Gender Stereotypes & Representation in Popular Media...

Discussion in 'Ladies Lounge' started by tight-eyes, Jul 13, 2006.

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  1. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    I'll post some articles I find, and you guys can give me your thoughts... whatever comes to mind. It woud be even better if you could relate it to specific media text, too... popular movies, TV shows, etc.

    How the Media Define Masculinity

    Families, friends, teachers, and community leaders all play a role in helping boys define what it means to be a man. Mainstream media representations also play a role in reinforcing ideas about what it means to be a "real" man in our society. In most media portrayals, male characters are rewarded for self-control and the control of others, aggression and violence, financial independence, and physical desirability.

    In 1999, Children Now, a California-based organization that examines the impact of media on children and youth, released a report entitled Boys to Men: Media Messages About Masculinity. The report argues that the media’s portrayal of men tends to reinforce men’s social dominance.

    The report observes that:

    * the majority of male characters in media are heterosexual


    * male characters are more often associated with the public sphere of work, rather than the private sphere of the home, and issues and problems related to work are more significant than personal issues


    * non-white male characters are more likely to experience personal problems and are more likely to use physical aggression or violence to solve those problems
    Children Now conclude that these dominant trends in the media’s portrayal of men reinforce and support social attitudes that link masculinity to power, dominance and control.

    In Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity, Jackson Katz and Jeremy Earp argue that the media provide an important perspective on social attitudes—and that while the media are not the cause of violent behaviour in men and boys, they do portray male violence as a normal expression of masculinity.

    In a roundtable discussion that appeared in Châtelaine Magazine, TV journalist Denise Bombardier underlined the difference in the way the media treats violence, depending on the sex of the aggressor. "In Quebec, when a man kills his son, the headlines read ‘Another Case of Domestic Violence,’ she notes. If it’s a woman who kills her son, it is reported 'A Woman Depressed.'"

    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.




    Common Stereotypes of Men in Media

    Various media analysts and researchers argue that media portrayals of male characters fall within a range of stereotypes. The report Boys to Men: Media Messages About Masculinity, identifies the most popular stereotypes of male characters as the Joker, the Jock, the Strong Silent Type, the Big Shot and the Action Hero.

    The Joker is a very popular character with boys, perhaps because laughter is part of their own "mask of masculinity." A potential negative consequence of this stereotype is the assumption that boys and men should not be serious or emotional. However, researchers have also argued that humorous roles can be used to expand definitions of masculinity.

    The Jock is always willing to "compromise his own long-term health; he must fight other men when necessary; he must avoid being soft; and he must be aggressive." By demonstrating his power and strength, the jock wins the approval of other men and the adoration of women.

    The Strong Silent Type focuses on "being in charge, acting decisively, containing emotion, and succeeding with women." This stereotype reinforces the assumption that men and boys should always be in control, and that talking about one’s feelings is a sign of weakness.

    The Big Shot is defined by his professional status. He is the "epitome of success, embodying the characteristics and acquiring the possessions that society deems valuable." This stereotype suggests that a real man must be economically powerful and socially successful.

    The Action Hero is "strong, but not necessarily silent. He is often angry. Above all, he is aggressive in the extreme and, increasingly over the past several decades, he engages in violent behavior."

    Another common stereotype...

    The Buffoon commonly appears as a bungling father figure in TV ads and sitcoms. Usually well-intentioned and light-hearted, these characters range from slightly inept to completely hopeless when it comes to parenting their children or dealing with domestic (or workplace) issues.
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  2. Konscious

    Konscious Resident Sage

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    I'm a combination of The Joker and The Strong Silent Type.
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  3. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    Thanks :-/
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  4. Hardkore

    Hardkore Blunts@TheBeach

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    when they say "male characters are more associated with the sphere of work, etc." i see it as this:

    most of the time, when the wife is pregnant, she's staying at home and the husband is going to work. why when the baby is born the wife would be the one working more and the husband stay at home? it just makes more sense for men to work and women, not necessarily stay at home, but work less than the husband because i feel women are more equipped to nurture their children and do things more properly with them.

    another thing a noticed is how statistically non-white (i.e. black or latino) males are more likely to use agression and violence in relationships with women, etc., but then again, i think it is more likely for a white male's wife to cheat on him than it is for a non-white male's wife to cheat on him. that's just what i think.
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  5. Blaine Fontaine

    Blaine Fontaine property hustla

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    as far as TV and or movies go

