jump to navigation

The New Gender War October 3, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, female, gender, male, Sexism, Sexist, TV.
comments closed

Feminism has drawn attention to and fought against stereotypical and sexist portrayals of women in mass media, but new research shows that media portrayals of gender have largely done an about face in the past decade or so. There is a new “gender war” and the main target of discrimination is no longer women, according to research – it is men.

Gender studies have claimed that mass media portrayals and images are key influences that both reflect and shape society’s views of women and women’s self-identity. As well as attacking obvious sexist media portrayals such as page three girls and “girlie” magazines, feminists have challenged objectification, marginalisation, trivialisation and other negative portrayals of women in movies, advertising, TV drama and other media content. Their argument that such portrayals are damaging have won support from legislators and from many media professionals including film makers, advertising producers and editors.

Research shows that, while sexism against women remains, representations of women have evolved with less stereotypical portrayals and more women shown in heroic, successful, independent and sexually liberated roles such as in Buffy and the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City and even in aggressive roles such as Kill Bill.

A 1995-96 study reported in a 2002 book, Media, Gender and Identity by media researcher David Gauntlett, found 43 per cent of major characters in TV shows were women – up from 18 per cent in 1992-93. The study reported that, on a character-by-character basis, females and males were equal in all criteria studied. Analysis of newspapers and magazines also has found portrayals of women improving – albeit there is still a way to go in some areas according to feminist scholars.

Until recently, gender theorists and media researchers have argued or assumed that media representations of men are predominantly positive, or at least unproblematic. Men have allegedly been shown in mass media as powerful, dominant, heroic, successful, respected, independent and in other positive ways conducive to men and boys maintaining a healthy self-identity and self-esteem.

However, this view has come under challenge over the past few years. John Beynon, a Welsh cultural studies academic, examined how masculinity was portrayed in the British quality press including The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times over a three-year period from 1999-2001 and in books such as Susan Faludi’s 2000 best-seller Stiffed: The Betrayal of Modern Man. Beynon concluded in his 2002 book, Masculinities and Culture, that men and masculinity were overwhelmingly presented negatively and as “something dangerous to be contained, attacked, denigrated or ridiculed, little else”.

Canadian authors, Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young in a controversial 2001 book, Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture reported widespread examples of “laughing at men, looking down on men, blaming men, de-humanising men, and demonising men” in modern mass media. They concluded: “… the worldview of our society has become increasingly both gynocentric (focused on the needs and problems of women) and misandric (focused on the evils and inadequacies of men)”.

(more…)

Advertisements

‘Terrorist’ slur costs star TV job August 11, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Amla, Australian, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Cricket, Dean Jones, Discrimination, Fired, Gerald Majola, Kumar Sangakkara, Muslim, Racism, Racist, Slur, South African, Terrorist, the terrorist has got another wicket, TV, wicket.
comments closed

Former Australian Test player Dean Jones was sacked as a commentator on Monday after referring to South African Muslim batsman Hashim Amla as a “terrorist”.

Jones, who admitted making the comment and apologized, was on a TV team covering the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo.

According to a statement issued by Cricket South Africa on Monday, viewers heard Jones say, “the terrorist has got another wicket” when Amla took the catch that dismissed Kumar Sangakkara.

(more…)