Cordelia Fine's Societal Understanding Of Gender In The Media

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Societal understanding of gender over the years has shaped the way people treat gender roles, stereotype, and humans as a whole. This in no way is helped by media representation. Because gender typically encompasses a great portion of one’s sense of personal identity, the issue arises that improper attitudes toward gender influences people’s own sense of identity, and in many cases, self-worth. Not only is personal morale in danger, but gender bias also affects scientific research; unconscious associations and unquestioned assumptions lead to inaccurate data and harmful conclusions. This gender bias includes the assumptions that: men are more academically-minded, women should be gentle and servile, men must be emotionless to “be a real …show more content…
Women in the media still subtly, or perhaps not so subtly, conform to harmful gender norms such as the necessity of physical beauty and tendencies to be short-tempered or bossy, while men conform to norms like having to be wealthy and classy and developing gigantic muscles. A different approach to this issue is to claim that many of the behaviors that are now labeled as “sexist” or “stereotypical” are merely natural features of each gender. However, Cordelia Fine’s book “Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference,” explicitly disagrees. “… when we take a closer look at the gender gap in empathizing, we find that what is being chalked up to hardwiring on closer inspection starts to look more like the sensitive tuning of the self to the expectations lurking in the social context” (13). Fine realizes the social pressures surrounding gender roles and the shrinking capacity for society to tolerate …show more content…
So what if a gender bias exists in society? So what if the media propagates these stigmas into our culture and consciousness? The reason this is a crucial issue is because it is shown that various associations regarding each gender has negative effects on individuals, particularly when it comes to stereotype threat, or the fear that one possesses of conforming to stereotype. Because of years of gender association shown through television, advertisements, and even public education, the “proper” ways for men and women to behave are cemented into our brains and practically shoved down our throats on a daily basis. Because of this, if a man were to be a stay-at-home-dad or style his hair a certain way, or a woman were to wear baggy clothing or play football, therefore breaking the social construct of gender “norms,” it would make people extremely uncomfortable. These trials are the result of indoctrinating what is “right” and what is “wrong” regarding each gender and how they are expected to act from an early age. In actuality, however, there exists a much stronger gender norm stigma against men than women in this day and age. Why this is the case is not easily explained. E.J. Graff in their article “The M/F Boxes,” discusses this unfortunate and harmful factor. “Boys and men still patrol each other’s masculinity with a Glengarry Glen Ross level of ridicule and violence that can seem, to women, nearly surreal” (698). It is obvious that men are more strictly

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