There are some negative phenomena which are being promoted frequently in the Albanian media, giving them a level of popularity and fame, which in one way or another affects the psyche and behaviour of the audience. Among the negative phenomena that are spreading at a dizzying speed is an ugly form of sexism. A form of sexism that leaves a bitter taste when it comes to common sense. Being silent about this phenomenon is like becoming an accomplice in a crime.
Sexism in the media occurs precisely when the profile of the woman is objectified when her body is deliberately made primary by overshadowing or totally ignoring her abilities, opinions or thoughts. In other words, focusing on a single aspect, which is the appearance, behaviour or the outfit.
One of the most dangerous concepts of gender stereotypes is that one which confuses the freedom and independence of women with the woman who can be accessible and easily possessed. The woman, who is “free” to expose her body, dive into the bathtub and makes erotic gestures through a pornographic performance, displayed in the most important broadcasting period of the day, which promotes the model of the woman that, can be displayed anytime.
We should not confuse the way someone decides to express themselves, with the message they want to convey. Any woman who wants to express a certain message with her body is free to do so. On the other hand, media ethics regulators need to analyse more deeply the message that is being shared to our society and especially to the youth. The media authorities must analyse the broadcasting period as well as the way that message is being delivered (a form of censorship). A program, a script, or a show, beside commercialism and trying to grab the audience, must be focused on the message which is being delivered, by applying certain media ethics according to which the integrity and dignity of the human being, guaranteed by law, can not be violated, even when that being, intentionally or unintentionally, decides to step on them with both feet.
What is, in this case, the message delivered by the scene entitled “Make the hottest video that would break the Internet by promoting some food products in the bathtub?” If we want to sell products, do we have to use the image and body of the woman? In order to “go viral”, does a woman must be objectified? So that everything is achieved with “exposing as much as possible”? What is the message behind a scene where the woman is in the position of the one who “performs”, while on the other hand she is stimulated under exciting male whistling, even “helped” by some euphoric gestures of a man standing close to her, ready to support her in this performance?
The only message behind this whole scenario is sexism, which limits the perception and worldview of young people towards the image of women.
On the other hand, I was waiting for the reactions of our country’s most influential feminists and activists to such a phenomenon to overflow. However, apparently, we have already reached that stage where we are no longer impressed by those performances. Maybe some of them may call those performances freedom of choice, they call it Art!!
However, what impresses one more when talking about media and gender is that the women themselves also do the objectification of women, whether they are directors or moderators. This objectification, they do either by directing and dictating, or even by being silent!
Female sexism is even more disgusting!
How should those who are concerned about the issue of women react in this case? How should we all react, affected by the reality of the media today, as well as the daily messages conveyed to our young people?
Two things that can be done against these forms of sexism in the media are first, reporting it to AMA (Audio-visual Media Authority) by filling out the complaint form for violation of the code of media ethics. No matter how much distrust we may have towards such authorities and no matter how insignificant the complaint may seem to us, we must do it! We should do it as a sign of personal responsibility, as a desire and a modest step for change.
Moreover, the second is refusing such programs by boycotting the content; by not consume it ourselves and by not sharing it. Such shows do not deserve even a click. Even if the authorities do not take the necessary measures, at least the producers themselves will be forced to end this masquerade, for the sake of the only reason that has interested them so far: views number!