Monthly Archives: December 2016
Media and it’s stereotypes
When it comes to stereotypes in our culture and how they are played out in the media one main article in the Des Moines Register a few weeks back comes to mind. This article dealt with the amount of disruptions in the areas schools by race. This shows and unfortunate depiction of disparity in the schools, yet it does not show the backgrounds that the students come from, while these stereotypes are not aimed at any one person they do show racial differences which feed into these already hard to change stereotypes.
A professor in one of my courses made the point that often many stereotypes are based at least in part in reality, such as when I tried to call my phone provider and proceeded to try communicating with an Indian man. Or in the show Family guy with Mort Goldman being a Jewish pharmacy owner. This perpetuates the stereotype that Jewish people are especially smart and care about money more than most things.
One thing that stereotypes give, especially for a younger audience is a point of reference, good or bad, it makes things easier for children to see things simplified. This does not bode well for changing negative stereotypes like black people being gangsters or thieves or uneducated, such as in the show Shameless where Carl “thinks he’s black and uneducated” by having cornrows, selling guns and other things, which to find out the black girl he is trying to get with has a police officer as a father. And is quite intelligent.
In my pursuit of finding an article that depicts stereotyping as reported by the media. I stumbled across a very interesting article written by a contributor of Science Daily (an online news source). About the research study conducted by Cynthia Frisby an associate professor of strategic communications; Journalism College at the University of Missouri.
She has uncovered that the media has portrayed African American athletes in an unfavorable light as compared to white athletes. Her findings have determined that the stories about African American athletes hone in on their criminal actions, whereas stories about white athletes are remarkably positive and do not focus on their criminal history.
First step in her study was to read one hundred and fifty five articles about male athletes in which she determined that 43% of them were written about the Caucasian athlete compared to only 39% were written about the African American athlete and over 70% focused on the violent criminal background of the black athlete as opposed to only 17% were reported about the white athlete. Also 53% of the articles about the black athlete had negative tones while only twenty seven percent of the articles about white male athletes were negative.
Cynthia Frisby was reported saying that “This study, while only a first step sets the stage for future research examining negative portrayals of black athletes in the media.” She continued by saying “This study provides quantitative evidence of disparities in how media cover and stereotype black male athletes. “This serves as an important exploratory study that sets the framework for extensive future investigations into the way media portray and cover athletes from different ethnic backgrounds.”
But in all honesty is this really considered stereotyping in every aspect of the word or could it be interpreted as truth in certain circles. That maybe there is a difference between the races and could be attributed to how black athletes and white athletes are portrayed.
Black athletes tend to be subjected to unfair advantages in child hood as in, be part of the gang or play ball and somewhere between the cradle and adult hood they may get caught up in certain less favorable situations. Or could it be that society really is filled with uncomfortable xenophobic, bigoted, white people who tend to view white male athletes as less threatening then their black counter parts. Or maybe white athletes are indeed privileged and bailed out by their upper crusted families.
We could go on all day with hypothesis in trying to determine the reasons behind the above claims of media stereotyping of athletes in regards to color, But where would that get us? An end result that would consist of nothing more than racial profiling at its worst case scenario.
It has been determined that the white male dominates the news, media and how it is reported and portrayed, and in knowing this, one can get a better understanding of actual stereotyping vs media hype. Thus determining your own conclusion of whether or not black male athletes have actually been portrayed in a negative light while white male athletes not so much.
My personal opinion love it or hate it, is that this is not stereotyping at all at least not in my understanding of the word. M.S Frisby apparently has Stereotyping confused with Statistics because that is what I am seeing with her findings. First of all she is using percentages and hasn’t ruled out that violent crimes have not been reported against the white male athlete she has them at 17%.
Now, from what I know about stereotyping it is a blatant comment regarding race or gender which could be based on truth but without any true research. Such as: ” Black athletes are much better athletes then whites.” ” White men can’t jump.” ” Once you go black you never go back.” How come none of these stereotypes are not being addressed by M.S Frisby?
