MEDIA AND HUMAN RIGHTS :WOMEN IN TELEVISION DEPICTION AND DISTORTION IN INDIA

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Media is not only a mirror of the society but also an instrument of political, economical, cultural, social change. Its main aim is to spread noble ideas of the people and the expression ,thought, perception, feelings and other aspects .It must expose social evils and help the eradication of discrimination, inequality, race, color, gender and other sources of violence. This is the period of “Information Explosion” and this age is considered as the “Age of Information” this growing trend has made the involvement of youth, men, women, children in shaping their life patterns as well as providing a better outlook of socialization pattern.
While coming to the role of women in media its narrow. Women contribute half of the total population in our country 35% contribute in media and anchoring them daily. Women are gradually providing this worth and making and indelible mark in the media world sweeping out in various roles they as reporters, writers, news analyzers in print and broadcast media, anchoring, compeering programmers and effective discussions.
20% of our country population are youths they are fully mobilized by media ,but coming to women they don’t know how women are shown the representation of her in media is wrongly shown as sexual objects, glamour dolls, skimpily dressed, villains and shown violent which may lead the society to intimate relationships as well as make gaze over media .In this context television is massively projected as a effective role of depicting and distorting women in the fold of commoditization of her body parts which is the biggest violation of human rights which is a growing trend.

Submitted: July 20, 2012

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Submitted: July 20, 2012

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MEDIA AND HUMAN RIGHTS :WOMEN IN TELEVISION DEPICTION AND DISTORTION IN INDIA

Now a days a fast growing and everlasting forms of communication could be done only with the help of media. The  importance of media has gone to an wider extend of providing basic information knowledge, reality,  socialization, shaping the perception of the individual as well as gains a way leading the country towards its up gradation as a whole.

Media is not only a mirror of the society but also an instrument of political, economical, cultural, social change. Its main aim is to spread noble ideas of the people and the expression ,thought, perception, feelings and other aspects .It must expose social evils and help the eradication of discrimination, inequality, race, color, gender and other sources of  violence. This is the period of “Information Explosion” and this age is considered as the “Age of Information” this growing trend has made the involvement of youth, men, women, children in shaping their life patterns as well as providing a better outlook of socialization pattern.

While coming to the role of women in media its narrow. Women contribute half of the total population in our country 35% contribute in media and anchoring them daily. Women are gradually providing this worth and making and indelible mark in the media world sweeping out in various roles they as reporters, writers, news analyzers in print and broadcast media, anchoring, compeering programmers and effective discussions.

20% of our country population are youths they are fully mobilized by media ,but coming to women they don’t know how women are shown the representation of her in media is wrongly shown as sexual objects, glamour dolls, skimpily dressed, villains and shown violent which may lead the society to intimate relationships as well as make gaze over  media .In this context television is massively projected as a effective role of depicting and distorting women in the fold of commoditization of her body parts which is the biggest violation of human rights which is a growing trend.

 

Who is a Woman?

Women denote a social or cultural category of females as gendered persons. She is an adult female of the human race .She has all biological qualities like men have ,she can  think, she can speak ,she is the creator of new generation. But she is not considered as a status of the same gender, she is portrayed, exploited and discriminated is the living world.

 

Women and media:

Women and media play a vital role now days. Media which influences all sets of people through Newspaper, Television, Films, and others had provided a wider social change. But doesn’t had changed the pattern of women no it has not she is considered as an object sexual harassment, glamour doll, oppressed, depicted and distorted one. She has been portrayed daily in the media as commoditized object of advertising her body to sell the products of all MNC’s and local companies.Itcould also say one of the marketing trends of female bodies of male gaze. Media treating women is narrow. On  films as well as in the press  and the broadcasting media women are typically under-represented and cannot go further than the confines of home and family. These are all considered a factorial form of media where she is treated as an inferior sex and inferior status where she is not socially, economically and culturally portrayed. It has portrayed stereotypical sensational images of women accompanying the body of politic in the media. Due to various efforts of Feminists they are coming forward to make the issues come out of from them and struggle for their freedom.

