Discussions and debates about gender issues are a frequent occurrence of today, with these debates often relating to representations of gender roles, particularly those depicted through media channels on television, in magazines and films & various realms of pop culture. I wanted to discuss this issue with various perspectives in mind, in attempt to provide an objective discussion.
I know that I myself often become switched off when watching my favourite shows and listening to music, becoming oblivious to signs of gender inequalities the medium may present to me. References to gender are often delivered through humour, using jokes based on male or female stereotypes. Two and a Half Men and Modern Family are programs that often use humor based on female stereotypes- as well as the stereotypical ways in which women are treated by men (as housewives, or sex objects). This is just one perspective.
Girls and Sex and the City communicate general issues that affect women like relationships and career complications, possibility as a means of connecting to the general experiences of female audiences. How I Met Your Mother and Friends often integrate jokes relating to stereotypical behaviours of men- using humour and jokes based on male stereotypes.
Sexism refers to prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. Music artists Dr Dre and Pitbull have been known to include ‘sexist’ or stereotypical statements in their lyrics when speaking about women. Whilst this definition notes that sexism is something typically experienced by women, it is also widely experienced by men in both the media and in the workplace. This is sometimes referred to as Reverse Sexism.
Whilst unequal representation of gender roles in the media is largely connected to female stereotypes, I think it is important to note, that men too, are often stereotyped in the ways in which they are represented across various forms. On top of this, levels of inequality are often overshadowed by humour, being overlooked by the viewer in effect. Within this study, it is relevant to note the ways subtle stereotypes are often integrated into these platforms- as these variances have cultural and ideological impacts on thinking, learning and the way media and media forms are internalized and responded to by viewers.
Marcotte, Micheal. (2013). ‘Gender Inequality in Public Media Newsrooms’. MVM Consulting. URL: http://www.mikemarcotte.com/2013/03/gender-inequity-in-public-media-newsrooms.html. Accessed 28/4/2014
Krishnan, Kavita. (2013). ‘The Anti-Rape Movement: The Political Vision of Naari Mukti/Sabki Mukti’. Kafila.org. http://kafila.org/2013/12/15/the-anti-rape-movement-the-political-vision-of-naari-muktisabki-mukti-kavita-krishnan/. Accessed 28/4/2014