Gender Socialization : The Media 's Portrayal Of Women Essay

Gender Socialization : The Media 's Portrayal Of Women Essay

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Miss Representation proves the way that gendered socialization is heavily affected by
the media in destructive ways especially for women. The title, itself, is a clever play on words
and reflects the media’s portrayal of women. First, the “Miss” part of the title has significance.
“Miss” is not only a title that is used for females, but it is a title that when used alone to address
women, especially younger women, is slightly condescending and patronizing. Therefore, by
using “Miss Representation” instead of “Misrepresentation,” it hints that women are
misrepresented in the media in a negatively disparaging and inaccurate manner. This
unbecoming representation ultimately results in gendered socialization that is detrimental to
everyone but especially women.
One can easily see the narrow role that media gives women by examining most films
made today. For example, women play the protagonist in movies only 16% of the time. The
other 84% of movies are centered around a man and typically use women as “props.” However
even in the 16% of movies in which women are protagonists, often the plot is centered around
men by creating a movie solely about a woman finding a man. Furthermore, women action
heroes have a deceitful depiction of women which makes it seem as if the women have agency
when actually the women are “fighting fuck toys” that derive most of their power from
sexualization. However, the practice of forcing women to be presented as sexy and needy of a

man, has only recently developed alongside the emergence of mass media. Movies contain
more sex, violence, and profanity than even a decade ago, and in the 1920s women were
shown as complex human beings with agency and many dimensions. This step backward can be
due to mass media an...


... middle of paper ...


... for showing emotion. The negative
manner in which the media represents women politicians makes it harder for them to gain
people’s support. More importantly, when even our greatest most powerful women role
models are sexualized it tells young girls that their sexualization and not their intellect is where
they should derive their power.
It is clear that the media forces women to play roles characterized by their sex appeal.
This harms society as a whole, but especially young girls who begin to measure their self worth
based on their appearance and the way in which men see them. While I do believe a woman
should feel empowered by her body, this by no means should be the sole source of her
empowerment. For this to happen, however, powerful media needs to start to show women as

more than mere sex objects and show young girls our most amazing and powerful woman
leaders.

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