English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: #genderrepresentation Page 1 of 2

The Importance of “Kadena” in The Bold Type

The Bold Type heavily focuses on the lives of three women, Kat, Sutton, and Jane. Therefore it’s no surprise that the majority of the show’s screen time is dedicated to women. However, the time and agency given to two of its minority actresses, Aisha Dee “Kat” and Nikohl Boosheri  “Adena”, make a significant contribution to the overall minority representation on screen today.

Some might question the importance of seeing people similar to them on television, however, representation is crucial for both younger generations and older generations. The Bold Type has contributed to a vastly empty representation sphere, young Muslim women specifically lesbian hijabis. While my life/personality is quite different from Adena my heart leaped when I saw her on screen, tears may or may not have been shed. I found it surprisingly satisfying to relate to Adena and realize how much I had been craving young Muslim representation on tv. It is important to note that The Bold Type was certainly unique with their characterization of Adena and did not make a cookie cutter stereotypically character, rather the show added multiple layers of individuality and complexity to Adena even though at first she was only a guest actor. The actor Nikohl Boosheri during an interview with Glamour stated that

“ If we were going to use pansexually and Islam and merge them together, it needed to feel real…with a character like this you are going to offend some people…I can only do my best to tell this one story.” – Nikohl Boosheri

Representation has a much greater impact when one person’s story is focused on rather than attempt to squeeze multiple stereotypes into one character’s story arc.

Kat’s story arc is also especially notable. The show spends a significant time developing Kat’s relationship with Adena and showing Kat’s path to understanding her sexuality. The show, in my opinion, did a great job representing coming out as an encouraging experience as opposed to a dark and upsetting process that is often emphasized in media. However, as one of the lead roles and a person of color, it was upsetting that The Bold Type, a show known to address relevant topics such immigration, seemly dismissed Kat’s race by never addressing it in season one. However, the show attempted to redeem itself in season two. The episode Rose Colored Glasses, allowed Kat to come to terms with her background while also creating a discussion about being biracial. The Bold Type is just one show in millions however they are helping to contribute to the hopefully expanding representation of women and minorities on screen.

adena and kat

Work Cited

https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/nikohl-boosheri-the-bold-type-interview

“AKA Girl Power”: A Look at Gender Representation in Jessica Jones

Episode 4 of the second season of Jessica Jones, titled “AKA God Help the Hobo”, contains several gender representations that provide a strong structural gender background of the whole show itself. From the name of the show and its first episode of the first season itself, it became obvious who the central character is in terms of representation by time, decisions and actions: Jessica Jones. She is already portrayed as unique from the general public due to her superhuman strength, matched only by her close friend Luke Cage’s indestructible skin and her previous enemy, Kilgrave’s, mind-controlling capabilities. In addition to her unique power and being the only female, and human, to possess it, she is also the main protagonist of the show, with the show’s plotline revolving primarily around her, from her dark past (summarized very well by her in the opening scene of the episode mentioned above: “My whole family was killed in a car accident…someone did horrific experiments on me…I was abducted, raped, and forced to kill someone… ”), to her quest to hunt down and kill Kilgrave, which was achieved by the end of Season 1, to now find more clues about the company that gave her the superhuman abilities following the accident that killed her parents.

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Jessica at her first anger management therapy…

 

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5 minutes later

“AKA God Help the Hobo” is an episode that re-emphasizes all these previously established gender roles in the show, along with provide some new ones. One of the re-emphasized gender roles is of Malcolm’s, Jessica’s neighbor and partner investigator in his and Jessica’s co-founded detective agency, presence on the outskirts of the company he has half the ownership of. After a failed anger management class, Jessica returns to her agency/apartment and is met by a demanding Malcolm who begs for more opportunities to help her in her investigations, showing Jessica’s independence even though she eventually agrees after reluctance because of wanting to keep him safe. This inverse relationship of a man being on the outskirts and under the decisions of a woman is an important factor within the show that makes it especially worthwhile to watch in the modern day due to its proactive message.

 

The first new gender role it provides is in relation to Jessica’s female lawyer, who was initially shown to be self-employed but gets fired by a male investigator in this episode who is apparently at a higher power, showing a stark change in the pattern of gender representation thus far in the show as women, such as Jessica and her closest friend and step-sister Trish, have usually maintained dominant roles. The show also grounds itself to reality due to the reason the lawyer was fired: her developing ALS, a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function, displaying a common limitation to many in the workforce today, especially women: an unavoidable factor such as disability.

