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Gender Based Stereotype In The Media

2087 words - 8 pages

Introduction

The media plays an extremely important and arguably the most powerful role in shaping the perception individuals and members of the public holds towards themselves and their surroundings. This therefore makes it extremely difficult for one to maintain his/her unique self identity or perception of others without the influence of the media. People will define themselves and others based on the messages insinuated by the media. The problem hence emerges when the media insinuate the wrong and negative messages, consequently leading to unwarranted stereotypes. Particularly, the media can lead to gender based stereotypes when to communicate the wrong type of messages (Wood 31). On the contrary, there are certain scholars who believe the media is a mirror of the society. It is not directly responsible for any stereotypes but rather highlight the stereotypes existing in the society (Tozer, Gallegos, Henry, & Greiner 444). While this to some extend is true, it is the opinion of this paper that due to its influence on shaping perception and the fact that the media has opted to focus on negative gender messages, it is promoting negative gender based stereotype that is harmful to both men and women.

Gender Based Stereotype in the Media

Tozer at el, (444) appears to suggest that the media should not be fully blamed for Gender based stereotypes because in most cases it only represents the stereotypes existing in the society. While this to some extent is true, the media should be blamed for failing to disrupt negative stereotypes through using its power of influence. Communicating positive messages and images can greatly redefine the gender stereotype affecting negatively its audience. Unfortunately more often than not, the media usually do the opposite. To be precise, it usually normalizes the existing gender based stereotypes. Doing so is a great disservice to member of the society since it is highly likely to create an environment that is conducive to one gender and deeming to the other; in most cases, men as oppose to women are usually favored by gender based stereotypes in the media (Tozer at al., 420).

Feminism Stereotypes

The reason why gender based media stereotype appears to favor one gender is because the media tend to be biased against the group that society considers to be the minority. Of course it might be representing what is happening in the society, whereby the majority group is viewed positively as opposed to the minority one. However, as earlier hinted, this is irresponsible of the media since it should be using its powers to promote positive behavior in society. All in all, it doesn’t do so. When it portrays the ‘minority’, in this case women, in a negative stereotypical manner, both men and women begin to consider this distortion as the truth. Men will judge women based on this representation and will expect them to act precisely as per the expectation. On the other hand, women will hold the same expectation on themselves...

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