Representation of Gender #1

Traditional representations of feminist

Tunstall: Representations of women in the media are biased. They emphasise women’s’ domestic, sexual, marital and consumer activities to the exclusion of all else.

Tuchman: Women in the media are symbolically annihilated in that their achievements are often not reported or trivialised/condemned. They are presented as less important when in comparison to their sex appeal. Ex. Scarlett Johansson’s achievement in film roles is often ignored in favour of questions about wardrobe.

Sexual objectification of women

Wolf: Suggests that images of women, especially in print media and advertising, present a particular ‘beauty ideal‘, through which they transmit the strong ideological message that women should treat their bodies as projects in constant need of improvement.

Mulvey: Described the way in which women were treated as sex objects as the ‘male gaze‘, where the camera lens ‘eyes up’ women for the sexual pleasure of men. Audiences are forced to view women from the point of view of a heterosexual male even if they are indeed; heterosexual women or homosexual men. 

John Berger:Men look, women appear”. Women are there solely for the objectification of women within all platforms of the media. 

Bell Hooks: Lighter skinned women are considered more desirable and fit better into the western ideology of beauty. Black women are objectified and sexualised in hip-hop reflecting the colonialist view of black women (sexually disposable). Commodified blackness, a mediated view of black culture that is considered the norm

Representations of masculinity

Tunstall: The media rarely focuses on men’s marital and domestic roles, and does not seem to attribute minimal time spent with children (due to work) to behavioural problems, instead this blame is placed on single and working mothers. Also seldom presented as sex objects in the same way that women are.

Children Now: Asked 10-17 year olds about their perception of men based on TV, movies and radio. They found that: male attention was focused on girls, they were shown to be violent and angry, they were presented as leaders and problem solvers, and they were funny, athletic and confident.

Easthope: Hollywood ‘macho man’ transmits the view that masculinity is based on aggression, strength, competition and violence. The notion that men have physical, cultural and emotional power in internalised and believed to be part of men’s natural identity.

Metrosexual male: New magazines such as FHM and Maxim have presented the ‘new man’ identity. Content suggests that men are emotionally vulnerable, should be in touch with their feminine side, should treat women as equals and care more about thier appearance.


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