Jamaican Kincaid wrote a story, Girl, to illustrate the social expectation about how to be a girl – a good one. The story is impressive. The mother told the girl how to be caring, kindly, and supportive to people around her. Girls are expected to be able to wash clothes, cook delicious food, and behave properly to attract men. Those ideas are passed down from generations to generations. We do not know who first started it, but we know we have to listen to and follow those rules.
Not only in ancient era, but also nowadays, media is still trying to enforce this image of women. Commercials on TV and magazines have a big impact on how women should behave, what they are like, and how they should be. Media sets the ideal image of women with slim bodies, beautiful faces, and nice personalities. There is only one standard of what women are. Why do women have to be a same copy that looks exactly like those models from the magazines? One of the reason is that they can fit in the social expectation and become someone that men want to marry.
Media also creates a stereotype that a women’s future is depending on the man she marries. One advertisement I have seen on a popular female magazine says, “A carat or more. When a man’s achievement becomes a woman’s good future.” I can’t help but wonder why women can’t strive for their own future by themselves.
Another shocking advertisement from a magazine disgusts me. It sells perfume, and the slogan is, “Apply generously to your neck, so he can smell the scent as you shake your head ‘no’.” Those advertisements create a climate of violence against women. After reading this advertisement, men probably assume that when women say “no,” it actually means “yes.” Not only advertisements, but also pop songs enhance the passive image. Rihanna recently produced a new song. The lyrics are telling the audience that women like to be treated violently by men. What a shame! Pop culture implies that women want to be forced to have sex. That might be one of the reasons that crime against women, such as murders, kidnaps, and rapes, have increased in our society.
I will teach my daughter in the future that how to be tough and brave. There is nothing to be afraid of to be a woman. So that one day, women can really stand up for their rights and become happy. Well, I want to address again that I’m really not a feminist.