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Women in media

January 27, 2016

Tennis star Serena Williams embraces her muscular body.

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Tennis star Serena Williams embraces her muscular body.

Since the dawn of the 19th century, women have been portrayed as skinny, submissive, and sexualized objects in the eye of the media around the world.

The Feminism movement is growing, and more and more celebrities, leaders, and people in general are starting to speak out on the subject. Word is spreading, and it’s spreading fast.

Take Ronda Rousey for excellent example. She’s notorious in the octagon as an UFC fighter with a rather respectable winning record, yet she get’s insulted on her looks. She’s not built how women are portrayed in ads, that’s for sure, with over half of her 147 pound weight being solid muscle.

On another note, Serena Williams, the winner of 21 tennis Grand Slams, also gets brutalized for her “masculine” body.
Williams tells DuJour Magazine, “ ‘My sister Venus was so tall and slim, and just being in a society where a lot of people are really thin, it was hard… especially as an athlete… But I had to learn how to embrace myself and embrace my curves… and that’s something a lot of people can relate to.’”


Feminism has been taking big leaps in the past years at SHS, too.

“I think it’s better now than it’s ever been before, and women are portrayed as strong and independent… I think that women’s roles are changing, and the fact that we have a strong candidate for presidency is also shifting the way we see women, “ states Photography teacher, Mr. Dillinger.

Dillinger goes on to say that “all around the world, women are becoming more respected as equals. The thought that gender or sex can make one person better than another isn’t legitimate.” He makes the point that feminists are seeming to agree with: women are gaining respect as equals.

Now, to clear a misconception about feminism, it’s used as a means to make women equal. Or, it’s supposed to.
“I think that if it’s used to make women and men equal, it’s a great thing, but when people use feminism as an excuse to be sexist to guys, then it’s useless,” states Zoey Fuller, freshman.

I think it’s hilarious, like, that people like say that my body looks masculine or something like that. I’m just, like, listen just because my body was developed for a purpose doesn’t mean it’s masculine… There’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose,”

— Rousey

Feminism is important to people like Serena Williams in order to put her on the same level as men in the media and display her as strong; she is someone to respect.

Like with any ideal, however, there are extremists. It’s important to remember that feminism is for the benefit of both genders, without this, feminists, and women in general, will not be portrayed as self-sufficient and valued, they’ll be viewed as power-hungry and unfair. That is not what feminism is about.

“I respect feminism, but some people take it too far. The genders should be equal, of course!” states Deyling Machado, sophomore.
Genders should not be used to put people down. Saying one ‘throws like a girl’ is not an insult, and calling a girl masculine for being muscular isn’t either.

Serena Williams faces this problem every day as certain media outlets say that her athletic body looks manly.
“She looks like a girl with a lot of muscle. She should be treated like everyone else,” states junior, Malik Pyatt, on the tennis star.

Ella Verderame sums up the basics of what feminism is all about: “I think feminism goes back to the suffrage period and I think it’s good to stick to our roots. I think it’s good that not only women are feminist, but men too, and we’re all fighting to be equal. Some people tend to get aggressive. I like to be peaceful instead.”

Gender equality is an issue that’s been relevant for far too long, but here at Summerville High School, it’s great to see that it’s finally being addressed.

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