• Media: A Tool for Violence against Women
Authored by: Andrea Stupak (PED 3177 C)
"Advertising as a productive cultural force perpetuates attitudes and actions that support the disempowerment of women." - Kathleen Torrens 
Popular Skateboard company bitch skateboards uses violence against woment to sell their product

IntroductionThe goal of this wiki page is to introduce teachers in English language arts the importance of incomporating violence against women divisions with information on theoretical frameworks, types of assessment, lesson plan ideas, and different resources for teaching this sensitive topic in high school settings. As we all know, violence plays a vital role in entertainment and as such, teachers should educate students on how it impacts our society. Media is a gateway tool for promoting violence against women. Violence against women is a serious issue, therefore, teachers must be cautious and diligent when educating students this sensitive topic.

Theoretical Frameworks
What is violence against women?Although there are several definitions available, Health Canada provides the most sufficient. Their definition of violence against women goes as follows: Acts that result, or are likely to result, in physical, sexual and psychological harm or suffering to a woman, including threats of such an act, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private life.Jean Kilbourne is a feminist author and speaker who is internationally recognized for her ideals on the image of women in advertising. Her work targets the objectification of women in our society. It seems to be more prevalent in the real world than many would like to believe. She states that “women are being portrayed as passive, easy, innocent, needy, submissive and dependent beings creates an understanding that women are less human than men.” Her work would be useful in the classroom as her videos and books highlight issues within our society around the use of violence and women in media.This is a version of Killing Us Softly by Jean Kilbourne. Here she speaks directly about the use of violence against women in advertising, starting at the 5:33 time mark.

How does media link to violence against women?By using violence to sell high-end fashion products, like shoes, it allows society to devalue women. The idea of murder, rape, or death should not be used to sell consumer goods. What are we trying to promote to young girls who are taught at a very young age the importance of consuming goods that will make them feel better?
JIMMY CHOO uses violence against women to sell high end fashion products
Dr. C. Kay Weaver, an associate professor in the Department of Management Communication, talks about violence against women and advertising and how it has become a mainstream phenomena. Violence in advertisement is everywhere from main stream fashion to magazines. Weaver explains "violence against women has always played a key role in marketing newspapers, films, television programs and computer games. Violent imagery is now increasingly popular and is also used to advertise and market a diverse range of goods from sports apparel to cologne and perfume, computer games, cars, watches, jeans and even credit cards. The effect of this violent imagery is to make violent behaviour appear normal and even acceptable rather than unusual." Images that portray women as victims of violence are disturbing as they try to implement a sense of normality to the issue.
duncan quinn illustrates sex and violence through print adds
Here are two interesting quotes that can be used as an introduction to a media literacy class that targets media as a tool for violence against women:"When violence is used to sell a product, it does not just sell the product; it condones violent attitudes and behaviour and contributes to exaggerated fears of violence among those encouraged to see themselves as its potential victims." - Dr. C. Kay Weaver "We think that there is a connection between pornography, advertising and violence towards women, but it's not a direct casual link. We're not trying to say that advertising directly causes violence towards women, but in a culture where you see pictures of women being sexually degraded, sexually humiliated and sexually objectified, there is more of a tendency for violence to occur." - Matt Ezzel
Popular shoe company Loula uses violenc against women in etheir advertisement
Ads that are indecent, sexist, sexy, exhibit violence to women or treat them as mere objects present a constant and even growing problem in many countries. Jean Boddewyn, author of Controlling Sex and Decency in Advertising Around the World states that “both the law and voluntary guidelines find it difficult to handle such ads because of the heterogeneity and flux of the norms bearing on sex and decency in advertising.” High-end fashion shoe companies use violence against women to sell their products. The following ad for Loula, a Melbourne shoe company, placed this advertisement in Australia’s Harper’s Bazaar fashion magazine and it caused an up roar. Loula use tragic themes that dehumanize women. The company thinks the idea of women dying is sexy. After a public outcry, Loula decided to pull its advertisement campaign which uses the bodies of a dead females to sell their product. By using violence to sell high-end fashion products, like shoes, it allows society to devalue women. The idea of murder, rape, or death should not be used to sell consumer goods. What are we trying to promote to young girls who are taught at a very young age the importance of consuming goods that will make them feel better?Interesting FactsViolence is a major factor in women's health and well-being. The measurable health-related costs of violence against women in Canada exceed $1.5 billion a year. These costs include short-term medical and dental treatment for injuries, long-term physical and psychological care, lost time at work, and use of transition homes and crisis centersThe Canadian Women’s Foundation provides some interesting facts about violence against women within the Canadian society. This foundation reveals statistics on three key topics: violence against women is a serious issue, women are more likely than men to be victims of violence, and violence against women affects children. Here are a few examples from the Canadian Women's Foundation website:
  • Half of Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical of sexual violence since the age of sixteen.
  • Every minute of every day, a Canadian woman or child is being sexually assaulted.
  • Physical and sexual abuse costs $4 billion each year (factoring into account social services, criminal justice, lost employment days and health care interventions).
  • Violence against women occurs across all ethnic, racial, religious, age, social and economic groups. Some women are more vulnerable however, and more likely to experience violence, including women with disabilities, geographically-isolated women, young women and Aboriginal women.

