16 days of activism: Violence in the media

Monday 23 November 2015

Media has the power to influence billions and billions of people, entire societies. But unfortunately media is plagued with gender stereotypes that affect the public perception of reality. Stereotypes affects us all; particularly women. Their use installs concepts of what to expect of women and of what women can expect of themselves.

So, if media has the incredible effect of being able to influence billions of people around the world, it also has the power to mold and change the reality around us. And this can be dangerous, particularly when it comes to issues like stereotypes.

Let’s take sexual violence for example. Studies have shown that men who are exposed constantly to violence in the media begin to feel desensitized towards violence, meaning that violence begins to become natural. They begin to consider that the injury of the female victims caused by sexual assault is less significant and they were unable to empathize with real victims.

Furthermore, if we add stereotypes like the association of masculinity to violence, dominance and power; as well as the use of women’s bodies as commodities or objects, then the result is that women’s sexuality is something to be consumed and to which men are entitled, even if it is by force.

The 16 days of activism have been established to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women. From the 25th of November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until the 10th of December (Human Rights Day), we will focus our Break the Circle against Violence campaign on a different type of violence against women: violence in the media and how the stereotypes often seen on television, printed press, etc., are determining the way we think and the way we act, establishing patterns that contribute to violence.

“Pay attention:

Gender violence is not only physical

The messages in the media have effects in real life.

Let´s change the media

Let´s change reality”

Help us raise awareness on this issue. Visit our Break the Circle webpage (http://en.breakingthecircle.org/), share our posters and video on your websites and social media and send us pictures and videos of the work you are doing in raising awareness. Let’s change the media, let’s change reality, break the circle!