Most mass media companies have incorporated traditional norms in their activities like men being dominant in the society. An example is television. This has made mass media to have strong effect on gender.
How Mass Media Affects Gender
Mass media is said to affect gender in several ways. For example televisions portray men to be dominant than women. This is evidenced by men dominating most television and radio productions. During advertisement most men are made to advertise commercial products while women are given a chance to advertise household goods. This is because men are considered to be more authoritative and to have power. This affects women negatively as they are seen of less value in the society and men to be seen superior in the society. In most child advertisements boys are portrayed as violent, active and rational while girls are given house hold duties. This shows that media activities are based on gender dimensions. Most viewers identify themselves with a male character and turn down female characters thus creating a notion that men are successful and women are failures.
For example a girl child feels satisfied whena a male news reader appears on the screen than when a female newsreader. This influences the child’s thought and behavior and she grows knowing that men are better than women. It also intimidates females and shows biasness though the viewer or the society may not see. The media affects gender in terms of employment. Most televisions in the past employed men as they were seen successful compared to women and it resulted to women being discriminated .Mass media is also said to have an effect on gender roles because during most television shows women are given traditional roles like house wives, mothers and nurses while men are given roles that are broad and exciting like husbands and celebrities since they are believed to seek achievement and dominance while women are made to be compliant and supportive. This affects women in that they are not able to work hard and do the jobs designed for men as the society will not allow.
Women dignity is lowered in most media because women are made to be most characters in soaps and also most women watch soaps. Gender issues are also experienced in program choice whereby men are to watch adventure programs that show them to be authoritative and having power and women watch soap opera that show their characteristics as cool and sympathetic ( Preiss, 2007)The media is said to affect gender socialization. This is because most men and women want to do any thing to make their appearance pleasing. It also affects relationships by affecting people’s attitude. Most media has portrayed men as being incapable of showing their feelings and women as capable of showing their feelings (Preiss, 2007)Mass media are not sensitive when it comes to gender as they associate some roles to men and others to women and also they employ according to gender. They should consider gender a very crucial issue in their production by consider women important.
Gender does not conflict with power or violence because violence and power is associated with men while women are said to be cool.Forexample most programs like adventure represent men as violent and having power while in soap operas women are represented as sympathetic(Preiss, 2007)I met Kenny in high school .During this time we were only studying and after finishing our studies we started dating immediately. During this period we started sharing information about our future dreams and encouraging each other to work hard so as to achieve our goals. We also started learning our family background and the likes and dislikes of each person. This was important as we were able to put trust, faithfulness in our relationship. After three years we decided to call off this relationship. This is because I could not trust Kenny and the relationship was also mentally abusive. Although I kept holding the relationship together by being patient and believing that one day he will change it was heard and I had to end it. My worst moment is when I lost my aunt after suffering lung cancer for a long time; this has affected me emotionally. I have always worked hard in high school and prayed that one day I will get a scholarship. The end of high school has been my best moment since I have managed to get a scholarship award for being the best girl in the institution.
This has enabled me to pay my school fees and it has also motivated me to work hard and relialize my dreams (Preiss, 2007)I have faced a lot of problems during my studies and after completing my education which have affected my education and the possibility of getting a job. First people in the society value only men and thus allow them to go to work or study. This has made young women and girls to feel inferior as they are not able to further their studies. The society also feels that women are supposed to stay in the house and do household duties. This culture has tied most women and they cannot read or get employed. After a long period the government has finally intervened and brought people to teach the community about the importance of girl child. This has opened the doors for many women as they are able to study and work without discrimination. Girls and young women have been involved in games between different tribes which has made us to share our views and thus building trust (Preiss, 2007)
Mass media should pay equal attention to men and women when it comes to employment and roles. This is because women have been seen inferior in most media activities thus limiting them in exploiting their potential.
Preiss, R. (2007).Mass media effects research. Advances through Meta analysis, page103-119,199-263,489