 

Women in media:

The role of women in media started off from the 1960’s onwards when television becomes the part of the society. From that period onwards women who were show in the newspapers, films and television got much importance on her. Most of the media corporation’s were owned by big MNC’sas well as big business who was all males. So, they were not conscious about women so they started exploiting them as a weapon of attracting their audience and to improve their ratings. It may also sand the image which were shown in media was streestyphycal in nature where she was not given importance and under-represented as inferior sex. She is being COM modified as an idol of sensational hum our even though there also happen the brighter side media takes a major role in representing women issues and giving importance on their counter paths of rich emotional and rational thinking of them. Women are proving their work as an important means of indelible mark in the media world; they are shown as news readers, analyzers in print and broadcast media, anchoring, compeering radio jockeys, and in films.

 

Women portrayal in media:

Portraying women is common now days where she is being exploited day today by the means of her ignorance and not aware of any situations. Why she is portrayed? It’s due to male dominant society where she is considered as inferior sex of men and she could only serve as a homemaker or a mother, so regarding Medias context on women is irrational and under exploited as a social evil of the community. She is unsecure in doing works and exploited in the name of working conditions in media. In what waysdoes the media look a women if we analyze it would be owe some, she is considered as an inferior one a body of commoditized advertisement where she is exploited by big MNC’s and big business corporations in the name of providing entertainment to the audience. They don’t think of women at all they need  to keep hold of their audience so they  use women as a burning firework of extrotified glamour,skimmply dressed, fashionable and making up the males gaze over them.

 

 

Historical background of women in television:

Women in television started in 1960’s with the countries like U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R and other developed countries. In the context of India also startedafter the 1960’s only where Doordarshan played an important role in it. Major serials like log bunniyad which attracted all sets of people. the serial which where shown was glamorous which made an idea that television was meant for glamour .it was the starting of women to be commoditized as a glamour doll as well as to show their  body of advertising big MNC’s and big businessman. It was during 1991 where satellite channels as well as cable channels came into force where woman where used as a commoditized objects in major channels for making audience attracted and improving their rating .catering ,youth programmers, business were all advertised by women as a commoditized girl. These trends are growing now days in this commoditized world. Each television combat with each other in order to attract the people by beautiful women with skimpily dressed fashionable to make the males gaze and get attracted to these programmers.

 

Women depiction in TV serials:

Television has made a huge impact in the last decade. Serials have been moved a great deal on portraying strong characters of women in 1980’s Udhaan,RajiniKalyani which impressed all kinds of women. Today there is an overdose of serials and focuses women as ruthless, brutless, ignoring characters. Popular serials called  K.serials by star network, to Zee TV’s bahuramain,hargar kuch kata hai,Sony TV’s thodi khusi thode gam and khwash,Sun TV’s kollangal, kasthuri,megala, thiru mathi selvi,Kalaignar TV’s thekathi ponnu, Jaya TV’s roja,Raj TV’s geethanjali,Star Vijay’s Madurai,etc. these homemade  shows focus women as an family oriented relationships. The concept clearly says that women could be only as a homemaker maintains the households, being a good wife and good mother to her kids. But she is exploited in the means of serials like characters which are unrealistic, ignoring characters where she is not represented in a right position at all. Most of the television serials which are shown are fully stereotypically in nature where men go to the office and women are shown are light of approval and disapproved that she stays on home which means that they don’t have work at all. Women are shown as billions who go for power of hunger in the role of stereotyping which comprises full of vices. This is the vamp of anti-heroine where women portrayed as ultra modern women while she works as a plunging neckline, bold, shorthair, ruthless, and villains.

 

 

 

Comodification of women in Advertisements:

Advertisement is one of the prominent roles in the television most of the television channels run out of advertisements only. It plays huge target of attacking and struggling. Involve is the crucial sexual harassments also which eight between advertising, consume product industries. Why women are used in advertisement? Women‘s goal is to attract on man. So her body is executed as an advertisement where male gaze would be there and the product would be sold out easier. In India 75% of women in television are commoditized in advertisement where she plays a glamorous, skimpily dressed, sexual objects, sexy dolls, etc.

