Gender Role Discrimination

2170 Words9 Pages
On average, American families view more than 30 hours of television programs (Kellner, as cited in Kaufman, 1999) and over 500 commercials in a week (Bretl & Canor, as cited in Kaufman, 1999). With the prevalence of commercials in Americans’ lives, the illustration of gender roles in commercials influences their perspective on gender roles and their view of themselves and others. Therefore, it is critical to examine the gender roles portrayed by women and men in commercials. Gender stereotype is defined as simplistic generalization regarding characteristics and behavioral roles ascribed to individuals based on their sexes. Around the world, history has shown that men have long regarded women as their inferiors and treated them with disrespect. However, today, we are facing a new generation where people are no longer categorized according to their gender and their narrowly defined gender roles. Although commercials have attempted to portray stereotypical images of women and their gender roles, this paper shall seek to prove that commercials are still far behind in being a social indicator of women’s societal roles. Sensual Images Provocative visuals of naked womens' bodies or scantily clothed women are prevalent in commercials. Movie analysts suggested that women are pictured as ‘objects of male gaze’ (Aronowitz as cited by Klein, 1993) and this statement is clearly proven in commercials. Most of the time, women are shown to be caressing objects, gazing at their hands (Klein, 1993), gently cradling or delicately touching males, items or themselves (Cortease, 2008). Often, female models are illustrated as ‘playful clowns’, suggesting that one can disregard them and treat them lightly (Cortease, 2008). According to the Consciousness Scale of Sexism, which is a five-level scale used to measure the amount of sexism depicted in a commercial, it is shown that
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