Portrayal of Women in the world of Media and Advertisement: A Critique

 In recent years advertisers and media have received criticism from a wide variety of sources concerning the manner in which women are portrayed in mass media and advertisements. The critics state that the women shown in ads are too often “only housewives”, stupid or incompetent; dependent on men; decorative or sex objects; passive; and not involved in making major decisions (Advertising Age, 1975). Studies indicate that nearly three-quarters of all female characters as shown in advertising and media, are underweight, and those that are overweight are often the subject of comments or jokes about their bodies made by male characters. The use of body doubles for actresses who have less than idealized body proportions is thought to contribute to unrealistic expectations both men and women have about women’s bodies. Women of average or normal appearance feel inadequate or less beautiful in comparison to the overwhelming use of extraordinarily attractive women by media. The problem is not only the images that are portrayed, but also those that are not.  For example, women’s sports receive far less air time than men’s sports on network and cable programming. In movies too the number of roles for leading women is far below than that of men. A study conducted in the UK found evidence that anorexia nervosa is a socially transmitted disease and exposure to skinny models may be a contributing factor in the cause of anorexia nervosa. While some feminists view mass media in general to be objectifying, they often focus on pornography as playing an egregious role in habituating men to objectify women. The item numbers in bollywood movies cross all the limits of vulgarity on the name of entertainment. Such accepted trends of moral degradation on the name of cheap recreations increase the likelihood and acceptance of sexual violence. 

There is a need to anchor the solely commercial and irresponsible attitude of media and advertising agencies as regards portraying women and there must be concrete debates about responsibility of mass media towards social status of women, their empowerment and developing a positive attitude towards their roles and capabilities. 

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How to Develop Life Long Learning Communities? ……….. Some Ideas

Learning continues life long, deliberately or undeliberately/unintentionally. But the challenge is to incorporate formal learning into lifelong learning communities always imparting solutions and satisfying queries as and when required, enlarging the access of institutions imparting learning of any level and kind without boundaries. Creating critical thinkers and expectations of continuous learning requires highly credible resources to be available, easily found, and recognized for their quality among the abundance of information propagated so freely on the Web. Promising initiatives and continually evolving services are the crying need that would provide scholars and learners the unfettered ability to create, access, and use knowledge on a global scale.

There is a need for a more structured approach to develop lifelong learners and doing a better job at providing them with resources than most theological and religious educators have done in the past. Developing lifelong learners among students is an important aim; however, it is still needed to ask how these lifelong learners can be aided once they leave our institutions for an environment of constant change. There are some very effective tools already prevailing around. Educational institutions may take help of one of such tools which possess a vast influence today: The Social Networking Sites. They may involve therein keeping the flame of learning alive for a life time and that will also help to form a bridge between the tyro and the virtuoso. The senior/experienced and the successful ex-students may be in contact with coming generations to guide and counsel and to illuminate their way. They may also initiate media centers for lifelong learning through teleconferencing/telecommunication to impart help and solutions to their alumnae’s and others with curiosities as well. It requires will, it requires effort and some investment (physical/mental/ financial) too but it is worth it. 

Does Our Education Really Educate Us ??

“Teen shoots many at school, 15 killed”, “School student stabs teacher”,“ Four College students abducted for forgery, made billions by fraud”, “High school students made MMS of classmate, arrested”, “Engineering student hacks reputed MNC account”

Such headlines aren’t a surprise when we pick up the morning newspaper and this phenomenon doesn’t confine to a specific culture/society or environment. It is global. What’s that which makes these happenings take place in such plenty? Why does our education system more and more failures to actually educate the generation? What’s injecting this ascending hazard among mid-education young fellows? What is that which proclaims so called education process a fatal fiasco? Where did moral shaping and strong character building extinguished from education process which happens to be the mightiest tool of socialization? Where do we need to plaster? Please share your concerned views and healing remedies…