Whereas men are shown for advertising cars, business, jobs, laptops companies (Acer, HCL, Sony) and job websites like Monster.com, Times job.com. For advertising large bind of fashionable jewels, which shows the symbol of Indian of marriage? Some advertisements like cooking in the kitchen related with Vim Bars,  Maggi, Sunflower oil, etc. LIC, Bajaj alliance insurance which project women as alone for safety policies when husband is not there you have an insurance it shows women cannot be without men and for her security she needs it. Like serials, advertisements depict women in a glamorous manner. Being fair is now a day’s claimed by various unfair women where, Fair and Lovely, Fair Ever focus women should be fair then only they could get a handsome gay. Many of the innocent girls seeing these advertisements get cheated daily. Million of vulnerable girls spend more time to beautify themselves. Advertising frequently commodities women’s body into eroticized zone like hair, face, leg and breast which shows the exploiting of women sexuality. Women and their bodies sell all items of food, clothing, cars, computers, inner garments. Men’s products like cigarettes, liquor, and briefs women models are used as glamour dolls. Women used as glamour girls before the camera which make the males gaze over thousand of teen ages are stacked to it.

 

Women portrayal in Music videos:

This is also a part of television which involve young youth of boys and girls to make videos and music albums which are now days very popular. The most popular songs of the olden decades are remained by mindless and heartless people by nostalgic melodies giving vulgar and violent twists for the youth now days. The music videos where women who involve in it are shown as bare and half naked bodies to attract men with a role purpose of selling it. So, whenever a video is released its subscription and the dealership go high. The music industry has such an impact on youth by making women as a sexual object in touching her privacy as well as making out a tantalizing choreography which is a low level degradation of sexual abuse. These kinds of music albums would just mislead the youth to have intimate relationships and indulge in casual sex. Most of these albums make women skimpily dressed and make them turn and twist their body to make males gaze and cover the audience to hold their seats. When youth see these types of videos separately they involve in sexual abuses. Melody Queen Asha Bhonsle has said “Remixing old melodies and then making women dance atrociously, ruins the aesthetics of the music and the dance”

 

 

Women portrayal in Bollywood / Kollywood:

It could be said without women there is no cinema at all. From the early beginning of cinema she is own as on centre part of attraction. Most of women shown in India films are depicted as gently, heartless, ruthless, subservient, often women are used a village girl or a city dweller. Women in cinema start with an object of love and ends in marriage. All films which as shown are oriented with her and she is used as a colorful splash to the storyline. From the 1980’s this trend is ongoing and showing women as glamorous from Madhu Balla to Rani Mukarjee, Simran to Shrya, Amal to Dimple Kapadia, Aishwarya to Katreena kaif where they are all used as sexual objects in India cinema who are expressing their lips and wiggle their hips to the audience. A commercial film is also often loaded with songs and dances where women should dance with rain soaked dresses, tighter and skimpily dressed, seductive scenes, showing their breasts. Some of the songs which are meaningless which scrap them vulgarly songs like Choli Keh Peachey kya hey, Chese bade hey musth, etc. Women’s body in considered as an attractive one so the films and shots taken are all oriented with sexual passion in order to cover male and audience. Naturally to show them bright and colorful before the camera women are distorted with push-up inner garments to heavier their breasts or bullock paddling is used. The actions which are carried are mimic and sexual movements in order to sexualizing the women’s body in benefit of the male. Moreover our aged heroes act only with the 18 year old heroines which is a biggest trend going where our old heroes may kiss the heroines, dance with them, sing with them what a crucial one it is how women are considered an old man who is a father status to that women are made and exploited in the of cinema. The latest release of Om Shanthi Om, where Sharukh Khan who is 44 of age who acts with the heroine Deepika Badona, As well as superstar Rajini Kanth who 58 acts with Shrya who is 28 of age in Sivaji which of these two films were Biggest Block buster in Indian cinema.

Women depiction in Sports channels:

Sports channels mainly focus only upon men they are primarily devoted for them. In our country our national game is hockey and cricket has gained much importance over it. Sports programmers’ shows men are dominants, highly competitive, strength and high levels of discipline. The only sports popular person of women in media is Sania Mirza who is a tennis player where camera roles around her. Why do women in sports are not over coming except few like Anju Boby George, P.T. Usha, Maleshwari. Why they are ignored, why do sports channels only focus only on male? Will it change its role of taking initiative to bring out women in all fields of sports?

