The portrayal of gender inadvertisements has been a widely debated issue all over the world. Aqualitative study was directed to examine how media and local ads have aneffect on the youth group living in Karachi, Pakistan.
The research indicatesthat messages in local advertisements are unfair when it comes to gender as theyare highly stereotypical with the roles they establish. Snowball samplingmethod was used to interview a total of 6 people, 3 of them being male participantsand 3 females. The interviews were recorded; written down and thematic analysiswas concluded. IntroductionMen are from Mars andWomen are from Venus. The notion established by various writers, directors, physiologistsand advertisers that men and women are different and have different roles inorder to provide persuasive imagery and to develop a strong story. As humanbeings we tend to classify other people into groups and most of the times thisclassification is done on the foundation of gender as it is the most prominentthing to the eyes when we interact with someone.
As humans we also have atendency to generalize and consider all men being alike and all women beingsimilar, while considering both the genders extremely distinct from oneanother. Not only market segmentation is done on the basis of gender but it isused as an advertising strategy to generate sales and advertise products. Thisis why gender studies, gender roles and behavior play a significant rolecommunication and marketing strategies. Men and women are depicted in extremelystereotypical roles in advertisements throughout the globe.
There has been distress since the beginning of popular media with how peopleare represented in the media, especially on how people from different ages,gender, ethnic and professional groups are shown in conceivably stereotypicalroles or are underrepresented (Bollinger, 2008; Hazell & Clarke, 2007;Nina-Pazarzi & Tsangaris, 2008). The portrayal of men and women intelevision adverts and commercials have grabbed the most attention ofresearchers (Kaufman, 1999).Katz in his book Advertising and the Construction of ViolentWhite Masculinity crafts a variation between masculinity, building up thatthere are different dissimilarities existing with the prevailing structure beingheterosexual, white and from the middle class. Gender that demonstrate violent behaviorwithin the patriarchal societies is mostly male. The basic contributor to thisrepresentation of the behavior is the movie industry, as their ‘hero’ or maledriving symbols have a tendency to set up this by going up against thepredominant type of manliness. As per Katz, the idea of rough manliness beganamid the 1970s, as men needed to have a specific level of control over thecircumstances occurring around them, they needed to manage the monetaryvariance, the ladies’ development. Quality and viciousness were the devicesthat men of that time started to use so as to achieve the masculinity. The ideathat viciousness levels with manliness is unequivocally associated withpublicizing from multiple points of view.
The support for the brutality in menis the theory that violence is biologically inherited in men. Many advertisersuse masculine violence in military and sports ads, as it is trusted that themen safeguarding the nation are manly and the games men are the victors whospoke to as masculine. Our general public itself bolsters this perfect type ofmanliness. All the male models utilized as a part of the promotions haveimmense muscles, as it breaks even with manliness and thus, hostility. Thesepromotions nourish the possibility that men need to ceaselessly battle keepingin mind the end goal to improve their being utilizing their image, partner withthe brave manliness which incorporates sadism. Along these lines, with aspecific end goal to be the legend, all things considered, men subliminallyadjust the rough part, in actuality, as that is the thing that they are beingencouraged always by the media. They influence different suggestions in whichthey to pitch thoughts to be the ideal man, similar to progress can beaccomplished, be it getting the young lady or winning the race or a battle.Some move can be made against these commercials in the event that we areattentive and mindful about the influence they have on the guys in a generalpublic and how it contrarily influences their way of life.
So also, thepossibility that how one ought to carry on especially as per their sexualorientation is engraved in the brains when the a child is conceived, youngladies are given cooking toys and stuffed teddy bears and are generally wearingpink shaded dresses. While young men are coordinated towards savagery as theyare given toy firearms to play with and are wearing blue or other ‘masculine’hues. This examination paper sets up that conventional social orders additionallytend to shape the brains of females with respect to how they should act. Ladiesare educated to stay inside and take care of the family’s needs.This research paper establishesthat traditional societies also tend to shape the minds of females as to howthey are supposed to behave. Women are taught to stay indoors and look afterthe family’s needs, whereas men are to go outside and be the breadwinners ofthe family. This phenomenon is engraved in our traditional societies even ifthey tend to grow postmodern, this concept remains.
