I found that the sections regarding women’s representations in different forms of media were most interesting. van Zoonen’s argument that pornography was a civil rights violation for women was a valid point. Her definition of pornography states that this medium is simply a platform for dehumanizing women and creating the mindset that women can be seen merely as sexual objects. It seems to me that van Zoonen is against pornography because of its social repercussions on women, however I don’t know that she wants to do away with the industry, just that it needs to be changed. I feel that the problem with this industry is similar to the problems that the mainstream movie industries face as well. The problem is that these industries are run by men, so unfortunately the focus is to reach out to the audience the only way they know how. I feel that in order to make a major change in media depictions of women, we must make changes from the top down.
The reading led me to researching some of the more popular movies in recent years and more specifically, the genre of “chick flick.” These movies a stereotypically designed for women yet when searching through these movies, I noticed that the majority of directors for these movies were male. How are women supposed to be accurately represented in social media if only the males get a say on what is shown on screen? I feel that this could be a potential target for feminist movement for equality.
Although I agree with van Zoonen’s arguments regarding the lack of positive female roles in television, I can’t help but think of the numerous male roles that aren’t anything to look up to either. Sit-coms seem to be the most stereotypical of female and male gender roles. It seems that we often find the stay at home mother that is often very attractive and simply thinks with her heart for all important decisions. At the same time, we can also find the slightly overweight, funny yet dumb husband who seems to get the couple into these comedic situations. I understand that we have a serious problem with the depiction of women in our social media, but perhaps television (specifically a sit-com) is not the place to look for a role model for any gender.