Gender Communication Summer 2009

A space to critically engage gender and communication topics

Blog Activity 11: Challenging Media Representations of Gender June 11, 2009

Before we can begin strategically dismantling how popular media stereotype masculinity, femininity and sexuality, it’s important that you read through the many article links on Blackboard under the Media tab. In this space I’m going to include links to condensed Media Education Foundation videos (also available in Blackboard) regarding representation of women’s images in television including Generation M and Dreamworlds 3. Off the Straight and Narrow summarizes representations of gays, lesbians and bisexuals from the beginning of the network era until the mid 1990s, while Further Off the Straight and Narrow is an analysis of gay representation on TV from the late 1990s to now. In the former two videos, we see increasingly sexualized ideals of femininity. In the latter, we see a move toward slick, yet safe gay identities in the mainstream media. Throughout all these images is a reliance on stereotypes that erases the diversity of gender and sexuality experiences and identities. What other stereotypes of gender and sexuality exist in the mainstream media? Will new stereotypes emerge? Will popular media ever be able to move beyond these stereotypes. If so, how?

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65 Responses to “Blog Activity 11: Challenging Media Representations of Gender”

  1. vrobbins Says:

    Last semester I saw one of the Dreamworlds movies that was put on my the Multicultural club (I think.). I only went because I would be rewarded extra credit for a class that I wasn’t doing too great in. I viewed the Dreamworlds clip that was posted to this blog and was amazed that there is more than one movie. This video clip really touched me. To be honest, I cried.

    I am not going to point blame right now because I don’t feel like that is effective in understanding the situation. What I do want to mention is that the way the media is portraying how women are to be treated, speaks to men. When men see a music video, just like in the Dreamworlds clip, that shows women enjoying being touched sexually and having alcohol poured all over them, they believe it. Therefore, men (some) carry this idea over into the real world. But, when in fact (most of the time) women are offended, hurt and scarred for life.

    I wanted to get angry at men, but then I thought about men in my life that don’t treat women this way. Men that treat women in a derogatory way are mostly doing it because they are being persuaded by the media that this is how to treat a woman. You can’t help but get mad at them. However, I do believe a man should be punished for treating a woman wrongly and the same for a woman if she treated a man wrongly, it goes both ways.

    Women and girl, on the other hand, see what is in the media and are pressured to make themselves look that way because it how you get attention from men. Of course our society instills in us that we need companionship and the media furthers that value by saying you have to dress like this and behave like that to achieve it. It makes me sad.

    I absolutely believe new stereotypes are going to emerge. I mean look at how the gay community is starting to get into the media. It would have been unheard of if gay males or females were open about their sexuality, but today it’s becoming okay. Things are changing, but my hopes is that we are on our way to the peak and we will be on a decline soon.

    What I mean by reaching a peak and headed on the decline is that I hope things get better. It’s amazing how influential the media really is. It’s kind of cool and can be good and many ways. But when it comes to how it is influences individuals to behave according to their gender and how they should fit into their stereotypes it makes us all the same. I’m all about being unique. I’m sure there are things that I do that make me very similar to other, no doubt, but I value having my own style and not following the crowd.

    I’m not too sure if the popular media will be able to move beyond stereotypes because it’s attractive to people. It lures them in. Now, the media may change the way they do things if we as a community choose to not watch the media. If the media sees that their ratings are going down, they may change and realize, ‘Hey, maybe we need to do something more positive to empower genders.’ I don’t know, just a thought.

    I’ll share a personal story. When I was watching “What a Girl Wants” I noticed a lot of the same shows I watched when I was a teenager. I was very stressed out about my appearance as a teenage girl and really strived to get boys attention. My whole goal was to make myself attractive for them so I could feel loved. What I learned was that the pressure I was under, is the same pressure a lot of teenage girls are under today. WOW! I actually don’t watch MTV, VH1 or any of those really influential television stations (on our generation) anymore. I can tell you (not to be big headed) that I know I’m not perfect, but I’m confident in myself. I’ve embraced my flaws (or try to) and know that I’m worth something more than trying to get the attention of others to feel better about myself. It may be related, maybe not.

    • katelyntemple Says:

      I also was shocked by the Dreamworld’s film. I had no idea this incident in Central Park even happened till now… You would think that after an incident such as this music videos would stop demonstrating this is what women want.

      It is a really good point that most men do not treat women this way. I have never entered a party to be soaked in alcohol and sexually assaulted. The fact that this actually does happen though is horrifying. To me, it is a clear sign the media needs to start sending a different message…

      • melaniebahr Says:

        I went to the Dreamworld’s showing in the DSU too! (saw you there!) I was shocked by it, I mean everything it said was true. But, I guess just sometimes you have to hear it to realize what you are actually seeing. For example, in many of the music videos, I would just watch like everything was pretty much normal because we are so used to seeing it. After I attended the Dreamworld’s session it was like everything stood out more, and I actually changed some of what I watched.

      • flipmyflops06 Says:

        These videos did seem second nature to me too. Because of the large part of television in peoples life, these images are often not thought of as shocking anymore. I think it would be a good idea for younger girls and boys to take classes on the message media sends. By pointing out the gender stereotypes and roles media and society push at us, maybe this will give girls and boys the opportunity to decipher this information themselves instead of automatically doing what the media says is normal.

    • cahendy Says:

      I realized a long time ago that the way that men treat women in music viedos and movies are not how men should treat women, and was not how any men in my life treated women aroudn me. I am glad you had enough sense to not be angry at all men after you thought about it for a couple of minutes haha. I agree with everything you said, they should be punished and it bothers me too.

      I can not stand women who are actually willing to let that stuff happen to them for the music videos where they are just sex objects. It really bothers me that women are always getting mad at men when they see those videos but there are women who are willing to degrade themselves in that way. I agree that the media does pressure women to look and act a certain way but it bothers me that there are still women out there who do not care what they wear or do in the same way that it bothers you that men are out there who do not care how they treat women.

    • kirstenpowell Says:

      When I saw the Dreamworlds clip I was so shocked! I can not even imagine how those women felt and I think that the media is COMPLETELY to blame for teaching those men to act that way. Another chilling idea is who allowed these men to think that this is acceptable. I know that the men in my life were taught how to act towards women, so why does the media’s influence over power that of people in these mens’ lives?

      • chloea Says:

        This was the first time I’d ever heard of the Dreamworlds clip, and I found it shocking as well! When I was reading your reply, the same question popped into my head. I agree that the men around me have been taught how to treat women. Sure, there’s room for improvement (there’s always room for improvement for all of us), but I cannot grasp how or why the men in the clip saw it as acceptable to treat women in this fashion. I really can’t answer your question, but how did our media get to this point? Why do women allow themselves to be degraded within the media? I agree with Torrie that the female audience has believed the media’s message saying what we must do to be worth something and desired. But why do the women participating in the media allow themselves to be used in this way and portrayed as such insignificant beings apart from their bodies? Years ago this would have been unheard of. The media has dismissed a lot of our class.

  2. sam1503 Says:

    I think that watching the above links provides us with more information about the stereotypes that are in the media. Speaking for myself, I know that I was already aware of the influences that media has had on our society from other classes and discussions that i have had. Like Robbins I was shocked and slightly apauled after watching Dreamworlds 3. I can not believe that men treated women that way and go away with it for as long as they did in that video. It is hard for me to believe that those men actually thought that what they were doing was ok because popular music videos showed celebrities doing the same things. I’m not saying that what music videos are promoting is ok, but I think it is important for us to remember that what goes on in music videos is not real life and acting in the same manner is not normally ok.

