Gender Communication Summer 2009

A space to critically engage gender and communication topics

Blog Activity 13: Globalization and the Future of Gender Studies June 15, 2009

The two readings on Blackboard, one by bell hooks on global feminism from her fabulous reader, Feminism is for Everybody, and one by Lois Leveen from Bitch magazine on gendered toys/enertainment via Dora the Explorer and international labor relations, remind us that despite many advancements in the United States, the struggle for gender equality persists across the globe, especially in developing nations. To wrap up our summer session, please reflect on the political call to action the authors promote. Since this is our last graded post, worth 25 points instead of 20, I encourage you to pull ideas from throughout the semester–not just those from this week’s readings–to propose ideas on how we as Americans can find a balance in recognizing the struggles of women across the globe, and likewise gender relations in general, without patronizing or paternalizing other nations’ citizens (something for which hooks argues strongly). Finally what role should/could media and new technologies play in raising not only gender inequality awareness but also action?


75 Responses to “Blog Activity 13: Globalization and the Future of Gender Studies”

  1. daniellemstern Says:

    Sorry for the publishing delay. I unknowingly still had the post set to “private.”

  2. ginasurrette Says:

    If the call to actions relied solely on the intellectually elite and the rich nothing would get done in the favor of the human race as a whole. Whether we like it or not we all have the capacity to make a difference, we just have to choose to do so. I think what the authors are trying to get across is that we can accomplish a lot if we act together. Also, that we are the only ones slowing us down and that each individual holds a piece of a key that will unlock change for the better. We need start paying more attention to how each of us aid to a bigger picture. The example of the childrens toys is wonderful because it helps both men and women to understand that even the smallest object out there can make a big political impact.

    We need to broaden our minds and make better decisions. The decisions both men and women make today impact that future of our world. Attention to detail and overall underlying messages; how children are raised in the home, will effect our world in a huge way. Each family had how they are treated makes a large difference in the changes made in feminism.
    For feminism to create a positive productive change and the rest of the world to catch on to a better way of life, the lest respected people and the most need to work together and respect each other.

    • mransone Says:

      I agree with you we need to come together as a whole we can’t depend on just a few to do it all. I agree we need to make better decisions!

      • Lauren Says:

        yea I agree with you when you said the family plays a big part in changing how people will act in the future. the family influences their kids a lot so to start change, kids need to learn about it young in order for it to change in the future

  3. kirstenpowell Says:

    I think that media needs to be more careful in the way that images they display can influence young minds. We constantly hear that young children’s minds are like sponges and that they just absorb everything. With this is mind, why doesn’t media consider it’s effects on the youth. The youth will inevitably one day be the future. Are the messages that are being sent what we want our future leaders to grow up believing? I think that the gender stereotypes and roles presented in media are changing to a certain degree. In some cases strides have been made since the 50’s when women were pictured in the house, cleaning and cooking with a smile on her face, with pearls on her neck, and heels on her feet. Media has moved away from this stereotypical image, but like we explored in Gamble and Gamble, women are still more likely to be seen in cleaning and cooking advertisements than men. While strides have been made, there are still steps that need to be taken by media in leveling the playing field for men and women. This is not just for whites either, these steps must include the various ethnic groups and ethnicities around the world. The United States is much further along than other countries like the ones talked about in the articles, but they still need progress. The United States and media here is not a picture perfect example. Yes we have made strides in the stereotyping of women and their abilities outside of the home, but there still seems to be and emphasis on women’s household tasks and men’s household tasks. Just like women are still seen in cooking and cleaning ads, men are more likely to be seen in outdoor activities like cutting the grass and changing the oil in the car.

    While media has made it more acceptable for women to work outside of the home, the images that are displayed of women in various music videos in commercials is demeaning. Like we discussed in the previous blog, the ads make men, and especially women appear as sex objects. Most of the time the women are in the position of the object, while the men are in control.

    In the dreamworlds clip the idea images being presented in tv and music videos made a huge impact on me, I think this is because they were taken out of context and the narrators made the connection to the real life scenario. The images that you see on tv and glamorized and you know they are fake. The troubling images from NYC made the viewer all too aware of the correlation between the music videos and the horrifying images of the real life men and women. If more media attention is paid to pointing out these negative images, then we will better recognize them. In recognizing them we may be more likely to act out against them.

    The U.S. is not alone, the issue is the same in nations around the world. There are just different degrees of intensity. There are also different degrees depending on your race and culture. It is important to recognize these. It is all to easy to say that media must stop airing these images, but that is also an unlikely task. Instead we should focus on the education and awareness of these stereotypes, just like many of the various clips we have watched for this course indicate.

    • katelyntemple Says:

      I really agree with you on the media’s impact on youth. They are so influential and believe what they see. They don’t know that some TV shows shouldn’t be viewed as reality, just as entertainment. However, I feel like the media can only do so much in regards to influencing youth, and hopefully displaying less emphasis on gender roles. Even if the media changes, children will still be highly influenced by their parents. The problem with this is parents have grown up aware of gender roles and expectations, so are likely to pass these on to their children.

    • vrobbins Says:

      You made a lot of great points. I’m finding though that there are a lot of movies that are portraying women in a different light. I feel like the trend is becoming more independent and self-sufficient. It’s quite interesting. I know that there are a lot of movies that still address women in a stereotypical way, I can see things changing however. I watched, He’s Just Not That Into You tonight it was kind of interesting to see how the women in the movie were all different. Some were into having sex and not being attached, while others were completely consumed with trying to find a man and settling down (and would do anything to achieve that).

      • kirstenpowell Says:

        I agree media has a wishy-wash stance. Some women are seen as independent, while others are still fulfilling the gender stereotypes that have been around for ages. Maybe one day the former women’s gendered stereotypes will become obsolete.

      • mmpike Says:

        You took the words right out of my mouth with how the media impacts youth. I think that advertising is the most detrimental to kids. This form of media is TRYING to get you to buy into something which is far more influential then entertainment. I think the media tends to blame parents and parents tend to blame media. The media needs to recognize their responsibilities, in unfortunate situations, the media is what “raises” american children.

    • katelyntemple Says:

      “The U.S. is not alone, the issue is the same in nations around the world. There are just different degrees of intensity. There are also different degrees depending on your race and culture. It is important to recognize these. It is all to easy to say that media must stop airing these images, but that is also an unlikely task. Instead we should focus on the education and awareness of these stereotypes, just like many of the various clips we have watched for this course indicate.”

      I agree. Not only is the issue the same, but in some parts of the world it is much worse. There are some countries where women virtually have no rights. Originally I was thinking women should use the technology to unite across the globe. But then i realized, in some countries where women really are objects, they wouldn’t even know what the internet was. What actions should women take to help the women in 3rd world countries, where they suffer most?

      • mransone Says:

        It is true children are like sponges! What they see they will take it! The media really does need to take this into consideration, as well as the children’s parents.

