We Are What We Watch: Violence Against Women on TV

I read an interesting article this month in Marie Claire magazine this month – an article that startled me, an article that made me angry.

According to “Women in Peril,” a study by the Parents Television Council, violence against women on television has jumped 120 percent since 2004, even while all kinds of violence on television have increased only 2 percent. Portrayals of teenage women as victims of violence have soared 400 percent during the same period.

The reasons for this change are numerous, but the results are what matter. Repeated story lines about women being brutalized and killed may seem like harmless entertainment, but, in fact, they serve to acclimate society to the idea that violence against women is “normal.” This idea is unacceptable.

The writers of the study call on “television producers, network executives, members of the advertising community, elected representatives and appointed government officials and, most importantly, the viewing public” to exercise their power in reversing this alarming trend.

Read the study and watch video content samples here.

Then exercise your power as a viewer to let networks know that you do not support the glorification or glamorization of violence against women. Send in comments, support an organization that advocates on behalf of women or, at the very least, turn off the tube when women are treated distastefully on the small screen.

You may not think you have the leverage to make a difference, but if enough people stop watching, programming will change.

One Comment

  1. I think it’s sad that people carry over fictional entertainment into real life situations. Drama on TV is just that… Drama. What kind of people actually grow up thinking that the televised, fictional drama is acceptable as reality?

    Granted, violence against any human is wrong, but we, as a society, crave all sorts of entertainment. But our environmental factors in our social settings is where most of our learned behaviour comes from, and most of that begins in the home. It’s not the networks that need to be called upon as much as it is the parents of today’s society that are passing down their behavioural habits to their children – from a lack thereof to their own perceptions of right and wrong.

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