Marxists believe that women are deliberately stereotyped in order to keep the dominant ideology through a male gaze and enforcing capitalism. Reinforcing traditional stereotypes of women in the media and shunning working mothers keeps women in the roles that are most useful to men, and it keeps the women as a cheaper reserve labour. Any beautiful women are kept from achieving as the medias stereotyping of women as sex objects influences people’s opinions that pretty girls aren’t intelligent.Carol Sander, the editor for a British magazine, lost $35 000 worth of advertising because she was quoted saying she found it hard to make women look intelligent when they are plastered with makeup! The view that women should be seen to be feminine, beautiful and young is projected onto the public because that is their opinion.
Their thought is that the reason for stereotypes of women in the media is because there is demand for it. The pluralist view is that the public want to see women in stereotypical roles, and they want them to be seen as sex objects when selling products, and audience figures prove it.Feminism is the idea of equality of the sexes, giving an equality of rights and position in society.
Feminists believe that the subordination of women runs through all areas of society. The earliest form of feminism was Liberal feminism. These women concentrated mostly on legal restrictions and things like the 1970 equal pay act came out of their actions. They believe that true equality cannot be achieved unless it exists in the law. Liberal feminists believe that the inequality between men and women is caused by stereotypes and gender socialisation. This is particularly relevant to my study on negative effects of stereotypes.
Stereotypes can have many negative effects such as the self fulfilling prophecy, women may start to become these negative stereotypes. It may cause wide spread depression and low self esteem, and they may cause a change in women’s norms and values, for instance they may be socialised to be more accepting with plastic surgery. Feminists see the media as continuing the prejudices and stereotypes through its representation of women. Liberal feminists think that the removal of these images should be imminent and should be replaced with positive images of women to change socialisation.
They believe women should be shown in every role possible and that young girls have intelligent women for role models instead of beautiful models and celebrities. Gloria Steinem says that ‘Ms’ lost a major cosmetics account because it featured Soviet women on the front cover who ere not, according to the advertiser, wearing enough makeup. For full equality however it must exist in the law.
Feminists see the media as a male dominated industry with only 20% of women in top positions in 95 – 96. Even if women do get to higher positions they may have had to play the male game to get there.