March 6, 2016

Social Media: The Cause for Gender Inequality

Jessie Ruchman ‘18


Women might never be viewed as equals to men and the reason is simple: social media.
While the only purpose women once had was tending to their homes and their families’ needs, today’s women are empowered; they own businesses, participate in sports and can be found employed in almost every occupation.
Considering that women practically have endless opportunities in many societies around the world, a great amount of progress has been made toward gender equality, yet inequality still persists. Between significantly lower salaries, opportunities and expectations women have than men, women have always lacked a certain respect that is inherently given to males.
This lack of respect is also manifested in social media usage. In addition to traditional media like magazines or music videos, applications such as Instagram and Snapchat constantly shame the female body. Girls are led to believe that they must reach a certain physical appearance, or else they will be inferior in society.
In most case scenarios involving celebrities or social figures, photo-editing software Adobe Photoshop is used to make women look flawless. This is planting an unrealistic thought in girls’ heads that they must look the way that these successful models and actresses do.
Setting practically unattainable physical standards makes a vast majority of women feel insecure, therefore causing them to hold back from fulfilling their full potential in society.
Not only do these unrealistic physical standards hurt many individuals, they also enforce male dominance in a society. People are perpetuating the idea that women exist for the sole purpose of being physically admired, when in reality, they have potential to do everything that men do or more.

With this mindset, people will never be able to find equality between both genders. Until women have total respect from men, they can never have parallel roles in society. The only way to attain this respect is to stop demoting women to symbols or objects. Once the use of Photoshop to alter women’s bodies is eliminated and by respectfully representing the females in the media, a huge step towards gender equality would be taken.

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