Question 2: TV shows and the depiction of women’s roles (Essay Discussion)
It is not easy to find shows that portray the reality of women’s lives today. Most showmakers have developed “reality” shows seeking to create a connection between the audience and the characters in their real lives. However, these shows are scripted behind the scenes and are mere fantasy. The power of the shows against the audience cannot be underestimated. I would say that people struggle over meaning (Essay Discussion).
Still, most shows like “The Bachelor” reinforce the traditional domestic role of women in society. In this show, a man is looking for an ideal woman to settle in marriage. The women compete against each other to win the hearts of the men. It is a portrayal of women competing against themselves to “win with the man.” The great concern goes to the women, especially young girls watching the show.
Most women want to be in a relationship with the man of their dreams. I would consider the show manipulative since young girls would want to be like the show’s winner. The winner inspires others to assimilate her character. Consequently, if they would like to settle down in marriage with the man of their dream. Women are also portrayed as “enemies of themselves” as they compete against each other to win the man. Genuinely, media influences our perception of the role of girls and women in society. Moreover, in nearly all cases, it does not portray the reality (Essay Discussion).
Question 3: Effect of media images upon women today
The chapter analyzes the hypotheses of “reflection” and “manipulation” of mass media. The author tries to contemplate how mass media reflects reality in society. What values does the media reflect? Are they true values, or does the media portray what people would like society to be? Indeed, the media today, from traditional forms like television and magazines to online media like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, hugely influence society’s perception of the roles of girls and women and a woman’s sexuality(Essay Discussion).
Until now, the media still perpetuates gender inequality. Gendered stereotypes influence hugely younger women and children. There is clear gender segregation from perspectives of gender-appropriate content, attitudes towards societal expectations of each gender, and the future trajectory of these perceptions, to the traditional perception of gender roles. Women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton have, on several public occasions, displayed hidden messages in their dresses.
These messages like, wearing a white outfit, which remains a celebration of when women received voting rights, remained inspirational. These women hence portrayed as heroes. Women like Cardi B and Nikki Minaj are also inspirational figures, but they influence women’s sexuality. Like the Kardashians, the images of these famous women have a tremendous influence on young women who want to be like them (Essay Discussion).
For the influence to be a “reflection,” it has to portray the reality in society. These women, like traditional “Rosie the Riveter,” inspire other women that they can achieve anything and overcome the societal barriers that impede women’s success. On the other side, the reality is that gender inequality is still prevalent in society, and the influence is a “manipulation” since it is not the reality of most of the women’s lives in society (Essay Discussion).