Why is it important to teach Violence Against Women?
According to the Ontario English language arts curriculum, “Literacy is about more than reading or writing – it is about how we communicate in society. It is about social practices and relationships, about knowledge, language, and culture.” Communication comes in several different forms (verbal, non-verbal) but this wiki page specifically focuses on media and how it uses violence against women to sell brand names and products. As teachers, it is our responsibility to develop appropriate instructional strategies to help students achieve curriculum expectations and gain success. Appropriate methods of assessment and finding interesting ways to interact with students and gauge them into the material is important as well.
Media literacy is the study of the art and message of various forms of media texts. It explores the impacts and influences from the mass media by examining texts like advertisements, magazines, photographs etc. Students should examine and critically interpret images that they receive from the media. In order to develop media literacy skills students should view, analyse and discuss different forms of media. Media literate students and teachers understand that media are constructed to convey ideas from someone else’s perspective.The following YouTube video illustrates the importance of talking to a young audience about healthy relationships, bullying, dating abuse, and even stalking. Teaching students about abusive behaviour is essential as 1 in 3 high school students are involved in an abusive or violent relationship.

What can the media do to make a difference? Refuse to promote violence in advertisements. Instead, focus of nonviolent images to sell high end consumer goods. Corporations should use nonaggressive images and messaged when developing products or adcertisements. They should adopt industry standards for images that are glamorizing, sanitizing, or normalizing violence, specifically, those ads that promote violence against women. There shuold be school-based media education programs that ecourage schools to provide age-appropriate media education and media literacy that target students. Last but not least, the media should rfuse to use programming, music videos, television shows, and other forms of entertainment to report the negative impact that violence against women has on victims and the community.

There are numerous online for tools of assessment for teaching violence against women in the classroom. For example, here are three quizzes you can use as a pre-test to assess individual understanding of specific issues of violence:
stop_violence_against_women.jpg1. Sexual Assault Myths & Realities by Tri-Valley Haven
This online quiz tests the users' knowledge on sexual assault myths and realities.
2. Sexual Assault Trivia by Gurl.com
This online quiz is a set of questions to test the users' knowledge on sexual assault.
3. Are you being Abused? by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
This simple true-false online quiz helps victims and those who care about them identify the signs of abuse.

As teachers, we should follow John Naisbitt's Benefits for Learning Media Literacyfrom the Center for Media Literacy to help assess students.
  • Meet the needs of students to be wise consumers of media.
  • Engage students by bringing the world of media into the classroom that connects their learning with "real life" and validates media culture as a rich environment for learning.
  • Give students a common approach to critical thinking that, when internalized, becomes second nature for life.
  • Help meet standards while, at the same time use fresh contemporary media content which students are passionate about.
  • Increase the ability and proficiency of students to communicate (express) and disseminate their thoughts and ideas in a wide range of print and electronic media forms.
  • Help students gain the ability to analyze any message in any media form.

Lesson Plan Ideas
Roots of Equality is a great online resource for lesson plans on teaching violence against women in English language arts classes. This resource was designed to help educators raise awareness of violence against women for grades 1-8 but can be adapted to teach higher grades.
Rap, Poetry and Violence against Women
Step 1: Teacher begins class by asking students what they know about rap and then get them to record their answers in their notebooks. Next, ask the students to do the same for the word 'poetry'. Depending on the grade level, the teacher may need to help students rephrase some wording. In this case the teacher may need to scaffold or elaborate students responses. Step 2: Next, ask the students to watch YouTube video Love the way you lie by popular rap/music artist Eminem.Step 3: After viewing the video, ask students to discuss as a group how and why this video portrays violence against women through media. Compare and contrast different ideas of abuse, domestic violence and unhealthy relationships. Step 4: Finally, ask the students to re-write a version of Love the way you lie that does not illustrate violence against women.

Books:Burfoot, A., & Lord, S. (Eds.). (2006). Killing Women: The visual culture of gender and violence. Canada, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Reichert, T. (2003). The Erotic History of Advertising. New York: Prometheus Books.

Online Journal Articles:
Boddewyn, J. J. (1991). Controlling sex and decency in advertising around the world. Journal of Advertising, 20(4): 25-33.
Kray, S. (1999). //Hidden truth: theories of intellectual work in the advertising copy of a mass communication genre: a multidisciplinary perspective on the lost Eden scenario//. Journal of Communication Inquiry 23(3): 239-245.
Torrens, K. (2009). //I can get any job and feel like a butterfly: Symbolic violence in the TV advertising of Jenny Craig//. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 21(9): 22-27.

Online Sources:
AllBuisness. ADVERTISING;Violence Dr. C. Kay Weaver on violence as an advertising and marketing strategy. Sept 29, 2010.
FeministingCommunity. //America’s Next Top (Dead) Model//. Oct 1, 2010.