The standardizing idea of masculinity and femininity is molded and
reflected by American popular culture. The two-gender structure - masculinity and femininity - is a convivial engendered one and is culturally dependent. It consists of categorical acceded-upon codes, and each of us learns how to exhibit these "codes." This essay aims to reflect on the documentary The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture, which applies the late sociologist Erving Goffman's central claim that the way the body is displayed in advertising communicates normative ideas of masculinity and femininity. Briefly, I will discuss how gender codes in advertising and different media impact how we interact and perceive others, in the same way, race and class codes impact the way we interact and see others and vice versa. Consequently, I will explain how I used the sociological perspective to understand, examine, and rethink the implications of these codes in advertising and other media.
Gender codes are the signals that individuals manifest externally, indicating their sexuality or relative masculinity or femininity. The way we interact and view the people in our lives is affected by the gender codes we see in advertising and other media sources every day. When interacting with others, we often conform to stereotypical gender display, a process where we perform the roles expected of us by social agreement. Gender display is exhibited heavily in advertisements through gender codes. According to Goffman, gender display visualizes a power imbalance between men and women.
An example is our perception that men are 'powerful, active, strong, and dominant,' while women are 'passive, sexual, powerless, weak, and delicate.' Advertisements display this perception of women in multiple ways, one of which is implied by female hands. Females' hands are often portrayed in photographs as powerless by positioning the hands in a resting manner or often grasping an object by the fingertips, but never in a secure way. This comes across as women being controlled by their environment. In contrast, the male hands' positioning is often staged to look powerful and strong, implying a manipulation or control of their environment and molding it into their desires with a firm grip. Something so simple as this has a significant impact on how women see themselves compared to men. For instance, I sometimes feel the need to sound smarter when conversing with men, as a result of the stereotypes (e.g., men being dominant and powerful than women) these advertisements tend to communicate. It is unfortunate that such advertisements - media in general - send these stereotypical codes, which consequently have severe implications on one's self-esteem and relations towards others, the way it affects mine.
Everybody forms an impression on other people daily, whether we consciously know it or based on little information. Nonetheless, when interacting with others, they are communicating through words and body language, and actions. The way people interpret and how people deport around us is affected by gender codes in commercial realism and other media. Goffman mentions the ritualization of subordination in commercial realism, which refers to how the female body's presentation in the advertising links up with broader cultural definitions of femininity as sexual, passive, and powerless. For example, in Goffman's observation of the ritualization of subordination on female bodies, he noted that female bodies were often shown in a "benignness of the surround" position, that is the lying down almost replicating being passed pose that women are placed in that gives them no defense against possible threats. It is a submissive and powerless position utterly dependent on the world being risk and danger-free, and Goffman's point is relatively simple; this is a posture that communicates submission and powerlessness. Since women are presented as defenseless, accepting their subordination. Femininity becomes defined as submissive, powerless, and dependent, reinforcing more extensive cultural definitions and stereotypes, eventually translating to real-life interactions with the opposite sex. For instance, In grade 12, I was put in a scary situation at a party with another one of my friends, we were steered towards a corner in a room by males, and they tried to make sexual gestures to us since they viewed us as an easy target because their impression on us was "submissive" and "powerless" due to commercial realism.
Can you please edit the last paragraph so it makes sense to the reader and it flows nicely also im having diffuculty finsishing the last paragraph i dont know how to have a good ending sentence to that point.
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