What W(e) DID about women, advertisements and sexism

69587-MqncJydbgdZDDWGkN8Jt4g In the meeting yesterday a group of 14 people gathered to talk about women´s situation nowadays, the influence of media and the connection with society, the education of values for our children and  problems that occur through teenagers years.   bmw_advertisingIn the beginning we watched a video and commented or talked about the chosen pictures. The pictures were about models, barbie-women, anorexia, advertisements from the 50s and from today and pictures where women are chosen to be a sex symbol. The aim was to make it visibly that women in the 50s were used in advertisement to portray the role of a good housewife and that nowadays, the situation after years of emancipation and fights for women rights, turned to a role of a women, who is only good and usable for sex or to fulfill the men´s pleasure.   We recognized that also men somehow are getting more and more pressed in the role of an “anabolic alien”, as media creates this role models. What we have to be aware of is, if we support companies and buy products which are advertised in that way, we support also this development.


Another interesting aspect occurred when I showed three music video clips. Women are stretching out on men, singing only about sex in all imaginable or unimaginable possibilities as well as they are the epitome of sexy and beautiful. Some people said that also men are in videoclips almost always half naked and used in the same embodiment. Against others opinion was that the majority of the chosen persons in ads or in videoclips are women.   Apart from that, an idea arised, that being naked has to be distinguished from erotic and sexistic. The line between these two aspects often disappears. There was one example of being naked on the beach towards wearing only a string. Visibly in videoclips usually its a sexistic depiction of human bodies.   Just as its worth to talk about the differences between eroticism and sexism, it is also necessary to see how we define beauty. This was something to separate from the “sexistic view” of women. According to the pictures we could see that a dangerous hype about size zero and being super thin got bigger in the last decades. American models which were 6% less weigh in the 50s than an average women, today weigh 23% less than the average. Obviously on all maganorexia_dec30azines and posters we see photoshoped women, but more or less everybody is influenced unconsciously though wrong imaginations. Women try to reach a figure and perfection that isn´t reachable (and also its questionable if this is a real aim to achieve) and men are searching for women which will never exist.   Through all this fakes and wrong impressions that we give and take, a participant showed a really interesting video:


We found out that even children or teenagers somehow suffer from a pressure of groups, for instance classmates, as a lot of people made the experience of being bullied because of not wearing brand clothes, or being excluded from the group because of not wearing make up or following other trends. So the conversation turned shortly also to schooluniforms.   Furthermore one participant told form her own experience as a ballet dancer, that she had to have a very low weigh and she let us know, that it was her decision in that time to choose if she wanted it or not. People reacted with the question from what age we can let our children decide about their own lives when it´s a matter of health.   What we created ourselves is a wrong imagination of reality and a dangerous movement towards sick and unrealistic ideas. It´s frightening that possibly in a few years it will be normal to see people actively having sex during music videoclips and that anorexia and unconsciousness will grow.   Self evident we know that we can only be aware of it by ourselves, that we should think twice before supporting movements and that it is always necessary and worth to talk about problems like this. As soon as we understood this importance we should also try to spread this idea and to find out what we will teach our own children later on.


In the next W(e) DID meeting we are going to discuss about the values and importance’s of life, what we all should teach our children and the coming up generation. One of the participants gave us the impulse with a very nice video; the link you find attached.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6wOt2iXdc4

Elisabeth Weissitsch.