Gymnast Suni Lee amazed the world when she won the all-around gold medal with lash extensions and a set of acrylic nails applied. The fact that she completed a gold-medal routine without even so much as breaking a nail is insanely impressive in itself, but we must think critically about the society we live in, in which a world class athlete felt it necessary to compete with these additional obstacles in the name of appealing to the unattainable beauty standard expected of women.
So why does one-dimensional coverage of women in media matter? Newspapers and magazines inform people’s views and opinions. It affects how we as society see women unconsciously. When the media furthers the perception of women as sex objects, that has knock-on consequences throughout society.
The recent increase in the popularity of female rap through platforms such as Tiktok has led listeners to view the music as both empowering and progressive. However, many still argue that the sexual and arguably aggressive lyrics of women in the industry further perpetuate the misogynistic connotations of hip-hop. Regardless of the stance that one may take on the topic, it seems as though there is an undeniable depth to our beloved hot girl summer anthems.
“I became a Zumba instructor. I travelled half of Europe with my kids. My daughters are free to live without a verbally and physically abusive father. All I can say is that I am grateful to Ireland and the people who supported me through that difficult time.”
It is undeniable that sexual assault and rape are seriously pressing and important global issues. However, in the search for solutions, we tend to jump to the biggest problem solver – how can the law be reformed to better protect victims? Sometimes though, smaller actions can have a very worthwhile and instrumental effect.
The real conversation lies in asking ourselves why altering our appearance has become so normalised and readily-available as a cosmetic service. When and why did our natural faces with textured skin and varied features become undesirable and “ugly”?
Even when abortion appears accessible on a surface level, unnecessary obstacles can force people into a situation in which abortion is no longer an option. This includes mandatory counselling and waiting periods, lack of access to information and to telemedicine.
Representation for queer women in media is sorely lacking, and good representation, even more so. Content is either hypersexual or targeted at a very young audience – two extreme ends of a spectrum with slim pickings in the middle.
Ireland currently ranks 101st in the world for female representation in national government. According to the extensive research presented in the study, women bring inclusive styles of leadership that have been found to be more democratic, co-operative, and inclusive.
The Nepali government’s proposal to ban all women from travelling abroad has caused uproar with gender equality activists. The ban is an attempt to prevent the trafficking of Nepali women, but a report in 2018 confirmed that over 18,000 males were also victims of trafficking that year. The proposed ban is both patriarchal and misogynistic.