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.


  1. Speaking of what 'real men' act like, in the context of the home, in families where there isn't a man, or father figure present puts a different light on what effect the media has on individuals. It already has an influence when there are two role models in the home, but I can only guess that the media streams substitute for a role model when one is absent. Further, homes with two working parents, where there is no alternative to allowing the child, or children to not watch the TV means you as a parent are by this means actually sanctioning and making a tacit concession to the mind and value-building effect of the TV content.
    I should know, to type this very sentence I have to put Dora on the TV, else it won't get done. We as a society, here in Utah county specifically demand the best for our kids. This means we read to them, we hold them, we stimulate their minds and tend to their physical and spiritual needs to build their experiences and values centered around our common faith. Yet when it comes to making the hard choice of being available "on-demand" as it were, (as most moms do) men feel like their time is best spent in solid-chunks of 8 to 16 hours of away time rather than the harder choice of remaining available thru the day. Then, when the kids get these two-dimensional depictions of gender roles we complain and feel somehow like it's an outrage. Yet how is a kid supposed to form a healthy image of what a man is, if the father is gone all the time that they're awake? If the father has two jobs, or goes to school full-time and works, and the mother is still completing studies, then who is actually shaping those kids minds? the sitter?.
    Shay, tell me how many people around here get married right after High School, start having kids while one or both are going to school? Does it not follow then that the media imprints kids disproportionately the more hours per day that they are exposed?

  2. I think the impact of the media on a person is affected by their situation growing up. I also think that education is a big part of being able to think objectively on media content. How many of us has our eyes opened to the awareness of the agenda of the media just through the classes we've taken in college. I think the influence of the media can be very strong if there's no one else showing you or teaching you how to act or what perceptions are actually reality.

  3. McGruber...I love that commercial...

    Anywho...I grew up with 4 girls in my household...from what I will say is...I am pretty much a feminine guy...

    The guys that really made an impression on me are the ones who are portrayed in "Sappy" movies...Just the other day I saw Benjamin Button for the second time...great movie...the reason I could connect with the character...My roommate HATED the movie...he is in the military...

    That's just my two cents...

  4. In high school I Was big into drama and I performed a piece of a woman who was beaten and stayed with him for years. It was so so so hard to get into character because I have never been in a situation like that. In order to do it I had to talk with women who had experienced and who had been there and it was just heart shattering and something that I will never forget. It is so hard to think that men do this to women to make themselves feel manly. The media makes it hard to be a man. While women compensate for their lack of looks by not eating or setting unrealistic expectations men often compensate with violence.