Ever since the entertainment industry began, women have been the focal point of attention. Although women have always been featured in films and plays, they have never been given enough credit. For example, many people think that the magician’s pretty assistant is just there to be sawed in half and gawked at. However, without her, the audience would quickly spot the magician’s tricks and the show wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.
The entertainment industry has exploited women so much that most mainstream movies rely on women for sex appeal and drama – and to make the male counterpart seem like a hero. If you think that Hollywood’s exploitation of women is bad, you probably shouldn’t listen to the radio. If songs about degrading women were banned, the radio would be static. So you would think that an industry that makes billions of dollars a year, solely from women, would respect them a little more.
You would think that sexual harassment and sexism are things that we should have learned are bad and overcome by now, but unfortunately, media and certain celebrity influences fuel the fire daily. In fact, we have become so accustomed to these things that it is normal when they occur, and we brush harassment off as “boys being boys” or “locker room talk.”
What do you think happens when “boys being boys” or “locker room talk” incubates without punishment for decades? You have a whole culture of people, generations deep, consumed in the belief that the mistreatment of women is OK as long as they don’t say anything or notice it is happening. Rape culture is so accepted that when Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist, was caught red-handed, his privilege landed him only three months in jail.
If you have never faced any sort of harassment in your life, it is easy for you to ignore when it happens to someone else. We need to be the generation that changes the way women are treated and speaks up when we see harassment.
Katie Heckman is a freshman at Kansas City Kansas Community College.