Social Construction Of Gender Stereotypes

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Social construction is a theory widely associated with the media of today’s culture. Social construction is the idea that “Men together produce a human environment with the totality of its socio-cultural and psychological features” (Berger and Luckmann 1). This is essentially saying that we as humans create our own reality and that nothing has meaning without us assigning meaning to it. Social construction plays a particularly large role when it comes constructing the identity of what women should be. In Judith Butler’s video on Gender “Performance” she discusses how people “… act as if that being of a man or that being of a woman is actually an internal reality or something that’s simply true about us, when actually it’s a phenomenon that’s…show more content…
Images of women in media repeatedly tell them what they should look like, how they should act, and what their role in society should be. As Jean Kilbourne says in one of her iconic talks on advertising, “Advertising also sells a great deal more than products. Advertising tells us who we are and who we should be” (Kilbourne). A prime example of this can be found in an advertising campaign created by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, otherwise known as PETA. With PETA being one of the most well-known animal rights groups, one would think that they would be more respectful of how they choose portray women in the advertisements but they produce, but they have been found to be some of the worst offenders when it comes to propagating the idea of what a woman should be based on social construction. In this paper, I will analyze three separate advertisements that show how social construction is achieved through advertising by reiterating what a woman should look like, what a woman’s purpose is in society, and what a woman’s role is in…show more content…
The text on this ad reads “All animals have the same parts. Have a heart, go vegetarian”. This ad reinforces the constructed idea of what a woman’s role is in society. As a women living in today’s world, it is not hard to see how women are constantly being overlooked or undermined by men. I can feel that I do not have the same value in their eyes as a man would, but this ad goes as far as to say that women are on the same level as animals. Women are being placed an entire level below that of even humans in general. Jean Kilbourne put it perfectly when she said in Killing Us Softly 3 “… we think of the person less than human and the violence becomes inevitable” (Kilbourne). Comparing women to animals not only berates them, but also opens the door to the possibility of condoning violence against women. It is just ridiculous to think of how much weight we have delegated to each person specifically based on what gender they are. At what point in time did society decide that men are greater than women? Though I am unsure of when the inequality began, I can strongly say that it is still carried out in modern society despite many accusations (usually by white males) that it does not. Advertisements that show women as less than men or submissive to them are one of the reasons this constructed ideal is continually propagated. Though our society has

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