    This is obviously the big problem with stereotypes being displayed in the media. Our society learns life lessons from different mediums and therefore is taught from an early age that it is alright to sterotype. I think that this is very important in assessing whether there will ever be a time where the media will not portray stereotypes. While I would like to say yes, I do not think that there will be. Stereotypes are a part of everyone everyday life. Most of us do not even know when we are stereotyping nowadays. As long as we have reality TV and even printed media that reports on people’s lives, we will not be able to get away from stereotypes.

    I definitely think that new stereotypes will emerge in the media. There is always things that happen in the world that people are looking for reasons or excuses for. Stereotypes are the best way to do this. Even if the media made an effort to not show stereotypes, people would be unsatisfied and find other ways to find stereotypes because they are entertaining. I think it is also important to remember that it is business for the media, and they will produce what the public wants to see in order to make money. And the public wants to see stereotypes.

    Right now I think that there is a huge influence on stereotypes for women and how they should look in the media. Just this second I am having a friend of mine give me highlights in order to look a way that I feel like I need to look. Where did I get the idea that this was neccesary? More than likely the media. These are seen in all forms of media from film, TV programming, music videos to printed media.

    I also watched “What A Girl Wants” and thought that it was interested what conversations that these young adults had. If kids as young as 11 are realizing the influences and messages that these videos are presenting to them, then why do we still follow what the stereotypes are telling us?

  3. Lauren Says:

    To be honest, I was not surprised when watching the video clips of how women are stereotyped in media. It’s sad that women are represented like that in the media, especially when I think that it is some women’s jobs to dance around and dress provocatively like that in music videos. I do think that the media is very influential so when women see these images of women on television and in magazines it makes women and girls feel like they have to look like them in order to be accepted more in society. You rarely ever see ‘real’ women on television who are dressed less provocatively and are not dumbed down.

    I was really disgusted by the one clip of women being sexually assaulted in NYC by men and how it related so much to music videos on television. Women are not the only ones that are influenced by media, men are too if not more. Images of men on television are usually tough, aggressive men and “pimps” like shown in the video clip. If media continues to show these images of men and women, I think that stereotypes and the influence they have on society will continue. The thing that confuses me is that a lot women are outraged by the way women are represented in the media, but these women choose to do this. For example, the women in music videos and actresses that like to have a sexy image. They know they are role models yet they continue to act and represent themselves in a manner that can be seen as degrading women. Though, I do think there are a lot of women in the media that choose to represent themselves in a better way that girls should be looking up to as role models.

    Another stereotype that I see in the media is the way that media dumbs down females. For example, Axe commercials and beer commercials that always make women the sex objects or just plain dumb. One Axe commercial I saw on television shocked me because it showed girls acting like wild animals chasing after a guy that was wearing Axe spray, like are you serious? I can’t believe they could show that on television. I’ve also seen plenty of beer commercials where they make women dumb, and not only women but men also. In a lot of beer commercials you see men doing anything for a beer or just doing dumb things that also make them look bad.

    As long as there’s media I defiantly think new stereotypes will emerge. All it takes is a commercial or a television show to tell society this is how you should be or this is how other people are to make more stereotypes. I think it would be very hard to stop stereotyping just because it has been around for so long and it would take a lot of people to change it. I think if media was to stop stereotyping people it would take a lot of support and a lot more censoring of what can be shown.

    I can say that I personally have been influenced by the media on how I should look and act, but when I looked at the way girls were representing themselves and how they were closely related to the images of girls in the media I knew that was not how I wanted to represent myself. I’m happy to say that I do not let media tell me how I should look or what I should do to get the attention of others because I know that it isn’t true and it can be very destructive to my self-esteem. I just choose to be who I am and not let others tell me who I am.

    • katelyntemple Says:

      I HATE the axe commercials. It is like all girls care about is chasing a guy, and all that matters is appearance. It is as if they do not have the intelligence to care about intelligence or personality with a guy.

      Sarah Palin was really portrayed as dumb. The media constantly focused on that. Regardless of party affiliation, one cannot deny that she obviously is not an idiot considering her job…

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      I definitely agree with the statement you made about women having a part in the way they are represented in the media. A lot of blame is put on males who see music videos of women being downgraded and, in some cases, act accordingly. Young women and girls could also view these types of portrayal in media as the norm of what they should be, how they should act, and how submissive they should be to men.

      The women who act in these music videos should think twice. It may seem innocent, but people are influenced by these images. The scenes portrayed has a greater effect than one may seem (like the example from the Dreamworlds video). If women are concerned with their representation in media, they should refuse to take part in media that confirms their submissive state.

      • mransone Says:

        The women in the vidoes really do need to think twice! If women stop putting ourselves out there maybe a change will occur!

      • mattymac Says:

        I hate the Axe commercials as well. It is not a novel advertising idea, but it blatantly tells the guy that if he smells good, he will get a woman. Also, to smell good, he must buy Axe products. In a way, it can be viewed as turning the tables on men. Women are seen as the pursuers and chasers while men are the objects of desire.

        However, as Katelyn pointed out, it speaks a lot to women that all a man needs is to smell nice to get a woman. I will spray on some Axe and hordes of women will just come to me. The man does not have to do any work, for women are just slaves to attractive, nice-smelling men.

        It sends two very different, but ridiculous messages.

  4. katelyntemple Says:

    The way women are treated and stereotyped in music videos doesn’t surprise me at all. The women are objects and decoration. There are no rap songs about how smart a woman is, the songs are about her body. This definitly influences girls to believe all that matters is there appearance.

    When I view a music video of guys pouring alcohol all over an attractive woman, and her enjoying it, I view it as the guys dream world… no woman wants that done. I can’t think of anyone in their right mind who would just stand there and rub alcohol all over their body, that only happens in videos, not real life. However, since that is not reality, it would be better to demonstrate reality in videos.

    I think this all relates to the ‘tough guise’ video we watched earlier on. For most boys, if they grow up in a home where their mother is respected they are not likely to view these music videos as how women should be treated. But if a boy grows up in a home where his mother is abused, or he is exposed to rape, this seems perfectly normal. The media should work to encourage respectful behavior, not just show what is desired to be seen.

    Generation M stated that the media tells girls they gain power from their bodies. I totally agree with this. In the film Erin Brockovich, she is questioned how she plans on doing something. Her answer is ‘They are called boobs, Ed.’ This also makes women seem dumb. She isn’t getting what she wants from hard work or negotiation but from her boobs… I dont think that is something to be very proud of.

    It is also important to note how homosexuals are portrayed in the media, as I am sure they at times find it offensive. I feel like the stereotypical gay man is defined by Will & Grace. The gay men are not really people, they are more like shopping partners or a pet. The media does not allow the possibility that all gay men are not obsessed with fashion and 100% flamboyant. I know a lot of guys who would say they are homophobes, but I think this is due to the media. There are some gay guys that you would not be able to tell they are gay without being told… I don’t remember what the case was, but I remember a boy was killed & left on a fence post more or less because he was gay and others claimed to feel threatened by it .

    I do think new stereotypes will emerge. If every ‘sexy’ woman has blue hair, thats going to be the new thing for girls. As celebrities change, so will the expectations for both men and women. I think the media could move away from these stereotypes but do not think they would want to, or will. If television only showed people that were considered fat and unattractive, no one would want to view it… we all complain about how the media causes stereotypes, yet are still viewers. Society has to be willing to change before the media will ever be.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I definitely thought of how portrayals of gay men in shows like Will&Grace could be seen as offensive too. I think there needs to be a representation somewhere of the average gay guy, the one who is just like every other guy besides the fact that he doesn’t like women.

      And it was out west, Matthew Shepherd was his name I believe. He was brutally murdered for the simple fact that he was gay. There are still strides to be made, for sure.

