Presentation of women in many TV commercials in a derogatory manner has brought to the forefront the issue of exploitation of women by the media. A good number of write-ups by renowned columnists, personalities and even by the readers have already appeared on the different leading dailies with regard to this issue. But as far as I'm concerned, a crucial point that can be very effective in order to address this has been missing all the way.
Whenever an ad of a company turns out to be sexist, we vehemently come down on that company. But should we ignore the fact that society can't be fully free of exploitative elements and so there's always a chance, be it little or great, of being exploited? Companies are always there on the lookout for making money by hook or by crook and no doubt, this practice on the part of advertising companies is utterly reprehensible. Nevertheless, at the same time women should guard themselves from being exploited. Performers must exercise caution and use their own intellect while scrutinizing the script of an ad, especially whenever it comes to ads of cosmetics products. Models performing in sexist ads must be brought under severe criticism and this way they can be discouraged to perform this kind of role. If women themselves don't agree to perform in sexist ads and are not sold, exploitative companies will be left with no choice but giving up this policy. This can be an effective way for getting rid of media exploitation.
After all, it's better to look at our faults before blaming others.
[ This post was published as a letter in The Daily Star on April 02, 2008. ]