‘Miss Representation is a new documentary about the relationship between the representation of women in the media and political office’
The trailer, which includes some ‘expert’ women talking to camera and some young women in group interview situations, as well as some clips from news programming, is very clear in its message. These quotes sum it up pretty well:
‘There is no appreciation of women intellectuals- it is all about the body not about the brain’.
‘If what gets put out there that determines our consciousness is made by men, we are not going to make any progress’.
‘The media treats women like shit’.
‘You can’t be what you can’t see’.
I may get accused of being a stuck record, but – what about the men? Is it just women who are presented as sex objects on TV? No. Is it just women who are portrayed as stupid, or useless in the media? No. Is it just women who have trouble achieving their ambitions in politics? No.
So there are three main things wrong with this video:
1) It suggests a causal relationship between women’s ‘objectification’ and gender inequalities that affect women negatively.
2) It ignores men’s objectification in the media
3) It denies the complex ways in which people are ‘held back’ in terms of careers and political representation.
One of our regular commenters, typhonblue, asked me recently to identify the link between metrosexuality and the ‘gender wars’ – or the arguments between feminists and non-feminists.
I think this Miss Representation documentary is a good example of how metrosexuality proves feminism wrong. Because metrosexuality shows men to be just as much used as sex objects in culture as women, and these days, maybe even more so. As Mark Simpson has pointed out, even the mainstream media has cottoned onto men’s objectification. So if men are objectified just as much as women, then feminism’s claims that women are the ‘victims’ of the male gaze, and of men’s (hetero) predatory sexuality is obviously wrong.
Take a look at this promo for a US drama ‘Heart of Dixie’. Posing as a PSA about climate change, it is actually a PSA about metrosexual men’s love of being objects of desire.
Feminism misrepresents gendered bodies in culture and what they signify.