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?


Blog Activity 2: Masculinity May 19, 2009

Chapter two of our textbook summarizes how we develop gender roles and identities. Until recently much of gender communication studies has privileged the feminine. In fact, most of the clips available on our course Blackboard site critique feminine stereotypes in the media and unpack societal pressures on women to have the right image and persona. However, a surge in masculinity studies also helps inform gender and communication.  Please view these two clips regarding masculinity. The first is a condensed version of a Media Education Foundation video, Tough Guise, and the second is a clip from a major scene in Good Will Hunting.

How do the theories about the pressures facing men to be tough and aggressive that Jackson Katz discusses in Tough Guise come to life in Matt Damon’s character of Will Hunting in the movie clip? How do you see these theories and pressures played out in real life? Let each of your comments build upon the others.