Critically discuss with reference to examples from media texts: “Ideologies of femininity are produced and reproduced in media representations” (Thornham, p 7).

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Like stereotypes, most people are comfortable with identities which do not change. The ideology that women are on earth to cook, clean and have babies has been accepted for many generations (while it is beginning to lose its acceptance today). Essentially, the women rule the private sphere (the home) and men rule the public sphere (outside the home).

Media does play up on the idea that women have a very specific place in the world. Commercials still depict women as the ones responsible for the majority of cleaning (given their use of women using and promoting cleaning products).

Outside of commercials, women have been depicted as moody and emotional or irate and menstrual. For example, the sitcom "King of Queens" depicts Carrie as a woman who spends much of her time arguing with her husband, Doug. He is constantly talking about her "womanly ways." Another show, "Everybody Loves Raymond," depicts his mother, Marie, as a woman who knows the importance of cooking cleaning, and taking care of her children.

Essentially, the idea has worked in the past, worked in the present, and will continue to work as long as people can identify with (or despise them for) the female characters depicted.

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