Friday, January 30, 2009

Where the men are

Since we've been reading about "where the girls are" in the media, it's been nice these last few classes to also talk about the media's role in men's lives and men's role in the media.

After we watched the movie "Tough Guise," I watched a news clip in one of my other classes about a man who beats his wife. In an interview with him and some other men they all talk about how men are supposed to be violent; that's how they see "real men" act and so that's how they feel they need to act. When we discuss these things in class, I think it's easier for us to separate the media from real life and think that we couldn't be sucked into something like being violent because that's what we see on TV. But there are many things that sink into us as we consume media, most of it subconciously. I think it has a greater effect on young people, because a lot of times they don't know any better. And sticking with just males in the media, that's why we see little boys running around with fake swords, fake guns, and lightsabers, playing cowboys and indians, and acting like "men." That's the definition they get and that's what they want to be and so that's how they are going to act.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stupid Girls

"American women today are a bundle of contradictions because much of the media imagery we grew up with was itself filled with mixed messages about what women should and should not do, what women could and could not be" (Where the Girls Are, pg. 9.)

After reading the introduction and first chapter of the book and having our discussions in class about the relationship that women have with the media, I thought of Pink's song Stupid Girls. Here's the link to the music video:

First of all, how perfect is it that the video starts out with a young girl watching TV and imitating the women she sees by flipping her hair? Then, an angel and a devil appear on the girl's shoulders, representing a "good" girl and a "bad" girl. When I saw this I thought of the discussion about the myth of individualism and personal choice; the shoulder angels representing that the young girl only has two extreme choices; she can be "good" or "bad," stupid or smart, pretty or ugly. Obviously that isn't true.

Another theme of the song is the competition that girls have with each other, like we talked about today in class. At one point in the video, Pink is at the bowling alley with a guy and notices that he's watching a girl in the next lane with a super short skirt and her cleavage hanging Pink pulls this little string under her arm and her bra inflates to a ridiculous size, and her date starts talking to her again.

The question still is why does the media portray girls as having to act certain ways and do and say certian things and use their looks and bodies to get noticed? Like the song says, "maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back..." no wonder the little girl at the beginning and many women in society are confused about all the contradictory messages constantly being thrown at us. I think Pink's video is funny because of the truths it shows, with a little exaggeration.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

For COMM 2010, all the students are doing blogs about the media and society so here goes!

This week at school there has been many MLK Commemoration speeches, discussions, and presentations, and I attended the panel discussion about civil rights and the media. When I think of the term civil rights, the issue of race automatically comes to my mind. At the panel discussion yesterday, Albert Jones said that RACE IS NOT THE POINT. He quoted Dr. King's speech and told us that the point really is to look at people for who they are individually. He also was talking about the newspaper he founded, Diversity Times, and he was saying it works because people appreciate diversity. I was thinking about the last presidential election and that at one point, one of the candidates was black, one was LDS, and one a woman. The media ate that up, and the citizens did too. David Scott said that it's our obligation to allow people to do and say what they think, and then minorities can be brought into a new light so that everyone will have more understanding, respect, and tolerance. Civil rights will always be an issue, but obviously times are changing, and hopefully the media will play a positive role in Obama's goal to have "a nation united in purpose."