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SOST 110 Module 7 Discussion: Gender Identities in the Media (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Think about why seeing new gender identities in the media, and the often harsh backlash against these presentations. What is it about these discussions that makes us so uncomfortable? What is at the root of our challenges to presentations of gender and sexuality that challenge the status quo? Why would it be important for some to maintain images of traditional gender roles in the media?

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Content:

Gender Identities in the Media
[Student’s name]
[Professor’s name]
Social Sciences
[Institutional affiliations]
Gender Identities in the Media
First of all gender identity is about a person’s internal feelings whether they are a woman, man, or could be both, and there are some who are neither. Majority of people fall under a certain gender identity, and it is not the same as gender expression. Gender expression is how a person chooses to show his or her gender through their behavior or appearance. This could be the same as their gender when they were born and some feel different from their gender at birth.
Seeing new identities in the media gives people a new perspective on how gender roles are supposed to be. The society of the past are used to having only men and women in the media that people see as role models, but the times have changed and some are having a hard time accepting that.
One example is when Ellen Degeneres came out to the public in 1990, the public was enraged. Although, Time Magazine featured her, but her television show suffered because it lost viewers. This caused the show to tank in the box office and then got cancelled. After 20 years, she recovered from her past and is now hosting one of the most successful television shows in the business. This is an example of how a person, despite of their sexual identity, can excel in the media and people will see them in a whole new light. Another person is Laverne Cox from the TV series Orange is the New Black, and she was also featured by Time Magazine in 2015 to exemplify a new perspective of gender identities because there is already a progress in terms of acceptance. The society started to see that there are values and norms that go along with them and being able to understand the complexity and diversity is very important in the media. It is a fact that the media plays a major influence on its viewers and having someone like Laverne Cox and Ellen Degeneres who show strength and courage can teach people the same values.
Discussions about these make people uncomfortable because they think that it is not normal and there is an aesthetic effect on how gender identities should be. It is also because gender identities do not belong to what people normally define as “male” or female.” Meeting these people ask the most awkward questions that make people feel unsafe or fragile. Due to the fact that it is not someone’s duty to give an explanation to anyone about their sexual identity, this is a circumstance that people do not want to be in. However, that does not dismiss the fact that there will always be people who will look for answers.
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