AS Media Lesson 2 - gender and stereotypes


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AS Media Representation WJEC Gender Stereotypes

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AS Media Lesson 2 - gender and stereotypes

  1. 1. Representation and Gender stereotypes To explore gender stereotypes To understand how these stereotypes are used within media
  2. 2. What is gender? "Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. "Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. ...and transgender should be part of this too.
  3. 3. Think about the way girls are often dressed in pink and bought “domesticating” toys like dolls and play ovens and toy vacuum cleaners, whereas boys are usually dressed in blues and non-pastel colours and given toys like guns and construction sets and cars, developing skills that are outside the domestic sphere.
  4. 4. • Consider birthday cards and girls/boys magazines. • What do these say about what it means to be a boy/girl? What do boys like and what do girls like?
  5. 5. • Do you think this changes in men’s/women’s magazines? • Spend 5 minutes discussing the contents of ‘men’s magazines’ and ‘women’s magazines’. • What types of articles do they feature? • What does this suggest is important about men/women? • What do you think about this?
  6. 6. Masculinity and femininity Gender and representation of gender is tied up with ideas of masculinity and femininity... Are the following ideas about the representation of men and women reinforced by what you found in the magazines?
  7. 7. Representation of Men 'Masculinity' is a concept that is made up of more rigid stereotypes than femininity. Representations of men across all media tend to focus on the following: • Strength - physical and intellectual • Power • Sexual attractiveness (which may be based on the above) • Physique • Independence (of thought, action, finances)
  8. 8. Representation of Men • Male characters are often represented as isolated, as not needing to rely on others (the lone hero). If they submit to being part of a family, it is often part of the resolution of a narrative, rather than an integral factor in the initial balance. • It is interesting to note that the male physique is becoming more important a part of representations of masculinity.
  9. 9. Representation of Women Representations of women across all media tend to highlight the following: • beauty (within narrow conventions) • size/physique (again, within narrow conventions) • sexuality (as expressed by the above) • emotional (as opposed to intellectual) dealings • relationships (as opposed to independence/ freedom)
  10. 10. Representation of Women
  11. 11. • Over time, the two genders have developed quite distinct and often oppositional gender codes – activities, spheres of activity and qualities that are deemed to be exclusive to only one group. MASCULINE FEMININE • TASK: In groups draw up a list divided into two columns and label one side MASCULINE and the other FEMININE and see what traditional associations you make with each gender under the headings on the next slides.
  12. 12. • Colours • Clothes • Toys • Jobs • Leisure Activities • Responsibilities in the Home • Drinks on a Night Out • A Typical Night Out • Favourite Genre of Films • Typical Character Qualities
  13. 13. Feedback • What do you notice about these different ideas associated traditionally with each gender? What image do they conjure up of each group?
  14. 14. Traditional stereotypes • Traditionally men have held power in our society – this system where men have power and control in society is called patriarchy. • Patriarchy = society run by men for men
  15. 15. • The result of this is that traditionally male qualities and attributes have generally been seen to be superior to female attributes. Consider, for example, the fact that traditionally it was the eldest son who inherited – even if he had several older sisters!
  16. 16. • This was often reflected in the media, as most media companies were run by men! • Masculinity was often represented in ways that were shown to be superior to feminine qualities. Men were often shown to be more important and powerful than women. • Women were often shown in roles that suited men and which kept them from challenging men for power. • In other words, the media showed men and women how men wanted them to be!
  17. 17. List some typical action films – think about the typical roles assigned to men and women? How do these link to patriarchal ideas about gender?
  18. 18. • Two of the most common traditional roles women were represented in under patriarchy were the happy housewife and the sex object/Glamorous Ideal. Can you think how these stereotypes suited patriarchy?
  19. 19. More Modern Ideologies about Gender From the 1960s onwards, feminism challenged patriarchy, seeking to gain equality for women. They gained increased respect, opportunities and legislation for women, giving them the chance to step into what had once been men’s shoes...
  20. 20. • Suddenly gender roles were less rigid and defined and this is often reflected in newer media representations • .TASK: Again, we will look at two short extracts to see how men and women are being represented today. • 1 – Million Dollar Baby extract • 2 - Aero Melt ad
  21. 21. Suddenly it wasn’t unusual for women to: • Have a serious career • Wear trousers • Smoke, drink and swear • Play football • Downplay the domestic goddess role Roles that had previously been traditionally allocated to men.
  22. 22. A word of caution…