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Gender Inequality According To Functionalist And Marxist Feminist Perspective

1043 words - 4 pages

Contrary to popular believe, gender is referred to the attitudes, behaviours and emotions linked with a specific sexual group. There are two dominant perspectives that illustrate two different viewpoints of gender inequality. The functionalist perspective, by Talcott Parsons, believed that both men and women possess specific qualities that make them excellent at specific events, and these qualities are not interchangeable (Brym, 2014). The Marxist-Feminist perspective; however, viewed qualities for men and women as to being dependent on social conditions rather than being inherited (2014). In order to further illustrate the presence of gender inequality in the present society; the film Missrepresentation, by Jennifer Newsom reveals the lack of female presence in lead or authoritative roles in media, in comparison to men (Newsom, 2011).
The film Missrepresentation, by Jennifer Newsom, is about the underrepresentation of women by the media (2011). The film challenges the viewpoints of media that are constantly depicting females as to being dependent on males. Furthermore, even when females are displayed as lead characters, the plot will ensure that their life’s will surround the life of a male. Examples of these include, a lead female falling in love with her “prince charming” as he saved her from great dangers. We rarely see a female character saving a male in the media (2011). According to the film the media continues to encourage the ideology that a women’s power is associated with her youth, beauty and sexuality, instead of her knowledge and intelligence (2011). The film also provides starling statistics, for instance by the age to 18 78% of females are unhappy with how the look. Also of the 8 million people with eating disorder 7 million are girls. The number of cosmetic surgeries has tripled from 1997 to 2007. In 2011 only 11% of females were protagonists in films. Only 5.8% of TV stations are owned by females (2011). These statistics continue to tilt in favour of males, as each day passes by.
The first of the two dominant perspectives is the functionalist perspective on gender. The functionalists including Talcott Parsons, an American sociologist, believe in the ideal nuclear family. The father in the family is suppose to work and be the income source for the household, whereas the mother is responsible for raising the children and managing the household (Brym, 2014). Thus according to this, males and females have a social conformity that is passed down from one generation to another. Moreover, masculinity is linked with instrumental traits and femininity is associated with expressive traits. For example, male should be strong, protective, dominant and providers where as females are sensitive, weak, dependant and focused on their appearance (2014). In the film, this is the dominant view of the media (Newsom, 2011). Shows like 2 and the half men that display women as recyclable objects or news anchors who are thought to be able to attract...

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