Digital Media: From an Intersectional Feminist's Perspective

Digital Media: From an Intersectional Feminist's Perspective

A framework called intersectionality helps people understand how various facets of a person's social and political identities—such as gender, sexual orientation, caste, race, class, religion, and disability—come together to produce distinctive forms of discrimination and privileges. The interjection of various roads reflects a specific aspect of an individual that is either rewarded or oppressed. Depending on how that person lives their life in society, there may be one or many intersectionalities in that person.

The phrase "intersectional feminist" was first used by Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989. It is "a prism for viewing how diverse types of oppression often function together and intensify each other."

The degree of inequality varies for everyone around because social identities overlap and converge, leading to experiences of various privileges and discriminations. This means that inequality does not always occur in an equal and measured manner. In order to better comprehend the scope of inequality and the connections between different forms of oppression, intersectional feminism examines the voices of people whose experiences coexist with those of other forms of oppression.

Similar to this, the protagonists of movies and daily soaps are portrayed as fair, thin, and primarily straight women, neglecting the existence of women of any other form. Contrarily, women with darker skin tones and different body types are portrayed as domestic helpers and other supporting characters; this illustrates the underlying prejudices we have against people of different races and body kinds.

It also demonstrates how the digital media stereotypes people with darker complexions as belonging to the lower social classes, and how this leads to prejudice and oppression against them. Men using makeup and displaying traits other than clearly defined and generalised masculinity are also portrayed in a very feminine manner. The popular media has created an idealised image of the feminine that lumps all women together based on shared characteristics, feelings, and behaviours while neglecting the reality of the situation.

Media occasionally tries to shatter the taboos surrounding menstruation, but these instances are incredibly rare. Most of the time, menstruation is either a silent subject that is avoided or the images of the stereotyped beliefs are created in front of the audience. "Meme" is another well-known offspring of digital media. In spite of the fact that many memes make us laugh and engage us on social media, some of them are incredibly offensive to the oppressed class of society.

More often than not, memes are seen to be based on rigid social norms like gender roles, performativity, and body politics. These norms either directly or indirectly ensnare us within the boundaries of the defined roles, as seen in memes mocking men who wear makeup, plus-size models, or even women with body hair.

I found it impossible to overlook how glaringly different the characters portraying various social strata were when I watched movies and daily soaps. The middle class were surprisingly nowhere in the picture, portraying nothing about their side of society. The lower classes are seen to be devalued, discriminated against, and dressed in a specific traditional way. In contrast, the upper class is seen to be extremely wealthy, influential, and dressed in either extremely heavy pieces of jewellery and traditional clothes or in western attire.

The majority of the time, theirs is an invisible story. There is already a barrier separating the classes since poverty is never accurately depicted in digital media images. Another aspect I noticed in these programmes that depicted the prejudice and discrimination we have as a society towards minorities was the differentiation and bias towards the religion that makes up the majority and the portrayal of minorities as lower-class individuals.

Females are always seen to be placed lower than the males, both genders performing the traditional gender roles, while homosexuality, transgender, and gender non-conforming people are almost completely ignored, absent from every form of the digital picture, and if shown, are shown in a very negative and unrealistic manner. One other product of the digital age that shows the effects of gender inequality and prejudice is pornography. Our society is prejudiced towards men, as seen by sexual aggression against women and videography angled to appeal to male viewers. Digital media play a significant role in the male gaze's visibility across all media.

Today, intersectional feminism is important because it paints a picture of the society that includes the idea that racism, casteism, communalism, and other class-related issues are all forms of oppression that affect women in addition to the patriarchal system itself. It also aids in our comprehension of how injustices, occult themes, and symbols of oppression that may have gone unnoticed are related, providing us with a deeper and more comprehensive perspective.

When we look through these images from digital media, we often miss the painting of reality that includes things like a misunderstanding or inaccurate depictions of physiological processes like menstruation, images of the realities of different sexual orientations and transgender people, exaggerated depictions of poverty, etc. Additionally, we occasionally observe these spaces propagating false notions about the distinctions and stereotypes between classes, religions, and gender, such as the semiotics of fashion — the distinctions between the dress styles of various classes, or the judging and characterising of genders based on their attire and behaviour, etc., which instils in the audience a sense of inequality and difference.

The atmosphere is becoming more and more poisonous due to hypersexualization, which also widens the gender difference in how one group views and values the other.

My belief is that the current state of digital media is mostly working to widen the inequality gap rather than enhancing the privileges of the superior. There is a need for a bridge to make it easier to transition from the state of oppression to the state of privileges, especially in light of all the ways that our society has fostered these inequities. As a society, we ought to struggle not only for justice but also for the eradication of all forms of oppression.

It is a problem, according to Crenshaw, if you regard inequality as a "them" problem or an unfortunate other problem. Thus, by using an intersectional lens to examine how various communities and individuals are resolving related challenges, we may be able to alter the social landscape and build a picture of equality around the globe.

Previous Post Next Post