Tough Women

1539 Words 7 Pages
Have you ever heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? It basically means that a picture’s meaning could vary depending on the culture that is interpreting the image. In this essay, I will highlight the importance of the existence images of “tough women” that are available in popular culture, and discuss the effects that these types of images have on women’s position in society. Ultimately, I believe that the representations of “tough women” that are available in popular culture have not only empowered women to fight for gender equality, but it has also extended the characteristics of what it means to be a tough woman in society. Although, there are some images of tough woman that have been influential to woman’s position in …show more content…
Innes makes the claim that mass audience images are capable of simultaneously challenging and reaffirming the traditional values, behavior, and attitudes. Although, I agree with Inness point of view, I believe that the media also enhances and empowers women’s image as well, yet it tends to constrain and contradict more often than it enhances and empowers. Additionally, I agree with Innes’s notion that the existence of gender stereotypes assist in complicating how women are viewed in mass media, but I believe that the decoding of some of these stereotypes present a duality of the true image and perceived image of women. According to Innes, toughness is not attached to sex but instead it is attached to gender. Innes makes the claim that social institutions of society that govern gender aim to ascribe toughness to male bodies instead of female bodies. For instance, we can compare the views towards female body builders and male body builders. In this scenario, male body building is considered to be a freakishly fascinated sport while female body building is considered to be a horrifying event that only strange women would engage in. Judith Butler adds to the conversation by stating that gender typically becomes a performance that must be endlessly performed in order to exist. Therefore, it is not society alone that reinforces gender stereotypes of women, but it is also the members of society who continue to endlessly perform gender that reinforce these stereotypes. Essentialist argue that associating toughness with gender rather than sex is threatening to the social order because it breaks down the indissolubly link of gender and sex. Therefore, as long as we continue to associate toughness with male gender rather than female gender we will continue to reinforce the gender stereotype that women are typically not tougher

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