Objectives1. To measure the variances in male andfemale’s thoughts regarding the influence of media and advertisements. 2. To understand how media establishes genderroles through the advertisements.
3. To envision the diverse messages towardsboth the genders in the mainstream media. 4.
To identify media’s role as a norm setter/breaker. Research MethodologyAccording to this topic,this paper has been articulated to measurethe views of both males and female students studying at SZABIST, KarachiCampus, between the ages of 18 to 25 years. Literature review is written on theinformation based on published research journals, articles, news items andother scholarly reports. The primary research has been conducted through focusgroups and interviews. There were 3 male students and 3 female students who participatedin the focused group after giving voluntary consent and the interviews/focusgroups were then transcribed, translated, coded and a thematic analysis wascarried out based on their responses. Complete confidentiality was sustained inorder to attain an un-biased methodology. Literature Review One cannot disagree tothe fact that Media has a considerable impact on the life of countless peoplethroughout the globe.
As Kellner (2008) establishes the fact that our moralitiesand values that differentiate between the right and wrong are strongly swayedby the media. Especially in today’s era when we are surrounded with so muchmedia and consume it on a regular basis, it is something that should be assessedcarefully. One of the foremost representativesthat stereotype the ways in which both the genders are distinguished is media(Wood, 1993). The portrayal of women can be classified broadly in two genres,they are to be represented in traditional roles as mothers and familycaretakers or they are to be represented in an objectifying and sexual manner.
Assuggested by Feldman & Brown (1984)and Woodman (1991), various channels like MTV are a proof that women are presentedas if they existed to please men, fulfil their desires and meet theirfantasies. Men today on our television screens are represented as adventurousand aggressive with their extreme dominant masculinity, while women areportrayed as obedient, voiceless submissive wives or daughters (Wood, 1994).According to Brown & Campbell (1986) men are hardly ever seen occupied inhousehold chores and are never given the nurturing roles like woman (Doyle,1989).
Whereas women according to Davis (1990) are usually sexualized and are highlyphoto-shopped in order to portray the extraordinary perfect woman. The GenderSchema theory suggests that absorb and learn from their surroundings how theyare supposed to behave, their culture tells them how to behave appropriately,for instance, girls are supposed to look pretty, be submissive and play indoorswith dolls (Carter, D.B & McCloskey, 1983-1984). While boys are to indulgein outdoor games and be adventurous. With such a thought, advertisements sendindirect messages to its viewers in order to reinforce the ideas in the mindsof the consumer (Pareles, 1990; Texier, 1990).
Media depicts the rolesof men and women through advertisements, which are viewed throughout the day ona regular basis. According to Bascow (1992) men have authoritative roleswhereas women are portrayed as someone who has difficulty handling householdwork. According to Pierce (1990) all that there is seen in woman’s magazineissues are articles on how to look good and ways to maintain strong relationshipswhich establishes that the sole purpose of women is to look after theirappearance and work towards satisfying men in their lives or else they will beleft alone (Rakow, 1992). The abilities that women are encouraged to adapt areexactly what gets them to becoming victimized. And the abilities that men areencouraged to adapt is what gets them to be abusive to women. A prevailingtopic that media depicts is the imagery of the perfect woman in the minds ofthe viewers. The perfect woman not only looks after the household chores but isthin with the thigh gap and long legs, has the most clear skin and extraordinarybeauty.
This idea of a perfect woman leads to young girls starving themselvesto death and falling into depression as a result of the failure in achievingthe idea of that perfect being, there is starvation with respect to numerousladies who battle with their typical physiology and body structure (Spitzack,1993). With a specific end goal to satisfy and fulfill these social measures ofmagnificence which are supported by the media, young girls go to pointless andnow and again perilous degree; undertaking surgeries and undesirable eating regimentslosing their self-esteem along the process of attaining that perfect unrealisticimage. ResearchAnalysis/FindingsA focused group sessionwas conducted with a total of 6 respondents who were interviewed, 3 of thembeing male participants and 3 female, between the ages of eighteen totwenty-five years.
