Mass Media Essay

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One way cultural schizophrenic women were formed is due to the way media contradicts itself. Early on, Douglas describes that “American women today are a bundle of contradictions because much of the media imagery we grew up with was itself filled with mixed messages about women should and should not do, what women could and could not be” (9). From the 1950s to early 90s, the mass media, including; advertisements, fairy tales, magazines, music, and televisions have all helped play a role in which a woman was viewed. Television ads like the SpecialK commercials have women hiding their thighs that have brought new life into this world, along with the multiple makeup commercials like Olay that convince women to buy products that make them look younger by getting rid of unwanted wrinkles. The clash between mass media and women’s views on what society’s standards are had changed compared to many years ago.
The traditional notions of women to be the caretakers and ruler of the home have not gone extinct, but they are definitely not as common. They used to only be good for cooking and cleaning, while also looking after the children while dad was off working in a business. Now, women were pushed to go get jobs and get out of the house. For example, the media gave women conflicting images during World War II when women were needed working. Shows like I Love Lucy aired, presenting a tough proficient woman who was actually useful. After the war when women went back to working in the home, The Donna Reed Show aired, along out with the famous magazine called the Ladies Home Journal, which displayed a woman’s role, was that of a helpless one out in society.
Society contradicts its own beliefs that women are to be “pliant, cute, sexually availabl...

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...d in the movement and when it came to certain topics, like child care and work hours, feminists’ views were overlooked (275). The movement claims to hold much of its credit to the media (7). Douglas writes,
“The news media, TV shows, and ads nurtured this worm burrowing through the apple of sisterhood, personifying and dramatizing female competition wherever possible, erasing or simply refusing to represent the power of female friendship, cooperation, and love…whereas many in the women’s movement sought to highlight sisterhood and dismiss differences among women, the mainstream media became obsessed with those differences, emphasizing all the little things that kept women divided and apart” (225).
The mass media was knowingly trying to separate any type of achievements the feminists had by turning it against them and advertising it in ways that made it seem wrong.
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