Men in the media Unit
Menin the media
Malestereotypes in the media have always been there as portrayed by thearticle “How do media images of men affect our lives? Re-imaginingthe American dream” by Sam Femiano and Mark Nickerson. The articlemakes several points on male stereotypes and shows how it causesproblems in society and thus it should be dealt with.
Today,with the world moving slowly toward attaching life’s success tomaterial wealth and a good career, men are increasingly underpressure to match these stereotypes. This male stereotype is createdand used by people who do not wish to accept diversity and seek togroup men as closely similar with a narrowly defined number of traitsand characteristics. The end result is that men who do not match theset stereotypes standards are viewed as abnormal and can bediscriminated against.
Asdiscussed in the article, Femiano and Nickerson believe that themedia has played the greatest role in creating male stereotypes. Fromtelevision to newspapers and magazines, a certain image of what a manis supposed to be, feel, achieve, dress and look like is repeatedover and over again. This continuation of a masculine standardaffects the whole society. The society may be likely to judge andweigh men in their lives such as brothers and husbands against whatthey are made to believe a man should be. This is in spite of thefact that the male characters in the media, against which real livingmen are judged against or judge themselves against, are not real.This intimidates men and can cause depression and other mentalillnesses for the affected as they seek to match an unreal person.
Infact, the authors are very clear on the effect of male stereotypes.They write that “They are damaging because they narrow our notionsof what men can be and do.” They do not recognize that stereotypingis a product of the same society and can be useful in certain casessuch as marketing or even choosing an audience for such an article.
AsI read the article, I felt that Femiano and Nickerson have usedcaring and friendly tone to show that men are victims ofstereotyping. They highlight the fact that the media usually presentstwo forms of characters one that matches the male stereotype andpresents what a man should be with all the right qualities andanother one that presents what a man should not be with all the wrongqualities that a man should not have.
Anothercritical rhetorical issue that I observed is on the article’sformat. The language used is pretty simple, direct andconversational. As such, they do not indulge in supporting theirclaims through other sources or primary research or through severalexamples which makes it informal. Including such references bothin-text and in a reference list would have given the article anacademic feel which is clearly not their intention as per the targetaudience. The informal format is also evident in the structuring ofparagraphs with some made up of just one or two sentences.
Allin all, the article achieves its purpose. It shows that malestereotypes are hurting society and highlights the importance of theissue and the need to deal with it. The article thus achieves itspurpose by clearly showing the negative effects of stereotyping insimple language and approach.
Femiano,S. & Nickerson, M. (n.d.). How do media images of men affect ourlives? re-imagining
theAmerican dream. Media& Values.Issue 48.