Extra Thoughts (and extra credit?)
Extra Thoughts (and extra credit?) Great points made here - the "tomboy" image is an interesting one...typically, once a &qu…
Extra Thoughts (and extra credit?) Great points made here - the "tomboy" image is an interesting one...typically, once a "tom boy" begins to develop into a young woman, she is rejected by her male playmates. Also as much as I tried to avoid the boy/girl toy distinction with my sons they both always chose to play with trucks, blocks, and tools rather than the dolls or crafts in their playroom; I refused to purchace toys guns yet that never prevented a "gun war" from occuring in our back yard...they made their own guns out of sticks. So, is it nature or nurture? There definatly is some truth to "boys will be boys". This topic is explored at length in pychology next year. Hope you are enjoying CA!
Extra Thoughts (and extra credit?)
Extra Thoughts (and extra credit?) Many of the documents we have read for this seminar deal with the effects of advertising and the Am…
Extra Thoughts (and extra credit?) Many of the documents we have read for this seminar deal with the effects of advertising and the American society on grown women and teenage girls, suggesting that they need to look like models in order to be attractive. We also read about how there aren't many women who hold high positions in government or economy. It's not just women who are affected by these stereotypes; they affect both boys and girls. The groundwork for these stereotypes, however, may actually begin far earlier in the life of young children.
For example, children are divided into their separate gender groups from the day they are born. When the doctor delivers the baby, the first thing he says is that, "it's a boy/girl!". Then, you are dressed in blue or pink clothes, respectively, and live in a blue or pink room. The first toy given to a boy is not a Barbie, and you certainly wouldn't give a girl Transformers to play with. These two different toys in turn lead to different types of play; Barbie is not going to save the world or fight evil in her convertible, and the Transformers aren't going to go out and have a tea party. Even though today we claim that America is all about gender equality, the fact is that we raise our children to be distinctly different from the get-go. Someone like Betty Friedan might claim that this creates the fundamental difference that gives men their masculinity and women their femininity, which she considers essential to happiness, however I believe that along with these toys and clothes come expectations that are very limiting on the paths that these youngsters will take in life.
As we have read, men mostly dominate positions of power in the US, and not many women are up there with them. It could be that the CEO of a large corporation, who is male, would not promote a woman to be a company president because in the back of his mind, he still thinks that girls have cooties. In our childhood, our first social circles are already influenced by our upbringings, and thus we had no opportunities to come to our own conclusions about each gender. Boys expect each other to perform better than girls in gym class. When a boy doesn't perform well, he can be insulted by being told he plays like a girl, and if he is beaten by a girl, then he is humiliated for as long as anyone bothers to remember. If a girl beats a boy, however, not much happens; it isn't particularly insulting to say that a girl plays like a boy. In fact, it's quite common for girls to be "tomboys", and even if they are ridiculed by their peers for being that way, it certainly isn't as widespread an insult as a boy being called girly. It is evident that even at this young age, our minds are geared towards boys performing better than girls, and that girls are of a lower status. If you were to ask a girl if she thought that boys were better than her, she would, of course, object to the notion and answer in the negative. While no girl would admit to being any less capable than boys, in general, there may be a subconscious consensus between both the boys and the girls that, this is just the way of things. Thus, if this is true, then it wouldn't just be that men constantly oppress women, but that both of them in general just accept their current role that they feel they are given in society.
When we looked at the deconstructive ads, our initial responses to the women in them was probably something along the lines of, "look how women are being exploited by our society". However, it isn't necessarily just the society; the industry merely seeks to squeeze out as much money as it can from the consumer. So the industry expands upon this notion that women are decorative objects, and uses suggestive pictures of women alongside their products to help them sell. The fact that these industries are almost all driven by males helps along this trend, and there aren't many women in the initial creation process who could voice against this. Certainly the masculine driven industry perpetuates this notion that women belong draped over things in advertisements; yet women themselves will go and apply willingly to be draped over these things to get money. They are not just being exploited by the system, but they are actually helping the system exploit them; their self image was created by society influencing them, and both men and women in turn create the image that will influence the next generation. All in all, unfortunately, our society has not really adapted to the social changes made in the last 100 years; even though women have been given the rights they deserve, both men and women are subtly raised with the notion that the lesser of the sexes is female.