Gender Representation in New Girl

For the fourth Blog Entry, I am focusing on the gender representation within the show. In New Girl, there is a balanced gender spread. Even though there are slightly more male characters than the female characters, the main character is Jess and the show plot is always related to her. Therefore, it balances out the gender representation. However, only two genders, male and female, are represented in this show whereas there are many other genders that could have been represented.

In this show, the two main couples are Jess and Nick, and Cece and Schmidt. In the relationship between Jess and Nick, Jess is dramatic, and Nick hides his feelings. However, this was contrasted in one episode where Nick accidentally says he loves Jess and Jess goes away after giving an awkward reaction. In the relationship with Cece and Schmidt, Cece makes the logical decision and Schmidt follows her decision or runs away from his responsibility. In conclusion, I believe the agency is equally assigned because the characters that makes significant decisions are both males and females.

Jess and Nick

Cece and Schmidt

There are not much of class, disability, and mental illness issues discussed in this show. Since the genre of New Girl is sitcom (situation comedy), the show is mostly in the light mood. Due to this fact, the serious issues in the society are not usually addressed. As I mentioned preciously, there are only two genders represented throughout the show. There is no diversity in sexual orientation. There are only heterosexuals. Lastly, there are characters with different races. However, the race is not really associated with gender in this show, which means that there is no noticeable correlation between gender and race.

In conclusion, although it lacks many different genders, the males and females are balanced in the show New Girl. There are characters which are gender stereotypes but there are also characters which are far opposite of these stereotypes.

A Friendship Between Two Broads

Broad City is objectively a unique comedy series, especially under the category of female-centered television shows. The uniqueness of the show stems from a variety of characteristics, but the show’s most defined characteristic is its implementation and representation of gender throughout each episode. Yes, Broad City is centered on the lives of two female millennial city-dwellers, Abbi and Ilana, but the show is much more than that.

Generally, the show includes a wide spread of gender throughout each episode, notably through male side characters as well as gender-fluid characters (RuPaul’s cameo in Season 4). Also, the show intersects gender with many other representational axes such as race, class, and sexual orientation. Ilana’s friend with benefits, Lincoln, is black, and her roommate is a gay Hispanic man named Jaime. Also, Ilana herself does engage sexually with both men and women, so the millennial, open-minded, unbiased representation of characters definitely shines through. Despite all these characteristics, the show does place a predominant focus on the women of the show, specifically the two female leads in Abbi and Ilana. The inclusion of the peripheral characters is mainly to bolster Abbi and Ilana’s story-lines, and the intent of the show is to portray a unique and non-stereotypical female experience.

Cast of Broad City, (left to right), Lincoln, Ilana, Jaime, Abbi

With the premiere episode of Season 4, titled “Sliding Doors,” the viewers are exposed to a more direct development of gender representation, particularly in the basis of female friendships. The opening episode is about the crazy story of how Abbi and Ilana met as young adults in New York. Ilana witnessed Abbi struggling to get into the subway, so she helped Abbi by swiping her in. However, they both missed the train, so they were basically stuck together. Although they met by chance, Abbi and Ilana do not take that for granted, and it was ultimately their decision to develop this new friendship. Television shows usually depict women as competitive or opposites of one another, and female friendships tend to be more one-sided. Broad City shatters this stereotype, however, by blossoming the friendship between Abbi and Ilana in a more authentic way in the Season 4 premiere. Abbi and Ilana recognize each other’s quirks upon first meeting, and they are willing to mutually interact and help each other out. For example, they both enjoy lighting one up from time to time, and their sense of humor plays off each other. This embracing of each other’s personality emulates a sense of relatability with the viewers that is otherwise lacking in other TV shows.

When Abbi and Ilana first met (“Sliding Doors”)

Therefore, the basis of female friendships plays into the representation of gender in Broad City because it helps to portray women in a different light. Without the stereotypes of envy and competitiveness being shown, female friendships like Abbi’s and Ilana’s are strong, embracing, and supportive of each other no matter what, making Broad City a much more refreshing show.  

Your Worst Nightmare- If You’re a Woman

Anyone who’s read, watched, or even heard of The Handmaid’s Tale knows how horrifying Gilead is for the Handmaids. These women had a normal life before, but suddenly they are thrust into this new world in which so much progress is gone, society reverted to a place even worse than the past.

