Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Process Analysis

1. Why did you choose these pictures?

I chose these pictures because they either show the presence of gender stereotypes or the defiance of gender stereotypes in today's society. I wanted to show the juxtaposition between the expected female and male societal roles and the roles that females and males in reality assume. I also wanted to show a very stark contrast by showing opposites; I feel that I did this through the pictures of the stay-at-home mom and the stay-at-home dad, the male and female football players, and the male and female businessmen. 

The main claim that I am trying to make through this presentation is that the pre-concieved stereotypes about males and females that we currently have in our society are not true and should not be acted upon. My target audience for this presentation is the young men and women of our society who are being the most affected currently by these stereotypes because they are shaping our youth's definitions of masculinity and femininity that will define their actions later in life. Warrants in this presentation include that these stereotypes are present in society and that people actually think this and that people desire to change the way that society currently views men and women.

In the "female" sections of the video I wanted to define current female stereotypes and refute them. I addressed the female stereotype of domesticity (shown through the pictures of women doing housework and domestic chores), a woman's role as an object of sexual desire for a man (shown through the photo of Jessica Alba, the Bebe advertisement with the woman in the cage, and the image of the Disney princesses), the subservience of women to men (shown through the, "I hope my smile is warm enough for him" image and the Bebe advertisement), and the expectation of women to be slender, made up, and "feminine" to be considered physically beautiful (shown through the photo of Jessica Alba and the Disney princesses).  

I refuted these stereotypes in the images near the end of the presentation. The photo of the businesswoman refutes the stereotypes that women are subservient to men and therefore unsuccessful and that they are confined to domestic measures only. The photo of the female construction worker shows that females do not necessarily need to participate in "feminine" activities to be successful and that they can prosper in other arenas besides in the home. The image of the female football player shows that women are not subservient to men because the female is playing football beside the male, and it also shows that women can be successful outside domestic endeavors and do not have to be altogether "feminine" to be successful in life. 

In the "male" sections, I also addressed and disproved current societal roles of males. I brought the male stereotypes of "manliness" through a muscular figure (shown in the photo of Channing Tatum and the Calvin Klein advertisement), the belief that men can be successful in all endeavors of life (shown in the photo of Channing Tatum in which he is dressed as a businessman and through the photo of the male football player), the belief that men need to show masculinity in all aspects of life and are not allowed to do anything considered "feminine" (shown through the photo of the man waiting behind the "gender line" to go to the "nurses station"), the belief that men are dominant over women and that they do not belong in the domestic arena (shown through the "King of his Castle" photo), and the belief that it is a man's role to "save" and "protect" a woman because he is strong and she is weak (shown through the photo of "Prince Charming" on a horse deflecting fire).

These stereotypes were also contradicted at the end of this video. The photo of the male ballet dancers shows that it is acceptable for men to participate in activities or occupations, such as ballet, that are widely considered "feminine." This same stereotype is refuted through the image of the male nurse. The two photos of the "stay at home dads" show that the male and female roles in the home can be switched; it is acceptable for men to participate in domestic activities, such as buying groceries, cleaning the house, and taking care of children.  The photo of the female football player shows that the dominance in the relationship between men and women can also be switched: the female is the successful player in this picture, while the man is the one holding the ball for her to kick.

The last photo, the photo of Rosie the Riveter, shows that women are not weak. It also provides an effective ending to the presentation through a call to action: the slogan, "We Can Do It," which applied to women working in factories during the World Wars, can also apply to the reversal of pre-concieved notions about males and females in our world today.

2. What argument do the pictures have?

I put the pictures in this order because of the somewhat present shock value that goes with the definition of the stereotypes. Generally, people in our society don't recognize that these stereotypes exist because they are overexposed to them. I want them to see that the stereotypes are true in a new light and be shocked by them. This is why I put the stereotypes at the beginning of the presentation. I placed the refutations at the end of the video because it is a solution to the problem arisen at the beginning of the presentation. It's a natural climactic order to place the problem first and the solution second. 

One picture that stood out to me when I was choosing these was the Bebe advertisement showing the woman in the cage. The cage itself literally suggests that women are imprisoned by society; they are pigeonholed as objects of desire and labeled as subservient to men. The color scheme in this photo is dark (blacks and dark blues), which connotates seriousness.

Another one that seemed particularly important when I was picking images was the Calvin Klein advertisement. Its color scheme is also very dark (black and gray), which suggests seriousness and authority. The word "man," seen at the bottom of the picture, connotates that the only acceptable type of man is one that is similar to the one shown in the image. The man's physique in this image also makes a man an object for sexual desire as well.

3. Explain the music.

I chose the song "If I Were a Boy" by Beyonce because the lyrics show the inequalities present between the genders in society today. She is singing about how her life would be different, maybe even easier, if she could be a boy for a day, and how she could be a better man than most boys could because she knows how to respect women. The background music is mostly soft guitar, which provides a calming effect and lets the singing and lyrics take center stage. 

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