Women earn 80 cents to every dollar that a man earns for the same work and with the same credentials. If you are Black it is less, and if you’re Brown, it’s even less. The Kardashians are women who have successfully branded themselves and built a financial empire, with projected earnings of 200-300 million dollars this year alone. Yet their celebrity and seemingly superficial existence overshadows their achievements as young woman in business. After all, David Beckham has successfully branded himself in the US and abroad, and while he may be an accomplished athlete, most Americans couldn’t tell you a thing about his soccer (football) career, but could easily list the ads we’ve seen him in half-naked selling underwear or cologne, of his own brand. His reality show only lasted one season, while Keeping Up with the Kardashians remains one of the most highly rated reality shows, with the last season being the most highly watched. So why is Beckham taken more seriously than the Kardashians? Is it our own internalized oppression that makes other women such harsh critics of the Kardashians lifestyle, personal choices, and rise to fame and wealth?
As young women and feminists in a new day, it is critical we pay MORE attention to how the media contributes to the misrepresentation of women. The media continues to objectify and demean women of all ages, making it common practice to pit women against one another women to sustain the stereotype that women are caddy, incapable and difficult.
The film Miss Representationreally highlights the “disparaging portrayals” of women in the media. The messages both young men and women receive about our roles in society contributes to institutionalized disempowerment of women. In the United States, women are 51% of the population in the US, and yet there are currently 362 men in congress and 76 women. If you haven’t seen this film, GO SEE IT NOW! The traileralone gets me fired up!
A new war has been waged against women, not just in this recent run for the GOP candidacy, but in mainstream society and culture, when they got US to the THEIR dirty work. We need to be more outraged and take action, I believe even the smallest act can make a big difference. So I have a challenge! I challenge you to do the following over the next 30 days:
- Watch TV shows and films which support and encourage the leadership and empowerment of women.
- Do not watch TV shows (reality included) which portray women negatively (Sorry, but this means no more Bad Girls, Mob Wives, House of Wives of “Wherever”, and so on).
- How do I know if it is negative? If women are drunk, fighting, or being promiscuous please avoid it.
- Do not purchase or read magazines which objectify women and include unattainable body images.
- Do not purchase music that demeans women sexually or otherwise.
- Do not support products that demean or objectify women in their advertising.
- Do not use derogatory language in reference to women.
Not only does this help lessen the demand for this low level representation of women, but be assured it will cleanse your own mind of the negative images, thoughts, and beliefs about women you may not have even know you hold. Don’t be fooled into believing your mind has not been effected by the media’s powerful campaign to make women feel insecure and inferior.
I don’t know if the Kardashians are feminists, and maybe you don’t think there is anything empowering about them, but not participating in bringing them down will empower you.
Not sure if you’re a feminist or what it really means? I’ll let Ruby explain:
I’ve seen a powerful change in myself and others as a result of this challenge. If you take the challenge, I hope you share your outcomes with us! Good luck!