      • Jessie Wright Says:

        know not all gay guys are the ‘prissy’ type. I know there is a LOT that are, but just as many who aren’t. My brother is definitely not the prissy type, but I know a lot of his friends are. A good think to remember, for everyone, is there is not one ‘type’ of gay man. That would be like saying every women is a skinny, sex symbol, as we are usually viewed in the media. Of course, gay men have to have their stereotype too. I would not say I relate to most women in the press, just like my brother can not relate to most gay men in the press. We all find stereotypes in the media offensive in one way or the other.

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      Like you said, it is certain new stereotypes will emerge as media finds new things to highlight as a norm everyone should follow. I think the media’s focus is money rather than change. Going back to the Axe commericals, if a young man viewed these commericals as a sort of reality, then what would stop him from being influenced by the product? The company knows that guys might like the idea of being swarmed by girls and produces the image regardless of what it says from a woman’s stanpoint. Why? Because that what makes the money.

      You said, “society has to be willing to change before the media eill ever be.” I completely agree!

    • Lauren Says:

      Yea I know what you mean by how girls are taught by the media that they gain power by their bodies. I think this is because besides women in politics, most women are portrayed as more sexual or they are defined by their body which only furthers to influence men and women in society that this is how women should be judged which is sad because a lot of women can be beautiful and smart and women should not be afraid to show they are smart. For example, some girls dumb themselves down because they think men prefer that or that they will be accepted more if they do. I hope that this will change in the future because I would hate to think that in the future when I am applying and interviewing for jobs a women that is prettier or has bigger boobs than me, but not a higher degree will get the job over me just because of her looks.

  5. jenwaybright Says:

    Ever since this class started, even before we reached this media portion of the course, I have started to look at TV shows, commercials, songs and magazines with a more critical eye. I hear songs on the radio and think about the message that my 12 and 13 year old cousins are being sent and what makes it even worse for me is knowing that I have a critical eye(or ear) to these things, but these girls think that they need to be a certain way to get a boyfriend. When I saw the highlighting of the words “hot” and “sexy” and “makeover” in the one clip, I immediately went out to the coffee table at my house to check the covers of the magazines. (For some unknown reason, my mom or I have never paid for it, I have gotten seventeen magazine since I was like 15) When I looked at 3 issues of seventeen, I saw those words everywhere in the articles, on the covers, in the ads…I never realized how pervasive it is. It makes me sick and sad to think about how younger girls, girls that are still trying to mold themselves into what they think everyone wants them to be, are being affected by these messages. It makes me wish there was some sort of agency or something that could set standards and monitor these messages. For every one Dove “love your body” commercial or ad there are 10 “look hot tonight” or “drop 10 pounds” ads being thrown at women and girls alike.

    When watching Dreamworlds, I wasn’t too shocked in the beginning with the portrayal of women in music videos. It is something that I have always noticed and have recently become even more critical to; the part that really got me, along with the others, was the assaults in NYC. I was absolutely stunned. I could not believe that people can get away with that and after an event like that occurring that the FCC(or whatever gov’t agency handles that industry) wouldn’t step in with some standards. As long as there are images like that out there, there will be men who think it’s okay to use women however they want and women who will accept it.

    I do agree with Katelyn’s statement, that not all men act like that. I have never personally been the victim of anything like that and neither have my friends. I feel sorry for those “good guys” in the world who get overshadowed by these guys that have this image and perpetuate it throughout the media. Because of the actions of a small group of the population, all guys are often seen as being sexist and only using women as their objects.

    I will give my boyfriend credit for this next bit, since I had never really thought about commercials in this way. Whenever we are watching TV and there is a commercial for Axe or some beer and women come out of nowhere to scrub the guy down or start wrestling each other for no reason relating to the product, Tim makes the same comment. His comment is something along the lines of “Oh, so what I get out of this is that if I go buy Axe and use it in the shower, a bunch of hot women will come out of the bottle and scrub me down…” or “So if I go buy a Miller Lite, I will immediately attract the hot girl from across the bar and she will want me?” I always laugh and think of how sad, but true his analysis’ are. What do those women have to do with the product-there is never an Herbal Essences commercial where the girl opens the bottle and 25 hot guys scrub her down. Or a commercial that shows if the girl drinks a Bud Light she will get that hot guy she’s been eyeing all night. It is ridiculous that women are used to sell products not for their smarts or abilities, but for their bodies, which are atypical of the average woman’s body.

    I do think and hope that new stereotypes will emerge and I think that the first place it is happening is with the acceptance of the gay and lesbian community in media. There is still a long way to go in the representation of them, but progress is being made in my opinion. Shows like Friends and Sex and the City are widely accepted by pop culture and mainstream America and there wasn’t a huge backlash in them including homosexual characters.

    In Persuasion last semester, we had a guest speaker from Regent University who specialized in media and pop culture. Dr. Bill Brown showed us just how effective the media is in spreading a message, be it positive or negative. He told us the story of a TV show in Nepal aimed at young children that promoted the acceptance of mentally challenged children with the help of a cartoon frog. In Nepal, children who are born with a defect of some sort were usually locked away and shunned by society. With the creation of this one show and the widespread acceptance of it, there was a bigger acceptance of disabled children and people. All it took was one children’s TV show to start a movement. If the media used it’s powers for good, rather than evil a movement toward treating women with respect, accepting a guy who doesn’t always have to be tough and welcoming everyone, regardless of their sexual preference could happen.

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      I agree. I think gay and lesbians have a long way to go to being fully accepted in some peoples eyes. At least their foot is in the door. They have started and have made a lot of progress in some areas. It is funny that the acceptance of homosexuals are accepted in some areas, but is unheard of in others. I lived in NYC for a semester. Gays and Lesbains were 100% accepted. Actually, I probably knew more heterosexuals than homosexuals. It was such a culture shock for me to come back to Newport News. I completely forgot people even had an issue with homosexuals.

      There is a lifetime movie, “Prayers for Bobby,” (http://www.prayersforbobby.com/) it is AMAZING! It is terribly sad, but it shows a boy growing up with an extremely religious mother. She eventually leads him to commit suicide. She couldn’t accept him until it was too late. I really think everyone should watch this movie….with a box of tissues.

      Another great show with leading roles as homosexuals.. and my favorite show… “Will & Grace.” I LOVEEEE IT!

      • Lauren Says:

        I think the same thing about how commercials like Axe and different types of beer make it seem like if you use Axe or drink this type of beer you will get a lot of girls which is not what happens in reality. In a sense it’s false advertising because when guys spray on Axe, yes it smells good, but 20 girls are not going to trample you just to smell you. And if you drink a type of beer does not mean you are going to get all the girls in the bar. I think these commercials, especially beer commercials, either make women look over sexualized or it makes men look dumb, which confuses me why men would want to support a beer that just makes them look that way…

    • tgbaldwin32 Says:

      New stereotypes will emerge in time. Like you said the gay and lesbian communities are now being more accepted in today’s culture. I think I time there will still be even more good stereotypes in the media and most of the negative stereotypes will be discontinued.

  6. Jessie Wright Says:

    The first video we just watched made me sick. Before it even got to the part about Central Park. I hate all those stupid videos degrading women. All of these nasty images are plastered throughout our media. It gives men the impression that doing those things and talking about women that way are acceptable and it is NOT!

    The video that said being gay was a “disease” makes me laugh. To me that is like saying being blonde or brunette is a disease. The scene that shows a man ‘confectioning’ to his troubles by admitting he is gay along with other ‘illness,’ having to hide his identity is nauseating. It is not someone’s choice to be gay, they just are. I have heard plenty of my guy friends and brother say they wish they were not gay. Trust me, if they were not gay their lives would be a lot easier and they know that. It is not by choice they are different, it is their…in my eyes…privilege to be different. No one should be ashamed our considered ‘diseased’ for being different.

