I had a fascinating conversation today about the relationship between women and the media. There is truly a need for authentic women’s voices. Too often, in the media, women are either objectified or pandered to. We are put into categories. We are either hot chicks valued only for our bodies or smart, powerful bitches.
Women are underrepresented across the board – in politics, business, the arts – practically all areas of public life. Therefore, there is insufficient dialogue about how social, political, and cultural issues truly influence the lives of real women. “Women’s issues” are treated by reporters and politicians as somehow separate from other issues. This concept of separateness is, of course, a fallacy. Birth control issues affect men just as much as women – and women are impacted by foreign policy just as much as men. We are all human and we’re all sharing this society. That is not to say that men and women are the same. In fact, social, political, and cultural issues often impact men and women quite differently – but both men and women are impacted.
We need a more intelligent media for many reasons. In particular, we need the media to examine the perspectives of women in an insightful way. We need to get beneath the surface and start a discourse about the issues that affect women, and what needs to be done to respond to those issues.