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.
Molly Rothschild started this petition with a single signature, and now has 393 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.