 

Women depiction in Fashion Channels:

Fashion channels fully focus women as indistinct done only thing this owned by big MNC’s they involve in the role of co modification where they make women to contest in Miss World and Miss Universe. They are used as advertisers for their products when they win these contests for one year. The winners of this contest are not allowed to marry but can travel all over the world, dress, speak as per the directives given by the MNC’s.  These fashion channels do these programmers for live telecast and make the audience to make use of the products and make their body trim, externally beautiful shaping and managing etc. So the women showed in these channels on being exploited to wear colorful dazzling clothes, transparent naked clothes, half naked suits, skimpily dressed costumes in the name of fashion. Moreover applying many costumes, bleaching pigments and other sorts of things make them to be attractable and audience is considered as one of the major counterpart in this. Even politics is being inserted in this where In may 1994 Miss Susmita Sen was crowned Miss Universe in Philippines was and Miss world to Aishwarya Rai in South Africa as soon as India signed in GATT.

Women depiction in standup comedy / Reality shows:

Many of the comedy show which is conducted have only the winners of male only. No women has successful finished the comedy shows with prizes. All the jokes which are said by mere are all related with women only and many jokes which are said about women are said before male judges. If we think, is this a comedy? Hurting a women is saying about her auspiciously before the live programme or in the comedy shows and winning prices does is it show victory to a men. Moreover the judges are men they all work out of picking up men as talented one. If we see Sun TV’s “Asathapovadhu yaru” it is fully oriented with men who say jokes about women and they win prizes the judges are all fully men and the guest who is called is also a male. The only women is that programmed is to introduce and compeering one who says breakers and introduces the guest.

 

Women in other programmers:

Whereas other programmers women are shown in Cartoon films as well as in cartoons channels are portraying them daily where boys are shown as traditional male who involves in sports, traveling, causing trouble, etc. whereas a girls who involves as an household who looks after her family, talking on phone playing with dolls, reading books and helping her mother in house work. Most of the channels like Pogo, Cartoon Network, Jetix, Animax, Hungama TV, focus bravery icons of Batmen, Spiderman, Hercules,Super man, Power Rangers, George of the Jungle, Tarzon. These characters are fully male oriented where they are independent and fully moving. Female characters are shown as affectionable, gentle, dependent, sensational, humorous, nurturing, etc.

 

Human Right’s perspective on women in media:

Women contribute half of the total population in our country 35%of them contribute in media and other related activities. Various laws has been enacted by our Government and Commissons has been formed even though it has formulated various laws and acts it has  failed  to execute them .according to human rights perspective it is considered as a sexual abuse  where women are not given their rights to execute their freedom ,liberty, expression and other forms. As well as the media focuses mostly on various issues and not considering women as a counterpart at all. Only few channels focus on women and that to on religious, horoscopes, cookery, fashion and beautification. Some of the daily’s also focus women as cover page photos and articles where she is abusely dressed to attract their subscribers they also focus the teenagers to get stickked to it .But it doesn’t say all channels are alike many channels focus on women issues, problems faced by them which could be expressed in the field of media. Where NHRC makes a major role of receiving complaints regarding women issues as well as the NCW also receives complaints regarding the sexual abuses which take place in media and in other parts of the country where it takes a particular responsibility in filing cases as well as asking reports from the concerned government regarding this.

 

Various Acts and reports representing Women issues in Media:

Portrayal of women in media has been big concern it was during 1975 it was noted by the ‘Committee On The Status Of Women”, it stated out certain recommendation in avoiding the portrayal of women should be stopped out. Later during 1986 the indecent REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN (PROHIBITION) ACT was introduced its main aim is to provide proper regulation of representation of women in media. It prohibits indecent representation of women through advertisements, books, writing, paints, and figures or in any other manner. Section 4 prohibits the sale, hire, production, distribution, circulation, sending by post any book, pamphlet, slide, film, writing, drawing, painting, etc which contains indecent representation of women in any forms.

The National perspective plan for women (1988-2000) explain that the media should project women in unorganized sectors as workers not merely performing duties of mother or daughter. Advertisements displaying women as women as sex symbols and using them for sales promotion should be seriously discouraged. It either felt that it was equality necessary not to convey sex linked division of labor or women’s predilections with feminine per suit through conventional and traditional stereotypes women’s programmes should be telecasted at least one hour in a day. Awareness with regard to problems of women in unorganized section is necessary for both men and women. Media and the programmers should be a flexible one.

