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The portrayal of Women in Mainstream Media
The portrayal of women in mainstream media has created an insignificant role of women while escalating the importance of men at the same time. When people think about the critical roles such as the president, a brave hero, an active person, an influencing person or any important figure the image that comes into mind is that of a man. If people imagine such a role involuntarily, then the gender assigned with these jobs will always be male. As long as people can remember these roles have been to men in the mainstream, so it is not a surprise that the picture of a man will come to mind. Females are often given supporting role and are not associated with essential roles, so their image is always considered frail.
A child will have no idea of sexism, and the culture of a society will establish the social norm in a person. The media has portrayed the genders in a way that it had associated certain stereotypes with specific genders. Men are associated with strong characters and are usually in the lead role of movies while women are in the supporting role. The female characters in most mainstream media act as girlfriends and wives of the male characters. The fact that women are given less important roles sends out the message that women are of less value in society. Media plays essential roles in establishing the social norms, identity, and importance of a person. A newly born infant has no understanding of the culture and the way that infant interacts with the society while growing up gives the idea to the infant. Mainstream media represents the society while a child is growing up, these norms are instilled through a child interaction with the surrounding environment. The exposure to mainstream media establish the base for a person's thoughts.
In the present time, children and high school students alike spend more time interacting with mainstream media than any other activities. This extensive interaction with mainstream media can have a substantial physiological impact on the children. Based on how different genders are represented in the mainstream media the child will associate specific ideas with the gender. For instance, as a superheroes men are fully covered and have a muscular build, the child watching the superhero will conceive the idea that strong men need muscular bodies. On the other hand, female superheroes wear thigh suits while at the same time have curvy bodies with sexy dressing which creates the ideas of perfect women in the mind of a child following such a body. The representation of ideal women is same in even the present day internet based mediums.
Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have brought the mainstream media directly to the internet. The movies and Series presented in this streaming service presents a representation of gender in the same way as the traditional media. Spending so much time with mainstream media creates the ideology of gender in the mind of people in the same way as represented in the mainstream media. Some movies represent a strong female character, and they are well received, but their impact was not as extensive as their counterparts. The frail representation of women portrayed in the media has made the ideal image of women.
A child is born without any ideology, and it is the society that creates the ideology of a child. The critical role in mainstream media is given to male characters while female characters represent the perfect women in the form of a fragile nature. Children spend more time interacting with mainstream media till their high school than any other activity. Their minds are made up with what is presented to them in the mainstream media. Women are given insignificant role while at the same time men represent the stronger human beings.
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