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The gender roles in our society We are going to start explaining the diference between two ideas which are always confusing for most people, sex and gender. Sex is the biology features that determine if you are male or female, like breasts or the penis; and gender is the role that each person follow for their behavior. So, a basic idea is that it's different being a male person from being a man, and it's different being a female from being a woman. In our society, though, it's very common to be offended if you adopt a conduct of gender which is not the one that is usually associated to your sex. This common relation between sex and gender are frequently sponsored by the adds, and other cultural activities, like films, books, and other platforms like TV shows or some basic things like toys. The first role that we're going to analyse is the role of the man, which is usually asociated to athletic, strong and protective together with the women stereotype (of course, a man is always less tender than a women). When a man is out of one of this rules, mainly if is out of all of them, he is going to be taunted because he is a “sissy�, female. Another role that is commonly related to this gender, is the unemotional figure, which is always talking and trying to conquer his prize, the women, but never been tender and romantic, because that actitude is reserved for women. Of course, there are another characters like the succes, which is always associated with being rich and have a lot of cars. Like the woman role, this one is always being exploited by TV and its adds. We're going to analyze some adds which are actually an insult for all of us, no matter if youre a boy or a girl: In this add, we can see a group of fathers who are not able to look after their sons and daughters, and with that example, the add try to show that their product is too easy to use that a man can use. Of course, a man, this role, can't look after of a child, because we're are not allowed to feel any type of emotion, neither to our relatives. HUGGIES http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhEXVkay0UUcom/watch?v=E3hwcqY7yUw

Of course, there is one important point more to talk: the car. The image of succesful man is always related in all media with the car: All important bussinessmen (the model of succesful man for de mass media) have a good car, a Lexus or maybe a Chrysler, but never a modest car like a CitrĂśen Saxo. This image is perpetuated by the adds too, car adds show always a man driving the best car accompanied by his prize, his girlfriend, trying to relate in our minds that car with the best session of sex that we have never enjoyed. The result of all this predjudice is that the male sex is always trying to evidence that they are more masculine than the other: they have to win to all sports, they have to conquer all girls, they have to show that they don't have emotions.. If you aren't all of this (youre not succesful, not strong, ...)-, keep calm, there is another role of man which you can make up for.. You can be a friki. This one is


the discriminated, the sissy when we are younger, but then he make a group of friends that, suppostly, are as weird as him; and the have to be leave apart from the rest of the world, as we can see in this add. So, it's obvios that our society and mass media have built a new image of the man gender, but these prejudices are more obvious and offensive in the case of women. For example, in adds we can see this discrimination. We are going to show just two of them, and then, we can analyze that to see how offensive it can be. In the first one, we can see that a man have gifted to her girlfriend a kind of detergent. His girlfriend is, obviously, very happy, because now she can wash the clothes more easily. There are a lot of prejudgements here, as we can see, the girl is the one who has to do the laundry, why? Because she is the girl, and she has no other role in the relationship, the one who has to work and be powerful and succeed is the man, we don't know why. http://youtu.be/DZIpifzykIg WASHING POWDER COMMERCIAL The second one that we have seen is the typical Christmas add. In this, the girl is given a doll, and the boy the car or the warrior. So, there is an explanation behind this, according to a kind of tradition, the girl is going to be the mother of the family, so she is predestinated to look after the children, and now at Christmas time we offer her some dolls as a gift, we make her easily the future, now she will get experience in looking after kids and she is more prepared to have children. http://youtu.be/XyqNoE723Bw CHRISTMAS COMMERCIAL Another prejudice about women is that they are weak, they have no strenght, but no only physically, they are weak psychologically, too. A good example is the typical story that all know: we're watching the Olympic Games and suddenly, there is a scene in which a culturist, a girl, practicing weightlifting, and one (this can be a boy or a girl) say: “Guau, there's no point in a girl being too strong, how anyone can love that?� Here we are, why does a girl have to be weak? This is violence, and this stereotype is one of the most detrimental for the female sex, because it continues with an image of weakness which is only interesting for the male gender: they are the men and they have to protect their women, who aren't strong and hard enough for be independent. So, this is one of the most detrimental prejudice because it causes, indirectly, gender violence (no one likes that) because the man thinks, in his bad education, that the girl is his possesion and he can do with her whatever he wants. This is frequently continued even by the women who like to be protected by anyone, ignoring that that dependence is negative for her, because it makes her weaker. The last prejudice that we're going to talk is the perfection. All girls, because of publicity have to apparently be perfect in all situations, we have thousands of


examples but we decided to put this example, an add from some time ago, but which is repeated in all TV series now. When we are at home, we have to be pretty for our husbands, we have to serve them but appart from that we have to be pretty. Its obvious that that is an exageration, but why all girls have to follow some social rules like never having her hair on her face? Why do we have to protect our skin and have no wrinkles? As a conclusion, all these adds are a kind of strategy from de mass media to exagerate the gender roles and sell more products, and we have to be careful because we often forget that gender roles are that, roles, and not rules.

Genderroles manucarmen  

IES Pedro Floriani - Redondela, 2013-14. Gender Roles in Commecials - Carmen Cuntín Abale e Manuel Pérez Docampo.

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