The Glass Ceiling Essay

1329 words - 6 pages

Of all the calendar days, not much has occurred on February 4th; however, in 1921 this day gave birth to a movement which ignited a fire that still hasn’t stopped its burning. More specifically, it gave birth to Bettye Naomi Goldstein, who would go on in life to attend Smith College, marry Carl Friedan, and author The Feminine Mystique ( By writing this novel, she was able to bring the idea of power back through the minds of women in the second wave of feminism. Many argue against feminism, describing the cultural phenomenon as hypocritical and misandrous Merriam-Webster defines ‘feminism’ as, “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”
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First, lead roles and supporting roles are both scarcely ever taken as seriously as their male equivalents. A popular trend in the film industry for the past decade, and skyrocketing in the last couple years, are superhero movies. When thinking of such characters, many would rush to recall Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. As a second thought, however, would be Superwoman and Black Widow. Despite the lack of heroines in the comic world, the real problem with these characters is that their costumes are unnecessarily sexualized and that they are not written with the same power as their male companions. For example, in Noah Gittell’s article, “Even Female Superheroes Are Unable to Break the Glass Ceiling,” he stated, “Female superheroes...all have something in common: they don’t have superpowers” (Gittell). By having women with titles of power, the film industry is taking a stride in the equal portrayal of gender, however, by placing these characters with drastically different amounts of power, it is still belittling women. In a research statistics report regarding the top 500 films between 2007 and 2012, studies showed that 28.8% of women wore sexually revealing clothes, opposed to the male’s seven percent, and that only 30.8% of speaking characters were women (Zurko). Many have argued that men are equally sexualized characters, saying that the chiseled out abdomens in the costumes of Iron Man and Captain America are inappropriate and unnecessary; on the other hand, these both show strength, whereas the shortness of outfits and tightly fitted, carved out breastplates of Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and others aren’t displays of power, but their female assets, which have nothing to do with their bodies’ capabilities. Secondly, the advertisements depicting women or directed at them, are often sexualized. There is blatant sexism when rifling through a magazine. Numerous pages of ads have been printed showing women with revealing clothes or wearing nothing, seductive expressions, and little to no actual product advertising. This hurts the feminist movement, because males will think of females as accessories to be accompanied by artificial items. With popular colognes and body washes, men are sold with the idea that these products can be bought, as well as the girls holding them. A notable quote by Dorian Lynskey is, “[Young women] are tired of messages that depict women as highly sexualized passive sex objects” (Lynskey). Many reporters have compared the advertisements depicting both genders, and found that many showed women as incompetent and servile to men (Iulian). In recent fast-food commercials, women were shown wearing next-to-nothing, with makeup perfectly applied, and hair done-up, eating burgers and fries with a euphoric expression. One study made an identical commercial using a male lead, and posed the question, “Seeing men like this is ridiculous, so why isn’t it...

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