Gender and the Media


In the public sphere of today, there is a great misconception when it comes to gender and body image between males and females. There is so much pressure placed on the ideal body image and the perfect women. Gender in the media can be seen to have many struggles in the acceptance on women in male dominated roles (newsrooms). Why does it have to be so separated and divided amongst genders? Will there ever be a non-existence of slips or shift to gender equality in media roles?

When it comes to advertising representations sometimes the messages read through imagery and position can alter the idea of male domination over women, and that women are seen to be vulnerable objects for sexualised pleasures. The stereotypes of women are especially evident in advertising when it comes to cleaning products, cooking and children’s products. They are either given the role of the cook, cleaner and motherly carer; or other roles relating to bodily obsession and beauty.
Maurice Patterson (2009), explores the idea and showed that when it comes to representation of femininity, ‘it tend to be associated with passivity, emotionality, the body and caring roles’. In contrast to masculinity, being associated with ‘activity, rationality, the mind, and productive roles’.


This problem of misrepresentation of gender perceptions and roles in the media can be seen to affect the minds and connotations made by viewer of the media, Patterson (2009) notes ‘because the media are the main information source about social processes and images and self-presentation, women are likely to attend to use media images as guides for their attitudes and behaviours.

There is also the problem of how women are underrepresented in our newsrooms. Marcotte (2013) looks into the issue, showing how women make up 51% of the population, so their presence in media should be comparable. But it’s not and why is this? It’s a sad fact that there is a ‘glass ceiling’ in majority of media representation roles in newsrooms and that there is such a gap in the existence of women taking on the apparent male dominated roles. To knowing how to fix this issue is still a mystery. Why don’t the newsrooms producers and media ownership just give women more of an opportunity?

Hilary Clinton puts it well into words here–>


Marcotte,M, 2013, ‘Gender Inequity in the Public Media Newsrooms’, MVM Consulting. Accessed 28th April 2014.

Patterson,M., O’Malley,L. & Story,V. 2009, ‘WOMEN IN ADVERTISING: REPRESENTATIONS, REPERCUSSIONS, REPSONSES’. Irish Marketing Review, vol.20, no.1, pp.9-22


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