ENOUGH Is ENOUGH
Body shaming? Sexism? This week’s had it all. Look’s Hannah Banks-walker reflects on how women are still being represented in the media…
‘Well, what a week it’s been for women everywhere. The year is 1953… oh no, wait. It’s not. It’s 2017. Not that you’d know it from some of the news stories dominating headlines. As two of the UK’S most powerful political figures met to discuss Brexit and the possibility of a second Scottish referendum on independence, the Daily Mail responded accordingly. By that, I obviously mean with an outrageous example of puerile, mindless sexism. We witnessed Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May reduced to their body parts under the headline ‘Legs-it’ claiming ‘there is no doubt that both women consider their pins to be the finest weapon’. No wonder David Cameron quit. How he put up with such rigorous objectification is beyond me. Oh no, that’s right, he didn’t. He’s not a woman.
Meanwhile, as writer, director and all-round overachiever Lena Dunham tries to go about her business, the world has other ideas. Recently, Lena felt there’d been so many comments about her weight loss, she took to Twitter to post: ‘Right now I’m struggling to control my endometriosis through a healthy diet and exercise. So my weight loss isn’t a triumph and it also isn’t some sign I’ve finally given in to the voices of trolls.’ Why did she do this? Because various ‘news’ sites and Twitter users had accused her of being a ‘hypocrite’ for daring to lose weight. Yes, hers has been a body considered ‘revolutionary’ but only because we’ve been taught that women in Hollywood should ascribe to one particular body type. And, more importantly, as Lena says herself, it’s her body and nobody else’s business what she does with it.
I for one am tired of witnessing this overt sexism, only to be told to ‘lighten up’ – which incidentally is pretty much what was suggested in response to the backlash over the front page (above). You know what? I’ll lighten up when women can just get on with their jobs without being reduced to their ‘pins’. I’ll lighten up when someone as intelligent and accomplished as Lena Dunham is judged on the high quality of her work and not her dress size. I will also lighten up when women are paid exactly the same amount as men for doing exactly the same job, not less. And I’ll lighten up when all women all over the world have access to the same opportunities as their male counterparts. Until that happens, you’ll find me fighting back against this outdated, ridiculous mentality. Enough is enough.’