Essay on Stereotypes in the Media

Published: 2021-06-30
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University of Richmond
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Stereotypes in the society are the characteristic about the differences, race, sexual orientation, and gender attributes. The media play different aspects of advertisements that show how the society show inequality based on gender. Many advertisements in the media portray something positive about women while other are negative. When performing different roles in the play gender should not be a major concern since the concept of masculinity and femininity is not a conscious thing in the film. According to Butler 1998, gender roles are ingrained in us since birth. The society follows the traditional behaviors that women should be men are supposed to be masculine and women feminine. There have been a decrease in gender difference in the current society since women and men are sharing the same educational and career opportunities, values and aspirations (Cameroon, 2007 p. 358). The differences between men and women are second-wave feminism limitation. In feminism and ethnicity and class, post-feminism problem experienced include white dominance, positions and dominance middle-class voices. The contemporary women are treated differently in the society from the women in earlier ages. This is because of the second feminism movement, and this is portrayed even in media texts. For instance, Lady Gaga is not as a preservative as the society experts. She reveals her slim and attractive body to the media so that she can show the beauty and sexual intimacy with men.

The media plays a significant role in describing the culture of people, method of communication and socialization. There have been numerous debates on socio identities of men and women. The role of men and women in the society are also discussed. Faludi 1992 writes about misogyny in Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction and portrays how women are unfeminine. They are seeking for more power, they are not tidy, but instead, they are hairy and tough lesbians dissenters whose primary goal is to oppress men in the society. This view has played a significant role in changing how the embraced the idea of feminism and ended up rejecting it. When the media is airing different advertisements, they display women as objects of men. The women are made to look sexy showing parts of their body which are socially wrong and a backlash against feminism. For example when a sexy woman is captured doing household chores when a man sits comfortably on the couch. The advertisement passes the notion that a woman should look good while men should not put any efforts to neat and handsome. The pictures or clips may not be wrong since there is nothing wrong with women looking beautiful but the problem is that the media mixes domestic chores and sexual objectification of females. The motions played by the media shows that men possess some essential, instinctive sexual drives that are only fulfilled when they treat women as sexual objects just for pleasure.

Post feminism is a critical postmodern critique of the traditional methods to feminism that were essentialist, extreme, misdirected, and flawed in all ways. Feminism has a great impact in the media, and it is significant in the society since it serves as a base and all the goals that are disclosed by the strands of feminism. The movement began in the year 1960 to 1970 and was faced with many difficulties. The feminist theory claims that the previous notions of sexuality were restrictive. The representations of females in media texts are shifted from the second-wave feminism where women were treated as purely sexual to the bodies of women being sexualized. The media representations on gender stereotype compel the audience to a masculine subject position. The representations inspire viewers to enjoy in the possessive gaze, controlling, take part in the procedure of sexual objectification. The media narrow the feminism in women to just small images and pictures that sell goods and services by seducing men and arousing their sexual instincts. No matter how hand people may try to reduce the objectification of women it does work since women never enjoy their sexuality, but instead, men enjoy them with sexual pleasure. The situation is improving with the second-wave feminism where women are no longer objects of sex. The current media representations such as magazines, articles, pictures, movies, and information explicitly analyze matters of female sexuality. In the media, there is a new possibility for females regarding appearance of sexuality (Taylor, 2012). The opening up of these possibilities is partly related to the assumption or recovering of specific signifiers of womanliness. For instance, wearing make-up might be incorrectly seen as a way of undermining the feminine position that the worth and beauty of a woman is based on the physical appearance.


Feminism is a movement that advocates for equality and liberation of women. It has a great impact on the society since it fights for women legal, socio-economic and political rights. It also improves the status of women in the society. The media strives to oppose the oppression that women face in the society. This oppression includes domestic violence which is faced by many women by they remain silent. They also face family planning methods and abortion and contraceptives. The media plays a significance role in criticizing the approaches in which women are visually represented as sexual objects and uneducated people who can only take care of children and do household chores. Women in the media wear makeups so as to attract men attention and to beautify themselves (Taylors (2011).

