STORY BY VICTORIA TRAMP
Catcalling and sexual harassment has always been a problem for women. However, within the past decade, both of these have become much more prominent and much more common. In today’s society, women, as a whole, are overly sexualized in the media; this is why women are getting objectified and sexually harassed in their day-to-day lives.
The abundance of magazines, commercials, most media actually, is harmful to our communities. For example, the beautiful women on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition wearing revealing bikinis: they most likely do not have immense swimming abilities. Real swimmers have broad shoulders, thick thighs, and a small amount of cleavage due to the harsh training, but these female swimmers are not on the covers.
The covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition display models – women with large breasts, a tiny waist and round rump. The models are dainty, sexualized women for men to lust over. These women aren’t representing a sport. There’s no reason for them to be on Sports Illustrated. Regardless, this version of Sports Illustrated is 10 to 15 times more popular than a regular copy of Sports Illustrated. “[The swimsuit edition] sells more than 1 million copies on the newsstands,” said Business Insider. The amplitude of male demand for sexy and objectified women is ridiculous.
America also has Ultimate Fighting Championship Octagon girls wearing bikini tops and shorts that are smaller than your grandmother’s drawers. They strut around the ring: “It’s the eye candy,” said Danny O’Sullivan in his article Rockin’ Rio: Meet The UFC’s Brazilian Octagon Girls. But these women do absolutely nothing for a UFC fight. They are strictly hired to be sexually appealing.
I’m sure the male population appreciates the day-to-day “eye candy” that women serve as. The industry seems to be making more than enough money in revenue. But this is not ethical.
This cultural norm is altering male minds of reality. Little boys and girls are growing up seeing sexy, passive women and strong men on magazine covers. Children grow up seeing women with big boobs and thick butts on TV, in magazines, posters, calendars and online. They don’t see strong women that take a stand and make a difference in this world. This sense of male dominance and the norm of lusting over essentially naked women is the culture these children are raised in.
It’s no wonder some men don’t think catcalling is sexual harassment. They’ve grown up with women being seen as something for their pleasure. People can no longer tell the difference between being friendly and sexually harassing a woman through catcalling. I firmly believe this is the main reason that women have experienced an increase of sexual harassment.
No genuine human wants to use or objectify people. However, society is telling people that it’s the norm, so people have become gradually susceptible and less aware of sexual harassment and what it really is. Sexualized media and the display of primarily naked women in everyday life are not only hurtful to women, but also one of the causes of sexual harassment in today’s society. Women of all ages need to look up to strong, independent women, not thoughtless, passive Barbies.