Media fails year after year to portray women in a way that accurately reflects the modern woman.

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly defined by media. It shapes our opinions, our morals, our perceptions of beauty, and the way we interact with the world. But despite the impact on our lives, it is not up to us to decide what we are shown. Instead, we are force fed what all the rich, white, male executives believe we should see. They are the ones who shape our, admittedly archaic, societal ideals.

Perhaps most strikingly, this issue becomes increasingly apparent in the media’s problematic representation of women, or rather, lack thereof. I’ll stop here because I know what everybody must be thinking. This is just another teenage girl whining about an issue that is completely out of her control, another rant that holds no clout in the real world. Society wants you to believe that these issues are unimportant and that these “rants” are useless. But the thing is, it is vitally important to make these issues known, and I will not stop whining until there is nothing left to whine about. People need to get angry, to be aware of the problems society doesn’t want you to see. Because once you open your eyes to what is really going on, you’ll notice that everything isn’t as sugarsweet as the patriarchy made it seem.

The movie making executives don’t want you to know that women make up half of the movie going audience, yet hold less than 10% of director positions. They don’t want you to know that women hold less than 40% of all speaking roles in the top grossing movies of the year. They don’t want you to know that these stats have barely changed since the 1970s. Tell me again about how women have already reached equality. Unsurprisingly, a result of this inequality is that the majority of the most successful movies of 2013 had little to say for its representation of women. In the end, most women in the movies of 2013 were sexualized, objectified, and simply put, nothing more than props.

The problem is that movie creators assume a male audience when they make their films. The result is each movie being filled to the brim with slow pan ups and lingering shots of scantily clad women, think “Star Trek Into Darkness.” These shots are not only unnecessary, but detrimental to society’s opinion of women in general. Thanks to this male-centered film industry, guys on the street will see it as socially acceptable to eye a passing woman as if she was nothing more than a piece of meat, to cat call and wolf whistle, and roll down the window with a sleazy smile and a “Hey baby, looking good.” Again and again we see this “women are props” mentality edging its way into mainstream society, and it has to stop.

We need more women in movies, and contrary to the opinion of the male movie executives, that is not an uncommon mentality. We need a Black Widow movie to stand beside every new Iron Man sequel, a Hermione Granger for every Harry Potter. We need to see women who are strong, women who are weak, women who are independent, desperate for love, intelligent, vapid, sexy, average, vindictive, sweet, indecisive, ready to lead a revolution. We need women who can pick and choose from any list of traits to become a well rounded individual. We need to see women who are people, and not more women who are basically comparable to that one ficus you see in the corner of that one 30 second scene.

Maybe then, when Hollywood finally sees that women are more than just some mildly attractive eye candy, we will see a shift in society. No longer will the streets be deemed unsafe for every passerby in a short skirt. No longer will women be leered at. No longer will women feel inferior. We always try to deny the effect media holds on us. But denial doesn’t erase the problems of the world (if it did, we’d probably see a lot less children starving in Africa). It’s time for awareness to be the new normal. Equality is a powerful term, and seeing as it is already the 21st Century, it might be high time we use it.