      • kirstenpowell Says:

        In the stage that we are in awareness is really the only option. We cannot move forward with eliminating gender stereotypes until everyone is somewhere near the same page. Until then we must create a voice that helps to bring equality. Without this men will continue to be seen as dominant, and women will have to fulfill the subservient role in media (despite the exceptions).

    • mattymac Says:

      “With this is mind, why doesn’t media consider it’s effects on the youth. The youth will inevitably one day be the future. Are the messages that are being sent what we want our future leaders to grow up believing?”

      Much of the different media that is available today is driven by money gained from advertisements and endorsements. Children and young people are a huge marketing demographic. Think about all the products children and teenagers consume and use. Think about the parents who are buying these products for them. Many of the messages sent by the different types of media are designed to reach different demographics. This is achieved through reliance on the continuous perpetuation of gender norms and values.

      Marketers and advertisers thrive on images. The article about Dora the Explorer made the point that the character is more similar in appearance to European ancestry than that of indigenous peoples. She is “safe” to the mostly white middle-class families to which she is being marketed and advertised. When trying to sell products to children, young people, and families, wholesome and safe images are key. Marketers place importance on media forms that show family values. Thus, advertisements and entertainment media continue to demonstrate the same messages.

      The more important issue is not about the messages the media sends, but that this system is how most people prefer it to be. Who wants to be told of the horrible circumstances facing women around the globe? It is safer and more comfortable to accept and live in the same traditional norms that society has laid out for us. How many of us are going to take action? Spreading awareness and gaining knowledge is important, but without action, we still sit around lamenting about how everything is unjust and unfair.

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        I agree with you that the media is driven by money. I doubt companies are more concerned with how their advertisement of a product affects a certain gender than the demographic of customers they will reach.

        In addition, I believe your last statement to be right on. To be aware of the issue is one thing, but action is what will lead to change.

      • Lauren Says:

        I agree with you when you say a lot of people feel safer and more comfortable accepting their lives how they are now, and don’t like to think about those horrible things happening to women in different countries, but action does need to happen in order for things like factory conditions to change like petitioning, or awareness through websites and charities that help those women. It takes more than just one person to fix a problem this huge so if more people did start to think about it and take action change could happen.

      • chloea Says:

        I was thinking the exact same thing! Our world recognizes that children are their best advertisers because of the influence they hold over their parents. Yeah, parents are ultimately in control of what they buy, but you always find the kid pleading for some toy or another. I agree that the key is using wholesome and safe images. However, the media may continue with inappropriate advertisements as long as they’re successful. It’s shocking that they don’t have a care in the world other than making profit, but that’s what the MTV producer (I’m not sure exactly what he was) said in the Generation M clip.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I definitely agree with you that the media plays a HUGE role in how our youth is being raised and the concepts regarding gender that they are being taught. Personally, I believe that as a society parents are getting lazier when it comes to raising their children. Now that there are so many advances in technology, parents rely on television and the media to teach, entertain, and occupy their children. The media knows this and takes advantage of the fact that parents are more interested in keeping their children occupied than they are teaching them, and use the opportunity to appeal to kid’s wants and reap a monetary benefit. Yes, I agree that the media needs to take steps in order for there to be change in our society, but I also think that our mentality of our youth needs to change. Like you said, “The youth is our future”.

      • catherineporter07 Says:

        I second that. With so much of what we read focusing on how the family is a “gendered-person factory”, the family is clearly where it all starts. While I was exposed to media telling me how I was expected to be (and although I’m sure some of it affected me to a certain extent), my parents influence had the largest affect in how I didn’t conform to what media told me was what a young girl, teenager, and woman should be like. The media has so much more power to teach if the parents allow it to do so.

    • cahendy Says:

      I completely agree with you about media having such a big impact on youth. One thing you mentioned was that in a way we have made huge strides since the 50’s where women were only shown cooking and cleaning but now they are being objectified by how they are shown in music videos and such. Something we talked about in yesterdays blog about the dreamworlds clip was will the media continue to change how it shoes gender roles and I think the answer is yes because of how much it has changed so far it is not going to just stop. Do you think it will and if so in what ways?

  4. Lauren Says:

    Until I took this class I never really realized how much men and women were looked at as separates rather than equals. I’ve always know that men and women in society usually had diverse roles in the home and at work, but not to the extent that I read in the textbook. And I don’t think I’m alone with thinking this, I believe a lot of people either ignore or just don’t realize how differently men and women are looked at, and how much people who decide to be androgynous (embody both male and female qualities) are looked at as if what they are doing is not right. As I learned in this class every since a child is little, he or she is taught to act “gender appropriate” but what does that really mean? Does it mean if you are a man you can’t cry or feel empathetic for others? Or if you are a woman can you not be strong and independent? I believe that gender does not only mean equal rights and equal opportunity for men and women, I think it also means that it should be seen as being okay if a man acts as what most people would say is feminine or for a girl to act a little masculine sometimes. There should not be restraints on a person’s abilities or the way they want to express themselves.

    I think the first thing Americans need to do to find balance in recognizing the struggles of women across the globe is to first realize that it is there and is happening to women not only in America, but especially in other countries. Like said in the factory girl article, 80 percent of women at the average age of 24.5 worked in the maquiladoras with minimum wage and very poor working conditions. This is something that needs to stop and I think one way to do this is through educating the public about the women struggling. I think by continuing to treat girls and boys differently in school will become detrimental to society. Teachers paying more attention to boys and calling on them more just because they think women are less capable needs to change because when you are at that age you are most influenced by the people around you, like your teachers. If you were always taught in school that girls are more judged on their appearance while the boys are taught it is okay to be loud and obnoxious than they will grow up to continually think that and treat men and women differently. Like Hooks mentioned in the article, yes women need more equality, but not at the expense of other people of different race, sexual orientation, or different cultures. And one way to do this I think is to start in the home, where you are most influenced, by your family. As a young boy or girl, you learn from your family about how to act toward people of different race, gender, or class so by teaching your children, yes men and women are different in some ways, you should still be mindful in teaching them but that doesn’t mean they should be treated or looked at differently.

    I also think that the media can play a huge role in raising more awareness about gender inequality. Media and technology are all around us and very influential on society so by monitoring more of what they put out there (like mentioned by Kristen) the less society will continue to stereotype men and women. I believe that the media portrays men and women in these gender roles or stereotypes because they know society also uses gender stereotypes so they keep it in the media in order to keep their audience. I think that in order for society to recognize more gender equality, the media needs to change what they put out to society. I also think media could get the message out there more, especially about what is happening to women in different cultures where they are forced to work for low wages and are treated as lesser than men. For example, in most Arab countries women are look at as inferior to men and they do not have the same rights as men. I would say these are bigger issues than what women endure in America and therefore need to be paid attention to even more and needs to change.

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      I completely agree with you Lauren. I think I was oblivious to the separation of genders rights. I thought it was more a topic for the history books. I did not recognize the issues that still exists today that need to be executed.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I agree with the comments that you made about how things need to change in our educational settings. The ways that teachers treat boys and girls differenly was something that I thought only happened occassionally, or in my classrooms. When I read it in our textbook I was surprised that it was something well known enough to have authors write about it being a gender norm. Teachers are supposed to be mentors for children, if they are discriminating from a young age, what does that teach the kids? In order for things to change, the treatment of children in schools needs to change.

