Contemporary Media and Sexism : Exploring Girl Power and Sexual Empowerment
Overstreet, Morgan Kiah
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Mainstream media has been used a vehicle for patriarchy. Throughout the patriarchal structure, sexism thrives. My analysis aims to understand the influence of mainstream media in perpetuating sexism, through the question, ''What is the role of media's contemporary portrayals of females in reproducing sexism?" Two dichotomous arguments, one in support of sexual empowerment and the other opposing, frame my analysis. I then use concepts and theories in the study of anthropology, sociology, and psychology with a feminist lens to arrive at a multidimensional analysis. To support my claims, I examine popular films and TV series such as Mean Girls (2004), Easy A (2010), Bridesmaids (2011), Girls (2012), and Spring Breakers (2012). Popular icons such as Megan Fox, Beyonce, and Khloe Kardashian are also brought into my analysis. Lastly, to demonstrate the ways in which mainstream media still serves as a vehicle for patriarchy, through the reproduction of sexism, I present a case study on Miley Cyrus and her recent music video "'We Can't Stop" and her 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance.