Representation of Masculinity Issues with Stereotyping KKS
Why do stereotypes exist? Media stereotypes are inevitable, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries, which need as wide an audience as possible to quickly understand information. Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people—usually relating to their class, ethnicity or race, gender, sexual orientation, social role or occupation.
But stereotypes can be problematic They can: reduce a wide range of differences in people to simplistic categorisations transform assumptions about particular groups of people into "realities" be used to justify the position of those in power perpetuate social prejudice and inequality More often than not, the groups being stereotyped have little to say about how they are represented.
Problems with how men are represented: The portrayal and acceptance of men by the media as socially powerful and physically violent serve to reinforce assumptions about how men and boys should act in society, how they should treat each other, as well as how they should treat women and children. In most media portrayals, male characters are rewarded for self-control and the control of others, aggression and violence, financial independence, and physical desirability. Marketing campaigns are objectifying men in the same way women have been for decades. The new focus on fit and muscled male bodies is causing men the same anxiety and personal insecurity that women have felt for decades.
Men speaking out: So men don’t get to discuss gender in the same way that women do, and there’s a reason for this. Male culture - the kind promoted by FHM, Nuts, tabloid newspapers and the like - abhors debate on anything remotely intelligent. Men are hemmed in on two fronts: by the stereotypes the media pins on them and the pervading culture they have created for themselves that leads to such stereotypes in the first place. The ‘real man’ is encouraged to reject intelligence and self-improvement as ideas firmly in the domain of women, creating a wonderful self-perpetuating cycle of idiocy. Creativity, interest in academia and a desire to learn are all frowned upon by a male culture where footballers are considered legitimate role models. Reading? Boring. Poetry? Something for ‘gays’ and ‘nerds’, lesser men in the eyes of their peers. Lesbianism? A spectator sport designed for the titillation of men. For a man to become all that is good and masculine, he must revel in his own stupidity and inability to function as an acceptable human being. The ultimate goal of a ‘real man’ is to spend his life slumped in front of the television, beer in hand, watching the football and waiting for his wife to cook him something appropriately manly. I always found it amusing that massive slabs of meat are considered more fitting for a man’s meal than those no-good effeminate vegetables, but it’s the only part of this rotten aspirational model that makes me smile. We’re meant to feel good about this? This is the goal of a man’s life? No thanks.
Advertising Issues The 1990's saw the advent of females being shown in a more positive light in advertising. However, for some, it also seemed to herald the start of a trend where males rather than females were shown in an unfavourable situations.
81 complaints were received about an ad that featured the body of a man impaled on large black-stiletto heeled shoe, when it was shown in a number of national newspapers. The complainants all considered that the ad trivialised violence, especially against men and that its appearance was offensive and inappropriate for the medium in which it appeared.
This advertisement which ran on both television and in the cinema prompted a number of complaints to the regulators. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSgSCSNLg8A