  5. vrobbins Says:

    I agree with those that have already posted. The media knows how influential they are on children and individuals of all ages. Therefore, they need to be more careful in the messages that they send. While it’s not possible to portray the same exact message to everyone, I’m pretty sure they can come up with a way that will make the messages that they do send, positive ones.

    The only problem with this is that in America, people buy movie tickets, people by DVDs, and songs from iTunes. Whenever we purchase products that have demeaning messages in them, we are telling the producers that this is the type of content we like. Therefore, they continue to supply raunchy material. Or in the case of gender, they further emphasize the stereotypes that exist between males and females.

    I think the power lies in our hands, and this goes for members of other cultures as well, we as a unit need to stand up against the media and say that it is affecting us and the generation following. We are the only ones who can censor what messages we view and what messages youngsters view. Hopefully, the media will catch on and change their ways.

    Just a thought: I was in Persuasion today and one of the presenting groups mentioned that Disney no longer has french fry and hamburger stands at their park. Instead it has been replaced with healthy food such as, carrot sticks and ranch dressing. Haven’t you noticed that a lot of the fast food restaurants are changing too? It started with one fast food chain and the rest followed suit. We all want to eat healthier right? We are all too busy to cook at home right? So why not make fast food healthier! It’s a success! Can’t the messages that media send out be the same way if we start taking a stand? What do you think?

    • mransone Says:

      I completely agree with you the power is in our hands. Your right we need to start censoring so the media will being to change.

      • Jessie Wright Says:

        Ha that was me today in class! I went to Disney this past weekend and it was a health crazy. I go every year with my family, but this year it was different. I am allergic to basically all fruits and vegetables, so this trip I could barely eat. I am use to going and having junk food heaven, not this time!

        I agree we have changed fast-food to try to spread the idea of fast health foods. If people in the media are changing this why wouldn’t they be able to come out with a plan to help genders?

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I too think it takes just one and others will follow suit. Maybe we can make Dr. Stern proud and become those ad execs that create a new campaign against these stereotypes! I’m rethinking career goals as we speak!

      [Complete side note…but Jessie, you’re allergic to fruits and veggies!! Ahhh…I couldn’t imagine!]

    • kirstenpowell Says:

      You definitely have a good point when you mention supply and demand. If we quit buying these items the manufacturers may quit making them.

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      As with the others, I agree as well. People tend to want change but often support the very thing they are fighting against buy purchasing it. There cannot be hypocrisy in our actions or our strides towards equality are meaningless.

  6. katelyntemple Says:

    So many people are unaware of the significant gender differences that exist throughout the world. This may be due to ignorance, or simply denial. The feminist movement has made great accomplishments, but the ultimate goal has yet to be achieved. In 1920 a huge step was made when women gained the right to vote. This allowed them to do more than sit in the home, they were able to express their opinion, and have it count. Despite this, many women did not vote. It was not uncommon for husbands to not allow their wives to vote, because they viewed it as unacceptable. Also, many women were highly influenced by their husband’s opinion, as he held ultimate power.

    This is not the case today, but the actions of women are still greatly influenced. Boys and girls learn gender roles at a very young age. Girls are supposed to be quiet, passive, cute and smile a lot, while boys are supposed to be assertive, independent, tough, and loud… These expectations highly influence how one will act, and actually limits them. We need to focus less on gender and focus more on individuality. This goes not only for the United States, but for the world. In just about other country men and women to some extent have different rights. If we didn’t focus so much on one’s gender, equality would be possible, because people wouldn’t be focused on differences.

    Education plays a significant role in one learning stereotypical gender roles. The fact that boys receive more attention in school tells girls that they are not as deserving, and causes them to think they are not as smart, or capable. Because girls are more likely to be passive, while boys dominate classroom activity, the idea of same-sex schooling makes sense to me. This would allow both males and females to receive equal attention and gear teaching in ways that works best for each gender.

    In order for women to make significant progress, and truely become equals of men, they need to work together. I do not think the solution lies is broadcasting radical or socialist feminist views. Blaming the male dominated systems, or women’s reliance on men financially, or even more radically, claiming women are disadvantaged by their reproductive system, does not make progress. Women need to unite together as a class, and forget all their minor differences. Women also need a specific cause in order to be successful, Today, women have such different interests and desires, making this difficult.

    Another thing women need to do is be less critical of other women. Working women criticize the stay at home mom, while the stay at home mom frowns upon working women… this prevents women from uniting with a common goal, to gain equality. If women cant accept the choices of other women, how do we expect men to?

    I think the media is incredibly important in promoting gender equality and action. The more diversity displayed in the media, the better. We need to stop the idea of gender stereotypes. If the media shows not only working men, but stay at home dads, gays, single men with a child, ect, the expectation of men being “breadwinners” will fade. Also, women need to be shown doing more than cleaning the house, caring for the kids, and pleasing her husband. Showing women working, living the single life, and having a different lifestyle will help fade gender roles. When we see someone act a certain way on TV we are inclined to think this is how we should act. We do this because the same stereotypes are constantly displayed.

    • mransone Says:

      I agree with you people just don’t see the gender differences. I never would have picked up on any of this if I had not taken this class. It just shows that society has embedded it so much in us that we don’t realize it anymore.

      • jenwaybright Says:

        It is mind blowing to think of how much we have been affected by gender differences and how it took us around 20 years to figure it out. Had we not taken this class most of us would have never realized these.

    • sbarmstrong Says:

      “Another thing women need to do is be less critical of other women. Working women criticize the stay at home mom, while the stay at home mom frowns upon working women… this prevents women from uniting with a common goal, to gain equality. If women cant accept the choices of other women, how do we expect men to? ”

      You make an excellent point! Women must learn to accept the roles other women hold in society. I believe women are quick to place judgment on those unlike themselves (for example, the working woman might frown upon the stay-at-home mom). However, everyone is different. Some women may like the traditional roles while others seek a new norm to follow.

      • kmacklin1107 Says:

        I agree with you that women need to come together on all issues and stand united rather than divided. I think also that men must become more accepting to what a woman chooses to do with her life. He should support her regardless of if she chooses to be at stay at home mother or if she chooses to go to work. I think in order for gender equality to become more effective everyone must support each other.

      • catherineporter07 Says:


        Totally agree! Unification is key. One thing that bothers me more than anything else is when I hear a working woman harp on the woman who chooses to stay at home (because she must just be doing it because she wants to fulfill the “traditional role”) and to hear a stay at home mom insult the way parents choose to raise their children because the mother is in the workplace. Ah, drives me crazy!

    • sam1503 Says:

      Great point that women criticize other women! It is something that people do not think about when discussing the criticisms of genders. If women criticize other women, what is stopping men from doing the same thing? Or our kids?

