12/14/2013

"It's Their Fault For Taking The Job"

No.


Comment sections are enraging, as anyone with eyes will know. In the comment section on Miss Representation's video on how the media failed women in 2013, there was a comment which voiced a (white male)'s opinion on how the women were equally to blame as the media was, because they kept taking these jobs/roles. I think that you can have that opinion, but only if it is consistent, and therefore, if you can answer yes to the following questions:
  • Do you blame men for continuing to apply to jobs where women are disregarded (due to gender, not capability)?
  • Do you blame white people for continuing to apply for jobs where BME people are known to be constantly disregarded due to race?
  • Do you blame thin people for continuing to buy clothes that they fit into, when the clothes being sold fit no other body types?

The bigger problem isn't the people taking the job, the bigger problem is that they are the only ones being considered the job - if an employee was to call their boss out on such a practice, unless they had the power to call for a mass boycott/strike/anything of the sort, they would be immediately replaced - by someone who looked exactly like them.

Another very real problem is the dangerous view that if these women didn't line up for the job, there wouldn't be a standard, when this standard is completely manufactured. Very few women (if any) look like the photoshopped dismembered images that are spewed out. If the women who come (somewhat) close to looking like that weren't available, they would get the next closest thing and proceed to remix and edit it in order to make it look exactly like what the standard is now, because that is the problem, the standard.

This also disregards the thousands of women who came to look like that solely to get the job, because they knew that it would be the only way - first they are bullied into changing their appearances for a system that gives them little or no other choice, and then they are blamed for succeeding. Is there any way for them to win?

While I don't think that the people who play into these standards are entirely blameless, I do place the majority of the blame on the employers who continue to only recruit a specific minority, under the excuse that they are selling what everyone wants to see - which is code for what a privileged western white male fragment of the population wants to see. I place another part of the blame on people who continue to consume these images without thought and reflection.

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