    I was trying to think of another stereotype of gender. My ex-boyfriend would get so mad is he saw a foreign woman driving. He would yell and say they should stay home, because they do not know how to drive (Relationship ended quickly). What do foreign women have different than any other women? Oh that’s right… NOTHING. All women and men are the same when it comes to driving. Foreign women do not have smaller brains or something. Bottom line anyone can be a good driver with experience no matter race or gender.

    I do not think that media will ever complete move on. People, for a strange reason, have adopted this new few of women being sex objects. It is unfortunate. These women in movies, magazines, and in videos are unrealistic to the average women. I can go to the gym and eat celery for the rest of my life and I will not look like Jessica Beil. These peoples lives are to look like that. Their whole career is based off it. Personally, I have goals and none of them are geared towards torturing my body 24/7.

    I really appreciate a particular women in the media today. I think she is a great start to trying to improve the horrible media impressions. The women is Beyounce. She is beautiful, has great talent, and is independent. Unfortunately, she has not stepped away from the sexy view of women, but she has improvised it. She is sexy, but not a stick. Her body is somewhat realistic. Most of all I love her songs. They are about independence of women.

    I see some videos and honestly think I turned on the wrong channel and I am watching porn. There should be bans on certain things and showing so much of your body on public television. Who ever sets the laws for what can be released and what can’t needs to step up. If they don’t, I think parents should. Parents need to regulate what there children watch and explain to them, basically, these people are not real. Being aware of these unrealistic, degrading medias will be the first step.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I also think that parents need to take responsibility and better monitor their children’s viewing habits if the government isn’t going to do anything about it. Now, more than ever, it is easier to block shows, channels or categories on TV with all the technology that is out there. You can even set these things from your computer at work if you don’t have time at home.

      • mattymac Says:

        The view of women being objectified as sexual conquests is nothing new. It has been going on for centuries.

        Also, I know several women who are naturally skinny and they do not like it when people make statements such as “I could never torture my body to look like yours,” or “I would have to eat celery and work out all the time to look like you.” They dislike these statements because for them, it is not true. Some of them do not work out and some of them eat the same greasy, fatty foods we all tend to consume. I understand the point you were making in that some girls do go too far and take too many drastic measures in order to look attractive, but everyone’s body is different. We all have different genes and metabolisms and we each carry fat differently. One of my guy friends is ridiculously skinny, but he has insecurities about it because often attention is brought to him for being so skinny and scrawny. He cannot help it, though, it is in his biology. He does not work out, nor does he eat considerably healthy.

        Also, it is interesting that you bring up Beyonce. Many people point to her for having a nice, acceptable figure of what women should look like. However, in all reality, she is very thin but she has a good bit of muscular thickness to her. My girlfriend made the point that the notion of “thick” women is typically associated with African American women. She also made the point that it is more acceptable for an African American to have a thicker appearance, but that is not the case for white women. This follows in line with what the text describes about beauty for African American women: it is seen much more as an attitude than an actual physical quality. White women tend to feel more pressured to conform to society’s norms of beauty than other races.

  7. ginasurrette Says:

    The Youtube Video about the masculinity and sexuality in Music videos made me feel sick to my stomach just to watch what those men were doing to women and how all of them didn’t care about saving any of the women. It startles me and after watching the video i posted it on my facebook and send it to as many of my friends and family as i could. I want to make as many people aware of this gross display of masculinity as possible.

    As for the Farther off the straight and narrow, the types of stereotypes that are out there are that gays and lesbians are funny. The media has shown the straight and gay population that gays are Funny, flamboyant and friendly, through popular shows like will and grace. These shows portray a non-threatening message to the public that gays are safe, and not crazy. People like funny so therefore, if they see gays as funny maybe they will except them more.

    I dont see too many new stereotypes of gays will emerage anytime soon. There are so many stereotypes out at the moment that i think people have become accutome to gays and lesbians ways and have accepted that they do exist and whether we agree or not they are around us. Now i will say i do not know what a lesbian women stereotype would be portrayed as. I feel that gay men have been stereotyped to a degree which women have not. Gay men are stereotyped to be feminine, flamboyant, hyper, and best friends with many women since they can “shop.” But i feel that there are many men out there who do not fall under the stereotype and would like to be represented in the media in a more profound way.

  8. melaniebahr Says:

    I also went to an event last semester that was based on the Dreamworld’s educational perspective. I went into it thinking it would be just this silly issue that was totally blown out of proportion. I was completely wrong. I left there with a totally different attitude than I had entered with. My mine was opened and I had an understanding for the things I had really been seeing. This seminar put a large stress on music videos, rape, and film. We are so conditioned and used to seeing these things appear in media, that we are not shocked when it reaches inappropriate levels. For example, many music videos are very demeaning to young women. But, because they constantly see them they don’t realize how bad they are or how they are affecting them.
    From a females perspective, through out your whole life when you see women being idealized and treated the way the clips showed you begin to assume that is normal. It gradually pays a toll on your outlook of life as well as your self-image. You assume that you need to be like these women on the screen and to enjoy the things that they do in order to get attention. You may even lower your own standards and personal goals to meet the images being presented to you.
    This all becomes an even greater danger when men see these actions portrayed and put them into their real lives. They do not realize that they are hurting women both mentally and physically. They assume that women in the real world enjoy these things because they seem to in the media.
    When I think about experiences in my own life it is the younger men and the self-conscious women that especially look to these media images as role models for how they should behave. The younger men are interested in getting women and they see the men on tv getting any women they want so they imitate their actions. The females that do not feel confident about themselves follow the images that the televised females play out because they see that they are happy and they seek that same happiness.
    I think that they stereotypes associated with males, females, and homosexuals will continue to expand. Our society is becoming more acceptable of relationships and expression than it was in the past. I personally hope that, the sexualization of women and the domination of men will decline along with the negativity affiliated towards homosexuals.

    • mransone Says:

      I agree we see these things everyday and it doesn’t phase us like it should when things reach an inappropiate level!

      • vrobbins Says:

        It’s sad how influenced individuals are by the media. But, if you think about it, sometimes they don’t have role models in their lives. The way the media portrays individuals, it gives us a sense that we are apart of their life; therefore, we look to them for guidance. When they are flaunting their goodies and treating each other like animals, individuals believe this is normal. I agree with you Mel. It’s sad! 😦

      • vrobbins Says:

        Haha…sorry I just read what I wrote and had, “It’s sad” written twice and then I saw my picture and I’m totally cheesing it. Haha!

  9. melaniebahr Says:

    I also went to an event last semester that was based on the Dreamworld’s educational perspective. I went into it thinking it would be just this silly issue that was totally blown out of proportion. I was completely wrong. I left there with a totally different attitude than I had entered with. My mine was opened and I had an understanding for the things I had really been seeing. This seminar put a large stress on music videos, rape, and film. We are so conditioned and used to seeing these things appear in media, that we are not shocked when it reaches inappropriate levels. For example, many music videos are very demeaning to young women. But, because they constantly see them they don’t realize how bad they are or how they are affecting them.

    From a females perspective, through out your whole life when you see women being idealized and treated the way the clips showed you begin to assume that is normal. It gradually pays a toll on your outlook of life as well as your self-image. You assume that you need to be like these women on the screen and to enjoy the things that they do in order to get attention. You may even lower your own standards and personal goals to meet the images being presented to you.

    This all becomes an even greater danger when men see these actions portrayed and put them into their real lives. They do not realize that they are hurting women both mentally and physically. They assume that women in the real world enjoy these things because they seem to in the media.

    When I think about experiences in my own life it is the younger men and the self-conscious women that especially look to these media images as role models for how they should behave. The younger men are interested in getting women and they see the men on tv getting any women they want so they imitate their actions. The females that do not feel confident about themselves follow the images that the televised females play out because they see that they are happy and they seek that same happiness.