These respondents are the students of SZAIST University,Karachi campus. Only after the consent of the participants the interview/focusgroups were directed with the reassurance of privacy being sustained. Becauseof less time and space the sample size was of 6 people. A thematic analysis waspassed out and the research findings have been written according to the themeswhich came out of the responses. 1. Messages in local advertisementsRespondentswere of the view that the advertisements seen locally on our television screensportray not just roles that are stereotypical but also unrealistic. There is somuch editing in the print ads as well that women of age are getting Botox and surgeriesdone and young women tend to starve themselves.
Then there is the portrayal ofroles, the perfect daughter in law is supposed to be in a certain way to winthe hearts of the family, which puts societal pressure on women who are gettingmarried as everyone around them expects a lot from them. Regarding the men in advertisements, the respondents were of theview that even men are represented as tall, muscular and extraordinarily handsomeand strong, all the abilities that would attract females, which leads to losingof confidence of men in real life. 2. Morality according to Media Inour culture especially, the respondents were of the opinion that media doeseffect the values and morals of a person, be it of any sex. For instance, the good woman will always beshown dressed in eastern clothing, covered from head to toe, will be obedient,will always stay within the four walls and offer her religious duties as wellas be dutiful to her husband. Whereas the bad woman will stay outdoors late,have friends from the opposite sex and will have a voice of her own, will argueand be stubborn in nature and will also be far from religion and will not involvein household chores.3. Beauty criteria set according toMedia Accordingto the respondents these advertisers in order to attract the ratings of theiradvertisements and promote the brand and sell the products, most beautifullooking women are used in these ads that are heavily edited as well.
Also, fairskinned women are considered as beautiful and dark complexioned women are consideredthe opposite. Because of which there are so many ads that promote whiteningcreams and because of this thought there is a fear in young girls with darkskin that they won’t get proposals for marriage and thus, they won’t be acceptedin the society. This heavily effects their self-esteem and shatters theirconfidence. 4. Men depicted as masculine and violentMenaccording to the respondents are shown as robust and emotionless. Men that haveemotions are considered weak, whereas the concept of manhood lies in aggressionand dominance. They are shown in the lease nurturing roles as compared to howthe women are represented.
Whereas women are vulnerable and emotional on screens.5. Women as strong and independent Therespondents believed that women are hardly ever given independent and strongroles on TV. They are the ones that don’t have a voice of their own and are asubmissive to the family and men in their lives. They are heavily emotional.They are not allowed to choose their own partner for marriage and are notallowed to go outdoors alone. It’s our society as a whole that has difficultyin accepting this, it is heavily engraved in our culture. 6.
Mediabreaks or sets the norms? Therespondents believed that media plays a huge role in reinforcing norms,especially the females participants. According to them the ideas that mediareinforces are engraved in the minds of the families of their own and theystruggle with it themselves. As media suggests what a perfect or a gooddaughter or a wife should behave. She should dress in cultural clothing, satisfyand meet the needs of the family at home, stay indoors, cook food and beobedient. This is the ‘ideal bahu’ in our culture. 7. Who chooses the content that is to goon air? Thefemale respondents suggested that it’s mostly the men that decide what contentis supposed to go on air and women in the industry do not have a say. Howeverthe male respondents completely disagreed to this and taking the popularPakistani channel names suggested that women do have the authority as well.
8. What should be done?Respondentsbelieved that there should be awareness created with regards to how media isinfluencing our daily lives, as most of the people today are still oblivious tothe fact that how it has a massive impact on our lives. By generating moreawareness the audiences that consume media on a regular basis will have theability to see the right and the wrong, to know the difference. It will opentheir eyes enough to know what media is doing to our minds. Secondly, theysuggested that there should be strict laws on what content goes on air, athorough check before programs and ads are aired. Women should be given strongroles that would be an inspiration for the young women living in our countryand men should be shown as less non-violent beings. ConclusionThere is absolutely nodenying in the fact that media does have a massive impact on our lives, as itis discussed and established in the Literature review and the analysis, thatmedia and the advertisements play a huge role in setting the norms andstereotyping the roles of both genders, it sub consciously reinforces the ideasin our minds and sets the societal norms.
However, it is an entity that can beused positively as well.