I’m a female, you may be male, gender-variant, or in the ever changing world today, you could possibly be anything you want! What we are in terms of gender is a representation that is culturally formed, though they exist on the basis of biological classification (Sukhmani, 2014). However realistic media images may seem, they never simply represent the world directly. Representations and the way an audience views subjects in the media are constantly under construction, therefore it is difficult to determine what is real and what isn’t.
Sukhmani (2014) defines stereotyping as “widely circulated idea’s or assumptions that exist about particular groups”. It allows us to create generalised perceptions of strangers based on our own learning’s, experiences and pre-conceived ideas. After studying BCM110, BCM210, and BCM310 its hard to go unnoticed, however many other people in society are completely oblivious!
Gauntlett (2007) explores the representation of gender in which the portrayal of females in the 1970’s rendered the roles of marriage, parenthood and domesticity, and who’s interactions were often concerned with romance or family. The 2011 YouTube video ‘Female Stereotypes in Disney Films’, showed in the week 8 lecture distinctly links to this concept, in which the time period reflects the stereotypical male and female characters of that era. These characters represented the subordination of stay at home mothers, whilst the male was the dominant provider who exercised control.
As I mentioned earlier, the media are constantly under construction. Does this mean that the portrayal of gender in the media has changed overtime? Gauntlett (2007) elaborates that now “men and women are seen as working side-by-side, as equals in television-land”. However, this theory of equality in today’s society is contested by modern forms of media.
This is evident in HBO’s latest drama “The Newsroom”, which blatantly use women as weak objects to portray male superiority. The show not only focuses on scenes involving men “setting women straight”, it is a pure example of gender stereotyping in modern society, in which roles of men and women are similar to those from the 1970’s (Ryan, 2012).
The 2014 “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign is a current example of the significant and worthy attention women require in the media today. Unfortunately on 14th April 2014, more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted and sold for purposes of sex, slavery and marriage. Identifying that harm, rape, murder and kidnapping is what is required for females to break through the surface of gender stereotyping and be significantly presented in the media.
I would hate to see this lack of modification to gender-stereotyping continue, women should receive adequate media attention for achievements, accomplishments and triumphs!
Anne of Carversville, JPEG, Prettiest Boy in the world, accessed 28/04/2013, http://www.anneofcarversville.com/sensuality/tag/andrej-pejic
Gauntlett, D 2008, ‘Representation of Gender in the Past’, in Media, Gender and Identity, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York, pp. 46-61
Gauntlett, D 2008, ‘Representation of Gender Today’, in Media, Gender and Identity, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York, pp. 62-98
Sara, M 2014, JPEG, Gender and Children’s Literature, accessed 28/04/2013, http://gender320.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/disney-stereotypes-for-villains.html
Sukhmani, M 2014, Gender and the Media, BCM310 Emerging Issues in Media and Communications, University of Wollongong, delivered 28 April
The Guardian 2014, Bring back our girls: global protest over abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, accessed 28/04/2013, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/07/bring-back-our-girls-global-protests-abduction-nigerian-schoolgirls
‘The Newsroom: Women problems abound in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series’, Huffington Post, 7 February 2006, pg.1
Universomovie, JPEG, Bring back our girls campaign, accessed 28/04/2014, https://universomovie.ning.com/
YouTube 2013, The Newsroom-Occupy Wallstreet Video, accessed 28/04/2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwk_Ot8orPY