Feminism

Feminism is the ideology for equality between men and women. Unfortunately, many people still don’t even know what feminism is and people are still fighting for equality.

What I personally find frustrating is people’s connotations of feminism, because people always think of man hating radical feminists. It’s highly likely that the majority of people who try to imagine what a feminist looks like, will think of someone who lives up to the stereotype of someone like Andrea Dworkin.

However there are so many different types of feminism, that include:

  • Radical
  • Cultural/Post Colonial
  • Ecofeminism
  • Liberal
  • Social and Marxist
  • I-feminism/New Wave

Feminist Catharine MacKinnon once stated: ‘to be sexually objectified means having a social meaning imposed on your being that defines you as to be sexually used, according to your desired uses, and then using you that way. Doing this is sex in the male system’ (1). This suggests that by sexually objectifying women, it contributes to sustaining a patriarchal society.

Within the media there is a lot of sexual objectification, mainly of women. However men are also objectified in some cases, depending on who the target audience is. I suppose sexual objectification works for media platforms due to the ideology of ‘sex sells’. This idea was first introduced by Edward Bernays, who theorised unconscious desires.

Bernays was the founder of the torches of freedom campaign, which encouraged women to smoke cigarettes. At the time of this campaign women in society were seen as prostitutes if they were seen smoking, therefore the number of women buying cigarettes was very low. Bernays helped the number of cigarette sales rise through propaganda, by making models parade down a street smoking to make it seem more attractive.

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The above image sums up the sexual objectification of women in the media. This is an advertisement for Stuart Weitzman Shoes. In most of their advertisements, they sexualise models by making them reveal a lot of their bodies. I can kind of understand why they advertise their shoes in this way, because it presents consumers with the idea (connotations) that if you have these shoes then you are sexy. However, I don’t see the point in showing women who are completely naked and are only wearing shoes because the images don’t even draw you to their shoes.

When looking at newspapers, it’s clear who their target audiences are through the amount of sexually objectifying images. The Sun is the newspaper I instantly think of, due to their famous page 3’s with (what used to be) topless girls. And it’s not just the third pages of The Sun with degrading images on, they can be found on most pages which indicates to me that their target audience is working class men

Overall, as a feminist, I fear that sexual objectification will never be tackled in the journalistic world because it is a very patriarchal industry.

(1) Sexuality, Pornography, and Method: “Pleasure under Patriarchy” by Catherine A. MacKinnon. Jan., 1989. Published by The University of Chicago Press.

Found on: http://www.feministes-radicales.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/MacKinnon-Sexuality-Pornography-and-Method-Pleasure-under-Patriarchy.pdf

http://www.feministes-radicales.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/MacKinnon-Sexuality-Pornography-and-Method-Pleasure-under-Patriarchy.pdf

 

 

 

 

Marxism

Marxism is the ideology that was theorised by Karl Marx. The ideology examines the political and economical values of society. The Critical Social Theory is another name for Marxism, because it doesn’t agree with the social classes that we have. The theory also opposes:

  • Capitalism
  • Democracy
  • Consumerism
  • Materialism

This is due to the idea that all of these contribute to hegemony and the Bourgeoisie (wealthy) rule over the Proletariat (working class).

Hegemony was theorised by Antonio Gramsci and it expresses the idea that society think it’s natural for there to be a ruling class.

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The above image is a great representation of Marxism and it is an image from the Battle of Orgreave. The denotation from this photograph is that there are a lot of men standing, most of them are wearing the same clothes and the man in the middle looks different because of his clothes.

From the clothing, you can tell that the men in this image are police officers due to their uniform. It’s indicated that the man in the middle is a minor (proletariat) due to the connotations from his casual ‘working class’ clothing and the fact that he has a cigarette in his hand.

In the photograph, you can see that the police (bourgeoisie) are standing together strong, with their arms linked. This supports Louis Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatus, by having a police presence as a warning to stop any violence that may occur. This image may also be presenting a Repressive State Apparatus, because the police may actually be stopping the miner from entering an area.

Although the police seem dominant, the miner is actually shown as more dominant to me. This is because he is making eye contact with the police, as if he doesn’t care. His body language also looks relaxed, like he isn’t going to do anything to the police and he isn’t scared of them.

To me, this photograph is one of the best photographs that represents Marxism because it shows the conflict between proletariats and the bourgeoisie.