It’s almost impossible to believe that this show takes place in the present. We view progress in human rights as upwardly linear, even exponential, but The Handmaid’s Tale expresses how easily fear and misuse of power can take everything away from women and other minorities. Although the whole structure of society has been redesigned in Gilead, the cause and effect of this change is due to women’s supposed infertility. Birth rates dropped steeply in the past, causing fear that led to men blaming the women and creating the concept of Handmaids.

Gender plays a big role in our world today, but in Gilead, it dictates everything. Most of the men are Guardians, Commanders, or Econopeople. They form the backbone of society and pick what the women’s roles are. They own property, basically including women, have jobs, and are able to live relatively peaceful lives. However, the women are Marthas, Handmaids, Aunts, Wives, Econowives, or Unwomen. Although some are more pleasant than others, none are happy. They lead lives decided by other people and suffer through both pain and boredom. Since this is the first generation of Gilead, these women live every day remembering the past but have to deal with the present. In Season 2, Episode 11, June goes into labor and remembers her past experience with her first child. An experience in which she was surrounded by those who loved her, doctors, and good conditions. Now, she has to give birth alone with no drugs, doctors, and without any emotional support. However, she uses the memory of her past with her first birth and numerous Handmaid’s births to get her through it. These paralleled experiences show the new reality these women have to face with no way out- not even a quick death is guaranteed.

Close to escape, June goes into labor and must give birth alone and fire flares to make sure her baby will be safe.

Even though the Handmaids go through day after day of emotional and physical abuse, in Gilead, they are seen as those who have been given a second chance. Aunts try to brainwash them into believing that they this providing for the world is a privilege and that they should be grateful. Men, like priests and homosexuals, who didn’t fit Gilead’s rules were executed while fertile women involved with religion or lesbians were given this second chance. Although many factors influence one’s experience in Gilead, gender plays as the most major role, with neither outcome being favorable. Which outcome is better? Debatable.

Gender Representation in New GIRL

In New Girl, the gender spread is pretty balanced, with quirky Jess as the lead and her beautiful, smart and supportive best friend Cece along with the three roommates that Jess fights with, lives with and learns with. The only two genders represented are female and male whereas there are many more genders that could be represented. Technically, the male characters have more representation but this is balanced out by the fact that Jess is the main character and that the spotlight is always on her. In terms of agency, Jess is mostly able to make her own choices but it is also important to consider the fact that Jess cannot usually act on her desires sometimes. This is shown by the fact that the other characters, both Cece and her male roommates have to sometimes push Jess to do things and stand up for herself. Nick seems to make decisions in a more low-key way contrary to characters like Schmidt. This show also does not really connect gender to race as much as other shows usually do. Race and gender representation do not really correlate in this show as the amount of representation a character has is usually not dependent on what race they are. Sometimes when watching an episode of this show, class and gender representation is sometimes a connection I make. Characters like Schmidt who obviously makes more money than his roommates sometimes has an attitude of superiority over his female and male counterparts.

Jess being a boss.

Also, since everyone in New Girl is heterosexual, there isn’t any discrepancy in the representation that every character gets as there lacks diversity in sexuality.  Disability and Mental illness are also not addressed much in this show, as it usually tries to keep a very light mood throughout the episodes. Heavy issues aren’t discussed usually in this show. Overall, the gender representation is pretty balanced out of the episodes I have seen thus far.

Power of the Uterus

If this were review topic six, six would have been our lucky number. Season six, episode six, Orange is the New Black creators sure know how to make women powerful.

When you have a show about lesbian mastermind criminals under the supervision of officers that are female which are under directors that are also female, you have a sort of power struggle. Even though it is just one gender, the gender is broken into different dynamics. For example in the first two minutes of the episode we are shown four characters: Daddy, Daya, Barb, and the blonde girl (acts as the messenger and one of Barbs servants). Usually in shows, the male presence dominates the female presence however there are no males so we are conflicted with who is in power here. Ultimately Barb is the head of the entire C block because of the superiority she gained when she first entered max. Then we have daddy, the butch lesbian with more manly attributes than the rest and obviously the dominant sexually, which makes her struggle to earn power understanding. Then we have Daya and the blonde girl which are on slightly different levels because of the feelings Daddy has for Daya.

