Blog / Why do women need to go to such extremes to be heard?

Why do women need to go to such extremes to be heard?

15.02.2024 | Kavya Ashok

In the digital age, where every tweet, post, and photo begs for attention, women in the limelight are flipping the script, using bold and sometimes eyebrow-raising strategies to tell their messages from the virtual rooftops. Imagine Poonam Pandey pulling off a stunt that could make you spill your coffee—faking her death—to spotlight cervical cancer awareness.  
Or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), strutting down the 2021 Met Gala red carpet in a gown screaming "Tax the Rich." It's clear: the body and image have become prime real estate for public statements. Let's look into why women in particular feel the need to turn up the volume to 11.  
"Did she REALLY just do that?" 
Enter Poonam Pandey, a public figure known to be bold or “extra” as our lovely Gen Z call it, who recently sent shockwaves across the country with a cervical cancer campaign that made everyone do a double-take. The negatives of the campaign have been spoken about to death, so let’s look beyond that. Faking her death wasn't just a publicity stunt; it was a megaphone for a critical issue. This move, while stirring up controversy, uncovers something which is often ignored: women often find themselves having to amplify their actions to break through the noise and make their causes heard. 
Meanwhile, AOC turned the 2021 Met Gala into her personal protest ground. Dressed in a gown that doubled as a billboard for economic reform, she showed the world how fashion can be an ally in political activism. A mastermind move to mix the glitz with the grit to push for change, proving that a well-chosen outfit can not just turn heads, but act as a powerful statement that WILL leave people talking.  
But why the extra decibels? 
The fact that women need to employ their bodies and images in more eye-catching ways than men to get attention speaks volumes about the gender dynamics at play. In a world where being heard is a Herculean task, women are getting creative, using every tool in the box to make sure their messages are ACTUALLY heard. 
These headline-grabbing tactics are not just for show. Shock tactics, visual statements, and personal stories evoke stronger emotional reactions, making them more memorable and likely to inspire action. For women, who historically have had to fight harder for a place at the table, these methods can level the playing field, ensuring their messages are not just seen but felt. 
But there’s the flip side to fame! 
This spotlight strategy is a double-edged sword. The attention it garners can sometimes turn into a wave of scrutiny and criticism, potentially drowning out the message itself. Striking the right balance between using one's image for advocacy and keeping the spotlight on the issue is a tough one to tackle.  
Ideally, we're heading towards a world where women won't need to resort to shock tactics to be heard. A world where advocacy doesn't require sensationalism and systemic biases don't silence voices.  
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 Image Credits: Unsplash

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