Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Objectification of a Gender

So, to date, five women have been murdered in Ipswich. Clearly, this is the work of some twisted individual with severe misogynistic tendencies. Given the nature of these murders, you would expect the media to display a certain amount of sensitivity, but you would be wrong. The media has instead concentrated on sheer sensationalism. Unsurprisingly, the main culprit has been The Sun. Just take a look at yesterday's front page (hat-tip to Obsolete):

Notice the large five right in the centre of the page, just to make absolutely clear how many women have been murdered (as if the pictures weren't enough). Furthermore, notice the fact that they have already applied a moniker to the perpetrator. I have always been rather concerned about applying monikers to people who commit these kinds of crimes. Calling him the 'Suffolk Ripper' gives him a certain celebrity and notoriety that these types of people crave. You can imagine this disturbed individual sitting at home salivating at the prospect of going down in history as the 'Suffolk Ripper'.

However, the thing that really bothers me about the way The Sun reports crimes like this, is the sheer hypocrisy. Clearly, this individual treats women as pieces of meat, objects beneath his contempt, feminism is not a concept he would recognise. The same is true of Murdoch's tabloid filth. Despite the appointment of a woman as editor of The Sun, the newspaper has continued to have a rather hostile outlook on feminism. Just a quick glance at their website confirms your worst fears about just how blatantly they miss the point about murderers like this one. The following is taken from an 'article' (I use the term in the broadest sense of the word) on the murders:

Hang on a minute, what's that to the left of Peter Sutcliffe? It's got to be worth a closer look.......

On the very same page as a piece about these disgusting, misogynistic crimes, there is a link to an article on Mariah Carey in which she says she 'likes to get her kit off'. They just don't get it do they?? When women are reduced to nothing more than sexual objects by the media, it is little wonder that some depraved souls go out and treat women in such a way. But then, the media aren't generally interested in morality - after all, sex sells, right? In the case of the Murdoch press, morality is the least of their concerns. As long as this process continues, the problems will remain. The continued objectification of women, via the media, is a stain on our society and our indulgence of this practice in popular culture is something we should all be ashamed of.