Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

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The influence of Media and Social Policy on Women

Women have been considered as subordination and accessories of male since ancient world. They did not have the human right to choose and control their own life. Although women have made endless efforts to improve this situation and gain more power than before, gender and race inequality still exists obscurely in out society.

First, I want to briefly mention the difference between women and men in job market. As you may notice, women tend to do Logistic work and more likely to do assistant job. In contrast, male often have higher position in official political positions. The higher the position is, the fewer women involve.  Labor force shows the inequalities in some way.

Media also contributes to certain gender role. The TV series or movies we watch often depict women as emotional and housewife. Instead of being emotional, men are always the one who are more intelligent and more capable of handling hard situations.  Men make more salary and more power to control the family.  We often do what we see. As a result, such obscure implication certainly will influence people’s mind subconsciously, because most of people watch television every day.

Added to this is that Social policy exerts a subtle influence on inequality.  For example, the welfare policy stressed the patterns of income and wealth. Black women and poor women ‘s children are largely to be taken away from their mother due to lack of childcare expense and responsibilities.  Lesbian and gay are less likely to get child custody and other benefit from state.

In conclusion, many factors have affected inequality in social. Media and social policy shape the gender role subconsciously.


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Sexting in society

Media in modern society helps to spread a large amount of information much more quickly. We can imply type any words in Google, then numerous websites related to those words will come out. However, media is a double-edged sword. It can contribute to more convenient communication, but also give rise to potential danger.

With hundreds of information spread out, pornography may appear in front of some small children, who should not see pornography. Once the kids see some of the pornography, they will automatically think that it is normal to send nude pictures to other people. Some other issues occur, such as sexting, which means send pictures of one’s private body parts to another or sexual messages. Sexting may be not a serious problem between adults, but if it happens to young kids, severe consequences could happen. For example, if a high school girl sends a sexual picture of herself to a boy in the same school, the picture will be spread all over the school. She may not be aware of the consequence when she sends the pictures. But when she knows, it is already too late. Everyone in the school will discuss about this matter. The girl will be considered as ‘slut’ and isolated by other students in school. Also, she may be humiliated by classmates. This experience could leave a shadow in her life. She may suffer from humiliation all through high school lives. Furthermore, some of this experience would affect her future lives. Some company may not hire her for any position because people will often think sexing is not responsible for oneself, if a person is not responsible for himself, how could he be responsible for the company?

Anyway, sexting could affect a person’s life in many different ways. Avoid sexting, avoid trouble.

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Women Work Inside and Outside the Home

In ancient society, it is often considered that women should stay at home and men should go hunt and bring food back. Nowadays, the situation changes a lot. More women participate in labor force and earn salary. However, Working inside or outside the home is still paradox choice for women.

Women who work at home have more time to take care of the test of family members. They can cook more delicious food and handle the housework such as dishes, laundry and cleaning. But there is a survey indicates that men feel women who work are more attractive. Because women who work is out going and dress elegant. Men find out those independent women who can earn salary is more charming than those housewives who stay at home doing house works.

Working outside home means those women does less housework and higher family salary can improve the standard of living. However, if women do no daily kings of tasks, it is often considered that the women are inept to the family. Men often take that women should do the repetitive, ongoing tasks for granted. After working all day and house works, most of women implies less sexual desire, which disappoints men in some way as many men complains. In addition, men do not want women earn higher salary than them so that they can still have the power of control.

Anyway, whatever women choose to stay at home or work outside the home is double bind choice.

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Chapter 6: Health and Reproductive Rights

The chapter 6 talks about the reproductive rights of women and how the women of color fight for their rights. The legalization of abortion is always a key matter of reproductive rights. Abortion is legal in most countries right now. But is that means that women truly have to right to choice?

In Some Africa country abortion is still illegal only with the exception of saving a life. In those under-developed countries such as Ethiopia, the reproductive rights are largely limited. Poor women do not have access to hospital care and medical care at all let alone the reproductive rights.

Compare to abortion in Africa, although Abortion is legal by law in the United States, the access to medical care of the abortion is still limited in some way. As discussed in chapter 6, Congress has also imposed restrictions on abortion care for women who depend on the government for their health care. Thus, a woman who cannot afford the abortion has no choice. The restrictions on abortion care potentially control the reproductive rights.

In China, the abortion is legal. But government makes some rules for controlling the population. One family is only allowed to give birth to one child unless the family members are ethnic minority. If family members are not ethnic minority, they have to pay the government a lot of money, which is unaffordable to most family in China. When the family cannot pay the large amount of money for the second child, they really have no choice of pregnancy and are much more likely to have the abortion.

Anyway, the reproductive rights are still limited by the law of the governments and some circumstances of the society.


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Chapter 5: Inscribing Gender on Body

According to Chapter five, many women do something in order to meet the standard of beauty. Media and magazine contribute to the idea of beauty in some way. I am extremely worried about the standard of beauty will do nothing but damage the women’s health. Some women have anorexia because they do not want to become fat so that they eat like a bird. As a result, they get the symptoms of anorexia. One of my high school classmates have decided to eat small amount of food to lose weight, finally she succeeds by great effort. But whenever she eats, she will vomit out everything she eats. Then she cannot eat anything except water. She has to live by taking infection of nutrient now. Added to this is that sometimes dancers and models will eat food, and after they finish eating they will try to vomit things they just eat. The reason is that if they become obese, they are going to lose their jobs. Most company believes that if you are fat, you cannot be a dancer or model.

Plastic surgery is performed a lot in the society nowadays especially in Korea. Plastic surgery includes making double eyelid, shrinking the size of face, and implanting breast. Not all of the plastic surgery is successful. Some of it fails and lead to unrecoverable injury both physically and mentally.

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The existence of androcentrism

The studies of women make the things we learn about are from the perspective of women. The women as a subject to study also emphasizes the importance of women’s opinions. Although we have the right to vote now, is that really means that there is no existence of androcentrism in our society anymore? I really doubt about that.

First of all, let us look at positions of faculty and administrators. Most of authorities, directors of department and manager in the school are men; there are only a few women. In addition, when a woman and men came to an interview, such as IT position, it is largely possible that the men will get the position. It is almost a universal sense that men do better in computer than women do. Another very important part is that the all past presidents of USA is completely men. In many corporations, CEO is always the men. What’s more, when a women marry to a men, her last name will be addressed the same as her husband’s last name.

Even if we live in the modern society, there is still androcentrism potentially.