When you turn your TV on, what do you see? Most likely a white male as a protagonist, an African-American getting arrested, a Mexican yard man, maybe a black woman cussing and exhibiting verbal aggressiveness, an Asian owner of a pawnshop in some sketchy ghetto town, or a Pakistani terrorist with a last name too long and complex to pronounce. Racial stereotypes of ethnic minorities have become extremely prevalent in advertising, entertainment and other forms of digital and broadcast media. They are so present in society that we are brainwashed into thinking that it is our reality. Media stereotyping has definitely earned the status of a wound in society. The media is almost entirely white-washed, driving its viewers to think that that’s the way it must be in the world -- that the whites are the boss. The portrayals of these ethnicities and characters are what mold the ideas of the viewers, and the perceptions they have on these ethnicities, and even on themselves.
In my freshman orientation here at Santa Clara, I was talking to Kyle who was seated next to me. He asked me where I was from, and when I said I was from the Philippines, he asked “What’s your major? Housekeeping?” “Very funny” I said, laughing and brushing it off. It was meant as an innocent joke that I did not at all take personally, but someone else could have. It was an event that didn’t hurt my feelings but led me to contemplate later on. You can’t really blame the guy. It is a funny joke, and it is also a known fact that many Filipino women are domestic helpers around the world. This leads me to question, is this what causes the media to represent Filipino women this way? Or is it the media that is molding the minds of the Filipino women into believing that cleaning houses is what they are meant to do? Perhaps the two are tied together but undoubtedly, the media stereotype isn’t making the situation any better. It isn’t the most comfortable experience, being a Filipino...
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