I have always been interested in this subject. I don’t think most of us realize the powerful impact that images of women, and the gender roles that are modeled in the media, have on us.
A recent example comes from a friend’s son. We were watching Two and a Half Men, a show that has a lot of people worked up over the stereotypes of women it protrays. In one episode, a character starts dating a “nester,” a woman who is obsessed with cooking perfect meals, and making everything just right for Christmas, including hours of decorating. Half way through the episode, my friend’s son said to her, “Why don’t YOU do that? Isn’t that what women are for anyway?”
This kid is only 9. For as long as I have known them, his comments about women have followed this vein, and are escalating. My friend used to think this was just a phase, but her son has started to display outright disrespectful and even demeaning attitudes towards grown women, old enough even to be his grandmother, saying that they are “supposed” to do certain things, or act a certain way.
She isn’t the only one who has this problem. A lot of people that I know, men and women, have noticed the same attitudes in their kids at a young age.
Let the games begin – does the media have a disproportionate, negative effect on the way we view and interpret women’s place in the world?