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Culture > Entertainment

Tabloid Sexism: So Wrong and Yet Still So Prevalent

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.


Despite the dawn of emerging media outlets such as Twitter providing a new scope for broadcasting news in recent years, the traditional tabloid newspaper has persisted, albeit now through online forms.

Unfortunately, while the accessibility of news has evolved through technology, the outdated attitudes towards women have remained. A venture down the Daily Mail’s “sidebar of shame” leaves one feeling gross, and quite frankly disgusted, when the dozens of intrusive images flit down the page. A woman can been seen walking down the street in a simple jumper and she’s accused of “showcasing her flawless curves” – the cruelty is then ramped up if the woman is anything up from a size 12, when she is then subjected to a barrage of jibes, invited by the so-called journalism. Tip: don’t read the Daily Mail if you’re a woman. Or even better: don’t read the Daily Mail at all.

It’s not just the Mail who targets women, though. The Daily Star curated a rather charming article regarding the breast size of Charlotte Church, the then-teenage critically-acclaimed soprano. This continued sexualisation and objectification serves only one purpose: to perpetuate the systematic notion that women (and refugees, ethnic minorities and the working-class, who are similarly targeted by tabloids) are inherently inferior to men, which is only emphasised further by the fact that the vast majority of newspapers are edited by wealthy white men.

So how should we approach this? Countless news websites such as The Pool and Feminist Current have emerged in recent years with a honed-in focus on female-positive news articles, but existing newspapers continue to spread vile misogynism both online and in print. What we can do, however, is accept and acknowledge that this is not okay. Sexism within the media has become so normalised that it seems as though to call out tabloids for their misogynistic discourse is ‘abnormal’. Instead of falling into this trap of acceptance, let’s instead rise against it, and through addressing this institutionalised form of sexism, assert that the treatment of women in tabloid newspapers is completely and utterly abhorrent in today’s society.

English Literature student
Her Campus magazine