A few notes on gender


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Media studies gender notes

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A few notes on gender

  1. 1. Which colour belongs to which gender?<br />
  2. 2. What is Gender?<br />Judith Butler (Gender Trouble, 1990) claimed that gender was a performance. She called this Gender Performativity.<br />"Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.<br />To put it another way "Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories.<br />
  3. 3. Which one is right?<br />Why? <br />
  4. 4. TYPES of Masculinity<br />If you were to look at a lion you would say that the animal represents masculinity through it’s strength and power in the animal world.<br />When someone or something has a tough build it is seen as a masculine figure compared to one with no muscles and is pampered.<br />Even in the animal kingdom the males fight to gain power, strength & honour as it is a sign of masculinity.<br />This machine is seen to be and have masculine qualities, strength, power etc<br />
  5. 5. Role Models <br />Men take on various tasks to gain being called masculine in society, they compete to see who is better <br />As we were kids growing up we were told and shown the difference between what is masculine and what is feminine depending on the sex we are, one is more suited for us than the other. We see role models, our parents for example the father or husband is strong and head of the family this dubbing him claim to masculinity while the mother or wife cleans, takes care of the kids and household chores becomes the feminine role model. <br />
  6. 6. Words of Masculinity<br />Words of Femininity<br />Power<br />Beauty<br />Toughness <br />Emotional <br />Manly <br />Caring <br />Honour<br />Strength <br />Sexy<br />Sensitive <br />Courage <br />Maternal <br />Can you think of ANYMORE?<br />
  7. 7. Mise-en-scene…SCALF<br />S – Setting: where is the action taking place? What associations does this place have?<br />C – Costume: what do the characters wear? Are these typically male or female costumes?<br />A – Actors: are they well known? How do they look? <br />L – Lighting: does the lighting foreshadow particular features?<br />F – Framing of shots can come under the category of mise-en-scene: how much space do each character occupy? Does this relate to their gender position?<br />
  8. 8. Codes and conventions<br />What mise-en-scene do we expect of women?<br />What mise-en-scene do we expect of men?<br />
  9. 9. Does the mise-en-scene reinforce or challenge stereotypical gender representations?<br />
  10. 10. Possible interpretation<br />The mise-en-scene in this still image from Twilight largely reinforces gender stereotypes and both characters in the shot appear to be performing what is required of their gender role. The setting of the shot is in a wood, which suggests a natural and non threatening place; however, the framing of the shot make Edward (the male) more dominant and powerful. He looks down to Bella, whose facial expression suggests that she is vulnerable and weak. Edward further reinforces his gender stereotype by wearing a dark blue, which has masculine connotations. Interestingly, Bella wears a gender neutral colour, which perhaps highlights her passivity.<br />
  11. 11. Does the mise-en-scene reinforce or challenge stereotypical gender representations?<br />
  12. 12. Although advertising attempts to make you buy a product, they can also shape your ideas about Gender. The same constructions of Gender are identifiable in TV Drama.<br />Superiority and Domination: Men are shown in dominant positions. Women are physically portrayed in subordinate poses. <br />Dismemberment: Parts of the body such as legs, chest, etc., are photographed, rather than the full body. <br />Clowning and Exaggeration: Women are shown in positions that make them look contorted or foolish while men appear in positions reflective of thought and intelligence.<br />Male Approval: Males desire and women are desired. Women are shown as recipients of male approval.<br />The Voice-Over Authority: Male voices are used as voice-overs in commercials rather than females.<br />Irrelevant Sexualisation of Women and Girls: Women's bodies are used to sell products even if the product has nothing to do with sex. <br />
  13. 13. Plenary – questions to consider<br />What, in a nutshell, is gender performativity?<br />In what ways do you think that media producers are responsible for reinforcing what is expected of gender constructions in society? <br />Is it irresponsible to represent gender in terms of masculine and feminine?<br />