Just saying, but what do I know I am just a first year Digital Communications Major.
In 1960 an unknown woman came out of the wood works to file a lawsuit against the Baltimore City Public School System (Murray vs Curlett) in which she claimed that it was against the constitution for her youngest son Bill to take part in reading of the bible, accredited to a God that she did not believe in. Her name Madalyn Murray O’Hair an atheist but not just your ordinary atheist, she was an educated woman with a bachelor’s degree from Ashland University and a law degree from South Texas College of law, but failed the bar.
In 1963 the lawsuit reached the Supreme Court as she joined forces with Schempp, who took the Abington School district to court as well. The lawsuit was victorious by banning mandatory bible readings in public schools under the law of separation of church and state. Which was quite ironic that a law that was meant to protect churches from state bullying, was used against them in the idea of bible reading in public schools.
She also sued NASA for quoting the bible in the Appollo 8 Genesis reading but the lawsuit was rejected without enough jurisdiction. She founded the American Atheists, a movement that defended rights of nonbelievers, a radio program and hosted the American Atheist Forum televised by more than one hundred and forty cable providers.
Life Magazine referred to her as the most hated woman in America amongst the American, Christian, Conservative establishment. She filed many lawsuits in which she felt violated the constitution. One in Particular against Baltimore, for not collecting taxes on owed property by the Catholic Church.
But as all things must come to an end. Starting with the son who was subject to her retaliation against bible reading in the Baltimore Public School System, he became a minister and rejected atheism. And in nineteen ninety five, Madalyn Murray O’hair, a son and granddaughter disappeared and became the victims of murder and mutilation by a former employee on parole and a group of other men. An old adage comes to mind “If you live by the sword you’ll die by the sword.”
In aftermath: If I had one question to ask M.s O’hair after she is dead and gone, it would be. Ms Madalyn O’hair, is there a God?
Information from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
Richard R. Kreimer was homeless in the early to late 90s. Not only did Richard have no where to stay beside public places in Morristown New jersey, but he was left with only the public library as his main place of stay. Kreimer being a long time patron of the joint free public library was a constant user of its resources such as magazines,newspapers and books. Although, he was removed from the library 5 times he never physically did anything to someone to have that happen. The reports say that his odor was so bad that it prevented other people from doing there jobs or work. Often times he was caught staring at people and mumbling words to himself. However, none of these are a violation of anything, but rather a annoyance in the public library eyes. Soon after being expelled from the library completely Kreimer took the problem to the United States Court for the District of New Jersey. Kreimer argued that his absence of the library completely was an invalidation of the First Amendment. The courts appealed kreimers arguments toward the library and prohibited some of the library rules that is had in place. The library appealed shortly after. March 24th 1992 lead to the reversal of the courts decision saying that the rules did not violate the homeless mans First amendment rights. Library officials rejoiced as the process of this case was a long and stressful one.
This case has many impacts on the courts decisions of today. It dove into what the first amendment was really about and how the meaning of it can be seen differently through others eyes. The problem being that people are doing things that don’t break the laws, but break morals of the other people that have to see what they’re doing. An example of this in today’s world is the burning of the american flag. Just like the first case theirs not a law preventing people from doing it. Although, its frowned upon highly by people around the country its done to prove a point in the protesters eyes. Its a protest that no one likes to see, but does anyway because of the amount of times its happening now a days. Is a problem our country faces down the road and will continue to do so until a solution is found.
