Gender and the Mass Media

Mass media has a significant role in society. This is through broadcasting of information to the public and offering entertainment to numerous people. Representation of women or girls in media has been a topic of concern for a long time. Research on the issue portrays that there are remarkably few females compared to males in numerous types of mainstream media. To top it up, the few women who are featured in the media are portrayed in immensely stereotypical ways. The inequality in how men and women are portrayed in media is evident in various forms of media in society.

This phenomenon can be seen from any type of media advertising such as magazines, popular music, films, or magazines. In most cases, women are portrayed performing home chores, as sex objects for satisfying men, and as victims who cannot protect themselves (“Gender issues in the media”, n.d.). On the other hand, media stereotypes associate men with masculinity. Masculinity is often related to machismo, aggression, independence, competition, and emotional detachment. Some of the most renowned films stereotyping men in this aspect include Rambo and G.I. Joe’s movies.

In today’s world, commercial shows are the most “gendered” phenomenon in media. Commercials are vast sources of gender stereotyping, because they are adapted to either males or females. They offer a reflection of the recipient after using a certain product that is being advertised. Women are presented in commercial shows involving daily household products like soaps, cooking fat, perfumes, and many others. Men, on the other hand, advertise cars, alcoholic beverages, and cigarettes among others.

Media has extensively influenced people’s understanding of gender roles. Division of various gender roles is deeply rooted in various social archetypes in the society. In the past, men were considered as career focused, financial providers, independent and assertive (Wolska, 2011). Women were characterized as loving wives, low income earners, and responsible for the children. However, today the feminist environment is depicted as more independent and successful. Moreover, women have equal opportunities with men in the labor market. Men are no longer considered as the sole breadwinners in the society.

One positive influence generated by media is the aspect of gender equality. Women are no longer denied chances to perform in various positions previously dominated by men. They have become more empowered and independent than several decades ago. However, some media broadcasts and commercials associate women with sexuality and household shores. This has a negative impact of the dress codes and fashion preferences in the growing generation. Despite the negative stereotyping created by media, it is impossible to change its consumption levels because it is also an imperative information tool.

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