      • mmpike Says:

        good point about how women criticizing women influence men’s criticism of us. Someone posted on another blog about a quote from Mean Girls where TIna Faye’s characters says that girls have to stop calling eachother sluts and hoes, that is just tells guys its ok for them to as well. The fact that stay at home moms will criticize women in the work place, and vis versa has the same type of affect. I bet stay at home Dads probably have the same problem, more so then stay at home moms.

  7. mransone Says:

    In the Feminism is for Everyone, the author brings up a good point. Americans help so many countries around the world, but we sometimes forget about ourselves. I think we need to focus on changing ourselves first because if we do not our problems between the media and feminism will only get worse.

    The media should be our number one target. If we stop watching or buying the negative stereotypes they put in print and on television, it will begin to change. The media does not care what they put out in our world as long as they are making money. As soon as they start to lose money a change will begin. Our world revolves around money, so it will be where the first changes can occur.

    Once the media is changes the negative stereotypes against women, we can start to reach out to other foreign countries. There are many countries that look to Americans as an example, and many that do not, but those that do will start to follow if we start a change.

    I agree with Vrobbins, the power is in our hands. If we stop feeding the media with attention and money a change will being to occur. If we stop watching movies or listen to music that has a negative connotation towards women it will slowly start a reaction and maybe in 100 years everything that we want will come true if we begin to change.

    • mattymac Says:

      I agree with your point about how if we want media representations of gender to change, we must stop embracing it and declare that it must change. The more we watch television shows and movies and listen to music that continue to enact the same gender inequalities that have occurred for years, the more we are going to receive more of the same.

  8. Jessie Wright Says:

    Before taking this class I assumed everyone had my views on women. I have never thought about the differences between men and women. I would have never thought women are still earning less than men. The feminism chapter talks about a variety of groups, for and against, women’s rights that I never knew. I am a huge feminism and just assumed everyone was. I had no idea there were still women in the world who think they should be stuck at home.

    The saying ‘no man (woman) left behind’ applies to women struggles. If one woman is suffering, I think all other women should help out. I do not think we should all suffer, but I think we should not leave other women behind. Women in other cultures are still not allowed to show their faces in public, here in America we are showing our faces and almost everything else. Since women are still being discriminated against, all over the world, we have not finished our job. All women must work for the same goal…equal rights. If we have some women with rights and others with none, we are going to create more stereotypes which we will eventually have to challenge in the future. All women and men are equal. All women are equal. Women should not discriminate or leave behind women of other cultures for their personal gain. We all need to reach a successful goal of equal rights for everyone.

    I think the media could make a huge difference in gender inequalities. The media influences everything we do; to the type of tooth paste we buy or what music we listen to. The media is everywhere and their number one goal is to influence us. If the media were to start presenting gender differences it would help spread awareness. I actually feel it is the medias duty to help spread awareness. Stereotypes existed before the media, but the media made stereotypes spread like a disease. For example in advertisements, they are trying to inform the targeted audience by using stereotypes of those audiences to relate to them. I could be a mom and NOT want to stay home and clean up after my kids, but it is rare that you see a cleaning commercial without a woman. The media could start showing both men and women doing the same things. A man could sell Lysol just a good as a woman, but they do not. They are busy selling tools. The media needs to equally portray both genders with theirs and opposing stereotypes to decrease the recognition of stereotypes.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      The decrease in stereotypes is necessary and it only takes one ad campaign to start it all. I think I will run around the block with joy the first time I see a Pledge commercial with a man dusting instead of the woman!

      • flipmyflops06 Says:

        Haha. Very true! It seems like every commercial with a child or cleaning product in it has a wife or mother. If a man is seen on a commercial with a child or cleaning product, he is usually shown as less competent as the women on these commercials.

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        I would like to see a man in the commerical of a Pledge commerical too. Even as you go on the Pledge website and scroll over the various products, you will notice women definitely dominate the page. I only noticed two men on the entire site. One had a female by his side and the other man was pictured with a wife and child.

        Though I would like to see a man featured cleaning in the commerical, I do not believe it will happen any time soon. Women in the media are still portrayed with traditional household roles. As long as this stereotype illustrated, the media will use it to sell products.

        But what about Billy Mays in OxyClean, Kaboom and Orange Glow commericals?! (something i haven’t thought about until now) That’s a male endorsing a cleaning product. Take a look at the following youtube videos:

        The biggest difference I noticed in these commericals was the language, including “tough stuff,” “POWER,” and “tackles toughest stains.” When a man endorses the product, the emphasis is put on the power of a product, whereas when a woman is featured, the emphasis changes to how well the item cleans/disinfects. So there are men that endorse cleaning…but only in a masculine manner with POWER [*Tim Taylor grunts*]. haha

      • sam1503 Says:

        HAHA you make a great point about Billy Mays! My boyfriend and I were just talking about him the other day. I think it is great that he endorses cleaning products, but notice how they make that commercial WAY different then the ones with women in them. First and for most, he screams LOUDLY. This makes him stand out from all the rest, while appearing powerful and catching people’s attention. He does use more masculine language when he speaks. And he is always shown just talking and demonstrating, while women are shown doing chores around the house. The commercials with the women appeal to making the chore easier and more enjoyable, while Billy focuses on the strength of the product.

  9. scnuhoy87 Says:

    I do still believe that the struggle for equal gender rights is still in full force in our country as well as it is far more greatly in developing countries. While our country is not as intense as the developing countries, we are still fighting to give women the same treatment as men. While I thought that our country was close to equality, I now see that we are still far from it and need to work to accomplish this. This is a topic that one person can go in and change and make things better, if that was the case then someone would have already done it. I believe that everyone has a part and needs to come together to fix our problem of inequality.

    Two areas of the text that would like to focus on is the chapter on media and feminism. The media greatly influences the things that we watch, wear, drive, act, etc. and with this comes great responsibility that the media companies do not appreciate. The media needs to show better equality in its programs and products, instead of girls being stupid and annoying and they are the popular ones and the guys being jerks and having all the power because these views are what influences the younger generations and leads them to behave like the media companies want them too, and that is not in the direction of equality. The other chapter was the one on feminism because it was a surprise to me that there are so many different types, some of them wanting equality, some just wanting to be the stay at home 50’s housewife. We all need to do our part to make equality to happen, but with different types just in the feminist movement we cannot come together to make this happen because of the different positions, making complete equality almost impossible.

    The media companies and other people across the country should come together to promote an equality movement, not focus on how much money they can make, just this once, so that they can help our country get on track.

    • tgbaldwin32 Says:

      You are correct we as a country are still very far from gender equality but I think most of the big steps are done. Now there are a bunch of very little small steps to be taken in order for the gender inequality issue to be resolved. These tiny steps are being taken every day but it will still take years if not decades for everyone to be truly equal.

      I also agree that media companies should come together to promote gender equality but I do not think it will be out of the goodness of their hearts. To big business like the media it is all about the money, but if they could be convinced that if every gender was equal and they would actually make more money because of that then I think they would be behind the project in full.

