Today, you don't need to go far to get bombarded with infotainment. Turn on the TV, switch on your phone and log into social media, information comes to us in every way. Movies, music videos, you name it.
What do these very important forms of art bring into our lives? How does the information we gain through the arts of the media influence our behaviours?
I was watching a music video recently and there was this scene of a beautiful girl whose hips were being ogled at by a guy in an exaggerated manner. The girl was an adult so she made a choice to dress in very tight clothes.
My point here is that the girl is being objectified.The intellect, the skills and the abilities of the girl are put on a backburner when such videos are seen as normal and those who are impressed by it try to live it like that in real life.
Young girls will see this and think "If I dress like that and behave that way I will have the attention of boys". The girl is being made an example of how girls see themselves and more disturbing, how boys see girls; a beautiful body and face period.
Everybody loves to be admired, even for their physical attributes but if those are the only things that matter about a person then I think we are not getting it right.
The problem is that these kinds of scenes are everywhere in the media and can be watched indiscriminately. What dothese teach young boys who are growing up into men? That a girl is only as worthy as her physical attributes? What about her brains, talents, etc?
What if the girl, having the beauty then thinks of herself as exempted from making the effort to excel in career and self-development and decides to depend on her physical looks to get ahead in life?
If we are gunning for equality in the sexes today we have to take into account these subtle messages the media sends to the new generation and raise our voices to cause change. Change in the perception of the girl, change by the empowerment of many girls who would then serve as examples of how a girl can be, change in the ideas that young boys grow up with.
How can we shift the spotlight from the physical attributes of females to their abilities? By dialogue, especially with regards to the youth.
I am a believer of the fact that the best way tostart change is by concentrating on the next generation, the youths.
When such a scene on TV comes up, how do you react? Simply engage in a dialogue with the teen or pre-teen around you, whether male or female.
Ask them what they honestly think about the way the girl is being depicted in the video and listen.
Ask them if they think it is right or what their views are and listen.
Then tell them what YOUR views are andhow it could be better.
Neglecting the things our boys are exposed to as "normal" will negatively influence how they subsequently behave as men. Women who are empowered and who are empowering themselves like us are the first agents of this change.
I envision the world where art in the form of movies, drama, books and music would be used as a means of change by affecting positively the thoughts and perceptions of the people who consume them.
How to Get Involved
Be a part of the change! Empower yourself with knowledge to empower others.