Womens Liberation? Or Not...
Monday, May 16, 2011
A member of one of my teams wrote a blog about how the media pushes thinness. As a matter of fact, you can use your search engine type in "thinness" and it automatically links it to media and advertising in a negative context.
I started thinking about being one of the pioneers in the women's movement. I broke some barriers and had a few firsts in my career i.e. positions which were given prior, only to men who sometimes were less qualified. I stuck up for my rights for equal pay for EQUAL jobs.
We all fought back then to make things better for future generations. Are they better? I don't think so...
Now it's expected that most women juggle a career with being a mother, chaffeur, cook and housekeeper. Prior to womens' lib we had a choice. We didn't have to be superwomen. How much more stress is the modern woman under?
Yes, we are doing things that my mother would never have dreamed of doing, but at what cost? Divorce is accepted, yet women stay in abusive relationships because they fear that they have no support. We're made fun of if we're fat, yet we're bombarded with overprocessed foods laden with sugar, fat and salt.
Instead of being liberated, I think that girls today are more oppressed. One out of three women have been sexually abused. The world is a more dangerous place. It is more media saturated with violence and it is more sexualized. There is more sexist advertising than ever. I watch TV and music videos and see the norm is poisoning girls who are pressured to be thin to the point of starvation and "sexy". They fear they will be bullied if they can't live up to the "standard". If a young girl succumbs to the pressure, it means drugs and sex, or an eating disorder or cutting, or depression, or worse. They are the future members of this site if they survive, with a future of heart problems, type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, etc. All the diseases associated with stress.
What can we do to help them? We can empower them and teach them resilience, so they have the emotional toughness to protect themselves. We can give them a sympathetic ear and be a good role model. We can admit that we aren't superwomen and it's OK not to be perfect. We can be aware of warning signs to reach out and support them even if they can't ask.
Most important of all we can try to change the culture. Talk to your sons as well as your daughters about negative stereotypes . Espouse that violence and sexism is wrong. Make sure they know that women are to be treated with respect as is any human being. Contact the media, write to sponsors and tell them how you feel. Our daughters need a world where they can feel free to develop their own unique gifts and feel appreciated for whom they really are inside.
Maybe it's time for a new Woman's Liberation Movement!