      • mmpike Says:

        I agree, with what you said about most of the big steps being finished, but that their are small steps that need to taken as well. It made me think, I bet many people are clinging to these norms and stereotypes. I think there are women who cling to what they know about their roles and are afraid to embrace the new roles. I say this because some women love their roles, and men as well, and I bet that for some of these people, subconsciously, they think if they let go of the stereotypes they will have to embrace the new roles. Basically, I think each gender is divided among itself. Women in the home dislike women in the work place, while women in the work place dislike women in the home. I think the same holds true for men. I think the answer is for each gender group to embrace their choices, and support the choices of the “other group”

  10. mattymac Says:

    A great deal of the problem in trying to prevent patronizing or paternalizing other nations’ citizens lies in the attitudes of national pride in many Americans. In a government class I took last semester in comparative and international politics, we spent a great deal of the first couple of weeks analyzing our own views as well as the views held by the overwhelming majority of American citizens toward our nation as well as others around the globe. Not surprisingly, most of us realized that we are a nation that borders on arrogance. I remember being raised and how it was always emphasized about how strong and powerful the United States is. Many get the complex that since we are such a superpower that we must help other nations rise to our level.

    A change in attitudes is what is needed, but in order to bring about that change, awareness needs to be spread. In order for awareness to be spread, education needs to be implemented. The problem with education is that it is becoming less and less available to a wide range of people. So many people are so uneducated about so many issues. I admit that there is a wealth of information that I do not know, and quite possibly I might never know. This class is the perfect example of opening my eyes to new information that I never imagined. Not only is spreading information important, but analyzing it and viewing it a particular way is important as well. I knew about gender, but did not have the insight that this class has led me to begin to develop.

    Therefore, we look to the most pervasive tool society uses to communicate to the masses: media. As I mentioned earlier and as the prompt addresses: the problem is not just in raising awareness, but in prompting action to be taken without demeaning others. Taking action relies on selflessness. We all have our own personal goals and dreams that we are pursuing that often fill up our time. When do we put forth the effort to voice the inequalities women in America and around the world are experiencing?

    I really liked how bell hooks related that we are often in shock and condemn how women are treated and encouraged to behave in other countries, yet right in our own backyard, we continue to value women for their beauty and men for their wealth. Perhaps the first step is by making waves within our own country.

    I remember a year or two ago when there was news coverage about the decline of the rap music industry, a media representation that definitely perpetuates horrible gendered messages. It is still prevalent, but perhaps the drastic decline in its sales indicates its loss of popularity. Hopefully it sends a sign that people are tired of hearing lyrics that do nothing but promote misogyny, sexism, and inequality. What will be next?

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I agree that Americans will definitely have to overcome the arrogance factor, which will be tough since as you stated, we are raised to understand the greatness of America!

      There is definitely a wave that needs to be started in our own country and maybe it will be us that start it? I too have had my eyes opened and I know there are other gender comm classes across this country. It just takes a few and hopefully our generation can start it!

    • sam1503 Says:

      I think it is important that you bring up that America is seen as powerful and influential. I think that is more the reason why we should step up and make the advances to become more equal as a nation like the earlier posts were talking about. Like they said, once one does it, more will be inclined to follow suit. So why not us?

      • mbest88 Says:

        Since America is such an influential nation I totally understand what your saying, but think about how awful women are treated in other countries today. Women in our society are treated a million more times equally and I’m not sure it has had much of an effect. Also, a lot of the countries who abuse women hate America. So…I’m not really sure us changing would cause other countries to change.

  11. jenwaybright Says:

    After reading the article on the gender equalities that still exist in the world, I felt kind of silly for being so oblivious to the struggles that still exist. I mean, I knew that things were worse elsewhere, but this whole time that I’ve been studying gender in this class I only thought about our culture and our struggles within. It is contradictory to me that the women in power are making the rules and not allowing anyone else to gain anything; it is basically the same struggle with a different face. The quote from the Global Feminism piece that struck me as the “solution” to finding this balance that is needed is “a decolonized feminist perspective would first and foremost examine how sexist practices in relation to women’s bodies globally are linked.” I think by starting a campaign that you can have hard facts on (since people love facts) thus playing on ethos in combination with making it personal by showing the women who are all essentially struggling with the same thing—attaining a certain beauty ideal—would be the most effective. I believe this type of campaign would avoid patronizing the citizens since most methods are dangerous in some way or another. The struggle with the maquiladoras in the Latino culture is still relatable to the struggle that women in America face with the lower wages, expectations of passivity, etc. It is on a much larger scale, but it is still a relatable cause and a global campaign could be easily created.
    We have seen in this course that the media is one of the most powerful tools out there and I think a show (since people want to be entertained) would be the best option for spreading a message. It needs to be a global character that everyone can relate to devoid of underlying gender norms and expectations. This is so much easier said than done, I’m so aware of that! As many of us have admitted, we didn’t realize the affect that gender has on our lives in such subtle ways and if a movement was started those subtle affects could be used for good! This doesn’t only affect women either, there are expectations of men that are unfair(Tough Guise anyone?!) that could be shifted in the same sort of way.
    There are other facets of life that need changing too; we have seen how subtlety the education system affects our concepts of gender or how the roles in workplaces are often defined for us. A great change is needed and it won’t be easy, but just think of how many people have been enlightened with this class alone and this was only six weeks! It could happen, a revolution of some sort needs to be started though. Look at what a small group of Women in Seneca Falls could do or what a group of African American men could do to motivate their counterparts

  12. McNally Says:

    I feel that not only in the case with womens rights but for any problem at all that affects us worldwide, the best way to help out is to come together as a whole. This as its has been said before, is so much easier said then done., especially with the gender equality issue. I feel the media does a horrible job of showing how we should act and treat eachother equally. As we have discussed throughout the class there are many things in the past that have been gender specific that are now beginning to change. Such as the jobs that women are now taking on which were once only held by men. Also the school system and education. Yes their may still be some classes, such as wood working, or shop class that is mainly for men. But as a whole more men are taking the math classes that only women at one time were leaning towards and more women are getting into the technology that men were only leaning towards. All of these things although they may be viewed as little, are helping nations to improve the equality between men and women. The stereotypes need to end. I feel that the strong women leaders out there are doing there job of recognizing and standing up for women rights. But at the same time there are some of those powerfull women who stand up and look at men as if there all pigs, and just horrible people who treat women with no respect. These type of women are not going to help with our nations goal to improve equality

    • melaniebahr Says:

      Of course coming together would be the ideal situation, but realistic? no. I agree with you, the media rarely represents equality. Why? because that isn’t as exciting or captivating as discrepancy. What a shame.

  13. tgbaldwin32 Says:

    One way I think that we as Americans can find a balance in recognizing the struggles of women across the globe, and gender relations in general, without patronizing them is by creating a committee about it. It is something that we as Americans do really well, we are good at committees, it is just that the problem may be that this committee may be quite useless like many of the committees we already have unless we as a people contribute heavily to take the right steps. This committee could offer help to nations whose women want it and offer support and funding to help achieve gender equality. Now if this committee had a great spokes person say for instance Hillary Clinton, this is because she is arguably the most powerful woman in America a strong supporter of women’s rights and has shattered the glass ceiling for a good portion of America’s women, and didn’t force help onto nations that didn’t ask for it then I think this could be a very viable option to help other nations without patronizing them.

