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Gender Roles

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Gender Roles

A society is defined as an organized group of persons associated together for religious, political, and most importantly cultural gender role purposes. With the evolution of the way the world transplants ideas using various technological outlets, we as a society have seen many contributing factors influence the way people in the United States move, think, and the overall perception of how men and women are supposed to stand when it comes to certain aspects of our way of life. A sizable majority of all of this can be allotted to the global phenomenon that is known as media. The media influences images of men and women via television advertisements, movies or television shows, and magazines by depicting how they should look, act, and the types of activities men and women engage in.

The most readily available media outlet that nearly all Americans come into contact with on a daily basis is that of the television. Advertisers us the television to promote and sell products that appeal to men and women. What most people fail to recognize is that one of the true purposes of these ads is to simply show men and women how they should behave. According to the article written by Lance Strate, biology determines where we are male or female; culture determines what it means to be male or female, and what sorts of behaviors and personality attributes are appropriate for each role (127). Often times when people are watching there favorite television programs, such as the Super Bowl, during the break a commercial will come on, usually lasting 30 seconds flashing a well built man and slim trim model of a women that is hanging on his arm on the beach drinking a beer. The clear message sent to the view is that sexy men and women sit on the beach and drink beer which is the "good life". As a result, many individuals it the modern United States will begin to strive and adhere to such a lifestyle that really only shows barely even a small social event.

In television commercials, advertisers ask the question of what kinds of things men do? Physical activities are often dramatized in the commercials saying a man should be firm and active. Miller Genuine Draft shows men working as farm hands and piano movers (Strate 128). When it comes to women, television advertisements have the same affect as well. However, instead of focusing on what women should be doing physically, the commercials rather hone in on how they should look physically. Advertising is one of the most potent messengers in culture that can be toxic for girls self-esteem (Kilbourne 149) Television commercials often portray women in a manner that they should be seen and looked upon, but should not be heard. Another commercial features a very young woman, shot in black and white but with colored contact lenses. She never speaks, but touches her face and hair (Kilbourne 153). As men are supposed to be strong and physically active, women are supposed to be silent sleek and sexy. The very advertisements undermine the fact that every one of us is unique and special.

Just as television commercials play a significant role in the image of men and women, so does the television shows and movies we so attentively watch. I accidentally tune in to the Maury Povich show, and my heart is turn in two. The topic of the day is "back-to-girl" makeovers (Bordo 172). That specific episode looked at turning so called tomboys back into sexy eye candy or making them more feminine. The show highlights that women should always keep up with her physical appearance, while at the same time the show displays that a man such as the host will determine what is feminine. In certain movies, one will always see the roles of men and women defined as some unreachable but must have reality. The movie Beauty and the Beast, the beast



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