Analysing the complex issue that is gender inequality, one may discover copious stakeholders, both human and non-human. Due to the severity of the issue it does involve all areas of society, some have greater involvements than others. With reference to the data I collected, the greater the number of actors involved in an issue significantly influences the severity of the response (i.e. emotional or factual).
Figure 5 communicates ideations of gender dysphoria, a condition of feeling one’s ‘emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex. The intertwining of colour and shapes explores this gender confusion in a neutral tone, allowing the audience to gage their own emotional response. Ultimately, highlighting the acceptance of gender fluidity within today’s society.
This image displays both male and female counterparts competing in a running race. Figure 6 provokes an emotional response, as it effectively depicts the disparity of genders within society. The metaphor touches on the prejudiced notion that mothers in the workforce are not as capable as, or cannot keep up with, fathers. This cartoon intrigues me, as society has progressed a lot further from this notion of workforce inequality, yet still has much further to go.
Inspecting bigoted sentence examples on Google Search, I began to notice that the language brought sexist definitions to life. Describing dated scenarios that allude to female oppression. In this example one reads “a nagging wife”, spreading the idea that wives are agonising or somewhat irritating. What all of these screenshots of definitions represent are manifestations of the social norms and constructs that have been embedded and perpetuated over time.
In light of female empowerment I stumbled upon this amazing comparison of comedian, Amy Shumer and Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite is perfectly sculpted with stomach rolls and imperfect anatomy and doesn’t reflect modern beauty standards. This image provides a poignant message on female empowerment through the effortless use of comparison and wit. By rectifying the damaging misconceptions of the ideal body type and eliminating the notion that there is such a thing as the ‘perfect body’, female empowerment will take a huge step into the right direction.
Figure 9 embodies strength, power and resilience, as the transgender women stands tall whilst politicking for gender equality and rights. Within this image one can establish the ways in which one can use their fame in order communicate and educate the public on important issues. Her confidence is striking and her physical and mental gender observed, encouraging positive connotations toward gender identity.
Statistics are immediately more shocking when they are represented visually. This info-graphic provides the viewer with an overwhelming understanding of unreported rapes purely through the visualisation applied. The emotional response that I feel from this image is deeply disturbing, ultimately highlighting the prevalence of rape culture in today’s society.
The above image points out the flaw within modern culture, commenting specifically on the detrimental female physique expectations. Contemporary society has made predominantly women but also men believe that in order to be deemed attractive by society you must succumb to certain standards. The way society shapes individuals’ perceptions of themselves breads insecurity and this, in my opinion, is very problematic. These ideals are problematic because it invites unhealthy behaviour and encourages self deprecation, such as eating disorders, depression and anxiety to name a few. This image reveals the idiocy of modern culture and identifies how stupid society is for surrendering to these unrealistic norms.
It is important for society to understand that different people are empowered by different things; once this is established harmony amongst genders will follow. I think that the message that this image conveys is extremely important in regards to women’s empowerment. The female gender is inundated with body shaming and appearance based judgment, which underlines the stresses and mortification that follows. Interestingly, how individuals’ dress is completely irrelevant to anyone other than themselves. I believe that women should tail what empowers them, as confidence stimulates mental and physical health in a positive direction.
To me this image explores strength and power through the intimacy of emotion. It is so important for men to feel comfortable with their own emotions, understanding that it is ok to reveal emotion on both ends of the spectrum. Society has built this hard male identity that demands to be obeyed, however men do cry. Not because they are weak or unmasculine, but because it is healthy, natural and they need to. In order to obtain a nourishing mental health, individuals need to release different emotions, yet men are instructed to do the exact opposite. I believe that this image communicates the destructiveness of male stereotypes and establishes the importance of combating them.
Exposing individuals who have and have not experienced gender based violence to confrontational imagery criminalises and brings the issue to life. Violence against women typically occurs behind closed doors with someone the victim trust, establishing the reason for hesitation when it comes to speaking up. The emotionless expression evokes a much more empathetic audience response because it is not glorifying the issue, merely just identifying the problem. The image effectively communicates the prevalence of violence against women, whilst also encouraging victims to come forward with their personal experiences.
In summary, all images involve a reoccurring stakeholder that plays a crucial part within the issues revolving around gender equality and female empowerment. The stakeholder may be identified at large as modern society. I find this particularly interesting because society is fighting to destruct this issue of inequality, however society is also the problem itself. By discussing and analysing images revolving predominantly around empowerment and equality I was able to gage which issues I respond more emotionally to. Understanding and establishing that I would like to delve deep in the issues revolving around sexist language and dialogue.
Written by Zara Hartwig
Figure 1: Primary source material
Figure 2: Primary source material
Figure 3: Primary source material
Figure 4: Primary source material
Figure 6: European Commission, Date Accessed: 20.08.2016, <http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/media/photos/kroll_tools_gender_equality>
Figure 7: Screenshot of Google dictionary
Figure 8: Self, 2016, This Body Positive Amy Shumer, Date Accessed: 20.08.2016, <http://www.notey.com/@makers_unofficial/external/9642453/this-body-positive-amy-schumer-meme-deserves-a-standing-ovation.html?utm_content=buffera44f0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer>
Figure 9: E. Sacks, 2014, Laverene Cox, Date Accessed: 20.08.2016, <http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/transgender-actress-laverne-lands-time-cover-article-1.1809861>
Figure 10: S. Beaulieu, 2012, The Truth About False Accusation, Date Accessed 21.08.2016, <http://theenlivenproject.com/the-truth-about-false-accusation/>
Figure 11: C. Gueren, 2015, 23 Body Positive Tips That Aren’t Garbage, Date Accessed: 21.08.2016, <https://www.buzzfeed.com/caseygueren/your-body-rocks?utm_term=.xvZd53r6dj#.mxje32kBeK>
Figure 12: P. Thereza, 2016, ABOUT THE SHOW RIGHT THERE IN YOUR BODY,Date Accessed: 20.08.2016, <http://www.fashionismo.com.br/2016/03/sobre-o-direito-de-mostrar-o-corpo-por-ai/>
Figure 13: Zac, 2016, What Real Men Cry Like, Date Accessed: 21.08.2016, <http://ahrtsock.tumblr.com/post/139930242275/maudfernhoutphotography-what-real-men-cry>
Figure 14: C. AYGÜN, Violence Against Women, Date Accessed: 21.08.2016, <http://www.cumhuraygun.com/?gallery=violence-against-women-02>