    In my opinion I think media and new technologies should help in raising gender inequality awareness. I think they can do it with very little effort, despite what anyone says a 30 second commercial can have a huge effect on a large amount of people, and if enough companies sponsored this commercial or an event then I believe that the media could reach worldwide audiences and help the entire world become more gender equal. Even little cheep things, because we all know cheaper is better for big business CEO’s, could help raise awareness about gender inequality. Cheep things like fliers, yeah most of them are going to get thrown away but if only 1 in 100 paid attention to what the fliers said then even that has an effect, and you never know that one person my be someone with the ability to spread the message even more.

  14. flipmyflops06 Says:

    I agree with many above me that education about the gender issues is the best way to solve the problem. I agree with mattymac that being uneducated is the reason people tend to mind numbingly follow the trend that men and women on television, movies, and magazines set, rather than thinking of what these messages really mean.

    Messages that the media and society send should be discussed more in school because more often television is used as a babysitter to keep children busy while their parents are working or busy. This may help children learn to think more for themselves than to follow by sometimes horrible examples. This may also help teachers decrease gender bias in the classroom by looking at their tendency to do more male oriented activities and place more emphasis on girl’s appearance than intelligence. I think parents of the children should be educated as well so they can know what their children are watching and learn to monitor it better.

    I believe if there is a required gender class at workplaces maybe gender equality in this area will begin to increase. Women may feel more inclined to demand more things and become more dominant after learning what tends to work for men. Men may learn to look at women for their work and intelligence more so than their appearance. There may also be a decrease in sexual harassment.

    I believe that the media should change their products to be more gender equal, but this will not happen without popularity from consumers. I think if our culture learns to be not so rigid in their definitions of feminine and masculine the media will begin to reflect it and hopefully more positive images will be produced in the future.

  15. sbarmstrong Says:

    How can Americans find a balance in recognizing the strugggles of women across the globe? Tough question. I definitely agree with mattymac’s post. While education is ideal, it is not realistic. Many countries are not as fortunate as the United States, resulting in their possible inaccessibility in obtaining such educational resources.

    Media, therefore, is our second option. As mattymac stated, media is “the most pervasive tool society uses to communicate to the masses.” But there are problems with the media too. As many have already stated, the media dwells on gender stereotypes to market a product. As long as consumers buy products that reinforce gender stereotypes (such women and cleaning products), then the companies will implement such strategies.

    Therefore, changes cannot be left up to education or media, but the people that wish to change them: you, me and everyone who chooses to not accept these stereotypes or levels of inequality. The media will change to please the customers and consumers of their methods. So if the society changes and refuses to accept something less than exceptional, the media will change and account for that.

    I believe the change must start with the people of a society. The media has the great potential to influence the world, but people who want change must act first. A cause is nothing without support. Perhaps people could bring awareness and media could offer a plan of action.

    • melissam4 Says:

      I’m actually thinking the opposite. I think the media can bring awareness with technology such as TV, music, radio and such and once the word spreads and gets people’s attention, then they can bring the action as well. Like you said, I agree that once people change the media will as well, but I think that until then, the media can also be used to spread the message through news channels. Cartoons and shows could be the long term media influences.

      • emily9988 Says:

        I agree with Melissa. I think that the media can use their influence for change. The “Y Do You Think” and “The More U Know” ads on TV make a small effect, but with their demographic for technology, they can reach millions.

  16. mmpike Says:

    I think its very hard for American to raise awareness about something without coming off as patronizing. I think the best way to raise awareness is to act and not say. What I mean by that, is that US woman associated with foreign affairs could have a strong impact on women throughout the globe. If we have women representing us in world wide issues the rest of globe will see what a woman can do, and what can be done. I think that when women from other countries hear or see that they will be inspired.

    Now we have many women in our military.Imagine if you’re a woman in Iraq and you see a Female US Soldier. What kind of inspiration can that set in? I can’t even imagine what that says to them. I strongly believe that it is things like that, which will impact the world. Lead by example.

    In terms of American doing anything broader then that, I think it will cause issues. The best way would be to get another country on board with us to support feminism and gender equality. I think America can do big things for feminism while we’re in Iraq. Female soldiers can have a huge impact the women their, and I think they should work to form relationships with them and inspire them

    • sam1503 Says:

      I agree that the women representing the US to other countries can have a HUGE impact on them and their culture. Great suggestion!

  17. mmpike Says:

    Oh, and I agree with most statements about the media. To continue what I said, maybe this is just conforming to the norms, but I think women need the support of men, especially in an effort overseas. To be honest, men still hold the power and the influence, but if men step up and say that women can succeed and should as well, then male leaders around the world will be influenced as well.

  18. kmacklin1107 Says:

    When looking at areas around the globe, and then looking at the American society, there are vast differences that can be seen throughout. For one thing, in many cultures women are still looked down upon, or they are all together just unwanted. When looking at areas such as China who have a limited population amount, many babies who are girls are basically tossed aside due to the fact that they will not carry on the family name. Many women are facing constant harms everyday, such as genocide, or they have to deal with a total male regime because they are not considered to be smart or strong enough.

    When looking at the media that many of us have grown up with this can be seen. Looking to many movies we see women portrayed as sex slaves. In the recent movie “Slumdog Millionaire” the main female character ended up becoming a sex slave and then she was in an abusive relationship and was almost killed for trying to leave. This people are constantly facing death and fear for their lives. Many countries do not see women as equals to men, which is why if and when we do have a female president it could possibly become hard for some countries to take us seriously. Many will not listen to a woman so they will not even choose to meet with her. I feel that if we eventually do have a woman come into office then maybe it will help other women in other countries see that they do have a potential to become something great. Oprah is a great woman of the media who is helping many women take a stand. She has an all girl school over in Africa and she is helping these girls to get an education and to make something better of themselves.

    I am not saying that our country is perfect by any means. We still have major issues occuring of gender stereotyping and discrimination. While looking for artifacts for the web portofolio I came across a video of children who pointed at girl dolls and boy dolls. The children said that the boy dolls went to work, but the girl dolls were the ones who were responsible for the cleaning and taking care of the children. In another clip I watched, men were standing on the street corners of New York yelling at women and calling them sluts. They were reading scriptures from the Bible that called women wicked and evil and said to stay away from them. While it is great to help other countries out with their problems and issues, we might need to take a step back and make sure that we can lead by example before portraying our ideals on others.

  19. melissam4 Says:

    When I think about working women around the globe I imagine working women like those in the United States and those of third world countries. There are many in between but I see it as those that have more opportunities available to them and those that dont. Those that have opportunities are working in air conditioned offices while those that don’t have opportunities, or at least not very many, are sitting in sweat shops bent over a table sewing something for hours at a time. As long as there are money hungry corporations out there and ignorant people, it doesn’t seem there can be much balance between the two. People have to recognize there is even a problem before they can accept differences, if differences they may be and realize that they are equal.

