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Sexism in the Media

Carolyn M. Byerly

Subject Gender Studies
Communication Studies » Feminist and Gender Communication Studies

Key-Topics inequality

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Sexism in the media relates to concerns about a range of gender inequalities – in content, employment, policy, decision-making, and ownership – that have been a major focus of women's liberation movements throughout the world since the 1970s. Mass media matter to women everywhere. They play a central role in the formulation and dissemination of ideas and the shaping of → public opinion , whether their format is news, entertainment, or → advertising . In fact, the media's influence is even greater today than ever, with 24/7 news channels, and hundreds of satellite and digital services offering everything from natural history to hardcore pornography and picture messaging via mobile phones. Popular media such as film (→ Cinema ), → television , → newspapers , and → magazines have universally tended to frame women (in every sense of the word) within what many have found to be a narrow repertoire of types which bear little or no relation to how real women live their real lives ( Byerly & Ross 2006 ). From the 1960s and 1970s, with the rise of women's liberation movements – also called feminism – within all nations of the world, women began to recognize and analyze these problems. For example, they saw the numerous ways in which historically they had been ignored or misrepresented by the news, as well as stereotyped in television programs, film, advertising, and magazines (→ ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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