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Media Effects and Gender

Free «Media Effects and Gender» Essay Sample

A) Mass Communication sets or perpetuates some gender agendas. Provide links as examples

With the advancements in communication and hence globalization, mass media is quickly becoming the perfect and preferred tool for the propagation of information, culture and beliefs. Increasing media influence has seen persons finding it difficult to understand themselves or maintain their identity without having to consult the media (Sharda, 2014). This phenomenon is the perpetuation or setting of ideologies that either haunt the societies of modern people slowing down the development in different areas of civilization or work to better it. Gender issues are indicators of undesirable gender inequality while agendas seek to balance the scales in gender egalitarianism. Mass media perpetuates certain points dealing with the matter of the concepts of masculine and feminine roles and the qualities assigned to men and women giving rise to gender issues in media. These agendas include gender equality, equity, and inclusion while issues arising comprise inequality, stereotypes, gender discrimination and oppression.

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B) Mass Communication influences attitudes and opinions about gender, race and sexuality. Pose a question or statement in the group discussion

Mass media works to create social standards and determine gender roles in modern society (Lantagne, 2014). It is easily accessible to everyone who uses smartphones, computers, or other gadgets. Thus, it is easy to establish certain perceptions in the society among the young as well as the old, the males and females. In media, images portraying men and women undertaking certain roles are repeatedly shown. Females are often depicted accomplishing tasks such as cooking and cleaning, often making them multi-tasking with bearing children and, in general, taking the role of the caregiver. These actions enhance and motivate the development of certain beliefs in the society. One Hasbro Rose Petal Cottage advert demonstrates this action and even goes ahead indirectly calling home a place where women’s dreams are growing (Mwb1973, 2007). Males are often depicted performing nation-building tasks and are thereby shown as providers and the decision-makers.

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In mass media, women are stereotypically demonstrated to be dependent, incompetent, weak, emotional, modest, fearful, flexible, passive, soft-spoken and gentle. The media contains a lot of sexism which is reflected in the idealisms of today (Mediamatters4america, 2011). Portraying women as sexual objects is common in media thus sexually victimizing them. The increasing depiction of females as personifications of beauty and sexuality overshadows all their accomplishments in different fields and maintains the dominance of men. Such image negatively affects women as it makes them feel insecure decreasing their self-esteem by setting unrealistic standards of what is beautiful.

Media usually depicts males as aggressive, powerful, competent, important, strong and assertive. In mass media, people are shown images of what real men look like and how they should spend their lives. Portraying males initiating violence against women encompass the realms of mass media and messages how much the former are better than the latter. Men are learnt how to look strong and suppress their emotions and end up living stressful and fake lives.

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Mass media is also a useful tool in the setting of gender agendas. Though this means is highly influential in the perpetuation of negative perceptions, empowering women, and encouragement of gender equality and equity is possible through it. The engagement of females in media should act as a stepping stone to setting gender agendas in mass media. More inclusion would mean that women have a higher influence on media content. Gender agendas are achievable by showing images of positive and realistic expectations and ideals. A fair portrayal of both genders is also necessary. Communication initiatives, for the purpose of changing attitudes and perceptions, should also be implemented to realize such goals.

Feminists are engaged in the fight to end sexist oppression; yet, evidence points out the feminism activities of only white women. Does this give white women a privilege over African Americans in regards to sexist oppression?

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