To Be a Man and a Woman in the Media The gender roles for men and women are constantly being implemented throughout the years in various forms of media; men are the dominant fgure and women are subordinate to men. With that reason, there are many female fgures that have been forced to hide their real identity in order to appeal to the general public.
For example, Virginia Woolf wrote about her struggles in her speech, Professions for Women, and to abolish the unrealistic ideology of the Angel in the House; a poem bout the ideal Victorian women. Although the speech was several years ago, the specific gender role is still embedded in the present. Accordingly, after many years of women writing about subjects that concern gender inequality, the media still thrives on men being the dominant figure and women as sexual objects; this is seen in many famous movies and shows today.
In addition, the role of women and men in the media has been systematically placed in our television sets. Thus, the mass media largely influences our views on gender roles and it also affects the way we socialize hildren; the media creates the concept of being “feminine” and “masculine” in order to create a way to manipulate the population’s perception of what should each gender should strive for in personality, attire, interest and many more. Therefore, the mass media promotes stereotypes and misrepresentation for men and women. The stereotypes for men and women that are placed in in the media distort our reality.
Some famous movies such as, Die Hard, Predator, Total Recall, Transformers 2 and most Disney classic movies, depicts the typical gender roles and have been seen for several years. Moreover, the men represent extreme masculinity: hard tough, independent sexually, aggressive, unafraid, violent, totally in control of all their emotions, and- above all- in no way feminine. While women are passive, dependent on men, and involved in relationships or housework, sexual objects that are also expected to be young, attractive, thin and unintelligent.
These kinds of personalities that are being put in screens imply that men are the competent gender and have to save women who are the incompetent ones. The stereotypes are not only in movies and television, they can be found in hildren’s shows such as The Little Mermaid, the female protagonist would sacrifice anything for the prince, even give up her identity as a mermaid. Even the little creatures in the Smurfs movie, incorporates the male dominance by naming the female Smurfette, while the male Smufs have names that identify them as individuals.
These are not Just coincidence; the makers of these children shows know that children are going to emulate these types of stereotypical characteristics in the future. In fact there are policies that have been adopted since 1991, “Beginning in 991 , television executives deliberately and consciously adopted a policy of having dominant male characters in all Saturday morning children’s programming” (Gendered M There are ways that the media create images for a particular woman; there are what is considered the “good” and “bad”.
These two images are often polar opposites of each other; it reflects the obvious differences and the ultimate consequences with each characteristics. The “good” woman has to meet a specific trait- “pretty, deferential, and focused on home, family and caring for others. Subordinate to men, hey are usually cast as victims, angels, martyrs, and loyal wives and helpmates” (Gendered Media 33). The media enjoys the portrayal of these type women in which they are often seen as the victim in famous movies.
While on the other hand, the “bad” women are considered as vile beings and most often the villain who is the enemy of the “good” women, they are “all of the things a good woman is not supposed to be witch, bitch, whore, or non-woman, who is represented as hard, cold, and aggressive” (Gendered Media 33). Note that the “bad” women are portrayed with the characteristics of what the media define as men. These types of roles are also in children’s literature, witches and mean stepmothers are always seen as the villains to females like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, who embody the passive, beautiful straits.
The media is deliberately making movies that cater to the stereotypes as Scott Mendelson contends: It’s the fault of every action movie producer who sticks in a token girlfriend purely so they can pander to female stereotypes by showing the hero kissing a girl on the poster, saving a girl in the trailer, or merely offering the meme that the hero is automatically more sympathetic because he has a woman waiting for im to come home (think Olympus Has Fallen, The Sum of All Fears, or The Killer Elite just off the top of my head).
It’s the fault of the idea that products theoretically targeting women aren’t Just about being gender-neutral but specifically about playing to gender-based stereotypes. Be it pink doctor kits in toy stores or steakhouses with lipstick mirrors in the desert menus (How Hollywood Markets) The author is putting the blame on the producers who are responsible for supporting the gender stereotype in every action movie where the hero is a man and that the female is secondary.
In addition, the same strategy is used when targeting women in advertisements. They have colors specifically for each gender. Furthermore, the entertainment industry likes to assume that women would only watch action movies for the romantic scenes, while men are expected to enjoy the loud bombs, fighting and weapons. These misrepresentations of gender accomplishes to distort the reality that not all women watch for the romantic, kissing parts and not all men enjoy all the aggressiveness in action movies.
These expectations for both genders impair our view on genders as a society. The scenes that we see in the movies are likely to permeate into the real world where it is not always applicable to everyone. Although there have been recent attempts to spread feminism on social media sites, however, they are still being misrepresented in the mainstream media. Groups such as “SlutWalks” are using the convenience of the social media to communicate with a larger audience.
Though, in spite of their efforts, there are criticisms and negative opinions on the group, “But they also received a lot of harassment and threatening and bullying and horrible rape threats” (SOCIAL MEDIA 15). Furthermore, the effort to enact the goal of equality in both genders in these current times is reminiscent of the struggles in the previous teminist groups; one particular example is the book ot Be Friedan called The Feminine Mystique, which was published in 1963. Friedan is accredited in igniting the second-wave feminism and really revealed the unhappiness of women who were expected to be happy.
The media projected that women were happy doing housework all day and taking care of children. The Feminine Mystique highlights the bleak reality in which she explains: Over and over gain, stories in women’s magazines insist that women can know fulfillment only at the moment of giving birth to a child. They deny the years when she can no longer look forward to giving birth, even if she repeats the act over and over again. In the feminine mystique, there is no other way for a woman to dream of creation or of the future.
There is no other way she can even dream about herself, except as her children’s mother, her husband’s wife. (The Feminine Mystique) Friedan argues that women in that period was not allowed to think about their own needs and that the edia would fabricate the way women are perceived. They are only subjected to the motherhood experience; to be a mother a husband’s wife. The many waves of feminism have certainly have added improvements to society, more people now have noticed a shift in the themes of the movies and television shows.
While there are movies that stars female protagonist, the stereotypes are not completely eradicated. Moreover, the themes of female needing the help of male to achieve a goal are still prevalent and the younger generation celebrates these types of films. The obvious hemes and gender roles that are marketed towards the teens are likely to distort their reality. Even with social media activist who are rigorously advocating the feminist movement, the mainstream media are still repressing the overall messages.