How did the media fail women in 2013?

Blurred Lines

The Danish prime minister has been dismissed as a 'flirty blonde' in the Mail; the Sun has denounced Stella Creasy for wearing a blue skirt – just two recent examples of objectification. What others from the last year should we look at?

The politician who called a blonde colleague an "abortion barbie" for campaigning for a woman's right to choose, the magazine editor who described women in his pages as "ornamental" and the the commentator who said: "I'm not saying she deserved to be raped, but …": these are just a few of the lowlights of a brilliant video watched by 3.6 million people and counting.

How The Media Failed Women In 2013 is the latest video from the Representation Project, the US team whose 87-minute award-winning film, Miss Representation, highlighted in 2011 the ways women and girls are objectified in the media.

Some of the examples from their current work, bad like Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines video or good like the Goldieblox ads, have already been shared and debated in the UK. Others – Carl Jr burgers? – not so much.

But how many examples of sexism in politics and the media could be gathered just from the UK? Just thinking back over the past 24 hours, there's Thursday's Daily Mail front page coverage of the Danish prime minister, described as a "flirty blonde" for daring to snap herself alongside Barack Obama (understandable) and David Cameron (not so much) .

And then there's yesterday's unseemly spat between Labour MP Stella Creasy and Tom Newton Dunn, the political editor of the Sun. When Creasy used the House of Commons to question the prime minister's lack of support for No More Page 3, Newton Dunn commented on her clothes. He tweeted: "Boldly, @stellacreasy has just asked the PM to justify Page 3 – while wearing a bright blue PVC skirt in the Commons chamber." When Creasy retorted that Dunn never felt it necessary to mention Cameron's "shiny blue tie", he replied: "fully support ALL equal opportunity; yours to wear what you want – and p3 girls to express themselves as they want". Hmmm, wear a skirt to work today or continue to publish a daily topless picture in what is still the UK's biggest selling newspaper? To twist a phrase, all girls [sic] may be equal, but some are more equal than others.

When discussing whether everyday media sexism is a global phenomenon, it seems fair to point out here that my American friends are always shocked when reminded that the biggest picture of a woman in British papers every day is one in which she is wearing only knickers. Not even the Murdoch-owned New York Daily Post would go that far.

A joint venture between Object and the Everyday Sexism Project asking for examples of everyday media sexism was last active months ago. Can we come up with a few to help? If we were to make a new UK version of this video, what would you want to see?

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jane Martinson, for theguardian.com on Thursday 12th December 2013 15.11 Europe/London

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