Daddy and Daya showing the simplest affection at the beginning of the episode

Regardless of the position of the prisoners, we still have the position of the prison guards who execute their dominance for more reasons than one and MCC corporate staff that but heads when dominance is taking place.

Let’s examine the interaction between Linda and Natalie. It is obvious that there is a mutual dislike between the two of them and for obvious reasons *cough cough Joe* however one does dominate the other and maybe it is that Natalie does not respect Linda’s position because she lacks the ability to do her job efficiently that they bud heads. However in this dynamic between the two women, the superior seems to be the submissive woman in this interaction.

This display of power within the gender is interestingly depicted by the writers of the episode. There are some many types of girls that it gets confusing who is dominating and who is submissive and why this is taking place. There is no perfect way to set up a sort of “food chain” of power however in scenes it is obvious who is powerful and who isn’t. Without regards to any men, I think that Orange is the New Black efficiently depicts some badass women that can stand alone without the presence of male dominance.

Gender in Glow

Gender is a central element of the show Glow; whose entire focus is the “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling”. Despite the entire focus of the wrestling league being women, there are no women in any leading or executive roles working on it. The show utilizes this to exemplify the “glass ceiling” commonly imposed upon women, where women rarely rise to executive positions even in fields where they constitute a plurality or majority of workers. Though the entire focus of GLOW is the women, the director, producer, and sponsor are all men. Though Cherry is given some power she is rarely taken seriously either by the other women or her superiors. This is made particularly clear in season one episode five, where Sam and Bash are attempting to secure funding for the show.

Sam tells the women they are only present for “window dressing”

Though the women are the entire focus, they are brought merely as “window dressing” and are essentially just intended to be sexual objects and not speak or display their wrestling talents. Ultimately, they display their worth when Ruth provides a convincing performance and engages the crowd, managing to secure funding for the show, but despite their legitimate value and talent the women are treated as if they are less than the men and not taken seriously merely because of their femininity. These problematical issues that Glow draws attention to in this episode are representative of similar issues women commonly face on a regular basis in the workforce both in the US and across the world. There are countless issues, such as the wage gap and glass ceiling, that have a profound and negative impact on women. Glow manages to highlight these issues by showing how women are unjustly treated unfairly based entirely upon their gender.

Jessica Jones: Gender Investigation

Jessica Jones is the main heroine of the show, as implied by the name. A female show runner already puts the show above others in terms of gender representation and inclusion. The show does well to focus on strong female characters such as Trish and Hogarth, the lawyer.

This show is based off of a comic and follows the trends of such modern superhero shows. Basically, the producers change the race and gender of several characters so that the show is more inclusive and appeals to a wider audience. Jessica Jones, for example, swapped the lawyer’s gender to the stone-cold, homosexual woman that is one of the central characters of the show. This move made by the show shows that it is trying its best to represent more sexual orientations and genders than its source material. This is an obvious indicator of the improvement of representation in today’s world, because the producers would go to such lengths as changing and introducing new characters so that they steer away from how it was back when the comics where first produced.

Even without the changes, the Jessica Jones’ New York City is rather inclusive when it comes to its representation of gender and race. Of cours

e one of the underlying themes in the show is its discussion of rape culture and how women are represented to deal with that and the issue of consent, especially while under the influence; though it may be mind control, its no different then the effects of alcohol. Jessica Jones is shown to be a strong individual who still has emotional issues as all of us do, so the show really balances stereotypes with actual humanity in a way that makes Jessica the character that she is.

Lastly, as far as inclusion, the interracial relationship between Jones and Luke Cage makes a big jump towards discussing a topic that is often shied away from and under-represented. Overall, I feel like my opinion as a dude does not do the show justice, but I think the show does a pretty spot-on job with its embracement of all viewers and potential fans.

