Media Affects How We View Gender Stereotypes

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Society plays a vital role in constructing our gender. Often times, it attempts to define what being a man or a woman is like. It makes an effort to use general terms to force human beings to conform to what society thinks is acceptable. For instance, society feels that men should be strong while women should be sensitive. However, numerous groups of individuals have forced society to modify its beliefs in regards to gender. As time passes, society has become more gender neutral in different aspects of life, such as in sports. Men and women, alike, are able to play sports and receive equal coverage in the media. Like society, media greatly impacts our understanding of gender. It portrays different ideas and relays them to society in a way to either accept or challenge the status quo. In 2002, Marger argues, that society must make itself credible. In order to do that, it must create “an ideology, a set of beliefs and ideas that explain and justify the existing social organization.” Afterwards, the media, through its various forms, must relay those ideas to the public (qtd. in Aulette and Wittner 396). Today, some of the most popular forms of media are television and the Internet. Both can be easily accessed by vast numbers of people across the world. Likewise, they can provide information to audiences quicker than other forms of media, such as the newspaper. The television series, Pretty Little Liars, illustrates four young women attending high school and the troubles they face when one of their friends is presumed to be dead. It depicts ideas which maintain and challenge the status quo. It reinforces the concept that women should care about their appearances. However, the show challenges society’s beliefs in regards to genders in ... ... middle of paper ... ... It illustrates that there is nothing different about families that are interracial or of the same race. Thus, it show that there is nothing abnormal or wrong with marrying outside of one’s own race. Although the television show Pretty Little Liars supports the belief that women should look perfect, it also challenges how women should be viewed by society. It illustrates that women can have their own thoughts and do not have to be submissive to others. Currently, we are able to see as many women be portrayed in the media as men. As society becomes more gender neutral in different aspects of life, it begins to show in the portrayals of genders in the media. The boundaries which were set to force men and women to conform to certain ideals are now being broken. For instance, women are now being betrayed in the media with different occupations, such as doctors or cops.

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