Women create different identity though slight changes such as hairstyles, make-ups and dressing mode. Make-ups worn by women serve a tool of power over men since they take advantage of their attractiveness as power over men. The current media advertising campaigns for cosmetics and other make-ups how that woman is aggressive rather than enatic. Bad Girl is another way of showing that girls have power in the society. Catherine Lumby, a postfeminist theorist observers that the positions of a new generation of feminists in debates about media, censorship, and pornography. The media shows the signs such as Bad Girl or objectification and images of sexism (Taylors, 2011). Post-feminism argues that feminism is outdated and therefore no longer relevant to contemporary gender changes. It is a post-modern approach to feminism and the critiques of former feminists. The media offers the Gaga emphasized on the postfeminist since she opens new opportunities for women to be valued by the society and also to express themselves with confidence. There is a slogan that goes that Anything a man can do, a woman can do better where the models wear jeans only makes the women think that they are capable of doing things as men. In modern advertising, there are some degrees of awareness about the problems inherent to the objectification of women. The media advocates for the following socio changes; First, sexual harassment and oppose discrimination. Second, the media fights for the acceptance of women in any given field of work because they can perform in any field. The media also play a significant role in making sure that men and women are equally paid and the get similar job opportunities. According to the media caring for women is not the role of women only. Since men fathers these children they should also create time to be with their children at taking good care of them. This responsibility should be shared by both parents. The maternity benefits to women should be increased. When it comes divorce matters, women should be granted freedom about the issues of marriage and divorce. No one should dictate who a girl should marry. The society should have an understanding of what women want their families, skills, sexuality and feelings.

Women desires are based on the sexually appealing image of the man. The female viewers are invited to be part of the sexual pleasure in objectifying the man, therefore recognizing female sexuality. Women desires are restricted just to take pleasure in the body of men. The advertisements on the media fail to focus on health discourses and by playing on the guilt related to breaking socio traditions associated with passive sexuality and body shape (Buckingham, 2003).

The media advertisers know very well what women need so the target their sexual desires since they know that they are not satisfied sexually. When a woman looks at the advertisement in a sexual manner, she becomes motivated and willing to purchase the commodities. When the media advertise a picture of a sexy woman looking at the camera, it means that the target is in men. Numerous pleasures are incorporated in the advertisement. They include humor, sexual pleasure, and wealth and women traditional pleasures of marriage. In the comedy film, the masculine in men is narrowed to a ridiculous identity which is less threatening. This challenges patriarchy since it reveals that gender identity is a construction. The misbehavior of gender norms in the films on the media is not permanent. The cross-dressing characters go back to their original gender by the end of the movie. When the star characters take masculine identity, they eventually take normal gender status during the narration. For instance, she is the man is a good example of comedy where a man takes the role of a woman. In other comedies where women dress as men include Just One of the Guys and Victor Victoria.

Food advertisement is always viewed as a substitute for sex. The ice cream chocolate flavor is desirable, but when women desires are recognized, it is dismissed. Advertisement proposals aspects of liberal disclosures about feminine sexuality nevertheless it relates them to a traditional view of feminine roles and ideas values. Gay representations are described by films, magazines, stories and information about gay men such as the film made by Kenneth Anger. They work to a mainstream movie that read from gay rights (Gill, 2007).

Men advertise cosmetics, hygiene products and fragrances is a positive demonstration that gender stereotype is the society is declining. These products were traditionally advertised by women and with the introduction of men are this field is a great change. Shaving products make men realize that shaving is a hygiene aspect and every man should do it. Metro sexuality does not set aside a different caring of sexuality, but it also refers to a market consisting of open-minded and urban men who are keen to not what fashion is trending and what looks good for them. Representations of men with no clothes portray them as objects of desire of sex (Solorzano, 1997).

Stereotypes act as shorthand for defining character however they may show some truth about individuals attributes. When one pay a close look at movies and popular literature, and they argue that specific characters have been possessed by many people. They suggest that these features are part of primary nature of these people slightly than linked to any social realities. Men are portrayed in the media looking masculine and successful. These include the sports stars are used in most advertisements. Men pretend to be strong and hide their feelings this is because right from childhood men are taught not to cry since crying does not prove that one is a grown man. In the issue of violence men, experience two types of violence. They are so-destruction which is violence within them and destructions of others. Femininity and masculinity partly define themselves about each other both of them define about one another, and therefore they are one thing.


Anthea Taylors (2011): Single Women in Popular Culture: Tax Limits of Postfeminism.

Gill, R. (2007). Gender and the Media. Polity.Solorzano, D. G. (1997). Images and Words that wound: Critical race theory,...

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