Posted by: mvweast | February 20, 2015

Media Influence

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I stumbled across this while cruising pinterest and thought it was perfect in two ways:

First, it ties in perfectly with our discussion of media influence. Although it isn’t a news segment, commercial, or tv show, young girls seem to obsess over sites like pinterest. It would be highly likely that a pre-teen or even emerging adult-age female would stumble across this while cruising through the quotes board on pinterest, just like I did. I wasn’t looking for anything intellectual or leadership related, I was just killing some time browsing. Despite this, it clearly provoked thought in me and impacted me enough to save it and take it to heart.

Second, the general message of this “infographic” is that your gender does not matter; you can wear whatever you are comfortable in, you can defy stereotypical gender behaviors, you can be intelligent without having a Y chromosome, and you CAN be the boss. Gender does not define you, and it does not disqualify you from becoming a leader or advancing your career. Essentially, that is what our entire class is about: how to de-gender leadership. The new messages in black are completely gender neutral and could be applied to any male as well, so I think it not only does a good job inspiring young women, but could also very easily inspire males if the crossed out words were masculine things, such as “be tough like a boy” or “act like a man”.

Do you think graphics like this are effective in inspiring young females to look past their gender? Do you think males benefit from it, or just think it’s a “girly quote”?

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Responses

  1. This “infographic” is very interesting and I really like the way that as Megan brought up it de-genders leadership in a way. These statements recognize the human potential in all people, regardless of sex, race, or any other characteristic. I also think that it allows both boys and girls to act accept what we consider as gender norms or reject them without consequence. If someone is able to be themselves then they have the ability to chose whether they dress and act according to gender stereotypes.

    I believe that these types of messages are positive for both girls and boys, especially girls, as it directly pushes against what society has said. This push against the stereotypical ideas society has about females can be an empowering thing and could potentially help de-gender leadership and the workforce.

  2. What I find most interesting about this images is that if the words girl and boy were switched it could represent men and women. That to me is the essence of feminism where men and women can both be represented. Images like this, that are quickly glanced over can impact small parts of our generation and the next. In class we always talk about the small steps, the little shifts that change society, and I think images like this can lead someone to thinking about their role or their leadership. Leadership becomes something that women and men can both obtain, as well as encouraging leaders to think and be yourself.
    The word “think” is powerful on its own. For example, in another blog post from this week, men and women’s risk taking strategies were analyzed. Men and women took about the same amount of risks, but in stressful situations men take more risk then women. If leaders from both genders were to “think.” a female or male leader might choose another decision. Small steps, and effective use of media can create more room for change.

  3. I absolutely think that this kind of infographic can send a message to young women, especially with the prevalence of social media and internet nowadays. Almost every young girl has a facebook, instagram, and pinterest with entire boards devoted to inspiration and life goals. So, I think this type of infographic can really speak to girls and affect their self esteem. I think seeing enough inspiration in this form that is so strong in our current society that girls and teens and women can be inspired in their daily lives to be that leader. I think this can encourage women into being more self-confident and cause small changes that can grow into bigger changes that an make the better leaders in their homes, jobs, and lives. I I think the message the infographic sends is important as well. It clearly de-genders the skewed perceptions of what women should be and think. For women leaders, it could really give a new perspective on their work life. For dress, as long as the dress is appropriate for the occasion, why can’t a woman wear a pantsuit or suit? Why should a woman, “act like a lady” and conform to gender stereotypes if that isn’t who she is? I also love how it says to just think. Research confirms that there isn’t much difference in the effectiveness of men and women leaders and so thinking really doesn’t need to be gendered. Just my thoughts!

  4. I really like this “infographic”, and find it to be very powerful. It reminds me about the “Barbie for President” from the Wilson reading. It is positive media for women, as it encourages women to be confident in achieving what they want.

    I agree with Hannah. If you change the words to represent a “man”, it still has the same effect towards them. Men can benefit from “infographics” such as this. Overall, I believe if the wording is phrased differently, it can be portrayed as positive encouragement for society as a whole.

    I think de-gendering leadership should start with effective use of media. After all, media plays a big part in stereotyping certain actions, clothing, style, and how we implement gender roles into our society. The media has unrealistic expectations of our society, and its poisonous. It creates a sickness that penetrates into the home, workplace, and to individual minds. I believe this sickness may be the sense of fraudulence in women. They feel like they cannot live up to these unrealistic expectations the media creates; they cannot fit into a size 0 dress, they cannot ask for the promotion because deep down they don’t feel like they deserve it, they have to take their daughter to soccer practice because they are the mom and are afraid of asking help from the husband, or they feel like they don’t deserve to hold the position they have. The media belittles how women think, act, and feel. If media changes, it could create positive change and women may not feel like frauds.

  5. I absolutely adore this post. Coming from a small town where everyone emphasizes the importance of acting like a lady and fitting into the typical gender stereotype, I think it is extremely important for young women to know these things. Rather than spending their teen years obsessing about being more like women in magazines and making their bodies and minds compatible with societal expectations, young women should be encouraged to grow outside of the box. They should be told that’s its okay to be different from the norm and that being unique does not make you broken. However, such ideas would not only benefit women. Applying the same ideas to young men would be equally effective in neutralizing the effect of modern culture on today’s youth.

  6. First I absolutely love this quote and the meaning behind it. I believe that quotes and poster that have inspiring words or lesson really have a large impact on someone everyday lives. These things can make a person think, inspire, or make someone laugh; sometimes its the little things in our life that have the biggest impact. This post is most likely targeted at girl but it doesn’t stop it from having some type of impact on the men, whether it just not second guessing that a women is making the decisions or that he will raise his daughter to believe that she is capable and can do whatever she sets her mind to.

