Sunday, September 8, 2019

The representation of women in magazines through the decades till Essay

The representation of women in magazines through the decades till today - Essay Example Many of the texts based on the portrayal of women have discussed that women in the media have been routinely subject to symbolic annihilation. The media stereotyped women roles. Social scientists like Tuchman et al were of the opinion that media like advertisement, films, news and all other media content focus on the traditional domestic roles of women and treat women as objects of sexual pleasure. Margaret Gallagher in a study funded by the UNESCO had explained the reason why women have remained concerned about the image of women in the media. In this context it may be said that, â€Å"The†¦ are potentially powerful agents of socialization and social change- presenting models, conferring status, suggesting appropriate behaviors, encouraging stereotypes† (Byerly and Ross, 2006, p. 17). Thus one can understand why the media portrayal of women have become subjects of concern for the feminists and has continued till the present day of post modernism. Rather it can be said that these issues have contributed to both the academic and popular feminist struggles. In fact feminists believe that media has more power in the present age and as a result has more influence on the image of women (Byerly and Ross, 2006, pp. 17-18; Chambers, Steiner, & Fleming 2004). The first wave of feminism centered on traditional movements for civil rights. With the publication of The Feminine Mystique Betty Friedan broke the traditional role of women and the cherished role of the timid housewife, which was the dream, and envy of the American young women (Kemp & Squires, 1998, p.3). The 50s brought about a discontent in this image of women amongst the women themselves. There was a rising dissatisfaction, which was inexplicable by the women. The stay-at-home role of women has been criticized under the influence of the second wave of feminism during the 70s and 80s (Bradley, 2007, p.1). At this time of publication the world of media comprised of essentially three categories – television, radio and morning newspapers, which launched women’s pages, engaged in homemaking and care giving. Other forms of media include Time, a weekly news magazine, Life, a weekly issued picture magazine and other magazines like Ladies’ Home Journal and Good Housekeeping, which essentially made the women their target audience (Poindexter and Meraz, 2008, p.3). The names themselves suggest the traditional concepts of gender roles. With time however, the concepts of ‘gender gap’ (related to differences in educational performance and pay between men and women) and ‘gender-bending’ have been explored by journalists to analyze the relationships between men and women (Bradley, 2007, p.2). The paper analyses the representation of women in magazines with respect to the way it affects their social identity When the First World War began in 1914, women witnessed a fall in the stereotyped traditional differences between the economic enviro nment and private sentiments. Men found an escape route from the social financial and sexual duties subjugated within the feminine household and found solace in more typically masculine areas of work like navy and army. The spaces assigned to women during this time were mainly domestic or home based. The war somehow curtailed the women’s movements for suffrage and other campaigns though these formed the backdrop for the activities of women during this wartime. The article â€Å"

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