    I think that they stereotypes associated with males, females, and homosexuals will continue to expand. Our society is becoming more acceptable of relationships and expression than it was in the past. I personally hope that, the sexualization of women and the domination of men will decline along with the negativity affiliated towards homosexuals.

    • mbest88 Says:

      I agree with what you said about the self-image problem with females. It’s unfortunate that the media has such an affect on people, but it does. Growing up seeing all this horrible stuff in the media is just going to make girls think that this is the way life is. This could definitely cause girls to lower their standards and to not set high goals for themselves.

  10. scnuhoy87 Says:

    In all honesty, I am in no way surprised that the women were stereotyped in this manner, because in every television show that I have seen (almost), and whenever I have seen the inside of a women magazine, they all show the same thing, a dumb barely dressed woman, and they expect women to see that and then be like her and sadly many women do try and be like that. I know this weird to come from a guys mouth but guys do not want a stupid a girl even if she is half dressed and gorgeous, we truly want someone intellectual.

    In the one video clip it was not a surprise to see men assaulting the women because honestly in every movie, music video, television show this is what you see and this is how the women are depicted, while the man is strong and much like the pimp in the clip. It is because of these stereotypes in these media sources that makes this clip not surprising honestly and if we do not change how we depict women in our media then the stereotypes will never go away and men will continually assault women.

    The next thing is I definitely have to agree with the earlier posts about the AXE commercials, in the fact that they dumbed down girls so much that they cannot control themselves because of a scent, highly unlikely. The way media stereotypes girls as dumb has truly influenced some of the girls that I know to be this way and after some time it really becomes them and it is something that is annoying and I wish that they would not do it to themselves.

    The media tries and most of the time successfully influences what people wear, eat, drive, etc., and this is the problem with our world today because traditionally we should be influenced by the people that are close to us, like our parents, teachers and friends, not what corporate companies want us to be. These companies should not have any influence because they do not have the best interest in the company in mind but rather how they can make the most money. This is how things are and the business world is rough, and as long as they are making the kind of money they are, then there will not be a change in stereotypes because what they are doing although, disgusting, it works and many men and women fall into their traps and buy their products, or act the way they do in the movies or on television.

    • cahendy Says:

      I was reading the first part of your comment and just kind of thought of something interesting that is not really that related to what you said. think of most tv shows about a couple like everybody loves raymond, king of queens etc.. The men are typically average looking or below average and the women are always gorgeous. I just thought that is pretty interesting that they wouldnt just make it two average looking becuase the woman has to look good.

      Also as a guy I agree with the statement you mad that we want somebody who is intellectual rather than somebody who is just dumb and hot.

      • mmpike Says:

        I have a problem with what scnuhoy said. In the end you talked about men and women buying into their traps. Part of me agrees, but what you have to remember is that most of people “buying in” are teenagers. 15 year olds who have no positive role models and don’t know any better. You make it sound like those people are just stupid and letting themselves be manipulated. But the people that the media is manipulating is youth. And they grow up convinced that Axes commercials are true. I don’t maybe this is me just being mad at the media.

  11. emily9988 Says:

    I watched the Dreamworlds video and honestly, I wasn’t suprised. I’ve been very aware of the raunchy behavior by men and women in music videos and how that effects people’s minds. It disgusted me how little clothing women were wearing, and this is displayed on public television! A 6 year old can take hold of the remote, skim through the channels and come across a music video of Eminem slapping a girl’s butt, and think it’s okay. Music videos are just the start. I know plenty of shows on MTV and VH1 that share the same messages.

    The dating reality shows really make me sick with their portrayal of women. NEXT, a show on MTV, is about a man or a woman who is looking for a partner to date. They go on a series of blind dates, where the potential partners are waiting on a bus. I have seen several episodes where a girl comes out of the bus and they guy takes one look at her and says, “Next.” How humiliating is that? He didn’t take any time to get to know her- he just looked at her and judge her by the way she looks. I want to believe the show is scripted, which it probably is, but it’s awful to think that men really act that way.

    The central park incident on the Dreamworlds video scared me. I’ve seen men on television and in movies treat women like that, but I’ve never seen such a violent act portrayed in real life. The men that I know would never do that to a woman. As I look at the video, though, I can’t help but think it’s not 100% the men’s fault. The women were wearing next to nothing. I don’t know if the men just kept ripping their clothes off until they were down to their underwear, or if they really would just dress that scandelously out in public. I do believe the men in that video are definitely at the most fault, but girls dressing like the girls in music videos give those men the confirmation that it’s ok to treat them life that. A quote from Mean Girls comes to mind relating to this: “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

    • mransone Says:

      I agree with you the central park video was really scary! I also haven’t seen anything like that in real life!

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I actually thought about Next after I posted my comment…how very perfect for this topic! There are so many times where the girl doesn’t even make it off the bus and he’s like “next!” It is awful

    • mmpike Says:

      yes! The Mean Girls quote. Totally agree. Women dress in a way and treat each other in ways that make men think its ok. Good reference with that quote!

  12. cahendy Says:

    I just want to talk about the dreamworlds video for a minute. I saw a special on the central park incident this past weekend actually and at first I did not know what it was becuase I did not think that was possible. It pissed me off that that could happen in a public place such as new york. I even saw an interview with one of the women who you saw in the video taken and she said after she escaped the mob the cops did not do anything because they thought she was crazy or making it up or that it was not as bad as she said it was. I think the special said that something like 2 cops and 4 911 operators were fired for not doing there jobs.

    It is crazy to me how the mob mentality just took over in all those men. It is hard to believe that all those men just thought that was ok to do. I know that some of them had to have known it was wrong but went against there better judgement because the stregth in numbers made them feel invinvible. Something else that bothered me about it was only once or twice in the video you see anybody trying to help the women, but there were many bystanders who failed to do anything to help. I do now know why or how that could have ever started. It was interesting to see it paired up with scenes from music videos of men pouring alcohol on women or grabbing them. In the music video the women were unphased by any of this is seemed to enjoy it.

    I think that media will continute to make new stereotypes emerge. look at the last couple decades of stereotypes that have changed. It is not going to just level out now, it is going to coninue to change. I think a big change in the past was women not being just the stay at home mom like Mrs. Cleaver, who is cooking in heals and a dress. Now women are not stay at home moms instead they are working, sometimes going to school and portrayed as independant. I do not know what the next stereotypes that will emervge are but i know it is inevitable that it will happen.

    • vrobbins Says:

      I hate how society has been confused by the fact that the media was only intended for entertainment, but we are being influenced severely by it. One person has an idea about what goes on in a music video and millions of girls and boys are affected. That’s crazy!

  13. mransone Says:

    I found the videos provided very interesting. I never have really sat and thought of the impact that media has on our lives, but when I sit and reflect it amazes me. Our generation is greatly influenced by what we see in the media because we are constantly surrounded by it. We have the internet, magazines, television, movies, books, and more. Its hard to escape the media so now it is easy to make a connection between how we act because of what we are constantly seeing all around us.

    Dreamworld was really shocking to me at first I couldn’t believe how these men were acting towards the women in central park. When they showed the similarities between the music videos and the central park clip it made it clear why these men thought it was acceptable. the celebrities we see in these music videos are seen as role models to many people and they want to act and be like the stars they idol. Its really sad to see such a strong connection to this “dreamworld” to our real world. I really hope that society will start to change and then the media will follow with what society sees as acceptable.

    I think that the advertisements that we see in between our favorite shows are also showing and sending very stereotypical and gendered messages. If its promoting a cleaning product it will be a woman in the home cleaning the mess her family has made. If its for sport we will see a big muscular man. Sexuality is strongly seen when promoting a mans body wash as it was said earlier, and the victoria secret ad’s show super skinny models in skimpy underwear. Now that I think about it I can’t think of an advertisement that isn’t gendered in some way.