Gender Inequalities don’t Exist in the Eyes of Science

I think one thing I really enjoy about Grey’s Anatomy is that it touches upon stereotypes and how they exist to a certain degree but also shows that people aren’t defined or restricted by those stereotypes and they are capable of so much more. For example, Meredith Grey, the main character, is shown as needing of her husband’s protective care at sometimes, but also the television show shows how she has gone through a rough upbringing from separated parents and a mother who neglected her and how it has made her tough and brave. In general, there is a good spread of women and men on the show in terms of doctors, patients, and other actors which is an accurate representation of the medical world where there is no gender inequality in the eyes of science. Both genders are shown as equals, with equal potential in terms of career growth or medically surviving their issue based no whether they are doctors and nurses or patients, respectively. There is also an equal balance of male and female characters in the forefront and outskirts of the show. Additionally, in terms of reactions, males and females are shown as generally reacting in the same ways, even with men generally being thought as “tougher” in the confines of the hospital where terrible medical news is dropped regularly, both genders have equally upset reactions. Another wonderful thing about this show is that it touches upon social issues and shows general perceptions and then changes them in a lowkey manner. Yes, disable, mentally ill, overweight, medically serious patients come in all the time, and the television show shows how nurses and doctors can be snarky and judgmental behind the patients’ backs. But, the show doesn’t stop there; the show then goes on to give the whole story and shows the patient as a whole person who is more than just their medical condition and how they deserve to be treated as such. The show also comfortably shows both straight and LBGQT couples.

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The show has a good mix of both gender characters.

It’s a Male, Male World

Jessica Huang is NOT taking anyone’s garbage today

Although ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat extensively explores racial relations through the eyes of a young Chinese boy growing up in America, its gender diversity is limited.  Perhaps this is because the show is primarily centered around Eddie Huang’s life.  He is close to his father, he has two brothers, and his best friends are boys.  So far, the only times we really see women as major characters in this show are Eddie’s mother, his grandmother, and his MUCH older “love interests” (with whom he has no chance… sorry, Eddie).

There is no doubt that Fresh Off the Boat most prominently features men.  This does not seem to be an anti-women stance; the show is based on Eddie Huang’s childhood, and I think he realistically spent more time with other boys.  At school, Eddie primarily hangs out with other boys.  At home, he sees and spends time with his younger brothers.  When he talks to someone about any struggles or hardships, it is typically his father.

Despite males being far more represented than females, Fresh Off the Boat still features plenty of women.  Perhaps the strongest female characters in the show are Jessica (Eddie’s mother) and Grandma Jenny (Eddie’s grandmother, who lives with the Huangs).  Jessica is afraid of no man, and she certainly isn’t afraid to insert her opinion over her husband’s.  Eddie thinks of his mother as the epitome of a Chinese-American woman: she is bold in the family’s entrepreneurial business, she considers herself equal to her husband, and she considers her children’s education of the utmost importance (to the point that she supplements their schooling with home classes).  Although at first, Jessica struggles to assimilate with the other women in the neighborhood, she realizes her family means more to her than her social life, and that others’ opinions are not as important as they seem.

Overall, Fresh Off the Boat is not an exceptionally diverse show in terms of gender, but what it lacks in that area, it makes up for in terms of racial and cultural diversity.  It provides thought-provoking insight into the life of a young child of immigrants, and it is absolutely a show worth watching (even if almost everyone IS a man).

Portrayal of Women in Crime Television

How do crime TV shows portray women’s involvement in violent acts?

 

Our research question concerns how women are stereotypically pigeonholed into certain roles in television, specifically within the crime genre. Through our research on women’s representation in crime TV shows, we hope to explore the validity of the notion that women are wrongfully exploited on TV. During our initial research process, we were able to obtain information about gender representation across a large range of multimedia: from advertisements, to movies, and finally to TV shows. As we came across a particular peer-reviewed papers, we were intrigued by how TV shows dating back from even the 1970s victimized women and portrayed them as insecure and vulnerable individuals. An article analyzing the James Bond franchise points out how female characters have played nearly identical roles in all of the movies, most of which were minor or sexual partners of Bond. Furthermore, an article by Los Angeles Review of Books provided an interesting insight into the conflict that crime TV shows face in portraying deep, compelling female characters in crime shows as it uses Detector Kate Beckett in “Castle”, for example. We’re interested to see how crime TV, as a whole, employs female characters in their stories; are we getting more complex, motivated lead detectives, or damsels in distress?

 

The representation of women on crime TV doesn’t just affect crime TV and actresses in the business. Misrepresentation on TV can lead to a lot assumptions in young people, and when not corrected, they persist into adulthood. Through our research, we hope to discover whether or not such a problem exists with gender in crime television. Our question is important because the first step to change is understanding the problem. TV should represent genders equally, and although it doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic, it should be fair. TV is a huge influencer in the public’s lives, and crime a hugely popular genre within it, so it should present information that supports equality between genders.

