Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Impact of the Media upon Women

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Media is streamed through a specific and unique lens depending on the views it holds regarding society and life.  Media in all of its forms; print or broadcast all strive to promote a certain perspective to the masses.  This is most evident in media geared towards females of all ages.  We all feel the tangible effects of the media on both genders.  However, we are yet to feel the direct effects of Islamic media.  There are several stark differences between Islamic media and western media.

The detrimental effects of the media have a ripple effect on society. Western media has distorted the image and role of the female to extreme unrealistic standards and impressions.  Affecting both man and woman in this warped concoction of acting and looking like a so-called woman.  She is to be a sexual object that takes great advantage of her femininity and sensuality to further her social and financial status.  This is all done without anyone, whether it be the industry or any activist right campaign, condemning or reprimanding her or the people who exploit her.  This is the very thing that destroys her as a human being.  It is surely a double-edged sword or a double jeopardy of sorts. A woman, often times a very young woman, is encouraged to display her body in all of its beauty yet is stunned when she is attacked by the very people who she tries to lure.  

Another problem is self-inflicted through a slow and direct stream of poison being injected into young naïve females of the ideal female persona.  This false portrayal of the young attractive woman has been the source of widespread epidemic of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia being linked to low self-esteem.  Causing a warped sense of false beauty including long term effects on her health.   The numbers are phenomenal resulting in hundreds of support groups and health campaigns against these disorders all the while billboards and magazines are still flashing erotic images.  They only address the symptoms and not the root of the disease.  Women are hopelessly chasing after unattainable ideals while jeopardizing their mental, emotional, and physical health.  Thus, resulting in failed relationship with their partners and families.
There is an easy solution but many will quickly reject it as this type of media is a multi-billion dollar industry which capitalizes on the human desires.

The solution lies within the system .... Islam holds a very direct and clear perception of a woman not as an object but as a dignified human being.  Islam plays a vital role in lifting one's character emphasizing on the best of Islamic values while upholding the highest code of ethics and discipline.  It is indeed an unfortunate absence in today's society, one that is sorely needed to free ourselves from the constant stream of poisons.  Islamic media as a result would greatly differ as a result of this viewpoint and concept.   

Islamic media would encourage good and noble deeds and reject the vices of society like violence towards women in its many forms.  It would educate and inform the general public in their actions, elevate their thoughts, purify their emotions leading a correct positive viewpoint. Therefore leading to a great revival steering society towards greatness, enveloping non-Muslims as well.  Obscene and derogatory material will be forbidden in all types of media.  There will not be this type of freedom of expression as this destroys society as a whole including its individuals. Men will be reminded of how to properly view women in public and how to treat them as honorable respectable persons.  Most certainly, men's minds/concepts will be re-trained on how to treat and speak to their counter-parts. Thus influencing how the masses view and process the image of a woman. Islamic media will promote a positive welfare environment eradicating feelings of racism, discrimination, and nationalism, that leads towards a spiral of decline something we as Muslims feel and realize the catastrophic results today.

It will inspire young females to be great role models as mothers, wives, and dawah carriers.  Therefore building self-esteem and the confidence something that is desperately needed to wash away all the corrupt ideas thus promoting a healthy self-image of themselves. Take the sahabiyaat and the Prophet's wives (ra) as their role-models. Allowing them to be a successful and beneficial part of society's fabric.  Indefinitely, the great number of social problems will diminish to a bare minimum. Inshallah.
(( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ قُلْ لِأَزْوَاجِكَ إِنْ كُنْتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَأُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا (28) وَإِنْ كُنْتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَالدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْمُحْسِنَاتِ مِنْكُنَّ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا)) الأحزاب 28،29
((28. O Prophet! Say to Thy Consorts: "If it be that ye desire the life of this world, and its glitter, - then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. 29. but if ye seek Allah and His Messenger, and the home of the Hereafter, Verily Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward.)) 33 (29, 28)

Manal Bader
Bayt Al-Maqdes, Palestine
24 Rabi' II 1432

1 comment:

zahid said...

great article... bulimia and anorexia is not a major problem but, constantly showing beauty in terms of fair skin,symmetric features and slim figure women are being thrown into spiral of low self esteem which is now a pandemic. And considering the fact majority of women lack many of the above and know it cannot be really acquired in the true sense go into depression another cause of mental morbidity later affecting health.