Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique

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The media is a powerful influence in how we perceive the public, political figures, societies, celebrities, and even people we encounter in our daily lives. Playing such a vital or large role in how we view others and our perception of what women in general are supposed to aspire to or look like, is quite evident in newspapers, ads, commercials, magazines, a simple flyer on your windshield advertising a product, gym or even a cartoon. But, the media often clouds our viewpoints presenting the facts, as they want us to see them through their eyes, the eyes of the person paying them to create the story or the ad. Views are biased, prejudicial and often present cultural biases they think the public wants to see and hear. Misportrayals of situations,…show more content…
She came out and accused the media as well as other professions such as doctors of discriminating against women by arguing that since they are predominately male they allow for the housewife mentality that was prevalent of the time. In 1963, Betty Friedan published “The Feminine Mystique” with the intention of critiquing the media, this work was a key aspect in the origin of the 1960’s women’s movement (Williams, 57). This work publicized the concept that the media was the central cause of society’s discrimination against women due to the fact that “women and women’s issues were ignored, downplayed, trivialized or condemned” (Williams, 57). The women’s movement of the 1960’s then ran with this idea of discrimination against women in the media and at this point the movement for women’s rights was born, with the attacking “the absence of women in the media, the limited representation of women when they are mentioned, the focus on representing women as ‘sexual commodities’ and the emphasis on the victim rather than the aggressor in the coverage of violence” (Williams, 57). This whole idea of focusing on the victim instead of the aggressor can often be seen in society today. A prime example of this is the Jameis Winston rape investigation. The media chose to portray Winston as innocent and the victim as a lier all because of who he was (Florida State University Quarterback) instead…show more content…
The media tends to exploit families of women candidates, criticizing if they will be able to handle two jobs: mother and politics. Males rarely come under that type of scrutiny or criticism. Where this falls short is stated within an article titled, “Portrayal of Women in Media”, by Lindsay Vandiver. In this she elaborates on what is called the “Frat culture” this is the idea that women are pushed “away from the real politics where important decisions are made behind closed doors” meaning that women are persuaded to not attempt to focus on actual issues that effect society and instead on topics of minimal significance ( This type of culture can possibly keep women from getting high performance jobs or getting involved in politics. Hilary Clinton as a candidate in 2008’s presidential election fell prey to media ruthlessness. Years of experience as governor and first lady were discounted and cast aside as she was depicted as old, worn down, and significantly less appealing than Sarah Palin even though they hailed from different political parties. The media went as far as commenting on her apparel or pants suits saying that she did not present a feminine image but more masculine. I remember discussing this in my high school history class back in 2008 and students my own age as well as the teacher saying it was despicable that her clothing was a factor in people voting for

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