    The Joker Damon Wanyes on "My Wife and Kids" he's funny but still comes off as "the man of the house"...not to a point where his wife has no say but the presence is there...or Doug from King of Queens


    The Jock Hulk Hogan...he's a family type dude really but he's also like a mans man type...always workin out and doesnt care that he's like 70..still tryina bench 500 pounds lol


    The Strong Silent Type Ving Rimes in Rosewood...he took care of business made sure the owmen and children were safe...but he wasnt loud and aggressive with it...he always had his coo and shit


    The Big Shot Mattew McConaughey (sp?) in Two For The Money...or Tom Cruise in Jerry Mcguire...serious about makin money and gettin the job done


    The Action Hero O-Dogg from Mence II Society..angry violent doesnt give a fuck


    The Buffoon Homer Simpson no explaination needed...or for real life Ray Ramano (sp?) on Everybody Loves Raymond...complete morons when it comes to the kids...Ray cant control the beef between his mother and his wife them niggas are a mess

    i used to be the Action Hero until i was about 20-21...now the water down version of it which is the Jock mixed in with the Big Shot all about business
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  6. Blaine Fontaine

    Blaine Fontaine property hustla

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    is that what you were lookin for? ^^^^
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  7. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    Do you ever think that part of the reason it seems so natural [women being more capable of "nurturing" and, thus, being the ones to work outside of the home less]in your mind is because it's an ideal you've been exposed to countless times in the media? Are fathers not capable of "nurturing" or "doing things properly" with their children? Why or why not?


    Why do you say white mens' wives are more likely to cheat? And do you think the violence and the cheating are in any way related?
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  8. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    Yep... any input was/is welcome :) You brought up some interesting stuff.

    I see Doug [King of Quens] as a cross between the Joker and [moreso] the Baffoon... he's a clown... always imcompetent and fucking shit up, yet he's "funny"... then Carrie has to come in and save him from himself. Him and her father, actually. His wife runs that house and treats him like a child most of the time... I don't think anyone takes him seriously.

    Hulk is a Jock, for sure... but I don't think he fits into the stereotype entirely. I think his tuff-guy persona is limited to what he does professionally in the WWE... at home, he's not like that at all. He doesn't "avoid being soft" at all costs... and I don't see him as an overly-aggressive [except when it comes to protecting his daughter] meat head.

    I love the way he interacts with his family... they come first for him, above career or anything else. He's very much involved with his children's lives, and not just as a disciplinarian... he actually has close relationships with his kids, they talk to him about things and enjoy his company... he doesn't just leave the interpersonal aspect of parenting up to his wife b/c she's the woman. He kisses his son, is affectionate with his wife, and I remember the episode where he cried while talking to his daughter about her going off on her own and having everyone thinking she was missing during the family trip to Mexico. I can't even front, I teared up just watching that... you don't see many men [in real life or the media] feeling comfortable enough to express themselves like that... Hulk cried, but I doubt anyone would label him a "sissy" or a "punk". I would love to see more men like him represented in popular media.

    Why do you say you're a Big Shot/Jock? Are there any parts of your personality/character that don't fit into those stereotypes?
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  9. Scola929

    Scola929 New Member

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    i dont think it has anything to do with media influence. women naturally submit and nurture, men naturally lead and provide. are men capable of nurturing?, yes... but its more so of a female engery then male engery. daycare, babysitting, elementary school teachers, registered nurses, etc. are all signs of this.
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  10. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    Interesting...
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  11. I think a womens desire is effected by this media portrayal and additionally women are knowingly and unwittingly reinforcing masculine hangups, just as men do amongst themselves, by feeling they have to be unemotional etc. Its circular. Women effect it, by desiring a certain type of man, thus men act in accordance with what a woman desires. Men effect it by passing it on to other men, in the presence of other men, there is etiquette we often must keep to. Additionally, children learn how a man should be. etc.

    When men feel they have to deny parts of themselves, (being what they think it is to be a man) they will be a distorted being, incapable of reaching their full potential. I believe a complete man does not deny the feminine side of his being. (even writing that sentence had me battling my masculiity and wondering if women will see that statement as me being weak)..thus the reinforcement in action.
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  12. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    I totally agree about it being cicular, Brit... its naturalized to the point where people just accept it as "the way it is"... I'm guilty of it, myself, sometimes.