Prasar Bharathi (Broadcasting corporation of India) Act 1990 lays down its powers and functions, the need to inform and stimulate the national consciousness in regard to the status and problem of women, paying special attention to the up liftmen of women. Doordarshan plays an important role and a powerful instrument to speed the message of and assist in the overall improvement in the status of women, the government used this facility wisely and well.Beijing platform for action, It was highlighted in Beijing conference that lack of gender issues and can find stereotyping gender can be found in public and private, local, national and international media. Print and electronic media in most confines do not provide a balance picture of woman’s deserve life and contribution to society in a changing world.

THE GLOBAL MEDIA MONITORING PROJECT (GMMP):

It is the representation of women and men in mass-media. On 16 February 2005, hundreds of women and men in 76 countries around the world participated in the third GMMP, 13000 news items on TV, radio and in magazines were monitored various professionals in media where involved in this. To India it electronic media organizations across English and regional electronic media was monitored.

The report submitted on 2005 stated out that the survey which was taken in 76 countries from 1995 till now 17% of news devoted to women and marginally during 2000 it became 18% and between 2000-2005 it has increased from 18% to 21%. The overall representation of women is low participation is due to the news which are linked with percepations of women’s status in the society as a whole. Women’s view is not considered was important as men. in India 35% of anchors are women its compared with 21% of overall countries specifically in television its 14% 17% of women in news are projected as women shown in news doesn’t have specified occupation that women in education and Government employees. Only 5% have gender challenging, stereotypes and 91% do not highlight either gender equality or in equality.

NCW (National Commission for Women):

National Commission for women has suggested modifications in the Act and elaborates upon ways to strength the in it and make it workable so that the objectives can be achieved.

The NCW recommended that section 2 (b) of the act be modified to read as ‘Derogatory representation of women means the depiction in any manner of the figure of a women, has form of body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being derogatory to, or denigrating, women and is also likely to deprive, corrupt or endanger public more bitsy or morals’. This definition says depiction of women in, any manner of her body or any part thereof would amount to indecent or derogatory representation if it has the tendency to make women as a sexual object. The tendency to present a woman as a sexual commodity for man’s pleasure or to glorify women’s subordination to man as an attribute to womanhood or the effect of being indecent or being derogatory, to order igniting a women or it is likely, to deprave, corrupt or injure public morality or morals. The latest reports of NCW has accomplished that women who are abused in media are now days increasing a lot.

Conclusion:

Even though there are various laws protecting women representation in media but it has failed to incorporate it in media. The tendency of presenting women as a sexual commodity for satisfying men’s pleasure or to glorifying women’s subordination to men as an attribute to womanhood or the effect of being indecent or degrading .It is the role of human rights to safeguard women representation in media providing a proper means of broadcasting rules and effective measures should be taken in carrying out the violators of television channels. And it is also the duty of all to rise the voices against these atrocities which takes place against women.

B.E.GEORGE DIMITROV

RESEARCHER,

DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION,

GANDHIGRAM RURAL INSTITUTE,GANDHIGRAM,

DINDIGUL(D.T) TAMIL NADU,INDIA.

 

Bibliography

  1. P. B. Sawant, “Media and Democracy”, Vir Bala Aggarwal(ed)” Media and Society: Challenges and Oppurtunities”, New Delhi, Ashok Kumar Mital Publications, 2002
  2. Bindhu Nair, “Female Bodies and the Male Gaze: Luara Mulvey and the Cinema”, Johair Jain, Sudha Rai(ed), Films and Feminism, New Delhi, Raiwat Publications, 2002
  3. Virnda Mathur, “Women in Indian Cinema Fictional Constructs”, Johair Jai n, Sudha Rai(ed), Films and Feminism, New Delhi, Raiwat Publications, 2002

Articles

  1. S. Stan Nago, “ Media Images of Women”, Womens Link, April- June, 2006
  2. Parul Chand, “Armed with Camera Women in Electronic Newsmedia: Current Status and key Challenges Ahead”, Womens Link, April- June, 2006
  3. Dr. Om Raj Singh, “Women and Media: Portrayal of Super Women is Dangerous”, Social Welfare, July 2003
  4. Meenu Anand, “Women in Television: Depition and Distortions”, Social Action, Vol.57, October- December, 2007

 

 


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