    Because no one got to chose in what country they were born, those that were born in America have every opportunity available to them if they try hard enough. Granted some may have to try harder than others but the opportunities are out there. Some people raised in America are oblivious to the conditions faced by other people raised in other countries where the opportunites are not seen a right and as a result, ignorance has made some people feel that they are of higher status when in reality, if they had been the unlucky one, they too could be living in poverty.

    Media and technology need to be used as an advantage to spreading the knowledge of other countries conditions. Some people have never heard of a sweat shop or realize how widespread they are. All they know is that they paid money to buy a certain item and don’t give much thought to where it came from or whos hands made it. If everyone could be made aware that the person who made that item could be no different from their mother and is faced with undesirable working conditions on a day-to-day basis, I think people would acknowlede differences less and less and realize that these women are human beings just like them.

    Gender neutral toys can also be made and advertised if they must to children of future generations in which there is no acknowledgment of differences between sexes. If children are raised in this new light, gender roles and differences could be filtered out and equality finally made a reality.

  20. sam1503 Says:

    Like some of the others have mentioned, when advancing through this class I did not think about how genders were treated differently in other countries, I only focused on our culture and how they affected us. I can’t help but to think about the clip that we watched where the women were getting harrassed in Central Park. We watch that and become sick to the stomach thinking about what those women went through. It seems horrible and appauling to most of the women in our country, if not the men too. But we did not stop and think about what women go through everyday in other countries. That to them probably looks normal. How unfair is that? Not to mention sad.

    Personally, I feel as though the only way to bring change to the equal treatment of men and women is by one step at a time. There is no way that we can conquer education, media, workplace discrimination, and family teachings all at once. Yes there needs to be steps taken in all of these areas. Teachers need to not favor males over females in school. Media needs to censor what they are showing our youth and the messages that they are sending. Women’s wages need to be determined based on accomplishment rather than gender or comparison to men. And families need to stop teaching their children gender based stereotypes at a young age. Obviously this can not all be done at one time. We need to take baby-steps.

    By “we” I mean the US. Like I mentioned earlier I think that the US needs to set an example for countries around us. Like we have with feminism movements in the past, the US can be very influential in teaching other countries how to treat their citizens. Maybe that is a power that the US actually should be using.

    I feel as thought the media and technologies should use their influence on our nation’s youth to promote change in gender discrimination. One way to do this is if a television station refused to play shows, movies, or advertisements that discriminated in anyway. This would obviously be a difficult thing to do but it could be a great start. Also, music videos and songs should be thought about before aired on televisions and radios. Technology is playing such a big role in our society and is only going to get bigger. Instead of using it’s power as a way to hinder our society we should be focusing on how it can move our future generations forward.

    • emily9988 Says:

      I agree with what you said about technology. A scene from Mean Girls comes to mind when Regina’s younger sister is watching Girl’s Gone Wild and flashes the TV whenever the girls on the screen life up their shirts. The younger sister must have been about 7 or 8. Are these the messages the media is sending our youth? I definitely think we can make a difference and clean out a lot of these images. Granted, It’s also the mom’s fault for letting her daughter watch it.

  21. catherineporter07 Says:

    This very blog assignment has been the question I have continued to ask myself throughout the course… “so what now? how do we see this change?” and in all honesty, in many ways I am left feeling at a bit of a loss for a solution. While we could say “Hey media! stop portraying things stereotypically. and Hey parents! don’t buy your little girl barbies just cause she’s a girl…”, how far is that really going to get us?

    As much as I do believe there needs to a united effort to recognize and confront these generalizations, much of it really has to start with the individual. How the individual handles discrepancies in the work place, in romantic relationships, in friendships, with their children, etc. Perhaps in terms of having a more vast impact on the general public, I’m an advocate that educating individuals on how gender communication issues affect so much of everyone’s day to day lives is crucial. In recent years, I know companies such as my father’s have begun placing a huge emphasis on sexual harassment and fair treatment in the workplace. What a wonderful potential environment to incorporate more than just these two topics, to instead encompass other gender communication topics!

    Offending or patronizing the way other cultures as well as our own operating certainly will not get us anywhere, and this is why I believe having conversations and educational courses would be the best way of having these ideas seep into people’s minds. The best way I see this begin successful is companies making the decision that it should be a priority for their workers to be educated on, and making the class or conference mandatory within the company. On a global scale… I’m kind of at a loss for words once again! Leading by example is definitely a start. Organizations such as International Justice Mission have began seminars, discussions, and rescue relief in other countries which I am interested in.

    The Media, if willing- has a huge opportunity to impact culture’s way of doing things. One way I believe could be particularly effective is having movies and tv shows produced that speak out against the different issues that face gender- such as the display of the hurt and damage AND repercussions of such actions (rape, sexist language, stereotyping, etc) .

  22. emily9988 Says:

    The authors of these two articles focus a lot on unity. Everything we do, especially the little things, effect our behavior. With our culture changing daily, we absorb information that we don’t even realize we are absorbing. The Dora the Explorer example definitely relates. Children’s minds absorb so much information when they are young and it’s the parent’s responsibility to monitor what media images they will be influenced by and teach them what media presentations are right and what are wrong.

    Before switching my major to communications, I was a marketing major and wanted to go into advertising. Through the classes I took, my eyes were opened to just how corrupt marketing is. I realized that advertising would do anything to manipulate customers to buy things that they don’t really need. I have been that manipulated customer far too many times and it sickens me to see, in this economy, the media pressuring me to buy things that will only make me go farther into debt! It definitely doesn’t help parents either. When kids see something on TV, they gotta have it. Especially if they get pressure from their peers to have these commercialized items, too. I still am interested in the world of advertising, but not to promote it, but to change it.

    I agree with most everyone when I say we need to pull together and be rational with all these media messages being put into our minds everyday. If we are more conscious of what these messages do to us and to each other, I think we can make better decisions about how we live our lives.

    • mbest88 Says:

      I agree with what you said about advertising. It’s absolutely ridiculous what goes into advertising just so they can make money. I think that the problem is that this is what makes products sell. We as a society need to stick together and not buy these products with horrible advertising. If the products aren’t selling then their advertising will have to change.

  23. melaniebahr Says:

    I have always thought that the media does a very good job at influencing their most vulnerable audience, children. They practically see something and believe it without question. The whole concept of if you see it it’s real. One thing that I always wondered about is if the people that make this corruptive programming allow their own children to watch it. I once read an article and I don’t even remember which actress it was about, but it was saying how she never lets her children see her movies. I thought that was interesting. I think that the role changes in media are a good things for young children to see, but I think that they are and will continually be exposed to too much too soon when it comes to sexuality and the media.

    Women as well as minorities are receiving more respect in certain aspects of the media. And like the article said the US is much more successful at this than some other nations but there is still much to be done. Some of the old stereotypes are still very present in the media, but they are beginning to diminish some and roles are becoming more equal.

