Media Portrayal Of Gender And Cultural Stereotypes During World War Ii And Current Times

1728 words - 7 pages

When you think of American history, do you think of war, slavery, or segregation? Something that these have in common is gender equality. Gender equality is something that has been an issue in America since the first day it was inhabited. This is a problem in America. A more particular time period would be, World War II. During this time, women were being used to do men’s jobs and duties but, they still had to have a feminine aspect to them. While most men were at war, the women picked up jobs playing baseball, and working in factories to build the necessary items for war and daily living. During World War II, it was necessary for women to work. The government statistics prove this:
In December 1941, the government conscripted single women aged 20-30 as auxiliaries to the Armed Forces, Civil Defense, or war industries… Government figures show that women’s employment increased during the Second World War from about 5.1 million in 1939 (26%) to just over 7.25 million in 1943 (36% of all women of working age). Forty six percent of all women aged between 14 and 59, and 90% of all able-bodied single women between the ages of 18 and 40 were engaged in some form of work or National Service by September 1943. (Anitha)
A woman in the workplace was common but they did not receive the pay they deserved. Often, a woman’s job was the same as the previous male, but they did these jobs for 53% of the male’s pay. (Tolman) Eventually many woman and men went on strike demanding equal pay.
Miss Representation is a documentary based on women in the media and how the media has affected women today. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” This quote is from Alice Walker, a female, who realized that they easiest way for someone to be manipulated by media is for that person to believe it was the right thing to do. Teenagers today spend an average of 10 hours and 45 minutes a day influenced by media by either watching television, listening to music, reading a magazine, or surfing online. Media is the message and the messenger.
Women, specifically teenage women, use the media to figure out how to look and act. The pressure it takes to fit in can be unbearable at times. How did women during wartime overcome this pressure? They had media, but much less of it. However, media now is everywhere. When someone walks down the street, what would that person see? They would see
billboards, magazines, televisions, and they can even hear radios. The media is everywhere. Women during World War II were affected by the media just as women are today. What is the person that comes to mind where talking about WWII? Rosie the Riveter. She was used influence women to help during wartime. The media used her in the propaganda campaign. The demand for women to help was extremely high. The government decided to use Rosie to “lure women into working.” (Fleming) Many women responded differently to the character. The media promoted “Rosie the...

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