Every girl’s imaginary boyfriend…Gender and the Media.

When researching this week’s topic, an article I read recently came to mind instantly – Stop Saying “I Have a Boyfriend”.

Basically, the author discusses how when we women go out partying or appear at social gatherings where most people go to “pick up”, that using the excuse “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” when being hit on is belittling our female rights. The author, Alecia Lynn Eberhardt, included a tumblr repost to support her argument –

Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another male-bodied person more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.

After being in deep thought over this article, I started to agree with it. I’ve heard more of my female friends use the “I have a boyfriend” card as opposed to my male friends saying “I have a girlfriend” in order to dodge a bullet. Although I don’t think we are downgrading the female race by using this excuse, especially since it can become handy in some sticky situations, I don’t think it is necessary. But who do we have to blame for this? The media, of course. The representation of women in the media has been an ongoing debate for the past two decades. Our roles in the 1900s significantly reflected our beliefs and traditional ways of doing things, and unfortunately we are still some-what stuck in that time zone. The article also points out how women need to be more assertive – a trait that is often not associated with females, but with men.

Overall, I think it’s quite sad that we are still battling gender issues in the media after all these years.

One of my favorite examples of gender double standards in the media is on fat-shaming and celebrities. You can read it here at MamaMia.

References

Eberhardt, A.L., 2013, ‘Stop Saying “I Have A Boyfriend” To Deflect Unwanted Attention’, XoJane, viewed 28/04/2014, http://www.xojane.com/relationships/stop-saying-i-have-a-boyfriend

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