How The Media Failed Women In 2013: A Response

“How The Media Failed Women in 2013” was created by The Representation Project to show how women were represented in the media (and how they represented themselves) throughout the past year. We don’t want to totally discount the laudable intentions of this video, but even the title sets up a divide between women and ‘the media’ by insinuating that women aren’t part of it and have no hand in the diverse ways that they are represented. After noticing nonstop repostings, Slutist couldn’t help but turn a critical eye towards some of these so-called WORST OF’s for women in 2013. Miss Cliche and Maheen Kadri weigh in…

MISS CLICHE: This video has been making the rounds, but I didn’t get to see it until now. Quite frankly, the preview image is what made me cautious about watching it since my internet is down and I could only see it at work. I guessed that it would be vaguely NSFW and I was right (And my boss did, indeed, walk up to my desk as booty after booty was shaking it and thong after thong flashed on my desktop. Hi, boss. Hi.). Aside from thinking this will be mentioned in my annual review in two days, the first thing that came to mind after watching this clip was this:

Consider the ages of the majority of the people making the worst remarks here. I say “people” because I’m lumping in the female relics such as Joan Rivers, even though these comments are largely dominated by older men who consider themselves and their opinions important and powerful. You know what they say about opinions, yes? But, really, look at these Alta Kockers! (“Old Farts” for those who don’t speak Yiddish). They’ll be gone sooner rather than later. As long as the younger generations don’t take these “teachings” to heart or mimic their elders’ behaviors, things will keep on changing and moving in the right direction as the AK Club disappear one by one, or three by three as media personalities are wont to go. This movement might be slower than many progressive feminists would like, but I, personally, have been focusing more on the positives from the first half of the video. I’m proud of this year’s achievements and it makes me excited to keep stepping forward day by day.

My second thought brings us back around to The Allmighty Booty. The second half of the video seems to imply that twerking, and possibly butts and thongs in general, is a large part of the problem. Why worry? Twerking is a dance craze and those come and go. Ask anyone under 25 if they know the Macarena. Past generations were shocked by The Bump, The Twist, and even The Waltz. I would love to see Rihanna doing a shocking Waltz. As for the body exploitation montage, I believe that trend is here to stay. Nudity and sexuality sell and customers are buying. As long as ass = A$$, people can expect to keep seeing it. You think you’re getting it for free, but you’re still paying for it, just in a more subtle way.

MAHEEN KADRI: This video sheds some light on important milestones for women in 2013, particularly in the media. On the other hand, there are some interpretations that some of us Slutists do not agree with. With the last leg of this year being focused on artists such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, it is indisputable that many view them as unsavory or “sluts”. It cannot be because of their gorgeous bodies or their incredibly prurient styles, or could it? Since taboo ideologies and practices are not prohibited as often as they were fifty years ago, women are able to unravel themselves in ways that allow them to discover their sexual features and their hidden desires. They are able to connect with their feminist qualities that they once may have had a fear of. We have lived in a patriarchal society for decades, and with the rise of expansive female artists and feminists alike, there is a sudden shift in the way people view women collectively. The awakening of feminist pride and the fear instilled in society, particularly in men, exhibits the amount of progression our gender has made in such a male-oriented culture. So, if we look at Rihanna’s “Pour it Up video”, some would infer that she is just showing off her body and severely killer looks for attention, but there are some that disagree. Her provocative appearance in the video demonstrates female strength and the power of female sexuality. In a world of condemnation and shaming, women that are in the spotlight, like Rihanna (or in my day, Madonna), are the torch bearers for other women, like you and I, who do not have a voice or public outlet and that need support and motivation to romance this world with our feminist movement.