    I think what makes this issue so difficult for the media to adjust and change is that the people of the public have different opinions. What one person sees as appropriate or not offensive another person could feel is demeaning to them. I think that the media would make a broader range of programming before making any large changes. That way more people can be please and they can choose for themselves what they want to see or what they want for example, their children to see.

    One of the most interesting things I learned about gender communication was in a documentary called MICKEY MOUSE MONOPOLY. If you haven’t seen it I encourage all of you too. It is available at the Trible Library. Anyways, it focuses on how much of a monopoly Disney has become and how much of the media it owns world wide. They send gendered messages to people all over the world. Meaning, that they hold in their hands the power to influence people one way or another. The interesting thing about they way they influence people is that it is so subtle that you often don’t even know that you are “eating out of the palm of their hands” so to speak. For example, children that watch the Disney movies as well as the parents that put it on for them assume that it is just an innocent little cartoon movie that will keep their child occupied for a little while. What is really happening is subliminal gender role messages are being sent to them. I think this company would have a good chance of straightening out or at least making a difference in the gender issues that societies face today.

    • mbest88 Says:

      I agree with what you said about the children being exposed to the media. When they are young they are going to believe whatever they see, no matter how crazy it is. Because of the increased amount of sex and violence in the media there will probably be even more problems with gender discrimination and gender stereotypes in the future.

    • chloea Says:

      I’ve seen that documentary as well! It’s on YouTube in 5 parts if anyone wants to watch it.
      It’s incredible how much we are unknowingly influenced by what the media pours into us. I mean, who would actually think about how Disney movies are sending gendered messages. No one views them as a problem because they’re clean classics– it’s harmless DISNEY. Little did we realize…

  24. mbest88 Says:

    There are os many things going on in the world today that sometimes I think we forget about the problems that are going on at home in America. Like the article says, sometimes we focus too much on helping other countries rather then ourselves. I believe that as Americans we have the ability to make a difference in both this country and in others. It’s hard to say what we should put the most emphasis on because I think that it is always important to make sure you help yourself even when your helping others. But really women in other countries have it so much harder than we do, shouldn’t we be focusing on that? I think that as a population and more importantly as a gender, us women should stick together to make sure that these problems are fixed. It’s unfortunate that there are still problems with equality in America, a country that is so advanced. There is no reason why women should not be able to hold positions of authority and receieve equal pay. Although I believe that if there was total equality between genders it would cause I problem because each gender is conditioned to fit opposite roles.

    Media is such a huge part of today’s society. I think that a lot of the time the media over looks the problems with gender stereotypes. They do whatever they can do to make money, and don’t really care about the effect that they have on society. I think that one of the biggest issues is the music industry. Radio isn’t really something that can be easily filtered, and kids have easy access to th internet today. A lot of the music lyrics and music videos today are awful. The people who produce these videos just do what sells. As a population we shouldn’t buy media that is so negative because if we buy it, it will continue to be produced. The producers also need to understand the way that they affect the young generations today. Would they really want their kids seeing what they produce? Another big problem with the media is advertising. Women are used as sex objects all the time in advertising. This just puts an emphasis on the horrible stereotypes against women. Hopefully some day all of this will change and there will be gender equality. But again, I don’t think that the two genders will ever be able to have complete equality because of the opposite gender roles that people learn as children.

  25. chloea Says:

    As many before me have stated, I never realized how differently men and women are treated today. I figured history documents how the women before us fought for equality and thought it was pretty much taken care of. While we’ve made and are making leaps and bounds in certain areas, I think we’ve also increased certain inequalities.

    Looking back on the Dreamworld video, our media influenced those men in their actions. Years ago, the media would never have shown anything that would encourage that behavior. Sure there were sexual issue, but they weren’t presented as acceptable to the public. Issues of prostitution, rape, sex-slaves are dealt with on a different level. Education is key, but we also need to recognize how media has shaped our society to focus on women sexually.

    I would also say that family is key for change. Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve realized how much I learned gender roles from my family. Today isn’t near as extreme as past generations, but we need to continue the change. I think some aspects of gender can remain as they are such as clothing styles and how we relate to each other to a certain extent. I feel like leaning away from extremes is best. For me personally, I desire a happy medium between family and career with an emphasis on family. Emphasis on family because I do believe that that’s what’s left in the end. You’re not really going to care about all of your stuff, but the people you invested in. That’s how you’re going to influence and leave your mark on the generations after you. Spur on the change within your own family.

    As the change begins in the family and influences other relationships and interests, I think there will be a change in the education system and careers. Right now and in years past, females have been more apt to major in english, communications, or the arts. I think more female math, business, and science majors will be a product of an early childhood change. If our children aren’t predisposed to allow a certain gender to accomplish certain tasks such as fixing a computer, car, etc, then I believe we’ll see a change in their interests. Everyone says to major in something that you love, so I can see the progression of early influence to less gendered careers.

  26. cahendy Says:

    So normally I get my blogs done the morning before they are do so I post kind of in the middle on the class but today I got lazy and waited until now to post. The great thing about that is I got to read everybody’s responses already and what some of you said changed what I was going to say.

    I like many others never realized how different men and women were treated. I am glad to see some of the women in this class admit that as well because I would have assumed it was just because I am a guy. I tend to be one of those people who looks at how far you have come, not how much further you need to go. It is true that women have come very far but I can not be content with that anymore because they still have a long way to go and they need help to do it.

    To be honest I think that family has a much bigger impact on kids lives than the media does. The way I look at it is if a kid is stuck in front of trash TV all day he is going to get some bad habits from what he sees, but if he had a solid family that cared about his well being he would not be allowed to watch that much TV in the first place. I think that generations after ours is going to be in trouble worldwide if things keep going the way they are. There is a chance of more and more men not knowing how to treat women the right way and women as a result of not knowing how they are to be treated thinking all they have to offer are there bodies. This is a trend you can already see starting to become more and more popular. As more families split apart or have two working parents children are left along at home and they get the wrong idea of what is masculine or feminine and they try to fulfill that. One big thing that a family can do to help show there children correct gender roles is by becoming a complete family unit. That is hard to do with the divorce rate in America but kids need a father and a mother figure around. I do not know what I would have done if I had not been able to observe my dad for the last 22 years and learn what it means to be a man. On the flip side I have had hundreds of talks with my mom about life and learned more about how girls approach things and she also taught me how to treat a women with the highest respect no matter who she is or what she looks like. Those are lessons that I know some kids out there, and even some in this class may have missed out on. I am not saying a kid is automatically screwed up if they have divorced parents, or that a kid whose parents are still together will be a perfect angel, but I know it helps and the divorce rate is so high in America right now it is sad.

    I think the role the media is playing right now to raise awareness about gender roles is you are beginning to see more and more tv shows/movies about women who are independent working women. The days of the woman who stays at home and cooks have been gone for a long time, then we shifted into the stage we have been in for awhile which is the woman who is all about looking sexy. I honestly think that the types of women being portrayed now are starting to be very close to what women are actually becoming. This media portrayal is finally raising more awareness unintentionally that women do deserve to be in the workplace alongside or even above men in some cases.

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