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WJEC MS1 Representation of Femininity

Rob Miller | Thursday October 24, 2013

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC AS, WJEC AS Media Studies, Hot Entries, Theory, Feminist Theory, Representation Theory

Representations change and evolve and none more so than the representation of gender. This resource specifically explores the representation of femininity. In 2013 - the 21st century, the digital age audiences could expect to see distinct moves away from old fashioned, traditional patriarchal culture and the embracing of a much more pluralistic understanding of gender representation but as David Gauntlett stated, “identity is complicated, everyone’s got one?.

Gender representation is also wholly dependent on culture and in terms of media representations on audience and up to a point, audience expectations. Media producers encode dominant preferred meanings into texts but mainstream audiences that consume mass media arguably have as much responsibility in terms of the representation of film action heroes, gender in advertising, sports journalism, gender in situation comedy, video games and of course Women’s Lifestyle Magazines to identify a limited range of media. As an example, in the image below, taken from the home page of the AA’s website we see a typical female rescue narrative as a helpless women driver is not only saved by the male Roadside Technician but also by her mobile phone app.

click on image to enlarge

There is now a female head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, Angela Merkel is Chancellor of one of the world’s leading economies (Germany), Dilma Rousseff is the first female President of one of the most macho countries on Earth (Brazil) but interestingly if you type ‘famous 2013 women’ into Google (8th October 2013) the first link that comes up is ‘The Hottest Women of 2013 – Men’s Health’. This is doubly interesting in that since 1987 Men’s Health has been almost exclusively interested in the narcissistic male form to the point that women rarely appeared in covers of the magazine and did not even feature as a ‘significant other’ - further evidence of the changing nature...

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