How Gender Roles in Media Affects Gender Inequality Everywhere we look social media, TV, Radio and even in our everyday lives, our gender identity and roles are determine by societies rule. Since the day we are born, actually it goes as far as the day our sex is discovered. Since sex and gender, specific roles could not be more stereotypical, and even more that sexuality has become an obsession. To the point that everywhere you look you can see the roles gender and sex play in our everyday life. “In today’s society we are expected to conform, portray and adhere to strict social standards set forth to preserve our sexual identities.
With research on gender, sex and sexuality becoming more prevalent, a deeper understanding can be had of how each of these co-exist in the human body and how each can be better understood as fluid or existing on a spectrum. ” (Dillon C. ) Media pushes gender stereotypes and we are expose to them at an early age by watching our favorite cartoons, movie and by watching advertising. However, gender roles in today’s society exist only because our society allow it and accept it and we go to the point of accepting it as the model of life.
In 2015 at the revolution of gay marriage and accepting other ways of living something that still seem impossible for the majority of persons is to distinguish between the fallowing terms which are sex, gender, sexual identity, gender identity and gender expression. As defined by Phillip N. Cohen Sex is “one’s biological category, male or female based on anatomy and physiology. ” This is the only definition media and society cares about to assigned gender roles such as the man is the provider of the family and the female needs to stay home to take care of the children and house.
Sexual Identity as defined by Cohen “the recognition, or internalization, of a biological sex category. ” While he defines gender as “the social realization of biological sex” (Cohen 151) Gender expression refers to the “… way in which a person acts to communicate gender within a given culture; for example, in terms of clothing, communication patterns and interests. A person’s gender expression may or may not be consistent with socially prescribed gender roles, and may or may not reflect his or her gender identity” (American Psychological Association, 2008, p. 8).
These are the terms that several individuals feel related too. However, when it comes to the gender roles media will always make the men look more career focus a money provider, a physically and emotional strong individual whereas women will always be sentimental, emotionally unstable, loving wives and mothers. In this new era, feminism has play an important role by challenging the traditional gender roles in our society by educating others on the equality between genders and that both women and men can perform the same tasks; work the same jobs.
Nevertheless, many social institutions, such as mass media, still use gender stereotypes, basing on the assumption, that they are well known to everyone and help the receivers to understand the content of the message. However, mass media not only gives people information and entertainment, but, according to a Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, it also affects people’s lives by shaping their opinions, attitudes and beliefs (1964) to an extent that since kids we already know girls are perceived as undeceive, shopaholics, etc.
Males are taught to be strong, not to show weakness in front of others and to propose to a girl when finding the “one. ” The best way to see this difference is by looking at a magazine stand at a super market or airport woman are always provocative, sexy, vulnerable, adorable, submissive with a few clothes on; in the other hand, men are usually on a suit and tie or shirtless showing dominance, power, confident, and elegant. Women are more often presented in commercials, because they are seen as responsible for making everyday purchases.
Men generally advertise cars, cigarettes, business products or investments, whereas women are shown rather in the commercials with cosmetics and domestic products. They are also more likely portrayed in the home environment, unlike men, who are shown outdoors. Another important distinction is the face-ism phenomenon in the commercials, which consists in showing the entire figure in case of women and close-up shots in case of men (Matthews, I. L. 2007). Media affects our gender socialization, the process by which individuals internalize elements of social structure, making those elements part of their own personality (Cohen 167.
These norms, beliefs, rules and culture of our men centric world creates a gender inequality mindset where men gets a better treatment than women do. One of this example is Academy and Golden Globe Award winner Jennifer Lawrence she has spoken about the wage gap in the entertainment industry early in the year; it was found the Jennifer Lawrence was under pay much less than her male American Hustle costarts. In her open letter, she claims, “I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard.
It’s just heard. ” this issue is alarming and it should be unacceptable in this point in time. The fact that female celebrities with amazing lawyers and publicist are affected by this social issue is disturbing. The same media than creates and encourage gender specific roles in our social media, TV, movies, is underpaying the women they used to push their message. According to Cohen, Many forms of inequality and differences still exist between men and women in the United States.