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Gender Portrayal in Media, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 594

Essay

Gender Socialization(Biancx)takes a look at the general portrayal of men and women in the media which is often unrealistic and results in misleading perceptions. This general portrayal of both genders leads the viewers to believe that men and women have different roles in the society and do not have the same capabilities. The media tends to imply that visible characteristics of men and women are more important for respect in the society than non-visible characteristics such as talent.

As far as women are concerned, the media implies that the status of women in the society depends upon their physical appearance and how closely they resemble the prevailing ideal standards of beauty. The media also takes the effort to communicate prevailing standards of beauty by specifically focusing on certain parts of a female body. The second message the media sends about women is that they are best suited to marital roles and dream of meeting the perfect guy who will be the key to all of their happiness. One gets the impression that women generally do not like work or are driven to excel in a professional career.

As far as men are concerned, the media implies that physical power and violence are cool because men are supposed to be strong. In addition, men are encouraged to pursue material wealth and success because that is the key to getting beautiful women and power in the society. It is as if men are born to rule and they should seek power even if it means crossing ethical boundaries or taking the law into one’s own hands. Media still wants men to believe that power is their sole right because masculine characteristics are an essential requirement for power and women are not suited for that.

When men and boys see their portrayal in the media, they are led to believe that laws are made to be broken and those who are afraid to exert power are cowards and lose face in the society. They also start seeing women as object of desires and believe that the key to getting beautiful women is power, money, and status. they are convinced that women are materialistic who only fall in love with those that can provide them a comfortable life so money should be an objective for every male member of the society.

When women and girls see their images in the media, they are led to believe that size zero and tones physiques are the accepted standards of beauty in the society. They also misleadingly start believing that only beautiful and physically perfect women are happy and get to enjoy ‘happy-ever-after’ future with their better halves. The media implies that women are always being judged on their physical appearance. Women and girls are still being told that the key to happiness is finding handsome and rich life partners and pursuing fulfilling professional careers. The media still celebrates the physical beauty of women and not the ability to positively influence the society.

Media has no financial incentive to change its course because its revenues come from the marketers who want to maintain the gender stereotypes in order to sell their products and services. Thus, it is up to the independent voices in the media to let men and women know that we have come a long way since the stereotypes of few decades and today men and women earn respect through their achievements and work. In addition, we have to convince the new generations that both genders have equal capabilities and the potential to make difference in the society.

References

Biancx. Gender Socialization. 29 October 2011 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K30NNovAsM>.

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