Preface-Gender and Media Rosalind Gill | Gender | Ethnicity, Race & GenderThis is a book about the representation of gender in the media in contemporary Western societies. Gender and the Media aims to freeze the frame, press the pause button, or hit the refresh key to explore how the media today construct femininity, masculinity and gender relations, and to think about the kinds of theoretical concepts and cultural politics that might be needed to engage with these changes. The book is borne out of an interest in the extraordinary contradictoriness of constructions of gender in today's media: confident expressions of 'girl power' sit alongside reports of 'epidemic' levels of anorexia and body dysmorphia; graphic tabloid reports of rape are placed cheek by jowl with adverts for lapdancing clubs and telephone sex lines; lad magazines declare the 'sex war' over, while reinstating beauty contests and championing new, ironic modes of sexism; and there are regular moral panics about the impact on men of the new, idealised male body imagery, while the re-sexualisation of women's bodies in public space goes virtually unremarked upon. Everywhere, it seems, feminist ideas have become a kind of common sense, yet feminism has never been more bitterly repudiated. Some commentators see in this evidence of a powerful backlash against feminism Faludi, Germaine Greer , for instance, argues that today's popular culture is significantly less feminist than that of 30 years ago, and Imelda Whelehan suggests that we have entered an era of 'retro sexism' in which representations of women, 'from the banal to the downright offensive' are being 'defensively reinvented against cultural changes in women's lives' By contrast, others regard the media as increasingly influenced by feminism, or, indeed as becoming feminist.
Gender and Media
Gender and the Media
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