A T.V show I have been watching recently that has stereotypes is Called “Bleach”. The show is a Japanese anime that involves a group of sword wielding warriors who fight evil sprits; these warriors are called Soul Reapers. The stereotype that I have found in this show is that the men Soul Reapers are signify stronger then the women Soul Reapers and the men always have to come and rescue the women. This stereotype has to do with gender because it is making the men stronger then the women and making them always needing the men to save them. This is apart of the show because it is trying to make them men seem the strongest and most important in the show. The stereotype can influence the audience perception on women. It can make them seem weak and not able to get things done, it may also cause male viewers to see themselves as better and that women will need them, and for female views it may make them see themselves as weak and no trusting in their abilities or what they are able to do. So this stereotype can both be a positive and negative influence. It can be positive in boy’s eyes and it can be negative in girl’s eyes.
A second example of this can be from the T.V show “South Park” and it had to do with economic class. In of the episodes that I saw the other day Cartman was making fun of Kenny for being poor, he was saying sense he was poor he had a lot of dieses such as herpes, hepatitis, and lice (which everyone was being tested for). Then he kept just making fun of him for being poor and everyone was saying it was him with the lice cause he was poor. This doing with economic class stereotype, and is seen mostly as a negative stereotype. This was put into the show to make fun and have something to talk about for the episode, but also it was being used to help raise awareness to the problem, because everyone in the class had it and it had nothing to do with his economic class. It may not come out that bad to the audience in this case however because at the end it shows that how much money you have is not the problem and just how clean you are. So it will show them that just because someone has less money they can still be in the same situation as you and have the same things so do not treat them differently. However some may not have seen the whole episode and still just thought of people with less money as dirty and gross.
The last example of a stereotype that I have seen recently came from a song that I listen to by Kodak Black called “Chances” in the beginning of the song Kodak raps this verse …..
There them cracker go again
Freeze let me see your hands
Shit ain’t go the way I plan
Niggas out here taking chances
Out here you gotta take a chance”
What he means is that him going out as a black man he is always taking “chances” of losing his life because he is a black man. This has to do with a race stereotype, and in this case it is seen as a negative one. It is negative because its saying if your black you are always as chance of losing your life to police or being mistreated by police. He talks about it in the song because this is a part of his everyday life and he would like to bring awareness to it, epically with all that is going on in today society. I think people can react in two different ways about this. People who don’t know what its like can think he’s hyping things up to much and that its not to bad, or they can understand what he is saying and show remorse and try and do things to help out.
Handy Manny sticks out to me when thinking of a stereotypical television show. It’s about a Mexican guy named Manny who is a construction worker picking up side jobs and task that others aren’t skilled enough to do. We are heavily influenced that Hispanic people are only employed in construction, cleaning and agricultural careers. Another thing we perceive is that they are Hispanic males who are apart of this industry. Its not only men who are apart of this career, although there aren’t many women. They also partake in this challenging career. It could be a negative influence if someone tried to point out that it could give away a little bit sense of racism. However it also creates a positive image with the way the tools work together and develop great customer service traits to their clients.
The Simpsons is another show that comes to mind when thinking of a stereo type scenario and along with some of its characters. Abu Nahasapeemapetilon who works at the Kuiwk E Mart, which is another way media tries to influence a certain gender and race to partake in a role. In this case it’s the Indian guy who has a very thick accent and says “Thank you” as some of us could relate to when we visit 7-11, convenient stores places that rip people out of their money by insanely increasing the price of a product. There’s also a show where it shows us about his arranged wedding, we know that happens in certain countries or a religion where the women is forced to marry a men and often at a young age. In certain episodes there are times when Homer confronts his daughter telling her “if you were a boy you’d be a scientist.” Which is challenging her gender, why couldn’t she be a scientist if she is a girl, is that not allowed? To me it appears as a negative stereotype because it talks bad upon certain races and the way genders are perceived especially among-st the Homer and his daughter.
