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Gender Roles Today Essay

1. What subtle messages about sex, gender, gender identity and roles, and sexuality were evident in these images? There were many subtle messages when it came to the ads shown in the video. When it came to sexuality, women were shown to be vulnerable and weak; an example is the gang bang shown in the D&G ad with men surrounding the woman. Men are shown as dominant and having control over the woman in many images. Gender identity is similar when it comes to sex; women are shown to be soft, flawless and unrealistically thin; also, I noticed no lesbians in the ads as if gay women don’t exist. Also, men are shown in an unrealistic light and identity; for example, the old rich man who can have any woman because he is rich. As mentioned in the video, this gives many men anxiety and pressure to be ‘rich’. I think all together sex, sexuality and gender roles are shown in a very negative and mostly unrealistic light.

2. What was your response to seeing these images discussed in this way? Was it new to you? Had you noticed different messages being sent to men and women as you flipped through magazines before? Will you look at images in the media in a different way after watching this video? I was really shocked by the images shown in the video. I can’t say I’ve never seen the images shown but I’ve definitely never thought of the subtle messages behind them. I have to say it definitely provided an explanation to me as to why people struggle with things like weight and even depression. I realized media does put an immense amount of pressure on women to be thin but i never noticed the prejudice when it came to gender identity roles. I never noticed the vulnerability of women portrayed and the role of weakness that they place in these ads. All of it is surprising to me especially because I feel like women’s roles have changed over time. Right now they are considered head honchos of many companies and as mentioned in the beginning of the video, many companies who have women managing these corporations make more money.

3. How does Jackson Katz show that men’s behaviors are socially constructed and socially learned? Jackson Katz demonstrates that men’s behavior is socially constructed and learned through the interviews in the beginning of the video. It is clear that men all have the same definition of what it means to be a ‘man’. On top of the one-on-one interviews, he also shows statistics that prove as evidence of men feeling the need to live up to this tough exterior. It showed that between men and women, men were often the violent offenders. He also shows examples of how media and companies put on peer pressure on to men to be a certain way.

4. How does a key social institution, the Media, shape how we perceive men in American society? In the video, Katz uses the media and the men of large corporations like Disney who cause gender stereotypes. In general, I think the media has portrayed the male gender as dominant, tough, and ‘strong’. The media uses magazines, ads, TV commercials, and any other outlet exposed to the public. I believe even when it comes to the news, men who violate the law are more in the mainstream than women.


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