    I think new stereotypes will emerge. Our society is constantly changing what the view of acceptable is so stereotypes will always be forming and changing. I really hope our society will be able to move beyond stereotyping but it has been around for so long it will take even longer to change. I don’t have any ideas how to change it but I really hope it will change!

    • melissam4 Says:

      I think change will only come once men and women accpet that they can be equal. Once people change, media will follow. I think we’re already on the road for change mentally. For example, women are mentally equipped to handle the same business jobs as men, however, the only problem now is the strength factor. As long as men have that advantage over us, they’ll always feel at least in the back of their minds that they’re better because when it comes to the heavy lifting, the women will come to them. So now its time for women to bulk up. We cant give men any reason to be better if we want full equality. So now, who wants to go first? I think thats another problem.

      • mbest88 Says:

        It’s unfortunate that you think that men have an advantage over us. I think a lot of women actually have an advantage over men. I think that what will cause change is when women stick together and do something about what is being displayed in the media. And, women and men will never be completely equal. They are each good at different things, like heavy lifting, for a reason. What women should strive for is to be treated equally, not to be men. I do think that it is extremely important for women to stick together and fight for these stereotypes to be taken out of the media.

  14. melissam4 Says:

    With all of the stereotypes displayed from the images of today and the past, I do think there will be other stereotypes to capture on TV in the future. Judging from the past where the sterotypes of the day were working men and housewife women, things have already dramatically changed. Now you see working women on TV, lesbian women, gay men, and just about anything people can think of. There’s a whole channel devoted to women (We), liftetime, and a channel for gay’s (Bravo–which is really for everyone but probably attracts mainly gays and women). Even men have their Spike TV, ESPN, and something that is a huge step of change from back in the day: porno channels. If you pay money for extra channele theres probably so much more that are devoted to specific audiences. That, i think, is a lot of change so I think it would be really hard to say that there wont be future change in the future.

    • melissam4 Says:

      woops..wasnt done with that yet:

      As long as people keep coming up with new ways and ideas of expressing themselves, i dont doubt there wont be future stereotypes. In just this past decade we’ve come up with the Emo stereotype, the death metal heads, the pot heads, gothics, the tree huggers, we’ve probably always had the preps, the divas, and the rebels. Emo, for example was created I think entirely from a new genre of music. As long as new styles of music keep coming out then im sure new stereotypes will also emerge. People are tied to having an identity for themselves so as long as they keep holding on to one, the media will keep trying to cover these new ideas on TV and such in order to keep their ratings up. People want to see themselves on TV and identify with that and companies will display what people want to see.

      As far as the Dreamworlds is concerned, those men really just lost it. I learned in one of my classes that when people are in a group, they tend to lose their sense of right and wrong and just go with the crowd and do what they are doing. I think that is exactly what happened in the parade where the men thought they could touch any random girl walking by any which way they pleased. Its like something infested their minds just for that parade and they lost all sense of respect and let their ‘manly power’ reign on all the women. I found that repulsive and disgusting. HOWEVER, its very similar to how women act in large groups. For example, when I see footage of the women going absolutley MAD for The Beatles and causing an absolute riot at the sight of them, im sure if The Beatles didnt have security with them, the women would have torn their clothes off without a doubt. But would they have for random men in a parade? I dont think so. First of all, again, because most men are stronger, they would probably be able to get out of the situation if it did happen, and second, women want the men to save them, not the other way around.

  15. sbarmstrong Says:

    For the most part, I agree with the previous posts. I believe the image some media portrays of women is sick. Both men and women suffer from these portrayals as men view the treatment of women with a skewed vision and women think they need to be submissive to an unruly man or need to attain a image of a thin, sexy woman to get a man.

    I agree with Katelyn as it is up to society to change before the media takes steps to follow. The media will show what sells, regardless of the image it portrays. If society shows it is unacceptable, then media will change to account for those changes.

    While mainstream media shows some strong, independent women, I think the media still largely illustrates traditional gender roles. I believe as our generation enters the workforce, the media will move away from this traditional portrayal, though not entirely as the “household mom image” will be upheld.

    Also, someone previously mentioned the stereotype of homosexual men as a “shopping buddy” or “pet”. Gay men seem to be known for their great style and decorating abilities. TV shows like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” only reinforce this stereotype.

    I also believe new stereotypes will emerge. For example, the image of women as housewives to new stereotypes about women in the workforce. There will always be stereotypes. The media will also find new things to thrive on, explore and exploit. If it sells, then I guarantee it will be implemented. It’s a harsh reality.

    As the media will move beyond some of the stereotypes today, I believe those stereotypes will only be replaced by others, whether they are better or worse. I do believe the image of women in the workplace and homosexuals will better due to greater acceptance in today’s society. Though it will also be interesting what the media does with that new acceptance.

    Throughout all these images is a reliance on stereotypes that erases the diversity of gender and sexuality experiences and identities. What other stereotypes of gender and sexuality exist in the mainstream media? Will new stereotypes emerge? Will popular media ever be able to move beyond these stereotypes. If so, how?

    • emily9988 Says:

      I agree with what you said about the homosexual stereotypes. We generalize them so much because of shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy just as much as we generalize heterosexual stereotypes because of shows like Friends.

  16. kirstenpowell Says:

    First off I would like to take a moment to say wow! The film dreamworlds especially, had my jaw on the floor! I felt as if I was going to get sick watching that clip, but I still persisted forward. I had never thought about the music videos as really affecting the population. When I completed my journal entry for chapter 13, I was somewhat naive. I thought about the foundation and thought about the images that the media presented to me as a young girl.
    As I think back I do remember seeing the girls in the music videos who were overly sexually provocative and I thought that this was the way that women were supposed to attract men. I equated sexuality with beauty. It was only later that I learned that this is not the case. The images from real life in NYC that the way these women are treated is not the way that anyone should be treated.
    The media is notorious for showing and exposing way too much. One of the clips showed a happy-go lucky girl from the 50’s in comparison to the girls of Laguna Beach in today’s society. The images that they send are often times invasive and repulsive. Why do we let the media get away with sending so many sexually explicit messages that are being shown to today’s youth.
    The stereotypes of the men being dominant really stood out to me as well. I have watched many of these videos as a child on MTV and when I was viewing them without the words the messages they were sending really hit me. These stereotypes are all over the place and I do not think there are going to disappear. It seems that they are only getting worse. I think that stereotypes regarding heterosexuals will remain constant. I do feel that since gays and lesbians have only recently become somewhat accepted by society the means of recreating the stereotypes is greater than that for heterosexual men and women. Due to the young lifetime of these stereotypes they will be further molded. I think that there will continue to be negative images of gays and lesbians, just like there are negative sexual stereotypes of heterosexual men and women. I really think that the media will further spin the stereotypes, but the ones that are in place for heterosexuals will remain more constant than those for gays. The truth of the matter is that pop culture will always stereotype people as long as there are people for the media to stereotype.

  17. lckupke Says:

    Dreamworlds 3 and Generation M opened my eyes to the impact popular media can have on our society. In Dreamworlds 3, the narrator said that music videos teach us what is normal, that they provide a standard for people to compare themselves to. They teach men to see women as objects and to feel entitled to women’s bodies. In my opinion they also tell men who to fantasize to and what kinds of women are “good enough” to have sex with. They teach men to judge women based on how sexy they are, and not on their personality or any other qualities. What ever happened to the days when men had to impress women and could only do so by being gentlemen? Did the males (I refuse to call them men) in Central Park know what they were doing was wrong, or did they believe that females really like that kind of attention? If even a single one of them thought that a woman would enjoy being touched like that and having drinks poured all over her, then the music video industry has made a much bigger impact that we ever expected.

