What we watch and read invariably affects our thoughts and plays a part in shaping our opinions. The discussion has been, of late, on the effect media sensationalism and the dismal portrayals of women in the media has had on young women and their relationships, both with themselves and others, or their interactions within the workforce and workplace. Women as sexual objects, objectified to their bodies, removed of their experience and advertised as disposable has become the commodity of reality television shows, video games, news segments, women and men's magazines on fashion and health and in social media.
A perhaps more insidious and far more pervasive sexism is felt in the absence of female voices and characters within our libraries and on and behind our screens. If you were to take a hard look at your bookshelves and deep into your movie collection, what would the predominant authorship behind those mediums look like? Most likely, the fiction we know of, and the experiences therein, has been concentrated within the white male voice and opinion and has shaped our views and our thoughts a seemingly invisible but all too familiar way. Azar Nafisi speaks about this world of fiction as the ability to think beyond ourselves, to create and envision, to learn beyond borders, to speculate and dream and calls it the "republic of imagination." Unfortunately, I fear this republic is simply recreating the sexism around us, in far more subversive and deep-seated way.