Friday, January 27, 2012

Van Zoonen ch. 2 and 3

While reading chapters 2 and 3 in van Zoonen, I was reminded a lot of the content from a class I'd taken this past fall called, "The Trouble With Normal". We discussed the sex/gender dichotomy a lot, as well as the role society plays in the construction and maintenance of gender norms. Van Zoonen brings up significant points such as the idea that, "television symbolically annihilates women and tells society women are not very important by showing an overwhelming majority of men in almost all kinds of television output" (16). Because of the lack of female figures in television media, women either are unaware or unable to model their behaviors on positive female images. This only serves to perpetuate the inferior status that media has created.

Another section of the reading that I found interesting was the 'Distortion' part in chapter 3. Media is a business that exists for profit. If they are able to make profit by distorting images of reality, they will do just that. It seems unfortunate that media and audiences alike buy into an exaggerated sense of reality to the point that it affects actual society. After all of the work that the women's rights movement did to accomplish equality among men and women, it is somewhat hypocritical that we are willing to watch television shows that degrade the female gender or emphasize the "happy housewife" rather than a powerful female CEO. Our continuous recognition and appeal to this type of media has constructed images that may not be what we stand for in our beliefs, however, our participation shows that we are entertained by this type of "reality", thereby contradicting previous efforts.

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