    I agree with what Generation M said about how women now feel empowered by their appearance and sex. It’s a known fact that beautiful women get more attention than unattractive women. The media has taught us that to be a successful woman either in the entertainment industry or corporate America, we must be attractive and good-looking.
    I have known for a while now that magazines focus their energy on sex and beauty, because sex sells. I don’t even want to read the articles anymore because they all say the same thing. They talk about how women can become more beautiful, how we can please our man in bed more, how we can correctly read a man’s feelings so we don’t upset them or get broken up with. I understand there’s a market for makeup and beauty products, but where’s the magazine that says “you’re beautiful just the way you are, but if you want to make a few changes here are some tips…”?

    Some other stereotypes that exist include all male dancers being gay, the less a girl wears the sexier she is, females aren’t supposed to cuss or burp, it’s ok for a man to go gray but women should dye their hair to look younger, and females are the cooks at home but men are the chefs in a restaurant. I think new stereotypes will continue to emerge because our society is always changing and evolving. Popular media will be able to move past some stereotypes but it will take a long time and won’t stop new stereotypes from being created.

    • catherineporter07 Says:

      What you said about Generation M I agree with. A statement I vividly remember hearing my senior year of high school from a marketing teacher was “although I don’t think it’s fair, when you go in for an interview, I suggest wearing make-up. You will be taken more seriously”. Basically what I was hearing from a teacher was that in order for women to be taken seriously academically and successfully in the workforce, they must physically alter the appearance of their face. Unfortunate.

      • mattymac Says:

        That is unfortunate. We condemn society and shake our heads in dismay while living by its rules at the same time.

        One person made the statement that society needs to change before the media changes. Although this is a fair statement, I feel as though it would be much easier to change one institution than to change the entire social order. If more films, television shows, musicians, etc. started to break down societal norms, then society would begin to change its rules. It is similar to what one person mentioned about the cartoon frog in Nepal. Also, “Will & Grace” made huge leaps and bounds in furthering the acceptance of homosexuality even though the program relied on and perpetuated stereotypes.

  18. flipmyflops06 Says:

    These videos were interesting to watch and I definitely agree with what they are saying about the messages media is sending. Today, more people are learning gender messages through TV shows, commercials, music videos, and countless other forms of media. With people becoming increasingly busy, the television is often used as a form of childcare in order to keep children subdued and calm. Many times this is where children learn the often wrong message media sends about females and males.

    Commercials often hold stereotypes of gender and sexuality. If women are not portrayed as wives or mothers, they are usually shown as sex-objects such as in beer commercials and focused on being beautiful as in makeup commercials. Other commercials of women usually show them as wives or mothers busily trying to prepare meals and care for husbands and children. Men are often portrayed as sex-objects as previously discussed through hygienic products. They are primarily on sports commercials as well continuing the stereotype that men are the more physical gender.

    I do believe new stereotypes will emerge though I cannot say what direction they will go. Already there are more things in the media showing women are beginning to hold more power. I have started to notice a rise in commercials of women as physicians and pharmacists whereas this voice of authority used to be primarily men. Men are starting to be in more commercials involving children and home care, but they are often shown as being less competent than the wives and mothers in this area.

    Because of the emergence of these new types of media, I believe that popular media will be able to move beyond some stereotypes. In commercials, more positive gender representations are arising, but I can’t say what will happen to things such as music videos and female sexuality. Though other gender stereotypes are getting better, these seem to be getting worse. These also seem to be the more damaging forms of media because many teenagers are learning gender lessons based on the television.

    • catherineporter07 Says:

      I found it interesting how you noted that more often children are being plopped down in front of a television to keep them entertained. With the way our television reflects and encourages an unfortunate reality in the way society thinks about gender identities, this does not look like there is much of a bright side to our young generations.

      • emily9988 Says:

        I totally agree with what you said about the TV set being this generation’s babysitter. The kids that I babysit are permanently glued to the TV, watching hours a day on end. It’s a struggle to get them to play outside! I totally agree that television is shaping how they view gender roles at such a young age.

  19. tgbaldwin32 Says:

    There are many other stereotypes in mainstream media, for example in magazines there is always the stereotype of the perfect body that everyone wants. On the covers of popular magazines like men’s health, and women’s health there is never a picture of the typical male or female, there is always a woman with plenty of curves and a man that has the six-pack abs. Most of the people on earth do not look this way, maybe one or two percent. This is ridiculous because this stereotypes what the perfect person should be, and there is no such thing as the perfect person, we are all human we all have our flaws.

    I think as time moves on different stereotypes will emerge. For example as time went on the homosexuals have gotten bigger amount of airtime on the media as well as a different and more accepting viewpoint. Just as this has happened I believe different things we consider taboo now will in time become accepted as stereotypically normal and some things we do now will be stereotypically looked down on.

    Like I said before stereotypes like everything changes over time. I think the popular media will be able to move beyond these stereotypes. They will do this because as a culture we change, and with the change in culture stereotypes will change.

  20. mmpike Says:

    When I watched the first two videos I was kind of surprised. Though I’m not really sure why. In Music Videos, movies and commercials women are portrayed as sex objects, and I despise it. I think personally I have managed to ignore these for years, which has blinded me. Its as if I’ve forgotten how screwed up our media is because I don’t spend any of my time with it, but each time I see it, it just makes me mad. Mostly at the people writing the commercials, and agreeing to act in them . These people are not recoginzing the affects they have, like the incident in NYC. (which was terrifying)

    Something has to be done about this. I was fortunate enough to have a mother that taught me otherwise, but their are millions of women whose mothers have conformed to the same views as the media, and even more who have no mothers or role models in influence them. When will the media learn that they’re the ones responsible for screwing up America. They are. I firmly believe that. All of those artist on MTV, budwieser, miller lite, and axe, are responsible for the girls that dress themselves with…well nothing, and then men that can’t control themselves and beat them all up. sorry it makes me mad.

    In terms of the other two videos, I found them interesting. All of the people they showed, examples on TV, were attractive people (but that’s true for any show really, right?) But what I found most surprising was how I felt they disregarded the lesbian stereotype and made it something all their own. I think we would have to agree, the common stereotype (at least among our peers) is that lesbians are masculine. HOwever, none of the lesbians that they showed were masculine, but instead, all looked like those girls in music videos. Is this just another example of how women are to pleas men? Their gayness is something for the men to enjoy. I don’t get it, but thats seems to be how it is portrayed. I would think that no lesbian would like that.

    I think stereotypes will change one day…hopefully. Especially the perception of how a woman should please a man. That is a load of crap, and makes me furious, I should stop. ahah

    • kmacklin1107 Says:

      When I saw the first two video clips I was completely disgusted, and like an awful feeling came into my stomach. I think it is because we do see this stuff so often in music videos that we just don’t think about it anymore. I think we never really thought about the issues that these music videos are portraying. It only becomes real to us when it happens in everyday life and not just in a music video. When it really happens I think we finally realize the effect that the media has on the minds of people today.

    • emily9988 Says:

      mary margaret- I can’t even tell you how much i can’t stand the media either. What you said about mtv, budweiser, etc. is so true- the depiction of women is disgusting and they are really messing up our country.

  21. catherineporter07 Says:

    First, I completely agree with the statement “Throughout all these images is a reliance on stereotypes that erases the diversity of gender and sexuality experiences and identities”. This pretty much sums up all of what the media does to encourage the continuance of uniformality within gender and sex identities.

    For whatever reason, my computer would not play the Dreamworlds 3 video, but from what I’ve read many people were taken by suprise by what they saw. From the Generation M video, I was certainly taken by suprise- but like Mary Margaret, I don’t really see why either. The media is so incredibly focused on the appearance of a woman’s body that it should not be a suprise whatsoever that so much advertising is put into targeting women, young women especially. I suppose that I too found it to be such a suprise because I do not spend my time reading magazines or exposing myself to movies and tv shows where this focus is made so clear.

