Social Media and the Image of Women

Public Opinion

Public Opinion

People do use language as a tool on social media to marginalize women and make them feel that they are unequal to men and can never be.

Social media is an indispensable part of everyday life nowadays. It influences, in many ways – the way we see ourselves in particular and the world in general. It is social media that has shrunk the world into a global village. Here, I want to draw attention to how the image of men and women is being presented in different ways at various forms of media.

The language shapes attitudes and mindset of human beings. Thus, this article aims at highlighting the role of language being used to portray women and their identity on Facebook, which is a widely used social networking site across the globe.

Women are assumed to have a lower status in a patriarchal society such as Pakistan. They are treated as per the stereotypes shaped by a larger group of males of the society. Contrarily, men are assumed to have a tendency to be depicted as having higher and more prestigious status than that of women’s. To my grave concern, women have been often deemed inferior in our society for ages. Truly speaking, Pakistan is a patriarchal society and such a society does not problematize the issue of gender equality. Women are oppressed and have the identities that they receive from their oppressors. Hence they are mistreated, misbehaved, misrepresented and above all, they are exploited and harassed for the personal gains.

Through this write up, I want to draw the attention of enlightened section of the society to fathom the pains and miseries incurred upon women in Pakistani society – confinement to domestic chores; education and job restrictions; neglecting their right of inheritance; killing in the name of honor etc.  Furthermore, I refer this to Chinoy’s (2012) documentary on acid attacks in Pakistan that showed that more than 100 acid attacks were reported annually and a plenty more went unnoticed. In a culturally suffocated society like Pakistan, women are deprived of a number of rights and a liberal woman is usually despised. People do use language as a tool on social media to marginalize women and make them feel that they are unequal to men and can never be.

Such linguistic representation is quite obviously witnessed in societies like Pakistan where their reputation sounds to be at stake.

It is a high time the enlightened sections of the society highly revered women and raised their status as it was preached by the Prophet Muhammad in his last sermon.

Shamin Humayun

Mirpurkhas, Sindh

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