Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fueling the Fire

Alyssa Rosenburg and James Poniewozik both argue that shows which are continually being targeted for women are in fact, targeted towards the wrong gender. While entertainment aimed at women viewers seems to be the crux of their critique, I am still left wondering why the issue of targeting is very relevant to study. If we are classifying a show as “for men” or “for women” doesn’t this just fuel the disconnect that exists between the two genders? To typify a show in one of these categories, man or woman, it seems to me that you only rely on gender stereotypes of what is “supposed” to appeal to each sex. I think that in labeling a media text it puts boundaries on what media people interact with. In another article by Alyssa Rosenburg she writes, “I don’t know what’s worse: the idea that women have to constantly submit to guy-defined culture, or that guys, by staying in their own enclaves, miss out.”
With majors in education and psychology and an upcoming job teaching elementary education I am contently taking the information we learn in class and trying to apply it to my future students. I am interested in how children interact with media and how this shapes their views on gender. I read articles such as these, and always end with thoughts on how television is affecting those that are probably not even targeted at all. I found a video on YouTube that interviews children as they discuss gender roles. Growing up in or society that creates such a HUGE polarization between men and women, and places such an emphasis on the roles of each gender, it is sad to watch these very young children as they are able to pick up upon these stereotypes. I don’t know how to combat these almost inherent ideas in children, but I am left to wonder if these feelings would lessen if we placed less energy on how to target a specific show or product to a specific gender and demographic.

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