 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Unbreakable Characters

The main characters of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

 

In terms of gender representation, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt may be one of the most diverse that I’ve seen. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt follows mostly female characters and has feminist undertones – no doubt an effect of having Tina Fey as one of the main writers. Interestingly, the main characters are mostly women comprised of Kimmy, Jacqueline, and Lillian. The only exception is Titus. But even he defies traditional main male character representation with his character being a flamboyant, gay man with traditionally feminine interests.
The story focuses on Kimmy surviving in New York. She makes her own decisions and fuels her own success. Although she makes fumbles here and there because of her naivety, she makes responsible and positive choices that benefit the people surrounding her. Even with her background with the bunker, she never lets her past experiences rule and control her own life, representing a clean break from her captor.
In contrast, Jacqueline’s husband has yet to make an appearance on the show. Yet his decisions appear to have a heavy impact on Jacqueline’s state of being. For example, in the second episode, Jacqueline’s husband is unable to make his son’s party, leaving Jacqueline in distress. The heavy hand he has suggests a large amount of control over Jacqueline’s happiness. The show’s juxtaposition of these two characters highlights Jacqueline’s dependence on her husband. In the future episodes, it would be amazing to see Jacqueline break off from her strong dependence and realize her full potential.
One interesting aspect of the TV show is Jacqueline, a privileged, upper-class woman focused on her socioeconomic status. The show reveals that she actually holds roots in the Native American Lakota Tribe. With Native Americans being one of the most underrepresented groups on television, the show makes an interesting choice by casting Jane Krakowski, a white woman, as a Native American.  While this may be a controversial choice, the show makes humorous and purposeful use of the concept to make social statements. For example, Jacqueline thinks that being white and blonde while using her sexuality will elevate her social and economic status (and surprise – it does).

Annotated Bibliography (Women in Sports Media)

  1. Harrison, Guy. “‘You Have to Have Thick Skin’: Embracing the Affective Turn as an Approach to Investigating the Treatment of Women Working in Sports Media.” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 18, no. 5, Oct. 2018, pp. 952–955. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/14680777.2018.1498123.

 

This article looks at the currently quantitative approach to examining women’s representation in sports media and sports journalism, and suggests the addition of a qualitative aspect that takes into account the emotional toll that working in the sports industry has on female reporters. Harrison suggests taking this affective approach as a result of what has been found to be a near requirement that women in sports media have to add to their work a component of affective labor, that is, they have to control their own emotions in order to succeed. Harrison states that this requirement comes from the pervasive sexist attitudes in sports media, as well as existing double standards, and through interviews with ten female sportscasters, has concluded that having this extra burden can cause women to either quit or not fully invest in the sports industry, keeping representation down. As this article looks at the ways in which studies related to women’s representation in sports media are conducted and how conclusions are drawn, it will be integral in understanding all of the following sources, which are studies related to women’s representation in sports media.

 

  1. Gretel Kauffman. “How Far Have Women in Sports Media Really Come?” Christian Science Monitor, 6 Oct. 2016, p. N.PAG. EBSCOhost, library.gatech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=118571800&site=ehost-live.

 

This article from Christian Science Monitor is a qualitative, somewhat surface-level analysis of the progress made in terms of women’s representation in sports media. It finds that despite an increase in the number of women entering the field of sports journalism both in the classroom and in the field, sportscasting remains a male-dominated field with women having made progress in numbers but not up the ranks or with treatment. One of the female anchors interviewed for the piece also attributed it to the fact that the job is highly demanding with few benefits, as well as to the fact that sports in general is viewed as a masculine culture. The majority of this article is comprised of statements from female sportscasters who were interviewed, so the article serves as a good source of first hand accounts from women who have worked as sports journalists and have seen the progress that has been made, or the lack thereof, directly.

 

  1. Schmidt, Hans C. “Forgotten Athletes and Token Reporters: Analyzing the Gender Bias in Sports Journalism.” Atlantic Journal of Communication, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 59–74. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/15456870.2018.1398014.

 

This is a mostly quantitative study of both the coverage of women’s sports and the representation of women in sports journalism. Schmidt conducted a study of various sports-related newspaper articles in three English-speaking countries, collecting data on both the subject matter of the article and on the authors of the articles and the environment in which those authors worked. Most data in the study was collected through analysis of the selected newspaper articles, which meant that there was an element of subjectivity in the study, for example, it had to be decided whether an article was respectful towards women or not. The rest of the data was gathered through surveys of both male and female sports journalists. It was found that the vast majority of articles were about men, and a significant number of those about women referred to them in a domestic role. It was also found that older male journalists were less open to increasing the number of women in the field. The author attributes these findings to the “masculine hegemony” of sports culture. This study provides hard data about the representation of women in sports print media.

