Exploitation of Women in the Media

             Media portrayal of men and woman can have a tremendous impact on cultural
             and gender ideals in society. Gender tensions are often created by
             exploitative media portrayals of men and/or women in stereotypical roles.
             Far more often than men, women are exploited by media moguls in order to
             promote the sale of goods and services, and to create desire and interest
             in objects completely unrelated to gender.
             The media has created and supported the idea that "sex sells." When it
             comes to provocative images of youth and beauty, women far surpass men in
             media portrayals. Research suggests that women are also portrayed more
             often than not in subservient or minor roles rather than important ones.
             Unbelievable even with reference to serious subject matters, women are
             often portrayed in skimpy outfits and in high gloss images in manners
             completely unrelated to the particular service or product being offered.
             The media has propagated and supported the exploitation of women
             consistently over time. The extent and the effects of such portrayal are
             Grodzki (2003) points out that visual images of women on television and on
             magazine covers have tremendous influence on commercial power as well as
             cultural perceptions of the roles of women. Media imagery can in fact
             create and perpetual certain idealism's and beliefs regarding women's roles
             Hall (1998) cites Carol Dietrich, claiming that women in the media are
             often portrayed as "sexualized bodies, whose status in the world, and
             position in the advertisements, is dependent on how they look rather on
             what they do" (p.21). Many images of women in the media suggest that media
             agents are capitalizing on gender stereotypes and using attractive women to
             dictate how women should feel and behave (Hall, 1998:21).
             Hall also notes specifically that the primary marketing strategy behind
             many products is directly tied "to the exploitation of gender specific

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