How Masculinity Affect Women 's Choices

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The ideas and assumptions built around the concept of femininity affect women from all walks of life. The discourse that surrounds this issue sets up and maintains an environment which limits and dictates women’s choices. Documentaries such as Miss Representation (2011) have been produced in order to shed light upon gender issues such as these, focusing on the causes and consequences of these ingrained stereotypes rampant in media upon modern women. In the context of this paper, these discourses and the effects of said discourses will be explored. From print advertisements from the 1950s-1970s to contemporary ads, as well as resistant discourse in film, the ramifications of both discourses in media and female representation in different…show more content…
The figures below illustrate two print advertisements showing this idea of femininity in that period of time. Figure 1. Dormeyer Appliances Christmas Ad. (Dormeyer, 1950) Figure 2. Kenwood Chef. (Kenwood, 1970) An advertisement by Eastern Airlines in the 1970s furthers the concept of femininity that women must be beautiful, warm and would be better-suited to professions that entail providing service to customers as an extension of the idea that women, by the fact that they are women, have a better understanding of care as compared to men. Figure 3. Eastern Airlines Stewardess Ad. (Eastern Airlines, 1970) In contemporary times, these types of advertisements capitalising on female stereotypes have lessened in number. This does not mean, however, that it no longer exists. The company 42 Below held a contest to publicise their product Stil Vodka, its advertisement depicting a “Russian bride” doing housework, as seen in the figure below. Figure 4. Stil Vodka “Win a Russian Bride.” (42 Below, 2006) It has been found that there is little to no difference on cognitive ability based on sex (Hakim, 2006). How, then, have these ideas about femininity remained in popular discourse? It is argued that the schemas that are developed from birth, which influence initial reactions and the perception
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