This first blog will focus on the topic of gender roles and employment inequality within the media industry. Working in a toy store myself, I have been exposed to the establishment of children’s gender roles for quite some time, witnessing first hand the way in which children’s toys are marketing and filled with specific messages. I only quite recently noticed, just how drastically each section is categories based on gender. E.g. The girl’s section includes all the dolls, dress ups, kitchen equipment and plush toys, whereas the boy’s section includes the action figures, cars, gardening and outdoor equipment.
I think the topic of gender roles perfectly links to the concept of employment inequality within the media industry, this idea became further prevalent after reading Louise North’s article on the journalism industry. The article suggests that ‘female reporters remain stuck in those traditionally female story areas (soft news) such as arts, education and health. Whereas males cover more highly valued areas of politics and sports’.
Interestingly enough, whilst completing research into this topic I happened to be watching ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, and the main character stated a really hard hitting quote that I found really interesting. To give you some background information Andie, the main character aka Kate Hudson works for Composure Magazine (a beauty and lifestyle magazine) in New York and she says “God, l busted my butt in grad school to be Andie Anderson, “How to” girl, and write articles like, “How to Use the Best Pick-Up Lines” and “Do Blondes, Do They, Like, Really Have More Fun?” l want to write about things that matter, like politics and the environment, and foreign affairs, things I’m interested in.” This quote perfectly sums up the topic being discussed throughout this blog. Why are women constantly being confined to these specific topics seen as ‘soft news’ and given more passive roles when compared to their male co-workers?
Even though as a society we are moving forward, there are still massive disparities between the roles imposed on males vs. females within the media industry. Below is a short clip, showing ABC newsreader Natasha Exelby missing her cue on live TV.
The clip went viral, very quickly and further links to my next blog ‘Gender Inequality in the Media (Part 2)’ representing the way in which many women are further disrespected in the media industry.
Louise North (2016) The Gender of “soft” and “hard” news, Journalism Studies, 17:3, Pg. 356-373.