When I turn on the news, I see female newscasters in revealing outfits and hear incredibly harsh critique of female leaders, specifically of their appearance. In the media, women’s merit is portrayed as purely sexual, with discussions of Hillary Clinton’s outfit choice trumping any talk of her policy. Fox News is an incredible perpetrator of this objectification of women.
The way in which women are portrayed in the media affects our culture and the realities of our government. Women are subjects of political news stories only 19% of the time, and of this lesser coverage it is much more likely that a woman’s physical features will be discussed over anything else. The way in which Fox News treats women is exemplary of these issues. In discussing women in the military, a Fox News representative stated that increased sexual assault of women in the military is something to be anticipated, and that women should leave the military to solve the issue. This typical analysis leads to the conclusion that Fox News endorses the complete sexualization of women and the assumption that as a result of their sexual nature women should not be in positions of power. A host of the show Fox and Friends has also stated that female anchors for the show are chosen by flipping through Victoria’s Secret Catalog’s, again confirming the assumption of the station that women can not be merited for anything more than their sexuality.
This active objectification by Fox News of women results in significant human rights violations. It creates a culture where women are not given equal opportunity and where they are viewed only as objects of sexuality. It belittles the intellect of women and perpetuates the idea throughout society that women cannot achieve any goals outside the realm of physicality.
Marie Wilson, founder of the White House Project that promotes empowerment of women towards government positions once said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” The portrayal of women by Fox News creates a media environment in which women can only be sexualized objects. Young girls and women are then part of a society that doesn’t allow them to have goals of leadership. The inverse of that quote shows girls that they can only be what they can see, which on Fox News is an objectified woman.
Please support this petition in demanding that Fox News not only give equal coverage to female leaders but that this coverage is in regard to their merit in leadership, intellect, and ideas. With strength in numbers we can show Fox News that if they do not change the way they cover women, they will suffer from a loss in viewers from those who will no longer tolerate the way in which the station objectifies and disregards all educational merit of one half of our population.
I have just signed a petition calling on Fox News to immediately change the way in which women are treated on their news station.
Your news station repeatedly reinforces a stereotype in which women can only be merited through sexualization and objectification. It results in creating a media and mainstream culture in which women are not appreciated for their intellect, only for their physical attributes. This results in women not aspiring to be leaders in society and for society to not see women as leaders. These consequences of your media portrayal are a violation of internationally recognized human rights for equal opportunity and representation.
Women leaders in politics and other realms are portrayed on your news station as sexual objects of scrutiny. You belittle the intellect, ideas, and leadership of half of the population by purely discussing their physical merit. You subject half of the population to this inferior treatment, as though reflecting a society in which women are overall inferior. This should not be the reality for women in the 21st century.
It is imperative that your station changes the way in which you portray women. I call on you to cease discussing physical attributes of female leaders and instead discuss their actual merit. I do not support a news station that treats women as though they are inferior to men. This is discrimination against half of our population that is equally as qualified and intelligent. Until these changes are seen, I will stop watching and supporting your station, as I do not support the subordinate status that women are currently given on Fox News.