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Technologically Advanced Modern World - Essay Example

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Introduction In today’s technologically advanced modern world, media plays a very powerful role in the lives of people. Especially, the visual media has a strong grip on people’s mind. It not only influences the lifestyle of people but also their choices and their decisions regarding different aspects of life…
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Download file to see previous pages One such element is the image of women in the media. The image of women is distorted and misrepresented in visual media and hence, it has become a matter of concern for the society. This fact has been brought in open by feminists. In her UNESCO-funded study, Margaret Gallagher (1979) has raised her concern regarding the distorted image of women in media, as according to her, “media are potentially powerful agents of socialization and social change-presenting models, conferring status, suggesting appropriate behaviors, encouraging stereotypes” etc (Byerly & Ross 17). Hence, by repeatedly representing women as weak, irrational and ‘object’ for sexual pleasure, the media has damaged their image. Also, as far as the image of women in movies is concerned, the most disturbing image is the image of ‘monstrous-feminine’ in the horror movies. Feminists have observed that in horror movies, it is not the ‘females’ who are represented as a ‘monsters,’ but it is their femininity and the sexuality which is shown as horrifying and hence, monstrous (Byerly & Ross 21). This shows that it is the ‘male mind’ which tries to degrade the femininity through monstrous representation of females in horror movies. However, the theory that best helps people in understanding the representation of femininity and female sexuality as monstrous, is the theory of psychoanalysis, as it not only reveals the social structure that leads to it, but also the roots of misrepresentation of femininity as monstrous, that lies deep in the unconscious of male human beings. Image of Women In Movies Although there have been many changes in the technology and media, the image of women in the media has remained quite unchanged. Women have always been represented in cinema as weaker sex. The reason behind no change in the image of women in cinema is the unconscious aspects of the male mind, and the ideological concept of cinema, which are usually dominated by ‘males’ in the society (Mulvey 58). The unconscious aspect of the male dominated society, which considers women as nothing but an ‘object’ of desire or a weaker sex, is reflected in the female characters in the movies. Hence, cinema has become a mirror of the patriarchal system in the society. According to British film theorist and feminist Laura Mulvey, Hollywood has maintained its entertainment value by manipulating the mage of the women in cinema to please men’s visual desire of seeing women as sex object (Mulvey 59). Sadly, women are not only shown as an object of visual pleasure, but are also portrayed as human beings who are dependent on men for their social and personal status. The character and the role of woman is usually designed in such a way that she not only satisfies the unconscious sexual desire of men but at the same time, fits into the order of male dominated society. The dominant patriarchal order is woven in the erotic representation of women in cinema (Mulvey 59). However, what is more disturbing than the image of women as weaker sex is the monstrous image of women shown in the movies. The reason behind this lies in the unconscious fears that are harboured by male human minds and hence, can be explained with the aid of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis Explains Monstrous-Feminine Since ancient times, women have suffered secondary status and inferior treatment at the hands of men in the societies. Men treat women in ill ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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