Hello all -
Bless you tomeshew; your encouragement is greatly appreciated. I do hope to hear from more readers --- don't be shy!!!
Anyway, this came up this week. On Monday, I was watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS as I often do. But I was so horrified at one of the appraisals that I had to stop watching the show until that particular appraisal was over.
What was it that made me react that way? It was a poster - of a man roughing up a woman. The woman's look was sheer cringing fear; the man just just oozed meanness and cruelty. I have no idea if it was for a movie or for some pulp magazine,or whatever. I couldn't even tell you now the gender of its owner. I did get that the appraiser was Alsadair Nichol. If you didn't see it and/or just have to see this for yourself (it's not too far into the hour), you can - here
I thought it was really awful and not something I'd want to see anywhere, let alone on Antiques Roadshow. What kind of sick psychology does such imagery feed into? This is definitely NOT the way I'd ever want to see a woman - or man, either, be treated, even in 'mere' imagery. It makes me wonder why in the world someone would want to own such a thing. Creative freedom aside, I feel we should reject such images. I've looked for some references as to the harm they may cause; however most centered on video games or film. But I did find one article fairly on target. You can read it at this link.
From the article: "Whether the violence is real, reenacted based on real events, or fiction, when you witness cruelty and empathize with the victim, you experience the trauma vicariously." I think Dr. Davis has good points here. Also, her discussion of mirror neurons is enlightening.
I just totally failed to understand why this item was chosen for an on-air spot. I was so outraged about it that I e-mailed WGBH which produces AR for PBS. I actually got a form reply from a lady in Audience and Member Services. She did greet me by my name, though (and managed to misspell that!). I also wrote to Liberty Mutual Insurance who is a sponsor of AR. To date, I have had no response from them. I will faithfully update this post if I do get a reply.
Conclusion: we need to be aware of the images we're surrounding ourselves with and presenting to others. We need to be mindful of the effects they can have, positive and negative. I hope we start creating and choosing to disseminate images that will enhance us positively.