This is by far one of the most stereo typical shows around in my opinion. Although it is a comedy show it can tend to offend a lot of people regarding gender, race, religion and the list goes on. I’ll start with Consuela who is an Hispanic cleaning lady. I mentioned something earlier where media really has influenced the media that Hispanic people are portrayed in a lot of TV shows, movies as cleaning people, construction workers. Which is a negative influence we want kids growing up and succeeding away from those careers, by no means am I trying to offend anyone about this career. It provides for a families however I myself do not want to be stereo typed as a construction worker. I want to succeed from my stereotype. Another way they perceive a race is the Black guys at the door, why are they dressed up as “thugs” are you going to automatically assume that they are a characters portrayed as they are seen. Why couldn’t they dress them in a suit and tie? That is a negative influence in Medias vision, all African Americans don’t dress like that. A main character in the show named Louis who is the wife of Peter, she takes on the role of being a stay at home mom taking care of Stewie and doing the mom duty chores. In this case we are influenced by media in this particular manner that men are the people who are supposed to provide for a family while the woman takes care of the chores around home like laundry, dishes, and cooking food. We know that men can partake in this role. Anyone can do anything they put their mindset to, don’t let a 24 minutes episode influence your path in life. Diversity is great and we need to fall apart from stereotypes in this country.
Global media is a very powerful phenomenon in our world. Media outlets influence how the general public portrays an array of people in either a negative or positive light. Mainly based on stereotypes, media outlets sway public opinion based on the bias of the company it represents. A clear example is the media giant, CNN. Cleary having a Democratic lean, CNN has labeled rallies favoring president elected Donald Trump as gatherings of hate groups toward minorities by reporting on the most violent and flat out racists crowds that make up a small portion of Trump supporters. In a report on the 14th of 2016, CNN posted an article headlined, Protestor attacked at Trump rally stating that a protestor was shoved repeatedly and put in a headlock while being rushed to the exit by a, “man wearing a Make America Great Again hat and a Gays for Trump shirt.” Throughout this article the language used to describe the supporters and Trump’s response is very derogatory, reporting from the side that Trump himself provoked the attack, as well as the abundant use of the term ‘Trump supporter” made it very clear to readers that it was Trump and his supporters who were in the wrong. The article continues the story by providing evidence of past violent actions taken at Trump rallies. By portraying Trump and his supporters as brutes, while the protestor was an innocent victim, CNN was trying to sway the public towards the Democratic side by exposing the few people prone to violence. While there is evidence supporting CNN’s claim that some Trump supporters are susceptible to violence, unprovoked or not, the media company characterizes all Trump supporters as violent at all times and that if you support Trump, you are supporting these violent people.
Another stereotype the media portrays is that all police officers are bad ones. It seems like recently major news has been focused all the bad things police officers have done. With the “Black Lives Matter” campaign and the recent shootings of African-American men, mass media is having a field day promoting hatred toward the men and women who keep us safe domestically. Outlets have chosen to focus on the negative thing officers have done playing into the stereotype that all cops are bad cops because that’s what sells papers and gets the most clicks. The media’s power has turned Americans against the men and women that are tasked with the extremely taxing and hard job of protecting them.
Turning to the lighter side of things, entertainment companies are breaking down stereotypes when it comes to women’s dependence on men. In recent popular movie series such as, The Hunger Games and Divergent, both pieces have dominant female characters both of which lead a team through several different dangerous tasks. These movies are the first relevant movies for the newer generation that have empowered women everywhere. These movies show that women can do everything that men can do, growing support in the real world with women taking more powerful and important positions. This example shows how media can have a positive impact on the world just as much as it does negative.
One example of how the media has spread stereotypes about gender, age, race, religion, culture, or economic class would easily be the 2016 Presidential Election. At a Trump Rally in Louisiana, there a black female minor who had been present. Trump had asked that she leave, and shortly after many people began to push and shove her out of the rally. There were videos all over social media and news channels. Many videos on Facebook showed only parts of what had happened at this event, and did not provide ALL information necessary to communicate to the public.
