Media is the most influential platform which has stereotyped gender in our day to day activities. For instance, have you ever tried to find why some certain food types are marketed to ladies and not men? Have you ever asked yourself why the aisles found in toy stores are seen with some specific colors such as pink which they envisage to represent the girls while the blue for boys? It has been found that media is the primary platform that people have learned and associated their behaviors to influence gender. Media has created a pressure on how we understand our identity, our daily activities to even our institutions based on gender (Fiske & Hancock, 2016). Sex only describes whether a person is male or female, but it does not tell what specific gender can do while others cannot do. Gender would also refer to a cultural meaning that refers to a person. Media has made a thin line between male and female through a different advertisement that people have grown to comprehend that they belong to male and others belong to a girl.
Over the years media gender stereotypes have been a virtue that media has played up to the present. In most cases the print, television and through social media advertisements, the use of gender stereotypes has been the order of the day. They have continuously done it since the type of ad or programs are known to have a certain audience which they use as part of their marketing strategy to make profit (Gill, 2015). For instance, media would bring programs which are entirely romantic to impress the female and in a real sense they will attract a large mass of female gender. The media has gone to the extent of differentiating children based on their gender through bringing of adverts that distinguish the likes of a female from that of the male. The commercial advertisement will bring children toys whereby girl will be advertised using dolls while the male ones will be broadcast using trucks. Some other ads that run in our daily lives are those of pickup trucks that use male voices to represent them as being good drivers.
The advert above shows a woman with prepared burgers. The advert tries to mention that women are the only people who are associated with burgers. The practice has become a social norm whereby adverts are objectifying female while leaving alone the male gender. In essence, most of the people who might visit some fast food in such as MacDonald to purchase these burgers will be at higher percentage ladies. The practice will, therefore, discourage men from buying them as they will have low self-esteem and being branded ladies behaviors won’t work well for them. The form of advertisement is mainly used by media since it captures the consumer’s eyes and makes them have interests in being associated with the product (Salter & Blodgett 2017).
Media characterization through gender always have an exploding effect on children, children absorb ideas very fast, and most of the time after some time they will develop an understanding from the media that they won’t quickly fall back. For instance when the media play some clips of energetic and superhero men the male children will grow knowing that they are strong which will later change to being arrogant, vicious and hostile. On the other side, the fearful ladies as portrayed in the media will grow to be coward and very submissive which hurts them.
It is important to note that in a discussion about gender the words masculinity and feminine are used to identify some of the characteristics, meanings, and values that represent them. Their sense plays an essential role in the way someone will understand the other person. The two list does not only bring out the opposition to their meaning but they also clearly show the superiority and minority of the gender type. The values listed on the masculine side can be seen to illustrate the advantage of how the male is associated with the feminine (Gallagher, 2014). The list does not only show the antagonizing meanings of the virtues on the different side but also tries to prove that masculinity is way far valued than those of feminine.
Personally, being associated with the trait of being emotional which is found on the other side of feminine. The character has been seen when am trying to emphasize with someone who has gotten into trouble as I empathize with them. In the occurrence of when I lost a person who I love, it is easy for me to burst out into tears rather than just watch as people cry. The other trait is being passive, which is seen when most of the time am involved in doing activities that do not engage me actively such as playing games in the field since I would rather play computer games. I am also an indoor person since I don’t like walking around all over the town. I rather relax in my room and try to make myself busy inside there (Gallagher, 2014).
Over recent years I have seen people develop traits that are contrary to the historic list. Most of them are the feminine gender who have developed to perform the things which historically were known to be men’s trait. Some of them is becoming outdoors whereby most feminine have been found to work outside their houses, and even after working they don’t get back to their homes. Instead, they go out for partying and doing other activities. That trait historically was known for most of the men. Most feminine is now taking the responsibility of being productive such as working in long hours and even overtime which makes them equal the men (Salter & Blodgett 2017).
Glee has been the series which has challenged the traditional media portrayal of masculinity. As the series starts off, there is a dilemma of masculinity that is shown by two characters. The first one is when McKinley footballer players are annoyed by the Kurt being a gay while the other one is shown by some boys joining a choir. Kurt is a female and is seen in the series when she enters the team and makes them excel. The other one is when the football team is made to sing Beyoncé’s song, and that does not make them feel like ladies (Salter & Blodgett 2017).
I agree that gender is socially constructed since most of the things that feminine and masculinize people can do are mostly due to influence. A perfect example was when we were kids; our parents would give out duties and duties such as washing utensils were given to girl children, slashing the compound was given to the boy child. Through it, boys have grown up knowing that some of the duties they cannot do since ladies can only do them. Some other responsibilities refer to occupation such as being a driver which are believed to be masculinized and nurses being feminine.
Fiske, J., & Hancock, B. H. (2016). Media matters: Race & gender in US politics. Routledge.
Gallagher, M. (2014). Media and the representation of gender.The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender, 332-341.
Gill, R. (2015). Gender and the Media. John Wiley & Sons.
Salter, A., & Blodgett, B. (2017). Introduction: Actually, It’s about Toxic Geek Masculinity…. In Toxic Geek Masculinity in Media (pp. 1-16). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.