The Media and Women

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Culture comes in a variety of forms and generally is relative to the person defining it. According to Shaw and Lee, pop culture comes in the form of television, movies, music, magazines, and the Internet along with the traditional literature and the arts. These various forms of culture pervade our everyday lives by creating illusions of reality of which we, as the viewers, are expected to adopt into our lives. In these mediums, especially television, there are stories and narratives that either subliminally or explicitly convey messages about human behavior and interactions. Amongst these messages are those that define or perpetuate gender inequalities, roles and attitudes.

The internet and social networking sites define the modern generation, but the World Wide Web and Web 2.0 technology are very male dominant forums. The technology industry continues to remain as an industry that is difficult for women to break in to. Despite the age in which we live in, these forms of culture continue to portray gender roles in a fairly traditional manner. TV shows and movies featuring empowered women do not do so in a realistic manner. Very few, if any, women in pop culture exist outside of the standards realm of beauty. This truth continues to enforce stereotypes of female sexuality and does not offer an acceptable platform for average women to relate to.

A contemporary example fitting into this notion of modern culture perpetuating traditional gender roles and inequalities is reality television. I believe reality TV, by design, intends to shape society by displaying how “real” people live their everyday lives. Although, television programs in general have historically had this second agenda, reality TV takes it another step by claiming to have no script and relies on spontaneous events for entertainment. In these shows, we normally see the women become very hysterical when their boyfriends are leaving them while the men are always out having a good...
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