay-at-home mother, women must live up to the high expectations. These daily important “promises” women must face add additional stress to one’s life. Women are still perceived to be the primary caretakers; they are required to balance a job to support one’s family and at the same time smoothly operate the household. Additionally, Steinem emphasizes the pressure a woman has to marry and birth children. Even in twentieth-first century, this original motive of a woman’s purpose is still prominent. Her concern alone demonstrates how the norm for women has not changed tremendously. Surrounding young women in this type of culture proves only to damage their perception of self-worth and for a woman to give in to her standard domestic ideals.

Furthermore, some men believe that since they are not women, they do not have the responsibility to deal with the problems surrounding women. Many men often overlook the problems of women, as modern society has created a place for men to be deemed “safe” from any female influence. For example, women still are not payed as much as men in jobs; women only obtain 79% of what men earn. Despite countless actions to rally behind this type of affirmative action, women fail to meet the earnings of men. It is outrageous for women to compromise this inequity. Women may then think that because they do not earn as much as men, it is unfair and pointless for them (to work as hard and then not receive such compensation) to continue on with their work. Ultimately, the gap between pay wages gives women another discouragement to abandon their cause (more so than to motivate). These states of disappointments additionally cause the slow progression and lack of motivation to move forward. Society provides women with a "solution" to return to their domestic/sex objects ideals that has dominated America the past two hundred years.

Moreover, the societal portrayal of women through different outlets of media cause women to be controlled and oppressed. In an US Weekly magazine publication, Michelle Obama is victim to the stereotypical mother role. The title depicts ‘why Barack loves her’ and how she ‘shops at target.’ US Weekly displays Obama’s motherly features but does not give any regard or power towards Obama’s earlier success in life. Popular modern magazines reinforce the nurturing aspect of women and do not give much credit to any sufficient amount of success in a woman’s life. In addition, other magazines targeted towards men, such as Sports Illustrated, displays women in an unfortunate way. The swimsuit edition includes a full title page of a women dressed in a skimpy bikini. These women are trained to be sex objects for the entire American audience. Young women will most likely see such representation and figure that to be a sex object is a woman's man goal in life. Magazines cannot have such depictions because the image revealed from doing so limits women's options to be seen differently from the rest of America.

Furthermore, in Gucci’s commercial for its perfume, Bamboo, a woman wears revealing clothing while mysteriously whispering into a man’s ear. The woman then begins to have control over the man with her increasingly promiscuous clothing and mystifying eye glances. This commercial supports the woman as a seductress and does not give much chance for the woman to have a voice. Countless commercials similar to Gucci's are made and repeatedly bolster the condescending societal views. Women are often torn apart for their image and do not stand much chance unless society permits opportunities to seek escape from the atrocious disrespect. The underlying layers of today's modern society proves that little change has occurred from prior eras of women's rights movements.

Although the past couple hundred years has been full of effort to secure sex equality, the efforts are often dismissed and discouraged. Women do have the power and the supreme, concentrated motivation to instill true and equal beliefs in societal opinions. I believe that as time goes on, women’s status in society will eventually progress. Additionally, I believe that together we can break these stereotypes that overhang women. Women have the potential to improve extensively, and will continue on to fight endlessly until the ultimate goal is reached. 

1 comment:

  1. Your use of examples was really good, especially the example of the Gucci Bamboo perfume, which really strengthened your argument.