Sexism in the media: Actress Kristen Stewart gained more scrutiny for affair with director Rupert Sanders

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Illustration courtesy MCT Campus

Another Hollywood cheating massacre occurred over this summer, leaving two couples with broken hearts and a million Twilight fans crying their wet n’ wild eyeliner out.

On July 24, the dreary news arrived of Kristen Stewart, 22, who played the second Snow White this year (the first being Lily Collins) cheating on heartthrob Robert Patterson, 26, with Rupert Sanders, the director of “Snow White and the Huntsmen.”

The way the media reported this cheating scandal was unfair and sexist on her end. They focused more on what she did instead of what they did together. The angle that entertainment news articles took cornered Stewart’s womanhood and left Sander’s manhood untouched.

To be fair, the media was probably more focused on Stewart because she is K-Stew whereas Rupert Sanders is relatively no one. But that still does not excuse the sexist way the media angled their stories.

Before Will Ferrell nicknamed her a “trampire” on Conan, Stewart was called a home wrecker by default and the second Angelina Jolie by entertainment news sources.

For example, Fox News wrote, “Now she may also take Jolie’s mantle as most famous home wrecker” and IBN Live asked, “Is Kristen Stewart the most hated woman in Hollywood now?”

As the entertainment articles piled on, it continued to be one-sided with the weak index finger pointing at Stewart. Articles published by entertainment media such as OK Magazine, Rumorfix and Radaronline all used phrases such as “Her cheating,” “Kristen Stewart did it” and my personal favorite, “Kristen kissed him.” As if kissing was a one person act.

Whatever ever happened to the word ‘they” in Hollywood? Why not they cheated or they did it or they kissed?

According to Professor Ronda Picarelli, who teaches in the department of Communication Studies at CSUN, the media does vilify women in sex-scandals more so than they do men.

“I think the media tend to vilify women who are adulterers rather than men who are adulterers because… culturally and socially, we expect that behavior,” said Picarelli. “I think we often write it off in men. Like it’s a surprise, right? And I am not suggesting that it is good, but…we kind of condone male promiscuity or male infidelity by suggesting that’s just what men do.”

This is most likely due to the dominant male presence in entertainment reporting. According to a recent census done by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) “women working full-time in daily newspapers total about 15,400 or 36.92 percent.”

The majority of the articles barely acknowledged Sanders, the man who made the sex possible. Sanders is (soon-to-be was) married to Liberty Ross, who played Queen Eleanor–Snow White’s mother in the film. One would think that their side of the story has more to work with, but instead the media focused on Stewart ruining her relationship with her ‘does not own a brush’ boyfriend Robert Patterson.

Not only is Sanders 19 years her senior, he is married with a wife and two kids. Anyone should have the decency to think twice before sleeping with someone who is in a relationship, especially if the person in question is already married. Sanders should equally get the blame with Stewart as both being cheaters. However, the media made it seem like Stewart seduced an innocent man.

Hollywood is stuck in the past. The reporters still think women should be whipped for cheating, while men should just be slapped on their wrist. This can only change if more women contribute as reporters. By having more women involved in the media, the reporting for entertainment news stories will be more fair towards both sexes.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4W7LHHJP54ZCXRINO2XUHJNTYA Lulu Collazo

    Yes, sexism has played it’s part big time in  Ms. Kristen Stewart situation.  I have been following this story since it broke and there’s been a “double standard” in the manner that Ms. Kristen Stewart has been treated as opposed to getting off the hook,  director Rupert Sanders.  As I explained before, in a normal work scenario, the power lies is on the seducer.  Mr. Sanders was in a position of power over Ms. Stewart. He was the director/boss of the movie “Snow white and the Huntsman” and she was the aspiring actress/employee.  If this situation would’ve taken place in a normal working atmosphere, even if the party that is seduced agrees to or consents to the relationship, there would be a case of sexual harassment against the seducer.  So I totally agree with article, and yes, we are still living in the past, still we all are the Hester Payne of the 21st century.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4W7LHHJP54ZCXRINO2XUHJNTYA Lulu Collazo

    Yes, sexism has played it’s part big time in  Ms. Kristen Stewart situation.  I have been following this story since it broke and there’s been a “double standard” in the manner that Ms. Kristen Stewart has been treated as opposed to getting off the hook,  director Rupert Sanders.  As I explained before, in a normal work scenario, the power lies is on the seducer.  Mr. Sanders was in a position of power over Ms. Stewart. He was the director/boss of the movie “Snow white and the Huntsman” and she was the aspiring actress/employee.  If this situation would’ve taken place in a normal working atmosphere, even if the party that is seduced agrees to or consents to the relationship, there would be a case of sexual harassment against the seducer.  So I totally agree with article, and yes, we are still living in the past, still we all are the Hester Payne of the 21st century. Lourdes M. Collazo, Esq.

  • Kenneth Elliott

    Enough of this Twilight bashing.

    Why not write an article about sexist films that people watch religiously? For example, how about Lord of the Rings, which presents an even more medievel depiction of men and women: men fight and get things done while women watch and cry for their men to come back. Talk about sexism!

  • nena

    Yes you seem to defend her but then say her “affair”, and “having sex”!  She has said that did not occure and you must have x ray vision if you saw that in the fake pictures. If you want to help her find a picture from a fashion magazine in Europe that has a picture of RS and LS in an embrace that is the same as pictured in the Us weekly magazine.  Get ahole of the original pictures from Us weekly or Flamefly.net so we can all see if the are real or fake, that will help!

  • gigi5

    The director’s name is Sanders, not Saunders. You made assumptions in this article that may not be true.   

    This article seems like an excuse to go on bashing Kristen Stewart, while pretending  to defend her.  

  • lu mas

    I agree,obviously sexism exists and it’s even socially accepted which is very very sad. In general we should all stop minding other people’s business,treating them as criminals for something that only involves them and assuming we know what and why happened.By the way,you are assuming that the “affair” was more than what they admitted and what the photos showed,which was just a moment and a kiss.So you are part of the bigger problem, the gossip business, which is the first one to treat people, especially young women, as objects to be trashed and it’s a strong factor in perpetuating sexism.