In class, we were talking about how mass media affects culture. Magazines, recorded songs, books, and television shows all have the potential to share ideas to a large mass of people. The conversation really got me thinking. Producers of mass media have an incredible amount of power. Mass media influences how people see themselves, their society, and other people. So how much has mass media contributed to the not so great aspects of society?
In America it’s taboo to like girls. Women don’t like women because they’re too much drama and Men don’t like women because they’re crazy. This stereotype hasn’t always been so prominent in American culture. Why is it that so many people are becoming misogynists? With a little digging into popular culture, it’s not a surprise that they are. For the week of September 29, 2012 the third most popular rap song in the country, Pop That, used the B-Word to refer to women fifteen times. According to Merriam Webster, the b word is defined as “the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals; a lewd or immoral woman; a malicious, spiteful, overbearing women- sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse; something that is extremely difficult, objectionable or unpleasant. “ The b word has become synonymous because of the popularity of songs that use it. The radio plays songs that people like, and with the wave of people that dislike women, the radio is more likely to play songs that call women the b word or the h word.
Music isn’t the only factor though. Television plays its part in establishing and maintaining stereotypes. How many TV shows have you seen with a socially awkward Asian or a loud, sassy African American? Too many, and it will probably remain that way. The most popular TV networks are in it for the money, not the content. Just look at MTV, whose most popular shows show women partying and getting drunk. MTV won’t have a show about successful girls getting into college, or receiving scholarships as long as that’s considered boring by the public. The public are craving shows that “expose” how a specific group of people act, like women, celebrity wives, and twenty- something’s living in New Jersey. With so many people tuned into television, it’s impossible for it not to be influencing how people feel about a certain group.
Some forms of Mass media have contributed to stereotypes, mainly because of the populist outlook that many producers have. So is mass media good or bad? Mass Media is neither. How Mass Media affects the world is up to the person writing, singing, or reporting.