Preventing Covering by Media with Media In societies like the American culture, rights should be for the individual people. However, the civil rights signify groups of people, which can cause labeling to occur. In his essays “Preface” and “The New Civil Rights,” Kenji Yoshino introduces the necessity for a change in the view of rights for the people. Due to the lack of rights that are specific to all persons, which are known as human rights, there are stereotypes imminent causing many people to cover. Covering means an action in which a person is hiding a characteristic that makes that person who he or she truly is (Yoshino 539).
By covering, an individual can lose sight of his or her language, values, background, and culture. As presented in James W. Brown’s essay, “The Lenape: Cultural Survival or Assimilation? “, many Indians were strained to hide their identities in order to not get terrorized. They would not teach their children about anything relating to their culture, which resulted in an extinction of the cultures’ practices. However, in the article, “Archetypes: Transcending Stereotypes of Feminine and Masculine in the Theatre of Mediatypes” written by Julianne H.
Newton and Rick Williams, archetypal ideas and concepts from media can encourage more people to comfortably show their real identities. With the help of the media through time, awareness can be raised about the negatives of covering, such as the loss of cultures, by incorporating positive aspects into our daily conversation and routines, which is necessary to maintain self-preservation. The media in the past contained rather harsh content upon people of different cultures and had resulted in many people of those cultures living with hurtful stereotypes, which lead to covering.
Media, including Internet websites, books, television shows, movies, newspapers, radio, social media pages, or anywhere one can access information, is one main reason why everyone covers. Covering is the act of “[toning] down [one’s] disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream” (Yoshino 539). People cover to fit into society’s expectations and to match whatever is currently mainstream in the media. The act of covering has both its positive and negative qualities. When covering, people tend to hide their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and religion, all characteristics that define the True Self (Yoshino 539).
This causes their False Self, or our mask, to appear, which is not completely a bad feature. “Both selves will exist even [within a] healthy individual” (Yoshino 541). Covering is only acceptable when it relates to polite social behaviors, such as presenting oneself professionally and maturely in front of an important figure. However, it is unhealthy when people are constantly covering, which causes the False self to take over the True Self. Throughout history, cruel and unpleasant political cartoons and other images were created and spread over media.
Many of the hateful sources on media fall into the category of stereotypes. “Stereotyping divides groups, nations, people, and ethnic minorities into ‘good’ or ‘bad” (Brown 77). Stereotypes disfigure the truth and meaning of a culture, as well as alters the concepts of the beliefs of a culture. This had and still has caused many people to be afraid of revealing their true identities. When hiding behind the False Self and covering becomes the norm because of stereotyping, then it will result in the loss of the True Self, which was displayed in some Native American cultures as well as.
There were many negative stereotypes that were brought into the light regarding Native Americas that caused them to cover and “tone down their stigmatized identities” (Yoshino 539). Stereotypes include “the common phrase ‘The only good Indian is a dead Indian’ could not be more hateful” (Brown 78). Other stereotypes that individuals see on media, such as eagle feathers, ancient chants, and peace pipes, were overly and at times offensively used, which had also caused many Indians to cover their identities. Such intolerable messages and stereotypes frightened the Indians.
In the early 1900s, many Delawares chose not to express their culture or to teach their children about the Delaware ways” (Brown 80). Due to the discrimination of the Indians, families did not want their children speaking their language and they themselves would not tell anyone of their Indian origin. This can result in the loss of the language of the Delawares, which will cause a chain or ripple effect upon future generations who will not know their native Indian language because there was no one to teach it to them. Furthermore, there was no one who knew the stomp dances as well.
The Delaware tribe contained many great stomp dance leaders (Brown 84). Stomp dancing was a traditional dance lead by a leader during a ceremonial meeting in the Delaware culture, as well as other Native American cultures. However, when it came to the time that one was needed, there were not any left because the dances to the songs were unfamiliar with them due to no one teaching it to his or her families. As shown, a part of the Delaware culture, the stomp dances and songs, had dissolved and came to an end because of the stereotyping, hatred, discrimination, which all resulted in the act of covering.
To prevent the dispersing of cultures, we need to spread ways to appreciate different cultures through daily conversations and use the popularity of the media to our advantage. People should keep an open and unprejudiced mind when doing so. Although the media was not helpful in the past, during times of war and peace, it can be helpful now. We can use the unsympathetic images and information to learn what not to do, how not to perform, and what not to articulate. In today’s popular media, such as TV shows, movies, books, there are archetypes that are presented.
Archetypes tend to be broad patterns of ideal behaviors that can be integrated by individuals to help them understand and develop their sense of self” (Newton and Williams 198). Since archetypes are so broad, they include individuals and the self rather than exclude them, unlike stereotypes or mediatypes. “[Mediatypes] create false dichotomies between cultural groups whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, economic status, and so on”, which can lead to covering (Newton and Williams 198). “Covering is the way many groups are being held back today” (Yoshino 540).
Because of the mediatypes shared on media, people become afraid to show their real selves in fear that ey will not be accepted into society. However, nowadays, there are more positive archetypal concepts presented rather than negative mediatypes in the media. For instance, many TV shows display an archetypal character in order to encourage others to express themselves. “Mad men is [a] popular [show] because it presents a morality play with characters that battle mediatypes while they semiheroically seek archetypal authenticity” (Newton and Williams 201).
The show presents a docile secretary named Peggy Olson who gains the confidence to discuss with her male boss about the low pay for women. This demonstrates the archetype of a heroic woman standing up for what she believes in. “[The] media… should reflect [on the] rich diversity” of all individuals (Brown 88). Instead of misusing the media to present negative features and stereotypes, we should display the positives of life and encourage everyone to be who they really are. People should express their True Self comfortably without having to cover all the time.
In order prevent the act of covering, it is necessary to implement reasonforcing conversations as a solution into our daily lives, securing human rights. According to Yoshino, the current civil rights misrepresent the people, claiming that it embodies groups of people. Due to the grouping system of civil rights, stereotypes and labeling can be created and invoked. On the other hand, human rights relate to everyone as their own person and yield less of a bias. Therefore, it is much better than the current civil rights because it does not encourage characterization and stereotypes.
There needs to be a change to the civil rights, shifting it more towards an unprejudiced view. The new civil rights, as known as human rights, is important to keep people from covering and labeling. To move towards the human rights, people need to freely express themselves without setbacks. The media plays an exceptional major part in people’s freedom of speech, religion, press, and expression. We can incorporate these views of the new civil rights into our daily conversations, on media as well, in order to spread and educate others about it.
Such conversations are the best way – and perhaps the only – way to give both assimilation and authenticity their proper due” (Yoshino 546). With the help of the contribution of media in the conversations, we can prevent further covering and encourage the True Self to unveil. With the new values of the human rights, we will be able to fully intake and understand other cultures’ beliefs and values without judging, like many people did with the Native Americans’ cultural ways.
With a more developed viewpoint upon cultures and differences, the pressure of covering may be relieved for many people. Due to the absence of basic human rights, stereotypes may take over a person’s mindset and cause him or her to cover. To cover is to hide one’s True Self in order to fit into the norm, which can result in the loss of one’s language, values, background, and culture. Many cultures, such as the Delawares, were pressured into covering their selves and cultures so that they are not threatened.
Indians would choose to not educate their younger family members on their cultures, which resulted in the end for many values. To prevent any more discrimination and stereotyping, we can use the media to present archetypal viewpoints and concepts to inspire people to freely display their True Selves. With the help of the media in history and the current media, awareness can be presented about the negatives of covering and stereotyping, which is necessary to maintain self-preservation. Together, we can put an end to culture refinement and covering.