    I think it's reinforced by women and other men... often times subconsciously. Just by accepting that there even exists such a thing as a "feminine side" [as opposed to just another dynamic of your personality, regardless or your sex] suggests agreement with the underlying ideology of gender related behavioral norms.
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  13. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    I'll create a post of female gender stereotypes soon... I've seen more male traffic in here lately, so I decided to do this one first.
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  14. Yea, you're right. By accepting that we have masculine and feminine sides I am according to some, buying into constructs that do not necesserily exist at all. However, I try to acknowledge that the 'masculine' and 'feminine' whether constructed or rooted in some kind of natural order exist and often in extreme sense. For example,the man who shows no emotion and cannot ever be seen to be weak or flustered. Therefore, I try to embody both sides of my being while attempting to be no extreme of either side, as I have seen the destructive nature of acting in accordance with one extreme. A example to illustrate this is the emotionally distant father who never hugs his son or shows him any affection because it is not manly, thus he experiences many years of emotional suppression which can cause anger and resentment within a family. Often, unless ofcourse the childs mother is a beacon of love and affection, he experiences the same difficulties within his relationships as his dad did, and the son grows up to be emotionally incapable of being a loving hands on dad.
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  15. Blaine Fontaine

    Blaine Fontaine property hustla

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    i agree about Hulk he doesnt really fit that role to a T...he's totally different then what i thought he was like @ home
    i dunno i couldnt let go of his WWF persona i guess i thought he was runnin around his crib screamin OOOOOO YEEAAAAAA

    but about me i consider myself The Jock because i have a quick temper
    and im ready to throw hands at the drop of a hate i was way worse as a youngin but its still there
    im a good fighter and i wont think twice about provin it
    the part about showin emotions is not me though...im not exactly emotional but im not an introvert either
    if i feel love i show love...with me you get what you put out

    im The Big Shot because im into real estate and been doin really good with it...i wanna be economically powerful
    hopefully ownin some small businesses by the time im in my 30s
    not sayin that havin money and bein sucessful is what makes you a real man
    but bein broke is a weak ass feelin...and you cant be a real man or woman for that matter when you feel weak nahmean?
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  16. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    And that's where we differ. I have yet to hear any argument or evidence able to convince me of that line of thinking. All behavior is acted and observed within a sociological context... so until we're able to seperate the two [nature and nurture] and some definitive proof is brought about to substantiate the claim, I'll have to continue to disagree.
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  17. tight-eyes

    tight-eyes Such a F*cking Lady!

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    LMFAO... same here... I expected him to be different. My ex used to be [well, still is] a WWE fanatic!! And I sincerely mean that. Every Thursday & Sunday night he had to get his WWE fix... meaning, no interruptions and definitely no watching of any other program. He would then proceed to practice all the moves he'd been watching on me... I'm a prett great wrestler now, if I do say so myself.


    Have you ever felt uncomfortable showing emotion? Or like you couldn't express them freely b/c of how other people would percive/judge you?

    I hear what you're saying... and I agree that lack of financial resources can be quite... ummm... shitty. LOL. I can especially see how it would effect men, moreso than women.
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  18. Blaine Fontaine

    Blaine Fontaine property hustla

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    ive had my moments but i think everybody does
    but i cant surpress how i feel it makes me sick physically i think its the Aries in me lol we gotta speak our minds
    or let out whatevea we're feelin
    plus its flat out not good to keep shit bottled up
    and your'll catch most men sayin that emotional shit is for pussys but they are just afraid
    and fear is for pussys


    but i can also see how bein broke would be wack for a woman
    the media portrays the man to be the bread winner all the time
    so automaticaly a broke woman is tryina find a rich man to take care of em
    i know if i was a woman i would be bendin over backwards to be financially stable and be on my own two and prove im independant
    just because its that much harder for yall and most men already think women need them to make it
    so i dont think its harder for men just different
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  19. samii so sexii

    samii so sexii ..sunkist siren..

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    My boyfriend and I have had this debate countless times, and his stance is the same as Hardkore's: that women are more inept to raise children than men.

    @ Hardkore:

    if your wife was making waaayyyyy more money than you, and was the main source of your household's income. after she had the baby, would you be willing to let the household suffer just because you feel that she'd be better off spending her time with the child?
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  20. Blaine Fontaine

    Blaine Fontaine property hustla

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    i dont have a 9-5 job so when i do get married ima be home 80% of the time
    so ima be doin alot of the household shit women "suppose" to do
    thats just stupid its not 1950 ne more im glad that ima be able to be home with my baby alot when ever i have one
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