Media turns to portray men as dominant and women as subordinates


“Gender a concept that focuses on the social and cultural constructions of individuals sexual identities. Media has the power to socialize individuals. The question is, why does the media celebrate women’s beauty rather than their beauty and intelligence?! Why do people say you hit like a girl? Are women not strong enough? If so how do we deal with labour pains and menstrual pains every month and that is to mention the list of things women go through.

Media turns to portray men as dominant and women as subordinates. One may go to an extent of using the bible “God created a male and created a female as a helper” but is that justification enough? In the media women are often represented as sex objects, it’s no myth that often times when we buy a product we do not buy it because we liked it but it is because of that women who oozes sex appeal that makes us end up buying the product. Young girls don’t dream of having that massive business, with the biggest turnover. She dreams of being as sexy as that girl covering a magazine that you are  looking at while in a grocery store queue. According to Fourie, advertising media often depicts two categories of women, a good woman, angelic, beautiful, submissive, and domesticated while bad woman are prostitutes, sluts, unfaithful wives and bad mothers. Advertising to men usually involves emphasizing masculinity, strength and power.

Practical example should you google men, the first two rows if not all rows show men in cooperate looks, however should you google women, half naked females pop up. That gives you an idea of how magazines, television commercials etc show women.

Fourie further argues that many of the South African women in magazines, newspaper are represented by the media in a less empowering light. Reeva Steenkap, who was shot by her boyfriend, she was referred to as “pistorius lover” ignoring the fact that she was her own women, who made a name for herself.

Questions such as “ is South Africa ready for a female president” are an insult to women’s intelligence, women such as Nkosazana Dhlamini Zuma, Thuli Madonsela are some of the phenomenon women who are not only the male dominated industry but they have done an amazing job in their assigned jobs and have showed good leadership skills.

Kathy Caprino argues that popular media focuses much more heavily on a whole host of negative or limited aspects of women. Facets such as women pulling each other’s weave to get t0 the top, betrayal etc.

How the media represents women is not the only challenge faced by women.  Amie Ferris- Rotman, founder of Sahar speaks discusses one of the gender challenges faced by women in the newsroom. Gender equality in journalism is sorely lacking, the first challenges faced by women is getting in the newsroom, and the next is to make certain they’re given quality assignment that they’re paid equally for their work. (506)
Author : Nolubabalo Cumbe. Journalism student @ University of  Johannesburg | Outgoing introvert