 

  1. MILNE-TYTE, ASHLEY. “Getting Women in the Game.” Quill, vol. 103, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 16–21. EBSCOhost, library.gatech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=100812095&site=ehost-live.

 

This article addresses certain trends that point to an increase in women’s interest in sports and sports media, specifically that there are more female sports fans and more female journalism majors interested in sports, and draws the distinction between that and the stagnant rate at which women are actually entering the field and the role that they have once they do enter. The article claims multiple reasons for this observation, such as harassment faced on the job, a lack of importance placed on hiring women from corporations, the difficulty of the job, and the prevailing role of the female TV reporter as a “token” reporter. Another reason given is the decline of the journalism industry in recent years, specifically in print media. Multiple viewpoints are provided in this article, from both male and female reporters and executives, regarding situations related to hiring practices and the treatment of women in the industry.

 

  1. Greer, Jennifer D., and Amy H. Jones. “A Level Playing Field?: Audience Perceptions of Male and Female Sports Analysts.” International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, vol. 6, no. 8, June 2012, pp. 67–79. EBSCOhost, library.gatech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=91821599&site=ehost-live.

 

This article is about a two-factor study that was conducted in which the perceived competency, agreeability, and likability of a male or female reporter covering both a “male” or “female” sport (football and volleyball, respectively. This was determined from previous studies). There was found to be partial congruency with relation to gender, that is, women were perceived as being better at covering at the female sport, while there was typically no difference in the perception of the coverage of the masculine sport. The study did hypothesize full congruency with gender, and reasoned that the difference was either due to limitations in the study (one sport being much more popular than the other, which leads to participants in the study having their own opinions about it), or due to an increased openness and acceptance of women covering sports, or at least more “feminine” sports. This study is of interest as it relates the gender of the reporter to that of the athletes being covered, and it also is based off of a quantitative survey.

 

  1. MAHLER, JONATHAN. “In Coverage of N. F. L. Scandals, Female Voices Puncture the Din.” New York Times, vol. 164, no. 56632, 22 Sept. 2014, pp. D1–D6. EBSCOhost, prx.library.gatech.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=98392968&site=ehost-live.

 

This article discusses some of the positive aspects of women being represented adequately in sports media. The specific example Mahler provides is that of the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal that occurred during the start of the 2014 NFL season, and how the opinions of prominent female sportscasters took center stage and were an important part of the conversation surrounding it. However, it also talks about how these opinions, while their importance is increasingly recognized, have not been integrated into the mainstream and are still separated from the rest of sports coverage. This article was written during the height of the Ray Rice scandal, and as a result it is an immediate review of the effect that women can have in sports media, and how this effect can be reduced by the fact that there is a lack of representation and that women’s opinions are not made audible.

Gender Representation Analysis: Annotated Bibliogrpahy

1. Gilly, Mary C. “Sex Roles in Advertising: A Comparison of Television Advertisements in Australia, Mexico, and the United States.” Journal of Marketing, vol. 52, no. 2, 1988, p. 75., doi:10.2307/1251266. (Peer Reviewed)
This article is valuable because it was one of the first to examine the portrayal of gender roles in television outside the United States and gives a different perspective than the recent news articles, showing the progress that international media has made in this regard. Notable findings from the article are that only 12% of the voiceovers in the advertisements were done by females and the females in Mexican commercials appearing to be much younger than the male characters appearing. Women were much less likely to be portrayed as employed in both the American and Mexican advertising. Additionally, no female characters in either the U.S. or Mexican commercials were portrayed in jobs that could be as a high-level corporate executive. Males were portrayed as much more independent and self-reliant in each of the countries. Overall, the Australian advertising seemed to promote gender equality more than the other countries. This article appeared in the highly regarded Journal of Marketing.

