The representation of women in the media


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The representation of women in the media

  1. 1. The Representation of Women in the Media Gender: MS1 Representations and Responses
  2. 2. This Weeks Objectives <ul><li>To explore femininity and how it is represented in the media </li></ul><ul><li>To know the stereotypical representation of women in the media </li></ul><ul><li>To explore the representation of women in film, music and advertising </li></ul><ul><li>To comment on the way these representations have changed over time </li></ul>
  3. 3. Women and Femininity <ul><li>Women have often suffered from a narrow set of representations in the media. </li></ul><ul><li>They are often linked to the domestic situation - women as housewives or mothers . </li></ul><ul><li>OR as sex objects ( sexualised and objectified) represented to entertain and titillate the male audience. </li></ul><ul><li>In non- fictional media - women’s roles tend to be smaller and fewer than their male counterparts. </li></ul>
  4. 4. In Fictional Media <ul><li>Due to the Patriarchal nature of our society - women are less likely to be the source of leading news stories (politics, business, law and religion stories.) </li></ul><ul><li>Since their roles in these areas tend to be fewer in number. </li></ul>
  5. 5. In Advertising and Magazines <ul><li>We see this narrow range of representations </li></ul><ul><li>They are shown as… </li></ul><ul><li>Young </li></ul><ul><li>Slim </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelmingly white </li></ul><ul><li>Conforming to our image of ideal beauty (perfect skin, hair and alluring gaze.) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Women as Sex Object <ul><li>Women are often represented as sex objects in the media. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Femininity <ul><li>Femininity like masculinity is a cultural idea not a biological one. </li></ul><ul><li>So it differs from culture </li></ul><ul><li>to culture </li></ul><ul><li>In Western societies </li></ul><ul><li>( like the UK) some aspects </li></ul><ul><li>of feminine representations </li></ul><ul><li>in the media have changed drastically in recent years - while others have remained unchanged. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Representation of Femininity <ul><li>Task: In groups: Outline the traits/characteristics of femininity </li></ul>
  9. 10. The Domestic Woman Vs Sex Object <ul><li>The maternal, domestic women has remained - in an advert for a domestic or house hold item you are just as likely today to see a female in the advert today as in the past. </li></ul><ul><li>An interesting point to consider here is whether the media by associating women with washing machines and cleaning products is reflecting society OR whether it is shaping society through this over representation - creating the idea that it is the norm for women to assume the top role in domestic situations? </li></ul>
  10. 11. Fairy TV advert (2010) <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 12. The Domestic Woman Vs The Sex Object <ul><li>One of the other most common representations is women = sex. </li></ul><ul><li>The woman is made to look alluring and appealing so as to attract a section of the audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Defining women as sex objects has become the defining representation in the media. </li></ul>
  12. 14. These are a clear representation of women in a sexualised way and it is exploitation - these product are aimed at men - male target audience.
  13. 16. Adidas US Campaign 2011
  14. 17. The Male Gaze - (1975) Laura Mulvey <ul><li>Mulvey claimed that women are turned into sex objects through how they are shot in the media (cinematography.) </li></ul><ul><li>That by showing only body parts and not the whole body ( including face) they are turned on to objects for male pleasure. </li></ul><ul><li>She called this fragmentation that leads to objectification . </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 18. Recent Representations of Femininity <ul><li>Recently femininity has been associated with a stronger, more independent and confident women. </li></ul><ul><li>While still being stereotypically represented as ‘sexy.’ </li></ul><ul><li>This owes much to the Spice Girls with their ‘Girl Power’ and the emergence of successful women in business, the arts and the media. </li></ul>
  16. 19. The Main Stereotypes of Women <ul><li>Task: Analyse the following film extracts and spot the typical stereotypes of women/ femininity. </li></ul>
  17. 20. <ul><li>Legally Blonde: </li></ul><ul><li>Kill Bill: </li></ul>
  18. 21. The Main Stereotypes of Women <ul><li>The Dumb Blonde </li></ul><ul><li>The Bitch </li></ul><ul><li>The Mother </li></ul><ul><li>The whore/ tart </li></ul><ul><li>The Housewife </li></ul><ul><li>The Femme Fatale </li></ul><ul><li>The Cougar </li></ul><ul><li>The MILF </li></ul>
  19. 22. The Main Stereotypes of Women <ul><li>The Female Action Hero </li></ul><ul><li>(or Kick ass female) Stereotype: </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence of the sex object and action hero. </li></ul><ul><li>They retain their sex appeal but also have masculine traits/characteristics ( violence can handle weapons etc…) </li></ul>
  20. 23. The Glamorous Ideal - Germaine Greer <ul><li>Greer says the media upholds an ideal image of beauty in its representations. </li></ul><ul><li>An image that women are made to be desperate to conform to. </li></ul><ul><li>Greer claims that the emphasis on beauty/ ‘sexiness’ and women in the media has meant that women now believe that if they do not conform to this - if they are not beautiful - they are not successful and are useless! </li></ul><ul><li>Forget intelligence, humour or personality! </li></ul>
  21. 24. The Representations of Women- society and hegemony <ul><li>The media like most institutions - is male dominated. </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelmingly the people in the position of power and authority are men </li></ul><ul><li>Task: How do you think this affects the masculine and feminine representations we see in the media on a daily basis? </li></ul>
  22. 25. <ul><li>Rupert Murdock - CEO of New Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>Archie Norman - Chairman of ITV </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Thompson - Director General of The BBC </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Inger - President of The Walt Disney Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>However Jay Hunt (female) - Controller of the BBC - number 13 on The Guardians most powerful people in the media 2010 </li></ul>
  23. 26. Female Representations and the Female Audience <ul><li>Feminism : The feminist movement is related to the idea of gender and sexual equality in society. </li></ul><ul><li>You have probably heard of The Suffragettes in the early 20th Century. </li></ul><ul><li>They have spoken out against pornography, stereotypes of women and male domination of society/ patriarchy. </li></ul><ul><li>As media representations are one of the mains ways that such messages are transmitted - the media and feminist activists often come to blows! </li></ul>
  24. 28. Sex- Positive Feminism/ Feminists <ul><li>These are audience members who offer an alternative viewpoint to traditional feminists. </li></ul><ul><li>They believe that representations of women in sexual contexts connotes not the exploitation of women… </li></ul><ul><li>But are an example of their liberty and freedom to express themselves. </li></ul>
  25. 29. Post Feminism/ Feminists <ul><li>Literally means - ‘after feminism.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Argues that you don’t have to be serious or even violent is asserting women’s rights </li></ul><ul><li>It can be fun - to challenge traditional representations and stereotypes of women. </li></ul>