LEAVE WOMEN ALONE
In the year of 2020, how are we still allowing the media mock and ridicule women and disguise this as ‘celebrity journalism’?
I can’t say that when searching for the latest headlines, The Daily Mail and The Sun are my most reliable sources. In fact, the only time I ever get a slight glimpse is when an absurd news story is shared on to my Facebook feed, which I generally tend to ignore. However, after waking up last week and hearing the awful news that reality star Stephen Bear had been selling inappropriate videos of Love Island star, Georgia Harrison, without her consent, I inevitably found myself within these news platforms.
Since the news broke out, the story has been mainly circulated on celebrity gossip columns with there being little sympathy shown for Georgia or other victims of revenge porn and sexual exploitation. When typing ‘Georgia Harrison’ into Google News, there follows nine articles covering the betrayal. However, when scrolling further down to articles from previous weeks I felt confused and slightly disgusted with the titles that followed.
From the screenshot above you can see just four of the endless titles from The Daily Mail that clearly centre around one thing, Georgia’s body. Until now, I thought these type of titles had been left in the past. But, they are evidently still being given a platform to be spread.
When reading through the articles, there is a lengthly amount of description based around clothing choices, recent plastic surgery and attention to several parts of the female body. In fact, one of the articles first line reads ‘She recently revealed the results of her breast augmentation after increasing her cup size from a 32B to a 32C’.
Putting gender aside, do we even consider this as quality, news worthy writing?
My answer would simply be, no. There is little to no context or stable structure in any of these stories. So, what makes people read them?
‘The vast majority of front-page stories across all titles are about men because men still hold the vast majority of the big jobs. They are the movers and shakers. Where women appear, they tend to be there as decoration or victims. Most papers prefer pictures of women to men, but rarely because they have said or done something significant. And even when they have, the emphasis will be on body rather than brain’ — Liz Gerard, 2018
In her article ‘Media Sexism Investigation: Of course our papers are sexist’ Liz Gerard explains this perfectly. The main aspect all of these articles have in common is not through anything Georgia has done, but how she is seen.
To investigate this further, I took to my Instagram account to see how my female followers felt about this issue.
As you can see there was a clear conclusion from the poll.
So, with this all in mind should the The Daily Mail and The Sun be eligible to cover stories such as Stephen Bear and Georgia Harrison’s? Their reporters are objectifying women everyday, so why are they surprised when others do? If mainstream media is normalising this view of women, readers will inevitably adopt this, creating a domino effect.
To End On A Lighter Note, Some Recommended Reading..
When researching Georgia Harrison’s story, I found it shockingly difficult to find any articles which formally addressed the moral and legal issues behind Stephen Bear’s act.
Luckily, when scrolling through Twitter one evening this week I came across an insightful story by Grazia UK.
The article does cover the context, but it is the final few paragraphs that really makes it worth the read. Unlike similar articles, Grazia does it part to try and educate its readers and addresses the worldwide issue of revenge porn and the destruction it brings.
The link to the article can be found here.
By avoiding cheap and distasteful headlines and taking the time to find stories that include quality and insightful content, hopefully one day women and men can avoid being the target of sexist headlines.