Gender Stereotypes in Popular Media
Media creates a world of much resemblance to the real one, projecting the very values it represents onto everyday lives. These concepts may even shape our cognition especially when we are repeatedly exposed to them. In the respect of gender roles, stereotyped images of men and women are presented from time to time. These stereotypes not only narrow our choices of what we want to be, but also create an atmosphere that encourages conformity. However, we seldom question them; instead, we agree with them. This happens because of the typical upbringing where parents instill the sense of gender roles in their children by modeling and conditioning. As a result, the partiality of gender stereotypes is passed down over generations, strengthened by popular media. One example can be found in a recent TV show The Walking Dead, where humans struggle to outlive zombies and internal discord. In this fictional world, the environment survivors are placed into is quite similar to what human ancestors have been through in the long evolution history. Though the show features a group consisting of men and women, it is always the men who go out hunting and gathering medicines, and women stay in the camp washing clothes and looking after children. It is natural in this show that the leadership goes to men instead of women and that women are subject to men’s control. This relationship among group members and their roles in the group is illustrated in the following specific instance. Carol, a victim of domestic violence and also a mother of a pre-school age girl, is often beaten black and blue by her husband. However, when asked, she explains away the bruises on her face and denies that she has been mistreated. One day when Carol and other women are washing clothes together, her husband shows up in a bad mood and commands that she return to their tent and “have a talk”. Though knowing what will happen next, she obeys the “order’ just as usual. When...
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