Monday, May 2, 2011

Talking Point #4- Christensen

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us, by Linda Christensen (Hyperlinks):

  Linda Christensen begins her piece with her own experiences per say, growing up and moves into her opinions about the media and its affect on society.  She had her students partake in different activities and use different thought processes while watching cartoons and movies. It is amazing all of the underlying racism, sexism, inequality of social classes, and many other different negative portrayals or misconceptions we are exposed to at such an early age.  Without even realizing it children are influenced by such a stereotype from day one and unless adults or people around them tell them otherwise, they go on believing that is really the way the world works.  Fortunately there are some programs that do display a more open-minded opinion on such issues.  A program on Nickelodeon called Mighty B does such in displaying the "proper" ways of being a "lady" in society, but mid-way through there is an interruption of that portrayal and encourage freedom of expression and women do not have a set of rules or requirements to be considered a "lady."  I myself was exposed to this episode accidentally, but was extremely glad because I thought it was a great example in the media's portrayal of roles of women in society, but at the same time providing a positive "turn-around."
    When Christensen refers to race in her section called, "A Black Cinderella?" she discusses Disney coming out with a new movie to "fix" the problem of not having a princess of a different background.  There are many faulty Disney portrayals in our childhood classics as many call the movies they grew up watching.  these misconceptions involve the stereotypes of different races and ethnic backgrounds, as well as social class and what the living environment is like.  In all of the bringing up of these issues, Disney tries to come up with a solution, but in becoming more sensitive about the feelings of viewers for one or two issues, they end up either mocking the issue or bringing in another negative.  There is no happy-medium within it all, and it seems there will always be an underlying misconception or influence of the "rules and codes of power."  However, Disney is not the only guilty party in such, television programs from sitcoms to comical cartoons do so also.  In presenting people of the working class, the media tends to describe and include characters' roles as obnoxious or out of control.  Families just get by and some settle for what they have and believe they were just meant to live that way.  There are also programs showing families that believe they were meant to live better and with hard work and dedication they will succeed and eventually be able to escape the lower living conditions.
     Another example that could relate to Christensen's piece is in reference to the portrayal of the female image in the media.  In surfing for articles or related topics I actually found another blog that excellently displayed numerous examples and categories of this exact issue.  She specifies in which ways the media influences women and their desire to be "beautiful."  Reading through this blog and watching the clips she included reassured my initial thoughts and feelings of the media.  It is ridiculous the impact and influence the media has on the minds and views of people everywhere.

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