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?