The objectification of women continues to permeate in modern society and many women participate, perhaps unwittingly, through the constant stream of sexually charged images posted on the internet and social media platforms. The roots of this phenomenon are likely the result of centuries of psychological misogynistic undercurrents. In Berger’s BBC episode 2 of “Ways of Seeing”, he discusses European nude female paintings and their correlation to the representation of women in the 1970s. Berger, quoting Kenneth Clark, states that “Being naked is simply being without clothes” but nude is a form of art. “Ways of Seeing” ep. 2 is eye-opening and it helps us recognize why being a woman can be quite an ordeal. Women are brought up to behave in a certain way that requires approval from others particularly men. Our own thoughts and opinions are carefully curated before we can express it. Women were made to feel a sense of inadequacy and be their own worst critic because the idea of being brutally judged and ridiculed is unbearable. I believe we have more control over our image and how we are depicted in today’s trendy age of social media however women are still objectified and still targeted by the male gaze even more at present. Beauty is bound to be competitive, Berger says. Women continue to endure online bullying and harassment because of how they look and act. There are millions of women influencers on Instagram /Tiktok and it’s an overly saturated online platform to say the least. Many of them, regardless of their fortes, agree to promote their ideas or products for different reasons. Some female fitness influencers, performers, artists, models, actors and others are in fact encouraged to show more skin and explore more of themselves which is even more pleasurable to the male eye. There are a lot of support groups that work towards women empowerment and change which makes women feel less superior and fight for gender equality. Despite these gains, many challenges still remain. Women are still underrepresented in politics, science, military, etc. It is still very much a male dominated world as much as we repel this truth. It is still and continues to be a work in progress.
3 thoughts on “Blog Post #2 – Ways of Seeing Episode 2”
I agree when you say that a womens opinion is carefully curated before she expresses it. We have to think about how it will sound to others, even other women. For example, old fashioned women who believe our purpose is to cater to men. They are often times more critical than men themselves. Makes you realize how standard these ideals were not too long ago.
I, as a woman, always ponder about what I have to say before it even comes out of my mouth. I am always tactful and conservative. Call me self-conscious and a little cautious (haha that rhymes) but this is how I was brought up. My mother always told me to be elegant and to always choose my words carefully. And I do! Even on Instagram, I have to think about what I post and make sure it’s perfect / acceptable to all my followers. Not that I have many and I do not claim to be a huge influencer but this is how my mind operates. I sometimes have the no-care attitude and post anyway. We are lucky to be in a generation that has a lot of support for women. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Joselyn!
Catherine, this is an insightful post. You raise important aspects of this issue here. I’m wondering if you could go into more depth about the similarities between what Berger discusses and what you observe in our current media environment.
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