Susan Douglas introduced this idea of "enlightened sexism" as a freedom to return to overtly sexist portrayals of women in media so long as the portrayals are done in an over the top manner. Douglas discusses the sharp, inaccurate representations of women in media through two different forms. The first is the woman as a successful, powerful elite who can be seen in shows like 'Grey's Anatomy' where women are chief surgeons and in shows like 'Bones' where a woman is the lead expert in homicide cases. Contrasting is the second image, which portrays the woman as overtly sexualized and driven by her desire to attract men. These images are perpetuated through shows like the 'Jersey Shore' and 'The Bachelor.' These images fail to represent the actual state of women across the country. These portrayals also fail to address the existing disadvantages women face on a daily basis. In this sense, the identity of the common woman is misconstrued at the hands of media, which is largely facilitated by males. The movie Miss Representation discussed the importance of women to create or retell their own stories in an effort to level the media playing field. These readings leave me wondering about the future of female characters in media and the merits of current female characters in media. I feel that a lot of work needs to be done to accurately portray the common female.
Deborah, Blog Post, Week Nine
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