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Low Jo An 7

G5

The media has given us false ideas of masculinity


and femininity. What are your views?

Television, newspapers, books and songs. These are the things that you

and I interact with daily, and no doubt that they influence our
mindsets. What about the portrayals of masculinity and femininity?

Yes, apparently it does appear in these forms of media too and our

minds are highly influenced by what appears to be false on this topic

without us realizing it.

The guy need not always be the hero and the girl need not be an

attractive drama queen. All the time, be it in television drama serials,

movies, books or other forms of media, the male character is always of

utmost importance. Either that or he is the hero that never seen a

broom before who gets to save her, the damsel in distress who’s life

goal is to shop, look good, do the chores and bear and take care of

children. Nowadays, there are househusbands and working women in

our society. Currently in Japan, 30% of the married men would not mind

being househusbands. This shows that the current society is already

breaking away from this false impression of what life should be in a

society of men and women.

Unfortunately, children are exposed to this untrue claim at a tender

age without them even knowing it through fairytales. Famous fairytales

such as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel are

read by almost all the children and are also used to teach children to

distinguish between right and wrong. Naturally, these fairytales put a

deep impression on the minds of these children and unsuspectingly


they affect the way they think and go about doing things in the future.

Girls who think highly of the female characters aspire to be somewhat

like them and therefore want to be nurses, mothers and housewives

and the boys would receive more importance between the two genders

and will want to take care of the women at home in future. In a recent

survey done on 3000 British parents, a quarter of them reject classic

fairytales such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella more or

less due to the above-mentioned reasons.

These untrue ideas that lead to stereotypes, gender inequality and in

some cases, gender discrimination should be stopped but, again, there

are still celebrities, books and movies being produced promoting these

untrue qualities in men and women. Presently, although majority of

society still unknowingly fall into traps of the media, part of society is

simultaneously accepting the fact that what the media says or portrays

is not always correct and this has also led to an incline in working

mums and stay-home dads. Men have also become vainer, some even

vainer then women themselves, who, by nature, are supposed to want

to look good.

These untrue ideas of women being powerless, weak and physically

and emotionally controlled by men have ceased. In the economic

circle, women and men hold the same amount or importance and
power. Men have become more sensitive and give women the due

respect, and gender inequality as well as false ideas and qualities of

men and women are beginning to shed in our modern day society. The

media should not give us false ideas of what men and women should

be like they are doing now.

Word count: 541 words

Bibliography

Editorial “Househusbands on the rise” The Japan Times Pte Ltd 18


January 2009 <http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-
bin/ed20090118a2.html>
Davis, Beverly “Fairytales as Children Stories” Beverley’s Treehouse
13 September 2006
<http://infohost.nmt.edu/~beverly/writings/fairytales.html>

Hakea, Ayman, Hassan el. “Fairy Tales, in a World of Virtual Reality.”


EarthYouth.net.<http://earthyouth.takinitglobal.org/express/article.
html>

Rowe, Karen E. “Feminism and Fairy Tales.” 15 May 2003


<http://www.broadviewpress.com/tales/printable/feminism.htm>

Young, Johnathan. “Once Upon a Time: How Fairy Tales Shape Our
Lives.” Inside Journal. 12 May 2003
<http://folkstory.com/articles/onceupon.html>

Patson, Graeme “Traditional fairytales 'not PC enough for parents”


Telegraph 05 January 2009
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/4125664/Traditional-
fairytales-not-PC-enough-for-parents.html>