Thread: Gender Roles
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Old 2012-05-31, 13:30   Link #50
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Normandy SR-2
Age: 23
This isn't related to the more biology-centric discussion on this page, nor some of the overall discussion in the thread but I'll post it anyways. It's partly because I think especially in the modern day and age with the innovations in technology, I see mass media as having a bigger role in aggravating the gender inequality that was at first cemented by biology.

We were studying media portrayals of women in English recently and there're lots of appalling statistics regarding misrepresentation and under-representation of women in media - take advertising for instance. A huge amount of ads objectify, stereotype and demean women in both blatant and subtle ways - the latter's even more dangerous because half the consumers of these ads just subconsciously absorb these implications. The majority of TV broadcast networks have men sitting at the top, so even when you look at things like news reports, you can see how pervasive the points of view of men are. Media is often very subtly sexist - for instance, there were two articles about a male and female politician. The male politician was said "to have stated" something, while the female one "complained" about something else. We don't really notice these things unless we really look for them. It's like slow-acting toxin for the minds of consumers of media.

When bombarded with all of these media constructs from the moment of birth, both men and women form skewed conceptions of how men and women "should" be. Of course it affects men too - for instance, men are discouraged by media from having "feminine" characteristics like compassion or sensitivity by a stereotypical image of masculinity that also really needs to change. But foremost, the media really doesn't help raise productivity of women in society. It's a given that men are the dominant ones, with their stereotype of being powerful and "manly" as mentioned. When the self-esteem of women is put down by media, how could they have to confidence to do things like run for office or climb to the top of a company? And even if they reach positions of high power, women have many difficulties, one of the factors being that she'd be subject to more sexism. A woman in power is often not seen as a good thing, it seems...

I think it's important for women to realize that the current societal environment affects how they view themselves is being affected just as much as how men view them. To change the attitudes of people in society towards gender roles and stereotypes, we need to be far more critical of everything we see and hear, and for that to happen media literacy would be crucial. This would be the first step in the direction of gender equality.

Sorry for the long post guys Practice for my English exam... heh XD
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