It has been strongly evident that the media has played a large role in gender stereotyping for decades. Since the very beginning of film, movies and television shows have depicted men and especially women as lower or lesser beings. This “tradition” of sexism has of course, decreased since the 50’s but still lingers on in many of today’s television programs. In the early 50’s, with television shows such as “I Dream of Jeanie” and “I Love Lucy, women were portrayed quite openly as being the server to their husbands, the men.
They were considered to be lower than men or in other words of less importance. Many of the shows from this era showed a substantial amount of gender stereotyping. For example, the women were to do what they were told, they were the only ones who cooked and cleaned, and they were the primary caregiver for the children. Of course, things have changed since the 50’s. Women have proven to be powerful and just as competent as men, thus, making it harder for television shows to portray them as lesser individuals.
However, although the gender stereotyping has decreased, it is certainly still evident in the media. There are several television shows being broadcasted today that do, in fact, show some form of gender stereotyping, particularly towards women. However, it is less out in the open and blunt than it use to be in the early 50’s and 60’s. One must read between the lines and pay attention to notice the stereotypic behavior being portrayed. While this behavior may be subtle, it does, in fact still exist.
There is a very well known show on MTV known as “The Real World,” which comes on every Wednesday. It is a reality based show which places seven strangers into one house for several weeks where they are to live together for the duration of the program. As many of us know, reality shows are not what they appear to be. The directors and producers of such shows have the ability to crop and edit which specific clips of the film that they want to be premiered. Inevitably, they are able to portray the individuals on their show in any way that they want.
For example, they may choose to only show clips of certain individuals where they are crying, fighting, or as “The Real World” often does, being promiscuous. This is a vital key in how this show can stereotype a specific gender. In episode three of the new and current season of “The Real World,” it can be concluded that women are overall depicted as foolish, whiney, selfish, rude, childish, and promiscuous. The men of the serious, however, are showed in a softer, lighter side. They are portrayed as caring individuals who would rather stay away from most of the women and stray from any drama or arguments going on inside of the house.
In one segment of the show, two of the women of the house are running around the house screaming and yelling, playing a game which appears to be cowboys and Indians. The next scene shows the men of the house calmly sitting outside having adult conversations. This is clearly in effort to make the females look childish. In another segment of the show, the women are basically all fighting with one another while the men sit quietly in the background. One of the females sarcastically asks another cast member if it is fun living with a bunch of girls.
The other cast member quickly responds with a no. It should be understood that not everything that the women in the house on this show have done have been childish or in anyway degrading. It is impossible to fit everything that has been recorded of these people when producing the show. So, everything that viewers are allowed to see has been carefully selected for various reasons such as higher ratings. The more dramatic events that happen, the more likely it will be for the show to attract audiences.
However, why is it that there are no dramatic sequences shown where the men are degrading themselves? In conclusion, gender stereotyping in the media, although lessened since the 50’s, does still exist on television programs today. Whether women are portrayed as inferior to men or simply more ignorant or immature, the fact is that gender stereotyping is an all too sad reality in the world that we live in today. Perhaps one day we can come to an understanding that all men AND women and created equally. Works Cited www. mtv. com www. realworld. com www. people. unt. edu/jw0109/misc/stereotype. htm
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