9. Recognise sexism and the promotion of harmful gender stereotypes in the media, and tell others about it

Watch the trailer for Miss Representation, it explores the impacts of media’s promotion of sexist stereotypes, for women and men. Send this clip to a colleague, friend or family member and share with them the main message you took from this clip in relation to violence against women.

You might have heard of the term sexual objectification, but what does this mean? This helpful guide provides five easy questions that can help you recognise what sexual objectification when you see it. Caroline Heldman, who created these questions, discusses the topic in more detail in this TedX talk.

Join Women’s Health Victoria‘s local, online campaign to end sexist advertising by tweeting your examples with the hashtag #EndSexistAds.

How does it help?

Research demonstrates that regular exposure to media that sexually objectifies women contributes to the development of sexist attitudes and gender stereotypes –which increase the likelihood of men’s violence against women.

Media, marketing and advertising can strengthen, or challenge, the attitudes that create gender inequality and enable violence against women (Fergus 2012).

Evidence shows that changing and challenging harmful and sexist media messages can help to prevent violence against women by promoting gender equality and diversity, and challenging gender stereotypes.

Keep going!

Keep taking action to recognise and challenge gender stereotypes in the media:

  • Vote with your wallet; boycott films and TV shows that perpetuate gender bias and stereotypes about women.
  • Ensure the images and posters at your workplace/sports club/community group do not perpetuate gender stereotypes. If they do – say something about it!
  • Challenge sexism in advertising – Check out this guide to reporting sexist advertising for more ideas on how to make a complaint.
  • Check out Collective Shout, a grassroots Australian organisation that challenges the objectification and sexualisation of women and girls in media and advertising.

Please note that these clips/articles contain information regarding the topics of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women. If you find the information distressing, please click through for information and support on self care. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please visit the our help section for further information and support.