Friday, January 27, 2012

Censorship and Media

Having watched the Miss-representation movie, I was shocked to learn that media takes up about 10 hours and 45 minutes of our lives. That is an unrealistically large amount of time. Most of us don’t even sleep that much! I think that the amount of presence of media in our lives further makes concrete that Feminism in today’s day and age is no a lost cause. The documentary clearly showed the deplorable effects of media on today’s women. What’s even scarier than the eating disorder or the girls dealing depression is that media and what we internalize from the media is becoming a part of and is being rooted in our mass (collective) psyche.

I know that Van Zoomen critiques the feminist transmission model of communication. She asserts that “The idea that mass media ‘distort’ the reality of women’s lives gives a clue as to how in these models ‘reality’ is understood. Apparently a world of objects, events, situations and processes is assumed to exist independent of and prior to human perception.” To an extent I agree that yes we human beings are not simply mirrors that we accept everything we have been told and reflect it. I further agree that we are thinking beings and hence should be able to critically analyze the material that is being given to us. However after being bombarded with certain messages for over 10 hours and 45 minutes every day, how can we distinguish our thoughts from that which is being relayed to us by the media? In addition, Tuschman had stated the girls from a very young age are being influence by the media. While these young girls can be taught to critically think, it’s obvious that at 3 -5 years of age that they won’t be able to critically analyze what’s being presented to them on TV and distinguish what is right and wrong. How then can we create change in this society, if the vulnerable and innocent are not being thought about and are not being considered?

I think one of the greatest battles this society faces today in terms of exploitation at the hands of the media is the issue of censorship. The society we live in today is asking to what extent the government should be allowed to censor media. The might reason that if the government starts censoring violence and sexual images first, would they further go onto censor what they think is right and wrong (something the public might not agree with)? I think the only solution to this problem is to ask, to encourage the public who watches this content to think critically about what they are seeing and to not accept everything at face value. As far as young impressionable children are concerned parents should be able to monitor the content they are watching and encourage them to think about what’s being showed on Television.

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