    Another significant stereotype that I believe exists in past and present media is the idea of a woman being either the “angel of the household” or the “madwoman in the attick”. This was a concept we discussed in an English course I took last semester during our unit focusing on examining literature from a Feminist lens. So often this is the image we see in today’s media. The woman/wife/girlfriend/or child is either portayed as the perfect ideal or the insane rebel against what is expected and liked.

    I certainly believe that popular media will and has to some extent already begin to move away from these stereotypes. Someone else mentioned the popularity of shows such as Will & Grace which features two gay men. Although, one could argue that stereotypes are associated with these two men as one is definitely labeled “flambouyant” and the other more “man like”. Perhaps the problem is that as we move away from current stereotypes, in the process be end up forming new ones that also can carry negative attributes…I’m not entirely sure we go about moving past these stereotypes?

  22. mbest88 Says:

    I watched the Dreamworlds movie. Yes, it was disturbing, but I really wasn’t too shocked. The stereotypes that are displayed in the media have a strong impact on the people that watch them. More and more young people are watching these music videos and reality TV shows. Young men are watching these shows and thinking that it is okay to treat women that way. When I was growing up I don’t remember there being so much sex and violence in the media. Maybe it was just the way my parents raised me, but I do think it has become more of a problem. Even kids shows are showing inappropriate things. It is much more common for both parents to be out working today so it is harder for parents to monitor what their kids are exposed to.

    I think that the stereotypes that are in the media today are awful. Music videos often show men taking complete advantage of and abusing women. This not only puts the stereotype out there that this is okay, but it also says that men are abusers and take advantage of women. This is extremely unfortunate because not all men are like that. It also sucks for women, but people always focus on how much it sucks for women. I think that a lot of people tend to over look how this puts a bad image on men too.

    There will most definitely be new stereotypes in the future. As what is popular changes, the stereotypes will change. As new shows and new videos come out the stereotypes will change. I’m not really sure what they will be, but it would be interesting comparing the stereotypes now to the ones ten years from now. I really don’t think that the media will do anything to prevent new and old stereotypes from being shown. The people who create the media don’t really care because they are just going to do whatever makes them money.

  23. kmacklin1107 Says:

    Watching the second clip on women and how they are being sexualized in music videos and then treated in public literally made me sick to my stomach. I got to the point where I was really mad at the male population. Then I had to sit back and just remember that this is the type of message that is being pounded into the heads of many males. I understand that not all males act in this manner, and some have more sense than to act in this manner. I was just so enraged by what I was seeing.

    I absolutely hate the way in which females are constantly being portrayed in the media. They are almost always seen as being helpless, dumb, weak, and completely emotional. I love the fact of women being seen as able to do for themselves. When Miss Congeniality came out it became one of my favorite movies. I loved the fact that she was just as tough as a boy, and could kick butt when needed. The only problem was that she was not seen as being attractive until after her “makeover”. It is as if a girl can only be attractive if she is wearing makeup, has her hair done in some fashion, and is wearing some sort of nice clothing. Honestly, I feel my best a lot of the time when I can be a bum and have my hair in a bun, wear my glasses without makeup, and wear a t-shirt and a pair of my boyfriend’s basketball shorts.

    I think that my generation is also becoming more accepting of homosexuals. Many people might not be completely happy with it, but I think that more people are seeing it as a lifestyle more so than a disease. I think there will still be some issues with the idea of homosexuals being represented in the media. I know my mother is one person who hates the idea of homosexuals being in the media. She is a very religious woman, and I love her to death, but everytime she sees them on the television or she hears about one of my friends she just says we should pray for them. There is about a thirty year difference between my mother and me, and within that time a lot of change has come about on the ideas of what a homosexual is and who is accepting of them.

    I am hoping that maybe the stereotypes of people will change for the better at some point in time. I would like for there to be a better representation of what women are and how they act. I would rather the female sex not be seen as a sexual object that is just there to please a man, but as someone who has a brain, and takes care of her self and has feelings. I do think that as generations go on, and my generation becomes the older generation, there will be a greater acceptance of homosexuals.

  24. chloea Says:

    As I stated earlier, I was completely appalled by the effect our media has had on our society. Watching the Dreamworld’s clip and Generation M clip opened my eyes to how much influence the media has really had. I think we’ve all lost some of our class. When did we get to a point where these (what would have been unheard of) messages were okay as long as they got the viewers. Years ago, nobody would have dared to place such ideas on screen. The fact that the producer (or whatever his title is) from MTV saw the message he was advocating as okay repulsed me. But the guy in Generation M made a good point. Why does our society watch this stuff and support it? I really think simply acknowledging how the media influences us is a step in the right direction. Being aware makes you think twice of what magazine you purchase or TV show you watch. If the media got the idea that we don’t appreciate or agree with how they portray women, then maybe they would reconsider what message they send to the public.

    I do believe that new stereotypes could emerge. Take homosexuality for example: just one generation ago the idea was unheard of. While I don’t support the idea, I do believe that those people should be accepted and not ostracized. Whether you agree with homosexuality or not, our society has made it to the point where we will accept those people which I do support fully. Simply because of homosexuality’s emergence, I believe new stereotypes are a definite possibility.

    This being said, I don’t think we’ll ever separate ourselves completely from stereotypes. While women are becoming more independent and successful in their careers, we still think and react so differently as males and females. Because of that difference, I don’t think we’ll step away from stereotypes in their entirety.

  25. mattymac Says:

    While others have discussed the shocking and appalling nature of the scenes from Central Park, no one has brought up race and ethnicity into the equation, nor the messages and stereotypes the media sends regarding these issues and their relation to gender. The issue does involve the treatment of women at the hands of men, but notice that the men in Central Park were mostly of Puerto Rican heritage. Also, most of the men in those music videos that depicted the same images were of some other race that was not Anglo-Saxon/white/Caucasian/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I do not mean to stereotype and generalize to say that white men are less likely to disrespect women than men of other ethnicities and races. However, many of you discussed how many of the men in your lives do not treat women this way. How many of those men in your lives are not white?

    The point I am getting at is that the media seems to portray men of different ethnicities and races as more primal, less civilized, and more “dirty.” We all know the stereotype of the Mexican men construction workers hitting on the attractive females that walk by. Is the media portraying that it is acceptable for certain races to behave differently from one another? Take for example the new images in the media for African American men now that Barack Obama is President. His story is an inspiration to those men to work hard and ignore the other degrading images of African American men in the media.

    I remember watching the Central Park assaults on the news and hearing commentators on the situation. Many were making statements revolving around the race of the men. Many were making statements revolving around what many of the women were wearing. As many others have pointed out, increasingly more women wear more revealing clothing often to get the attention of men. I personally believe it is a sad state that wearing revealing clothing is considered to be female liberation and an expression of being proud if one’s skin. It is completely ignoring that the revealing clothing is designed to attract men and further bring attention to your body, not your other more important assets.

    I personally believe that popular media either will not move beyond certain stereotypes, or if they do move beyond them, it will just be because new ones have emerged. Much of popular media, especially television thrives off of stereotypes. There is humor and connection in stereotypes: audiences find it humorous and enjoy watching something to which they can relate. When trying to appeal to a broad demographic, the depictions of characters is going to be very broad, often stereotypical.

  26. McNally Says:

    i was not shocked at all with the way that these clips and the media display women. I feel it is totally wrong and being a guy its not an attractive way to allow the media to treat and display women in this way.
    Although it was half expected i didnt realize the amount of women that were being displayed and put out by the media like this. The media has set a stereotype for these women that should be looked upon as shameful. Being a male i cant exactly tell you how i would feel personally about having that type of stereotype put out as if i were a women. But personally coming from a guy, i feel that the women who are in these clips need to try their best to stand up for themselves and not let people put them out their like that.


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