(Read part 1)
Unlike the female body image example, which elicited a strong counter-cultural response, there is a deafening silence when it comes to counter-cultural messages addressing gender roles, norms, and expectations. This suggests that society condones the gender roles and expectations that are constantly communicated by the media. In essence, a consensus has somehow been reached and these cultural messages have been deemed “good.”
Despite the fact that progress has been made toward gender equality, the apathy with which society regards the current gender norms severely impedes the work that still needs to be done to overcome prevailing injustices. By not actively opposing the media’s messages, society is allowing them to be perpetuated. Intellectually, the majority of Americans deem men and women to be equal, yet there are still large disparities between genders. Research shows that men are still getting paid more than women for doing comparable work, and the glass ceiling that prevents a woman from ascending to the highest level of her profession is still an invisible reality.
So who gets to decide that these are good messages and how is this consensus reached? What counter-cultural actions could be taken to send a different message?