Dehumanisation: A Fallacy

The Advertising world has been accused of dehumanising women. Near nude or skimpily clad images (mostly or should I say only of women) have been used by advertising companies to promote all sorts of products irrespective of the fact whether the product requires nudity of the fairer sex. Videos degrading women have gained popularity in the recent years with these shared on social media and millions having access to these with just a click. A few years ago, Travers Beynon, the tobacco tycoon hailing from Queensland, also known as Candyman coped negative comments and scathing criticism from the press and public for walking his wife and another woman on all fours, on a leash, and for uploading the picture on his Instagram account. While we have no difficulty in comprehending the notion ‘ sex sells’ in Candyman’s parties, videos or shows, one cannot overlook the dehumanising way in which women are shown by the millionaire. Feats such as this has banned Candyman not only from his Instagram account but also from a few countries. He is one of the many men or women who degrade women for monetary successes.

Such occurrences or such promotions bring us to the inevitable question, ‘What exactly is dehumanisation?’ I came across a video on dehumanisation which defines the term as comparing human beings to non-human animals via videos, images or verbal abuses. I chose to highlight a part of a lengthy definition that is relevant to the above-mentioned example. According to this video, people could be or are dehumanised in many ways. Having mentioned about the degradation of human beings, especially women, I would also like to emphasise that besides the person who captures moments of dehumanisation and shares it with others, hundreds and thousands of people who cheer or participate actively or derive pleasure or express their support enthusiastically are also guilty of dehumanisation.

Are we sacrificing our moral principles or ethics in the name of modernisation and commercialism? Would dehumanising women be regarded as a pressing issue in this liberated society?  Should we worry about the negative messages we are conveying to our audience or viewers through our degrading depictions or portrayal of women? Would our silent indifference wreak more damage to our posterity?

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