Wednesday, December 13

If You Thought Women Don't Rule The World; Switch on Your Television

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There was a time when the only title that women were allowed to hold was that of being the ‘fairer sex’.  So it came as no surprise that with the advent of mass communication, in particular color television -which in my opinion is one of man’s greatest inventions save for the yet to be fully exploited Internet, the role of women was none but to be the ambassadors of desire.

Three self-confident beer drinkers? Or typical sex stereotyping?

With the advent of mass communication, desire and all its cousins such as the Wiley commercialism found a home in the minds of men. The concept of conventional beauty stole its way into the psyche of many as the’mannequin’  female image was splattered all over the globe in homes, restaurants and hotels at prime time. The only attributes of the tall, lithe bodied, smooth skinned, perfect teethed, flowing hair mannequin female in television was her skin deep beauty. Inside, beneth her flowing skin, she was hollow while upstairs was nothing but an intellectual desert.

She was simply to be seen but not otherwise considered. The focus of the marketers was in trying to as much as possible link her perfect physique with the use of some health product, cosmetic or home consumer product. Her world on the other hand revolved solely around the family and the domineering male character. 

This woman stereotype is slowly being replaced by images that allude to the changing role and position of the woman in today’s society. Scores of research suggest that in the past  women in television were mostly portrayed in the realm of house wives, mothers and as mere supports to the lead male role. Today, a casual look at television will reveal that this mindset is slowly being deconstructed as women are increasingly being portrayed as educated and sophisticated. The skimpy outfits and aprons are being replaced by business suits.

However, proper analysis of this situation is complicated by the continual blurring of gender derived roles and perceptions. Thanks to the feminism movement of the seventies, the prevailing dogma is “What he can do, she can do better”.

Angelina Jolie: Image via Wikipedia

Taking a look at television, with the likes of Angelina Jolie breaking barriers with pioneering roles in action films Like SALT- effortlessly pushing aside male characters in a traditional male domain and bagging record fees in the process- it is clear that the woman is slowly taking her place in this male world.

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As Marylin Monreo brilliantly put it “I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.”

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