2015 is already behind us, and I don’t think anyone is that nostalgic. Looking back, as progressive as this year has been for teenagers on social media platforms, it seems that the adults who run the real media cannot say the same. Let’s look back on some of the top headlines from 2015, which—coincidentally—also happen to be some of the most discriminatory.
I think it’s safe to say that Caitlyn’s transition was one of the—if not the—biggest headlines of 2015. When her Vanity Fair cover and article came out in June, she was widely supported, but as the year has progressed, Jenner has proved time and time again that she should not be viewed as an icon for the transgender community. In November, Jenner talked with Buzzfeed about her experiences during the first few months following her transition, in which she claimed, “The hardest part about being a woman is figuring out what to wear.” In a world where women are faced with rape, acid attacks, bride burning, wage gaps, the denial of reproductive rights and so much more, this statement made by Jenner seems to harbor quite a bit of internalized misogyny and transphobia all in one.
Another event that generated quite a bit of buzz this year was 35 of Bill Cosby’s victims sharing their stories with the world, some after decades of being quiet about them. Though some victims have spoken before now, it seems that only recently has the world paid attention to these cries. Unfortunately, it also seems that—due to a lack of evidence and a corrupt justice system—Cosby has not been charged half as much as he should have been, and fans and celebrities alike have stood up for the once-respectable-comedian. The article 11 Stars Who Defend Bill Cosby informs us that Whoopi Goldberg, Raven-Symoné, Azealia Banks, and more still support this man, even though he has rape allegations from more than 35 women. Okay then.
Amber Rose. We know her, we love her. Well…some of us do. While the feminist community has embraced this actress with open arms as an icon after her she began revamping the Slut Walk movement, the media seems hesitant to. Is Amber Rose’s Slut Walk Really About Women’s Rights? Articles such as this one shame Rose for her support and defense of sex work, as well as speaking out about the violence surrounding the profession.
Kim Kardashian Gave Birth to a Baby Boy! was also a top headline, but in previous months the media took every chance they got to take a jab at her pregnant body.
When Charlie Sheen announced his status as HIV positive, we took a step in the right direction for abolishing the stigma surrounding AIDs, but if you took to Twitter and select media outlets, you did not find such positive responses, such as Charlie Sheen’s Ex Wants to Die After HIV Revelation.
These are only some of the top stories from last year but they display enough discrimination to make me want to cry. From the misogyny to the body shaming/slut shaming, the defense of a RAPIST and the perpetuation of the stigma surrounding HIV, the media has not followed the same progressive patterns that today’s youth are taking. In the upcoming year, we can only hope the media will revamp their presentation of important events, such as giving the facts and not biased opinions. But unfortunately, it is the media we are talking about, and I think it’s safe to say not to get your hopes too high.