Essay On Gender Inequality In Media

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Many argue that a leading problem in media is the convergence of ownership. When we look at the facts, that in 1983, fifty corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. And that today, only five corporations - Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom control a staggering 90% of what we read, watch, and listen to. Media messages, most of the time, are in the interest of the corporations owned by them. As less and less individuals and corporations have control over the largest means of communication, certain interests will always be in favor of the high-ranking, (mostly male-dominated) giants who own them.
Media has a powerful influence on the thoughts and ideologies of individuals in a global society. Julia Wood, of “Gendered Lives,” stats that “People today are the most media-saturated and media-engaged people in history. The average American-home has more television sets than people—2.73 television sets and 2.55 people per household, and at least one of those television sets is on eight hours a day” (Wood). These figures demonstrate just how consumed our society has become, and the role media messages play in our lives. As a society, we are constantly bombarded with messages on self identity- from what we should look like, do and wear. And, although gender inequality has changed and dramatically transformed over time, certain ideologies produced by the media have negative consequences in the success of women – through ideas, images and negative portrayals.
To investigate the media’s power messages of gender and its influence on the thoughts and ideologies of society, it is important to examine the media’s effect on the female body image. The unrealistic, ste...

... middle of paper ... these through exposure is another way in which we can help counteract the negative consequences associated with the media. By combating the misrepresentation of women with the exposure of real women, the public has more of a chance to see a variety of different icons and role models. With this comes the chance for individuals to recognize that there is this inequality, solely due to false misrepresentation and sterotyping. With this exposure comes new beliefs about gender, including ideologies focusing on equality among both sexes, and the “features” and competence that both hold. This in turn, could decrease the gender pay gap earnings, as well as increase the advancement of participation among women in all occupations. Only by actively and critically consuming media can we overturn the negative effects associated with media messages throughout popular culture.
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