Biologically men and women are different. Since the 1980s, there has been an increase of gender as a cultural category. Socialisation exaggerates the differences between males and females, and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is a prediction about a belief or expectation, that sets in motion the behaviour of the individual, thus affecting the outcome of the situation, ultimately becoming a reality. Masculinity and femininity are social constructs, that according to Hall are constantly made and re-made depending on the historical context. Popular culture is where “women (and men) are offered the culture’s dominant definitions of themselves” (Storey, 2006) If an individual deviates from the set characteristics of their gender, it is seen as taboo, and the individual is marginalised (relegate to the fringes).
The sensation of the female body, “women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact.” (Mulvey, 1975) Whether it is via pornography, page three in The Sun or whilst socialising, the body is the key to femininity. Even while watching films, the audience is forced to view it from the perspective of a heterosexual male. For example, the way the camera lingers on the curves of the female body, it relegates women to the status of objects. The individual may potentially crave the attention; in beauty pageants, the aim is to be memorable. Society seems to care more about image, fashion and materialism. When every woman related to popular culture is a vision of perfection, it makes the majority of the population insecure. Living in a capitalist society, where women obsess about their appearances and beauty is associated with material possessions, cultural categories seem to only validate themselves further. Women are more than objects of affection; they can also obtain high statuses of employment, financial aid and intellect as well as being fully committed.
Women should respect themselves and hold their values high – women create kings and queens, and pave their way to greatness. Do not allow an ignorant male to lower your self-esteem, keep your head up high and move forward. Empower one another rather than trying to tear each other down, united we stand ladies. We have the power to truly change things for the better for women in a patriarchal society. We should compliment, encourage and work together, a popular saying goes: teamwork makes the dream work.
Name one thing you love about women.
Until next time, stay blessed and classy,