Women in the Media

Women have always been portrayed as a minority in the media. Early media sources and shows were dominated by male personas. Examples like Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, and Dick Cavett are major players in the early days of mainstream media. The media has always been saturated by male talent; it makes it difficult for women to have their voices heard and have a clear role in movies or films as they are under-represented. In an interview with TIME magazine, Rachel Maddow, the only female to host a prime-time cable news show said, "the industry is still very male, and when women host cable-news shows they are very often paired with men, because they're not allowed to do it on their own for some reason," (TIME). The lack of women in the mainstream news outlets is worrying as well as the lack of parity in the two genders in terms of a role as pointed out by Maddow. Women are also depicted as sexual objects, side characters, and inferior romantic interests in many films. They are often seen with slim curvy bodies. Rarely are women seen with physical flaws in movies, shows, etc. This image is very inaccurate and misleading to real life standards. This unrealistic image can hurt a young woman's mind.

The challenges faced by women are numerous. Misogyny, pay inequality, unequal standings, and higher expectations are all hurdles to pass for women attempting to integrate themselves in the workforce and in the media."Many stereotypes depicted by the media includes female alcohol consumption being judged more harshly than the male behavior of the same nature". In addition, "it is found that representation of drinking practice on YouTube seems to reflect the conventional double"; female drinking is mainly interpreted as a sign of sexual willingness and is strongly stigmatized.

Racial minorities in media

Other minorities have found it difficult to be heard. Minorities like African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans are all underrepresented in the mainstream, and can usually only be found in their niche markets. African American and Hispanic people in movies are often portrayed as thugs or gangsters which is not a fair way to represent them. The author of the book "Bad Feminist" supports this claim as she notices how the media depicts the African American community differently from reality since they are "mediated through the vision of white writers and directors" (Gay 218). Furthermore, "Latino characters have been relegated to a restricted set of roles including criminals, exotic lovers/sex objects, servants/blue-collar workers, and unintelligent objects of ridicule".

The way in which journalists report news about race and crime shapes the public's perception of those races. According to Journal-isms, white Americans' racial perceptions of crime, especially with the association of crime with racial minorities, are a result of news media skewing those perceptions (Prince). The article goes on to describe how 43% of homicide victims in local news are white; however, only 13% of homicide victims in crime reports are white. These statistics clearly indicate that the way in which journalists report the news creates a narrative that misrepresents racial minorities. This misrepresentation eventually finds its way into other forms of media.

For example, primetime television also leads to the development of stereotypes against Latino and Black minorities. According to an article written by Riva Tukachinsky, Dana Mastro, and Moran Yarchi, "Prior to the 1980s, Blacks were seen nearly exclusively in unflattering and largely disparaging roles on television, emphasizing criminality and idleness" (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 540). The casting of Black actors in these demeaning roles further established and reinforced stereotypes about Black people. The researchers go on to state that even in recent media content, Blacks are more likely to be depicted as unemployed or blue-collar workers (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 540). Decades later, stereotypes about Blacks as unskilled and uneducated people are still being reinforced and supported by their depiction in primetime television. Their study found that this negative representation of Black and Latino minorities in media poses a threat to the identity of ethnic minorities (Tukachinsky, Mastro, Yarchi 551). In other words, the misrepresentation of these minority groups in the media correlates to the creation and strengthening of stereotypes regarding those ethnic minorities.

The list of minorities being devalued in media is endless as the media also paves the road to stereotyping Native American Females, degrading their true culture and values. "It dives into the historical stereotypes of Native American females as drudges, princesses, and prostitutes that is highly saturated in media, movies, and literature"{Lajimodiere, 104}. This, of course, is different from reality where most Native American Females are different from what the media portrays them to be as.