2. Fullerton, Jami A., and Alice Kendrick. “Portrayal of Men and Women in U.S. Spanish-Language Television Commercials.” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, vol. 77, no. 1, 2000, pp. 128–142., doi:10.1177/107769900007700110. (Peer Reviewed)
Although this article is about advertising in the United States, the advertising being discussed primarily appeals to people who were born outside of the country, making it a suitable source for this project. Eighteen hours of Univision (the most popular Spanish language channel in the country) were analyzed. The study found that women were more likely to be targeted in ads than men alone. More than half of the advertisements were found to feature “stereotypical” gender roles, although there were several ads that portrayed men and women equally or even in the reverse of stereotypical gender roles. Women were also much more likely to be dressed in a sexually suggestive manner than male characters. Overall, the study found that women were portrayed in a fairly similar manner to English-language programming in the United States. The article is published in the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, an industry publication.

3. Villegas, Jorge, et al. “Marianismo and Machismo: The Portrayal of Females in Mexican TV Commercials.” Journal of International Consumer Marketing, vol. 22, no. 4, 2010, pp. 327–346., doi:10.1080/08961530.2010.505884. (Peer Reviewed)
This article provides an update on the status of women in Mexican television advertising twenty years after the first article cited above. This article goes into depth on the importance of gender roles in advertising due to the fact that people act similarly to what they see on television. The article describes how women are depicted as ideally renouncing her personal interests in favor of her husband and children. In Latin America, this belief is partially due to strong religious beliefs and the significant role of the Virgin Mary in culture. This article found similar results to the others in women being more likely to be portrayed in a family or homemaker role while males were more often portrayed as professionals. A surprising finding was that female characters showed more arousal and excitement than their male counterparts.
This article was published in the well regarded Journal of International Consumer Marketing.

4. Beaudoux, Virginia García. “How Media Sexism Demeans Women and Fuels Abuse by Men like Weinstein.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 19 Sept. 2018, theconversation.com/how-media-sexism-demeans-women-and-fuels-abuse-by-men-like-weinstein-85789. (Not peer reviewed)
This article is useful because it provides several specific examples of advertising portraying women in traditional gender roles. The first advertisement, about a cleaning product, portrays a women as both a housekeeper and princess. Another example discusses how men often “mansplain” how to use a product to women who are portrayed as less intelligent. Often times when men are portrayed as doing domestic work, it is for a sexual reward from their partner. The author takes a broader view and positively declares that significant progress has been made in advertising toward gender equality, but there is a long way to go. The recent decision by the United Kingdom to ban gender stereotypes in commercials is applauded as an example for the rest of the world. This article was published by The Conversation, an Australian news outlet that has expanded internationally in recent years. The article was written by a Argentinian professor in the School of Communication at the University of Buenos Aires.

5. Mailonline, Siofra Brennan For. “First Razor Ad Showing Real Body Hair Airs on UK TV.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 27 July 2018, www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5999613/First-razor-ad-showing-real-body-hair-airs-UK-TV.html. (Not peer reviewed)
In contrast to other articles, this recent article zeroes in on a specific advertisement and the gender stereotype that it smashes. The ad (for a razor), which aired in Britain over the summer, depicts a woman shaving her body hair. This was significant because it had long been considered taboo for a women to have body hair in commercials. This is especially strange, considering the main purpose of a razor is to trim body hair, and men’s razor commercial zoom in on hair being cut. This advertisement followed an American body brand releasing a video campaign featuring models with body hair a month prior. This advertisement being released provides hope that more gender stereotypes can be destroyed by television. However, there are still only a few companies in a few Western countries that are promoting this portrayal of women. This article is published in the Daily Mail, a well-known British newspaper.

6. Issues, por Youngers’. “Top 8 Most Sexist Ads in Spain.” Youngers’ Issues, 26 Apr. 2017, wehavesomethingtotellyou.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/top-8-most-sexist-ads-spain/ (Not peer reviewed)
This article also analyes several advertisements that range from women being portrayed in a stereotypical gender role to being overtly sexist. The first advertisement discussed, for a luxury car, is a severe case of the latter. The female narrator says “Look at me, touch me, incite me, provoke me, seduce me, control me, protect me, shout me, relax me … I am [name of car]”. This advertisement depicts a woman as a sexual object for someone else’s (presumably a male) pleasure. Barbie and other girl toy advertisements establish a gender hierarchy and influence girls toward being household figures. An ad for a cleaning product claims that it will give the protagonist, a woman, more time to be with her children, assuming these are her primary responsibility. Alcohol advertisements are primarily aimed at men and appeal to their sense of manliness, in addition to frequently featuring females in sexualized roles. Although this article is written in a blog, I believe it is credible due to the professional manner of the writing an well-chosen examples of a writer who put significant research into their articles.

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