As much as I’d love to disagree with this topic and state that everyone in the world is treated and respected the same way, I simply cannot. Although officially we are all equal under law, society cannot accept this. But then again, what or who is society? It is us. We are society. Every time we pass judgement on somebody, we’re reforming to what the image of a ‘perfect person’ should be. Every time we look at a woman with lust as an object, we are continuing to support society’s behaviour towards women. This generation cannot be saved from the image of what a ‘perfect person’ should act or look like. However, we can teach the next.
Fifty years after Martin Luthur King’s famous speech, his vision remained as a dream for many people around the world. He wanted to continue to protect those whose human rights were being violated because of their race, colour, descent or national and ethnic origins. We are not genetically predisposed to hate someone based on all the above. We have grown up with it as a problem. These society influences are coming from the older generation and the consequences are being left with us. Yes, us. With everything going on in the world, how is there room for hate or prejudice or discrimination or racism? There’s so much that we can learn from each other if things and situations were free in the world. Society has embedded into us that these are the social norms that we should expect in life. But we shouldn’t. Too many people have spent too many years fighting for something that should be theirs anyway. Racism divides. But what defines a ‘race’? We are all one race, who may have differences in culture, but we share one world.
From the time we are young, we are exposed to the media. These images surround us and teach us how we should be, and how the world should be viewed. But how much influence does this industry have? Media is a commercial venture. This makes it hard to change things in our society. Advertising supports lessons taught during programming by reinforcing behaviours and attitudes. Music videos and TV shows present women as sexual objects, and portrayed as enjoying this. Teenage girls take cues from how they should look from models they see in fashion magazines. However, we often hear of women being the only victims in the media. But women are not alone in feeling pressure by the media. Men are just as susceptible to fit a certain media mould. Boys are taught to be masculine; to be tough, physically active, in control, powerful, strong, aggressive, and violent to gain their power. And it is all predominantly represented by white, working class men. Even taking all that into consideration, women have it worse off. Men are encouraged to be healthy bodybuilders, where as women starve themselves to achieve an unrealistic body image which can possibly cause death. Women are in an unhealthy position as long as they docilely accept their norms that are shown to them by the media.
It is still disgraceful that even in the 21st century, we are still fighting for the rights of women. The word feminist gets thrown around a lot. The uneducated theory being ‘a bunch of women burning their bras for self liberation’. However, the term feminist can be explained as the doctrine advocating social, political and all other rights of women equal to men. Yet, women are feeling immense pressure from society that men never will. Body. Class. Work. Family. Race. Globalisation. Human rights. Popular culture. Sex. Science. Reproduction. Sexuality. In that list, if you thought “men go through the same sufferings”, then why are we sill treated unequal? Why are men deciding what women can and cannot do with their bodies? Why is it that the 82% of men involved in the media can attack, humiliate, belittle and destroy a girl before she even leaves school? Why is inequality still accepted in society with only two genders with one difference? We run the risk of another generation growing up to the devaluating of women.
By simply educating todays generation, the cycle of hate, influenced by society, can be broken. We cannot function in a world with so much hate towards each other. Almost each war in the world was started over choice of religion. Humans are the only species known cruel enough to kill each other for no advantage to themselves; correction, ourselves. We are all part of the same earth. Society disrupts the harmony simply by being encouraged negatively. Change needs to take place in order to benefit society.