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Gender Perspectives

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Dustin Kidd

on 7 October 2018

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Transcript of Gender Perspectives


Questions to Ponder
1. How are men and women portrayed in advertising?
2. How should they be portrayed?
3. Do images in advertising matter? How do they affect us?
4. How do media images impact men? How do they impact women?
5. Where do these images come from? Why do we make them?
Lecture Overview
The story of the infamous Belvedere vodka ad
Theories of gender from Beatrice Potter Webb and Judith Lorber
Gender and the cultural diamond: social world, content, production, audience
Three methods: descriptive analysis, interviewing creators, studying controversy
Keywords: power, privilege, Bechdel test, hypermasculinity, interpretive strategies, digital divide
Classical Theory
Contemporary Theory
From the Women of Wisteria Lane...
"Belvedere Vodka Ad Under Fire For Rape Implications"
-Huffington Post 3/25//2012

"Update: The company issued an actual apology late Friday night and announced that it is making a “generous donation” to RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization" -Forbes.com

"Woman in Belvedere ‘rape’ ad sues vodka company"
-NYDaily 4/2/2012
... To the Men of Marlboro Country
Susan Bordo analyzes images of men in advertising in her book The Male Body. She identifies two images of increasingly objectified men.
Beatrice Potter Webb, 1858-1943, England
Co-founder of the London School of Economics
Founding member of the Fabian society, a British organization that promoted socialist principles.
Co-founder of the journal The New Statesman
Selected works: Cooperative Movement in Great Britain (1891); Wages of Men and Women: Should they be equal? (1919); My Apprenticeship (1926); Our Partnership (1948) plus many others co-authored with Sydney Webb (her husband)
For good or for evil, the capitalist system has forced millions of women out of a position of economic dependence on husband or father into the position of independent wage-earners, often responsible for the livelihood not of themselves alone, but also of family dependents. The tragedy of the situation is that, whilst we have forced these millions of women to walk along the
wage-earning road, we have not unbound their feet! ... By continuing to brand the woman as the social inferior of the man, unworthy of any share in the direction of the country, upon the economic development of which we have made her directly dependent; by providing for
her much less technical training and higher education than for the boy; by telling her that she has slighter faculties and smaller needs, and that nothing but toil of routine character is expected from her. (“The Awakening of Women," 1913)
Judith Lorber, b. 1931, USA, CUNY Graduate Center and Brooklyn College
Selected Works:
Women Physicians: Careers, Status, and Power, 1984
Paradoxes of Gender, 1994
Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics, 1998
Breaking the Bowls: Degendering and Feminist Change, 2005;
Key phrases
Night to his day
Gender is a
social construction
For individuals, gender means sameness
For society, gender means difference
Social construction: An ordering system that is based on social reality, but often implying a biological or other basis. Social constructions are powerfully real and shape behavior and social relationships.
Women constitute just over half of the US population, but they possess far less than their share of the available social
In 2016, women run only 21 of the Fortune 500 companies (http://fortune.com/2016/06/06/women-ceos-fortune-500-2016/). That's just 4.2%!
In 2015, women made up 38% of all lawyers but were only 18% of partners in U.S. law firms (National Association of Women Lawyers: http://www.nawl.org/p/cm/ld/fid=506).
Men outnumber women at a rate of 76% vs. 24% in all sectors of employment for science and engineering as of 2009 (http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/news/documents/women_in_stem_a_gap_to_innovation8311.pdf).
Another important issues facing gender relations in the social world is
, specifically the ways that men benefit from privileges that they can take for granted.
: A force that exerts influence over the behavior of individuals and groups. In some conceptions of power it is held by specific actors. In other conceptions it is independent of actors and moving in multiple directions.
: The benefit of being situated at the top of a social hierarchy. The concept is associated particularly with the work of Peggy McIntosh, who wrote about white privilege and male privilege. Privilege is often taken for granted and not noticed by those who have it.
Bechdel test
: A method for testing the status of women in a film, attributed to a comic strip by Alison Bechdel. To pass the Bechdel test, a film must have 1) at least two or more female characters who 2) have names and 3) talk to each other about something other than men.
Thinking about hypermasculinity...
: A cultural process of ramping up the standards and representations of masculinity.
Descriptive Analysis
A method of studying a social issue or practice when there is very little already known. Rather than beginning with a specific theory, the goal is simply to map out the prominent landmarks of a given social world.
Ex. 1: How are Black women represented in music videos? (Rana Emerson, "Where My Girls At?")
Ex. 2 How do depictions of men compare to depictions of women in reality TV?
Schmutz and Faupel, "Gender and Cultural Consecration in Popular Music," 2010
Interviewing Creators
A method of studying the production process by asking questions of the professionals involved.
I had started cold, with a University of California, Berkeley, letterhead and the names of a few friends of friends and onetime colleagues of colleagues. One name led to another. . . . From January through July 1981, some 200 industry people were decent enough to let me interview them about why they do what they do. Only half a dozen refused outright to speak to me, all of them high-level. (Todd Gitlin, Inside Prime Time, 1983, 13)
In 2 parent heterosexual households
Men typically control the remote
Men see TV watching as an individual experience
Women see TV watching as a social experience
Women more likely to watch something they don't like to spend time with spouse or kids
Men more likely to change channel without asking
(Morley 1992)
Studying Controversy
Culture War: a media-grabbing
multi-vocal conflict within and across institutions that has consequences for the kinds of demands that institutions make on public policy.
A method for studying the social world by examining moments when large scale events disrupt social norms or violate social boundaries.
Released in 2000
Played on Portland's KBOO radio in 2001
KBOO fined $7000 by the FCC for indecent content
People for the America Way provided legal support for Jones to sue the FCC
Eventually the FCC repealed its ruling.
Sarah Jones "Your Revolution"
Interpretive Strategies
Digital Divide
Interpretive strategies
: Ordered systems that guide the process of making meaning out of cultural consumption. Formal aesthetics can serve as an interpretive strategy, but so can other ideological systems such as feminism, Christianity, or libertarianism.
Digital divide
: A form of inequality related to access to, and understanding of, the Internet and its associated technologies, such as smartphones and tablets. Digital divides have been identified, and debated, along class lines, gender lines, and racial lines, among others.
Women at least half of the audience for the culture industry but they are far less than half of the representations found within the industry.
Women are more underrepresented behind the cameras than they are on-screen.
Annihilation is the keyword we can use to describe the treatment of women by the culture industry.
Representations are also harmful to men. This is not about boys vs. girls (except on reality TV)
Why gender matter in the production process?
Why aren't there more women on TV and film?
How do we get more female roles on TV and film?
What are the major ways that media images harm men?
How do images of men and women in the music industry differ?
What does a powerful woman in popular culture look like?
What does a powerful man in popular culture look like?
What are the underlying issues? Bodies? Biology? Desires? Sexuality? Social roles? Socialization?
Next Slide:
. Violent images.
Full transcript