Another example was roughly 4-5 years ago, when there was an incident between a black minor (17 years old) named Trayvon who was walking to the corner store with a gray hoodie on. He walked in and grabbed skittles, Brisk, and Arizona. George Zimmerman was a man who was watching this minor very closely. There had been a robbery around the same time that was nearby, and when he was walking home, George tried to question him. He called the Police and the Police told him to leave the minor alone, but he did not listen and things ended up going down from there. George Zimmerman tried to fight him, but after Trayvon started to run away, George shot him.
There were many news channels discussing this incident. Some showed photos of Zimmerman with his prison jumpsuit on as well as photos of Trayvon from during school and with his family. This made George look like a bad person and Trayvon look like a typical well-rounded student athlete.
On other news channels, there were photos of the minor smoking marijuana and a photo with him carrying a gun, while then there were photos of George with his family. These news channels seemed to be very biased, choosing to use photos that represent these two individuals in ways where people can judge them. By using photos of Trayvon smoking and holding a gun, I feel like they were stereotypically trying to make him look like a typical black male who was very troubled, although that may not have been the case. These stereotypes were both positive and negative.
One final example would be affiliated to young singer Chris Brown. Chris Brown had been dating Rihanna years ago, and they were known as one of the cutest couples, up until he did something he could never take back; abusing her. There were many different understandings of what had happened. Some said she said something that put him over the edge, others say he found out she was being disloyal to him. Regardless of it all, the fact was that he put his hands on a woman and it was wrong. Many people disagreed on his punishment. Chris Brown had been sent to Prison, but not for very long. The public had been very upset, especially females around the world; however the system did not do much about it.
The sticom is a staple of American life. Ever since the television became wide spread we have had sitcoms. They have been around so long in fact that it is understandable how many people miss the generally sexist tones in most mainstream sitcoms. A running theme in both live action and animated sitcoms centered around a family is the man is always the comedic while the woman is always fighting against the man trying to put an end to his fun.
#1 The Big Bang Theory
I will start by conceding that the show has done some to correct this issue introducing new characters. But at the beginning it was possibly one of the worst show at perpetuating negative stereotypes. The female character was there just to be less intelligent and laugh and ridicule the antics of the male characters.
#2 Family Guy
Family Guy is a show guilty of a lot of negative things but most are arguably on purpose. However the show is one of the worst cases of making the women in the show either unfunny or the butt of a series of running jokes.
#3 Kevin Can Wait
Yes, I’m bias I do truly hate Kevin James and basically his entire body of work. But his new sitcom is a remarkably tired an barley updated version of his last sitcom (which also sucked). In the sitcom Kevin James plays a overweight “every man” married to a woman that always disapproves of his life style after retirement.
The problem with these stereotypes is it makes young watchers believe women an unfunny compared to boys. There are positive role models in comedy for women but normally they are not widely available until mid-teen years. I think the reason these stereotypes are part of the tradition of sitcoms that dates back so long before these stereotypes were a problem. As long as this type of sitcom continues to work it will continue to be successful. But, with things like the new ghostbusters (whether it was good or not) show a willingness to try to correct this problem.
It wouldn’t take me long to find how the media plays on stereotypes. I don’t even have to look past one of my favorite shows, South Park. I think the fact that the show is so cruel in perpetuating these stereotypes is what draws people to the show. The main character Eric Cartman specifically. This character is a racist, homophobic, little boy that has no filter, nor boundaries when it comes to getting his message across. He constantly plays on the idea of many negative stereotypes and this is essentially what drives his character. People eat it up and the show has been aired for nearly 20 years now it seems. This is just one example from television.
Another stereotype that I see played out a lot, especially in the news media is the role of the weather girl on the new station broadcast team. Usually a young, ambitious, attractive young lady with lots of spunk filling only roughly 30 seconds of the entire news cast. Just something nice to look at in between segments. Whats worse is that this is typically the only position that women hold on the team. While men usually hold the news head, reporter, or in depth analyst positions. This stereotype has stood for so long it almost just seems like another facet in the business of news broadcasting.