Go TO Content

Professor Weitsy Wang on Gender Stereotype in Popular Media

Professor Weitsy Wang of the Department of Mass Communications at Tamkang University gave a talk on gender stereotyping in the mass media on May 23th, 2014. Using film clips as examples, Professor Wang cast a critical eye on the mainstream media and conducted a lively discussion with the audience.
Professor Wang said we are surrounded by gender issues. Gender stereotyping is a frame that distorts social values at large. Gender objectification in the mass media has turned the appeal of physical attractiveness as the ultimate determinant for what’s considered beautiful. The media stereotypes gender in many ways. Mothers are often featured in food and kitchenware commercials, while fathers are always seen driving in car commercials. The media also plays a crucial role in shaping our gender awareness. As children surrounded by the media imitate and acquire the behaviors portrayed on different media platforms, they grow up to become adults with certain gender stereotypes. The media then caters to such preferences, thereby forming a vicious circle. More weight should be given to education in domestic settings in order modify public perception towards gender and beauty. Childhood education helps people develop the awareness for gender equality and the knowledge to tell right from wrong, to the extent of exposing and reporting sexual harassment and discriminatory actions, rather than walking away.
Professor Wang is Deputy Chairwoman of Taiwan Women’s Film Association. She has served as advisor for Taiwan International Documentary Festival and on the panel of judges for the Golden Horse Film Awards. At the end of the session, Control Yuan’s Vice President and the Convener of the Human Rights Protection Committee, Chen Jinn Lih, presented Professor Wang a collection of books documenting the human rights protection works completed by the Control Yuan.