Much of our understanding of what it means to be male or female comes from the information we are fed from the media.
We live in a media-saturated world and the common representations of gender, while improving enormously over the past few decades, are still prone to stale stereotypes and typical misconceptions (Eldridge et al 1997).
The paper also looks at the sexes with respect to finances, familial decision-making, and overall power and influence.
“Gender relations are most easily characterized through an interpretive analysis of reproduction, production, power, and gender ideologies.
Young girls today differ from their mothers in that they do not see their futures merely in terms of marriage and children.
They can look to positive female role models in the world of entertainment, politics, business and fashions.Today, the traditional view of a woman as a housewife or low-status worker has been exchanged for the successful woman in a position of power such as a business leader (Gauntlett 2002).Women now see their lives as more meaningful and they are anxious to have their say in the way the world is run.There is no doubt that the media were responsible for many of the images people were exposed to at this time just as they influence people’s views today.However, there have been some radical changes in the way men and women are portrayed by the media, particularly in relation to the way women are viewed.The risk of being labelled as effeminate by other boys or ‘butch’ by other girls was a very powerful factor.In today’s world, such media stereotyping is not as strong and girls and boys have more freedom to be who they want to be.If we look at the feminine aspect of gender stereotyping, the media view of femininity has changed drastically.If we think back to the way in which women were portrayed in the 1950s and 1960s, they were invariably presented as housewives, mothers, nurses, teachers, or in some other form of caring role (Trowler 1988).Women have become more optimistic, enthusiastic and confident, setting themselves high standards.They are ambitious and aim to be financially independent, no longer happy to rely on a man to support them and their children.