STEREOTYPE OF MEN AND WOMEN
Mohammed Khalid Al-Khalifa
Stereotype of Men and Women
"Hurricanes with female names may be more deadly than the ones with male names!" This is the BBC news title I have just been listening to (BBC News, 07:00 GMT, 2014-06-02). The BBC mentioned that in a recent study, researchers found out that people take hurricanes with female names less seriously than they do with the ones with male names; Consequently, hurricanes with female names would kill more. This makes the whole point of the way people think about men and women. Many studies suggest that 'Victor' is stronger than 'Victoria' in the eyes of the society, 'Christina' is softer than 'Chris' and 'Josephine' would be less threatening than 'Joseph'. 'Katrina' hurricane caused 1,833 deaths in 2005, 'Audrey' killed 416 in 1957, while in 2004 'Charley' caused only 15 direct fatalities and 20 indirect ones (Wikipedia, May 2014). Mirriam Webster defines the term stereotype as:
"an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic" or "something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially : a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment" So, what is that 'standardized mental picture' like in our mind for of men and women? Men are usually stereotyped differently than women. The masculine general image is not similar to the feminine image in our minds. This is not just something we say. It is evident in our everyday life. We hear it every day, we say it all the time and, more importantly, we believe it! Throughout this paper, I will try to prove this idea from the literature, the media and many other sources. I will try to highlight "the conventional or formulaic conceptions / images" of men and women in the minds of people. However, I am not going to support the idea that one is superior to the other. I am not going to stand in the side of one party against the other. And I am not going to say that men are better than women or vice versa. I will just introduce the facts from their sources and keep away from judgments. 'Ladies first!'. This is a term that we hear all the time. It may have some connection to the topic of this study. This is where we start. At first we will have a look at the stereotypes of women. Then we will deal with the s stereotypes of men. And Finally, we will shed some light on their implications and effects within the the international and the local societies. Stereotypes of Women
Najah Al Ali (2009) states that "in spite of the technical development , the media of the Arab world continues to introduce women in the traditional image, or the canned stereotypes of the Western model, which makes her a means of sexual attraction and promotion for increasing consumption." Al Ali assures that this image is broadcasted intensively in the Arab media. She also mentions a second "negative image" of an unwise consumer who wastes time and money doing shopping all the time for fashion, cosmetics, pleasure and unnecessary things. In most TV commercials, product users are usually women. They are shown as housewives at home more often than men; a case that intensifies the general image intended for the woman in the society. Al Ali also says that women themselves help in building this "unfair image that does not reflect the real side of women, their real problems or ambitions". She blames women for taking part in these commercials, TV series, film, satellite station, radio channels, newspapers, magazines, theater plays, festivals, and publications. The wider field study performed by Fatima Baqas and Kama Mallah in Morocco in 2010 dealt with this issue in a more detailed prospective. In what they called "The Horizontal Stereotypes", i.e. the stereotypes that could be common within all, the...
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