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Media's Influence On Gender Inequality Essay

1873 words - 8 pages

In today’s day and age technology is at the mere fingertips for people of all ages. Throughout our day to day lives we run into some type of technology without even paying it any attention. There are daily messages sent out that heavily influence the thoughts of individuals within this global society. The messages however are in favor of the large conglomerates that design them. So the question is what exactly do the messages depict, and who sends them out?
“Sexism is the subordination of one sex, usually female, based on the superiority of {another} sex” (Kendall, 2004, p. 76). This type of dominance is normally depicted through demoting and creating objects of women, thus men can maintain social control, privilege, and opportunity. If we glance at society, there is no doubt oppression is currently present, primarily maintained by the cis-gendered white male. The men, who tend to hold authority, consequently control society’s largest means of communication i.e. the media. Observantly looking at television shows, children’s toys, and advertisements we can find a fundamental theme projected by the ones in power: women are usually viewed as incompetent, preoccupied with insignificant topics, devious and licentious. Through the media we are also shown what the ideal woman should look like. We see these images through digitally enhanced advertisements, and Hollywood using significantly thin actors, this is an impossible view on how the ideal woman is created. For the everyday woman who doesn’t fit this category, social pressure increases for them to adjust to this image. This deliberate control of women is therefore adopted by society and passed on generation after generation. In today’s society it seems our children spend the majority of their time using some type of technology media, and the message depicted is evaluated by a detailed and critical eye. There are many theoretical levels of evaluation through sociology that present causes and solutions to social problems such as this one. By attempting to dissecting and comparing topics on gender inequality and issues in the media with these perceptions, the influence the media has on gender becomes even more concrete.
A theory that comes to mind when dealing with gender inequality is the conflict theory, which dictates that people are in a vicious cycle for authority and resources. Approaching the media’s influence on gender from this viewpoint, clarifies the continuous aspect of gender bias. Conflict theorists argue that a leading problem in the media is the convergence of ownership (Kendall, 2004, p. 318). Publishing and broadcasting companies are managed by small groups of individuals, and their products reveal their opinions. Conflict theorists also argue that male authority of production adverts along with the deliberate oppression of women through social structures are the roots of gender inequality. They contend that men, as opposed to women, often hold positions of elite power...

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