Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tables Turning on Men in Adland?

I showed this article on politically incorrect portrayals of women in advertising, to my wife and I was interested by her response, which was that the tables had turned and that it was more often that men are portrayed negatively in the medja and in commercial advertising now. Not being one to watch too much commercial television I cannot say that I had noticed it too much other than portrayals of lazy,slovenly, beer drinking, football watching, do nothing men that are often the standard fare of beer commercials. That got me thinking and asked Uncle Google to enlighten me. Jim McNamara writing in an Online Opinion Article Dissing Men: The New Gender War addresses this very point.

Feminism has drawn attention to and fought against stereotypical and sexist portrayals of women in mass media, but new research shows that media portrayals of gender have largely done an about face in the past decade or so. There is a new “gender war” and the main target of discrimination is no longer women, according to research - it is men.

He continues.

To the extent that the negative views of men and masculinity in mass media reflect social attitudes, these findings have alarming implications for men and boys and for societies generally. Just as women have struggled against misogyny, men today face an increasingly misandric world that devalues and demonises them and gives them little basis for self-esteem.

In our kids school they have had programmes in place to support learning for girls and they are starting to see a big improvement and there is now concern that boys are falling behind. Programmes are now being designed to emphasise learning for boys. Seems like it is very similar to the issues discussed in the paper.


ashleigh said...

Spot on.

The demonising of men and presenting them as dumb simpletons has been going on for about 5 or more years, but now its become very in-your-face. It's built up slowly so that we have not noticed it coming.

Not much of a mens-rights movement to object, unfortunately.

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