  7. I completely agree with the comments to this post. I believe that this is a great way to get out a message that empowers who ever reads it. I know that I have my own pinterest board with quotes just like this that are meant to inspire and empower me when I look back at them. I in no way think that this is just a “girly quote” but it makes me wonder what avenues would be applicable for guys to find these quotes in. Most men do not look at nor have a pinterest and unless someone googles something like this, it is unlikely to show up in their daily life. I think that its companies such as Nike and the like that will help these little uplifting quotes be more a part of daily life for both genders. It would be interesting to see what media channels would pick up more of these types of messages in order to market their product as well as hit home with what is important to people in the real world.

  8. While I do love the message this “infographic” is portraying, I do not think it will inspire young girls to look past their gender. I think that many young girls would only be inspired by it for a few hours, days, or weeks. The only way that a message like this will be enforced is if it is repeatedly retrieved and activated. For example, when preparing for a test, an individual must soak in information coming in as well as repeatedly retrieve the information from their memory. Along with retrieving information, an individual must intentionally retrieve the information.This is how an individual remembers information. With this being said, it only seems logical that the same would be true for “infographic” messages. In order for the information being portrayed by a “infographic” to have an impact on the individual, the individual must be able to remember what the “infographic” said.

  9. I also like this quote. It’s a great example of the sameness approach to feminism, the idea that there is no real difference between men and women and thus they should be treated the same way. I feel that this is really good advice for men as well, although I don’t know a lot of guys who feel compelled to act male (or I just don’t notice or know any). Honestly graphics like this have huge amounts of power, they are easy to read and easy to spread and the message is easily discernible. While they might make less of a difference then some major power taken together they can have more power than any set movement.

  10. I think the graphic above can easily be used to empower women and men. It is a graphic that can easily be spread through social media and is easy to understand. It can definitely spark the interest of the younger generation (which in my opinion is the hope for a more gender equality nation). I would like to point out one thing though. While I have no qualms about women and men having equal rights, I do have to remain suspicious about the idea of de-gendering our entire society. We have learned that our society naturally places people into groups in order for society to run smoothly. Injunctive norms are put in place by society and when people break them it make many of us feel uneasy and apprehensive. If we are encouraging mass amounts of people to break gender and injunctive norms, then we need to be prepared for the repercussions on our society framework.

  11. Quotes like the one above are beneficial for women of all ages. Social media, specifically Pinterest, is littered with quotes and pictures that promote traditional gender roles. It is important, especially for young girls, to see images that don’t conform to these traditional conceptions of feminine values. No one should be expected to dress in a way that makes them uncomfortable; regardless of whether a young woman wants to wear a pants suit, a dress, or a sports uniform, they should be accepted within society. Further, women should be able to be themselves. They should not be expected to always be docile and pleasant, as the phrase “act like a lady” suggests. Rather, young women should try to be themselves, as an individual, in any and all endeavors, and society should not prescribe adjectives like “authoritarian” and “incompetent” to them purely because they refuse to meet a “one-size-fits-all” description of womanhood. Additionally, women should be able to think and form independent opinions, regardless of what others think. Their conceptions of reality should not have to align with the world views of their husbands or significant others, as has traditionally been the case in society. Furthermore, women should not be told to simply “think like a boss,” but rather leadership roles should be encouraged and engrained as something that women can seek, from early childhood.

    The message in the quote above is also important for men, especially young men, to see as well. Traditional conceptions for gender have become outdated in the modern era, and gender equality should be seen as a key initiative in societal progress, specifically in the postmodernist movement that is becoming prominent in society. After all, to recall another Pinterest quote, “Men of quality do not fear equality. “

  12. Quotes like this show how much we need to degender leadership. It isn’t about being male or female, it should be about your ability to lead efficiently and effectively. I do think it is important that we focus on keeping leadership gender neutral and not al of society though. I also think pinterest and other forms of social media have a huge influence on the millennial generation. Quotes like these can have a positive effect on women but also twitter accounts like “@menninist” can have a negative effect on our society. Social media has a large impact on our society and can be dangerous or positive. Social media is where people voice their opinions, these can be hurtful or bring people together towards one common goal. The quote is very inspiring however it takes actions to truly make a difference. We need outspoken women leaders to say these words and speak out in order to make a difference.

  13. I love this! I love quotes, I love things that inspire me, and I love things that people say that make me feel confident in myself. I personally believe that one of our biological differences as women is that we thrive with encouragement. We really do rely on talking to others, gaining others opinions, and asking for advice. The stereotype that women talk a lot is very true because we do! We enjoy hearing about each others lives and sharing special moments that may have happened. It makes us feel connected. Reading quotes like these is almost on the same page as listening to a kick ass go women song like Beyonce’s “Who Run the World.” I believe that messages like these, while some are very corny, serve a great purpose to continue to inspire girls to reach for their dreams. I know sometimes when I’m stressed or sad I read quotes like these and they honestly put a smile on my face and make me more assured that I will be able to make it through what ever might be happening. I don’t think that boys understand this. In my opinion boys function well as individuals and don’t necessarily need the same levels of encouragement that women do. Will men might find quotes like this silly I think that they play a strong role in empowering women.

  14. I love this quote and think that messages like these are needed to empower younger women today. This reminds me of the chapter in Wilson on ambition and how we must use culture to change stereotypes. Pinterest is considered a “girly’ site and these quotes are definitely more common among women than men, so it is a great idea to reach young people through social media to empower them. I think it would be beneficial to share images like this one on all social media sites, even those dominated by men. I hope that one day we see men posting similar posts about equality and empowerment on Reddit as we see for women on Pinterest.


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