Representation within media is a powerful thing and the viewpoint often differs with context, such as the gender of the storytellers and the time period in which a piece was written and/or published. William Moulton Marston, the mind behind iconic female superhero Wonder Woman (DC Comics), has once described a need for a new type of woman in comics. He found there was a need for one that defied the weaknesses we usually prescribe to females in general, stating that the female archetype lacks the force, strength, and power needed to make girls want to identify with female characters (American Scholar, 1943). Even then, his heroine could be described as modest and peace-loving, two characteristics he himself described as belonging to the aforementioned weaknesses.
Differences between gender behavior and roles have existed for centuries. Women in the United States during the 1800s to early 1900s were looked upon as housewives and caretakers, and usually stayed at home while men worked and made money. However, as time has progressed, the fight for women’s equality has constantly been changing our society’s gender roles. The path to social reconstruction and the struggle to achieve it has shown a positive result of activists’ attempts to mend the social gap. By looking at past events, both successes and failures, understanding and recognizing the path to equality will bring light upon the issues that have taken place in the United States. Key political events, demonstrations and protests, and war efforts that have occurred from 1890 to today will be highlighted.
Along with the creation of music videos, hip-hop’s popularity has soared and changed in many ways. Men and women are depicted in distinct and vivid ways in the media – particularly music videos – that may subconsciously affect our views of the norms of today’s society. That is, catchy songs and glamorous music videos that society thinks are harmless entertainment actually shape our worldview and can cause people to accept false impressions of women (Shrum & Lee, 2012). For example, as Sarnavka (2003) posits, women are victims of violence in society, as well as victims of violence in media (as cited in Bretthauer, Zimmerman, and Banning, 2007).
Throughout American society, Women have been downgraded in the face of men. In america’s past, women were seen purely as housewives, and had no place in a higher position. Today women have many more rights, putting them on much more equal terms as men. With this, women have shown their capabilities and their worth to society, leading its progression, and proving that the arguments of the anti-suffrage movement were initially the opposite of what women could really do. The arguments that women’s place is only at home and that men have the sole job of running government and society has been proven wrong by women in contemporary society.
Women have found themselves at the bottom of society’s hierarchal pyramid for eons. Even though females make contributions that prove vital to the world’s function, they are still regarded as the weaker link. The female plight of constantly facing debasement is a pawn used to ensure compliance. It is a common notion that if one is demeaned enough, he or she will conform to the suggested persona. Society tests this notion through its treatment of women. It treats women poorly to cause them to comply with gender expectations. Not only do women have to face pressures of conformity in real life, but they also face intimidation in fairytales. Grimm’s Snow White and Cinderella perpetuate society’s notion that a woman is the inferior being whose value lies not only in her beauty but also in her abilities to perform domestic work and satisfy men.
Recent headlines have highlighted the fact that rape culture is prevalent in our society, most noticeably on college campuses. To understand why this is a social issue we first have to understand what rape culture entails. Rape culture is a set of assumptions that reinforces male sexual aggression and disregards violence against females (Hildebrand & Najdowski, 2015, p. 1062). Simplified, it is an environment where sexual violence is normalized and most of the time excused.
In her recent online article, “Oh, Come On, Men Aren’t Finished,” Cristina Sommers explains that no matter how many times women say that they don’t need men, we actually do, to not only survive but also to thrive. Although in some fields of study women primarily dominate such as in psychology, biology, and veterinary medicine; men still call the shots in many more fields of study, such as computer science, math, and technology. The point the author is trying to get across is that despite the fact that, “we’re living in a society that’s enamored with the “WAW” or “Women are Wonderful” phenomenon,” that men are not going to be obliterated because neither gender would let that happen.
In today’s society despite of the progress women have reached there are still barriers that are placed in society. According to author “Thirty-four percent of all families headed by women are poor: the rates are higher for African American women, Latinas and Native American women, and the rate has been increasing” (Andersen, 2015, p. 3). The previous statistics reveal that even living in a society were “equality for both genders” is usually advocated, women’s are still suffering the biggest discrimination in the workplace and in society. Even professional women working full time are being paid less than males. Moreover, professional women are continuously suffering from barriers such as the glass ceiling effect this clearly affect women from raising to upper level positions.
'Human being', the easiest word to spell until it holds a significance. The human being is typically defined as any individual of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from the other organisms by their superior abilities to do different tasks. But does this definition really differs from a man and woman.
Shirley Chisholm once claimed, “The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, ‘It 's a girl.’” Throughout history, women have been told that they are not smart enough, pretty enough, or strong enough to do what is classified as “male work”. In more traditional environments, women are expected to hold certain jobs such as nursing or cleaning. The possibility to obtain the more “advanced jobs” such as a doctor or a lawyer was unsubstantial. This harsh stereotyping enables women to capitulate to their male counterparts causing the oppression of women. The theme of oppression of women is exemplified in the novels The Color Purple and Fried Green Tomatoes. Both novels illustrate a woman who weak, due to the oppression by males, undergo a metamorphosis into an impregnable woman with assistance. Thus, in the novels The Color Purple and
TOPIC: How does Media portray gender, and the effects it has on the 21st century individual?
Sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and rape play a very large role in female oppression as well. For example, women are often targeted for this type of assault because females are seen as subordinate and objectified by society and the media. One example of this objectification and dehumanization of women in pop culture can be seen in the music video to the song “Blurred Lines,” performed by Robin Thicke. The music video, banned by YouTube in 2013, featured near-nude women dancing around fully clothed men; this is a problem because the video promotes women’s bodies being used as objects to reinforce the status of the men in the video. The men clearly have control over the situation and are not vulnerable in any way, whereas the women are in
Films have the power that moves far beyond pure entertainment. In particular, they can sway our collective imagination and influence our perceptions on crucial issues related to race, class, gender, etc., but the extent to which they reflect real-world situations is bleak, particularly in regards to women. The female characters in films ‘reflect and perpetuate the status and options of women in today 's society ' and play an active part in creating female role models (Kord,
We all claim to be in 21st century where we don’t differentiate among boys and girls but still if a girl wants to ride a plane and a boy wishes to wear pink, we tell them to perform their stereotyped gender roles. It shows that gender discrimination still prevails. Moreover we are stuck in stagnant society which is resisting any kind of change. At the same time, many social institutions such as mass media are practicing gender stereotype. If media is gendered, how can we expect our society to behave in any different way towards gender? This article focuses on how media especially advertisements highlights gender stereotypical images of both men and women.
The representation of gender in mass communications has been a hugely debated topic for years and will continue to be one for many more years to come. The media plays a big role in how they want to portray a gender to the public. They create certain stereotypes through the role of a gender in order to attract a large audience and interest to sell a product, brand or image. Media is so important in today’s society, people spend hours and hours each day watching TV, browsing the Internet and reading magazines. There are so many images of men and women in the media today that it certainly has an impact on the viewer’s thoughts and sense of identity. I’m going to solely focus on how femininity is represented in contemporary advertising.