This is the alarming observation that the Women’s Foundation has just unveiled in a report analyzing the representation of women in the most viewed videos on Youtube.
Too much sexism kills sexism. This Thursday, August 26, 2021, the Women’s Foundation in partnership with Sciences Po published a study on sexism in YouTube videos. To do this, the 200 most popular videos in France between 2019 and 2020 were studied to see what role women played. And the least we can say is that there is still work to be done.
According to the report, most of these stereotypes, sexist insults or misogynistic remarks, are visible in music videos which represent three quarters of the 200 most viewed videos on the platform. “When one observes a form of violence in videos, it is intrinsically linked to an expression of masculinity”, informs Pauline Stumpf, one of the study’s editors.
Over 20% of these videos feature women “sexualized” of “lustful poses”. In another 35% of cases, the image of women is there “degraded”: street harassment, close-up of their chest or hips, rape culture; everything goes there. “These prejudices and this violence go beyond what is tolerable”, denounces Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, ex-member of the CSA and coordinator of the report. She insists that these images “give a biased view of the dominant male and the dominated woman” and “make the bed of violence.”
What solutions to bring?
For the authors of the report, several solutions are possible. They call on the public authorities to fight effectively against this sexism by giving more power to the CSA which would ensure that the content offered on YouTube does not contain any sexist connotation. For them, production organizations such as the National Cinema Center or the Music Center also have a role to play. They ask them not to finance any more projects “conveying sexist, degrading or stereotypical words and images.”
Finally, last suggestion: propose a “charter of good conduct” to digital platforms to monitor the uploading of videos, remove degrading sequences and self-regulate through more advanced moderation mechanisms. The writers of the report have indicated that it will be disseminated to politicians and institutions, starting with President Emmanuel Macron and Élisabeth Moreno, the Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men. “We do it well for the protection of minors against pornography or for online hatred. It is a matter of political choice.”, concludes Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette.