In this essay,I will put forward the ways in which television consumption can be gendered andhow, I will discuss this in relation to different TV genres and how it isconsumed by different genders and if this has an effect on the audiencewatching. I will also explore the different types of technology and how theintroduction of technology into a family home and how it created different impactsin the family home depending on your gender or role within the family.
Television hasmany different types of genres which appeal to all genders for differentreason, television can be made with the intention of appealing to a genderbecause the TV shows has to market themselves in order to gain an audience. However,the idea of a television show having to have certain aspects to appeal to agender is an old fashioned outdated idea. (findquote???) MeyrowitzJoshua (1999) discusses in his text that peopledon’t need material to be aimed at one gender because it is not as important aspreviously before, he feels that audiences just enjoy and consume contentregardless of it being aimed at their gender or not. Women are able to escapethe reality of life through television. One genre ofa television show that aims to appeal more to women than men is a talk show,this is a kind of format which intends to discuss women’s issue and bring inthe idea of feminism.
Talk shows and howthey are consumed by women has impacted feminism because everyday topics discussedon television has made feminism more mainstream and the everyday women feelsaccepted and able to have these discussions. Talk shows is a type of televisionshow where a host is given a platform to talk to an audience about chosentopics with guest. A talk show presented by women are often seen as a genrewhere women feel that they have a voice feminism is often a key theme in TV showsfronted by women.
These shows have an audience because the shows are keen torelate to women these by having women on the show that are strong andempowering and discuss this on the show, which is why they have an audience andare often so sought after because in a male dominated society they areproviding a platform for women. However,talk shows of this nature like Loose Women are often criticised by the way theydiscuss topics, with people arguing that if it was the other way around and itwas men then it would be sexist, this is where this type of genre is consumeddifferently by women and men, women tend to see these shows as a positiveimpact where as men see talk shows negatively. Femalefronted talk shows like loose women and Oprah are often used for guests toshare experiences which induces audience participation on these issues, this iswhy these talk shows are aimed at women because topics discussed on female frontedtalk shows discuss women’s issues. Talk shows are often criticised for the way guests are treated andexploited on the show with people claiming that talk shows often have no regardfor the guest’s other than the few minutes they are on air. ‘A common criticism is that they manipulateand exploit their guests, using and often ambushing them for dramatic effectand then simply dumping them without any concern for their well-being.
‘(Rosalind 2007 P:152) This idea comes from guests appearing on talk shows likeloose women, this criticism is often described by those watching the show. Thesenegative views is where television consumption separates gender and shows thedifference in opinion between men and women and separates their views. Talk showscan be classified into three different ways, breaking down what a talk show isand into different categories.
The audience discussion show is when a TV hosthas a discussion with an invited studio audience, a classic example of this iswhen the host will discuss a topic and then ask members of the audience whatthey think of the topic, this is TV shows like Oprah Winfrey. This type of talkshow would be aimed at women because Oprah Winfrey is a powerful feminist whowants to empower women. The therapeutic genre is a set format where the hosttells the camera about certain topics and then will talk to guests and audiencemembers to gain opinions on the topic, this is TV shows like loose women.
Thiskind of talk show would be aimed at women as these talk shows would discuss women’sissues. Whereas confrontation talk shows is different because the aim of theshow is to create controversy between guests, this is TV shows like JeremyKyle. Shows like this don’t have an underling gender audience. Each type oftalk show is different and sets out to create a different environment. Talk showsare an example where a genre is focused more on women than men, these types oftalk shows target women to inform and discuss important topics about women. Whereasthis type of show is not made to target men because a popular opinion isthat men don’t talk about issues. If a talkshow is hosted by a woman then women often use this opportunity to empowerwomen and create a platform for women. This ideais proven by Oprah who had an majority female team CRITICALLY ENGAGE FIND ANARTILCE WHICH PROVES POINT.
‘That talk shows break up the almost homogeneous white middle class ofmost other television.’ (Rosalind 2007:172) This allows everyone of alldifferent backgrounds to be a part of television and feel included whereasother shows on television don’t do this and women can feel that they’re notpart of the conversation. Talk shows has allowed feminism to become moremainstream, and allows a genre of television aimed at female consumption. ‘Televisionhas given women an outside view of their incarceration in the home.’ (MeyrowitzP:101) Meyrowitz talks about how for some women they are able to look totelevision as an escape from feeling trapped in their own home. ADD MORE Theintroduction of technology impacts traditions of a family and how as technologyimproves it continues to change old traditional family set ups, and how thiscan affect gender roles within a family unit.
A television being brought intothe family home to begin with changed what was a normal family set up. Familieswould have to get used to the idea of a television as it felt like a bigchange. ‘The introduction of the machineinto the home meant that family members needed to come to terms with thepresence’ (Spigel 1992 P:36) The idea of a television being brought into thefamily home was something that families had to get used to being the normal.Televisions were meant to bring family members together as well as having otherinteractions in the family home, rather than creating a bad situation withinthe family. Theintroduction of technology impacts the traditions of a family and how astechnology improves it continues to change old traditional family set ups, andthis can affect the gender roles within the family. Televisions were seen asbad for families because families felt that it would make them become lesssociable with each other. CRITICALLY ENGAGE. Over time theintroduction of technology has changed the idea of a family set up in a homeand this has effected gender roles.
When a television was first introduced intothe family home it began to question the father’s role in taking care anddisciplining the children this was down to how advertising was portrayingtelevisions in home and how this effected men and their role within the familyunit. ‘Television particularly threatened to depose the father.”(Spiegel, Lynn1992:60) Television became an aid in helping look after children and when televisionswere first introduced it helped women massively because children could watch televisionwhile women did other jobs. Portrayal of men in television shows were less thenflattering for the men. When televisions were introduced women were homemakersand a television gave women a different view of the world and made their liveseasier. ‘A threatening machine that robbed men of their domination in the home.'(Spiegel,Lynn 1992:60) This idea of man’s power being robbed from them by technologysuggests how much power a man had in his family home over his wife and childrenas they were worried how a television would affect the family unit, this showshow men don’t want to be undermined by his family and fears a television can dothat, which affects gender roles. CRITICALLY ENGAGE EXPLAIN LESS.
As televisionswere being in introduced into the family, it was felt that televisions werebeing used by parents to make looking after their children easier and also itgave children a reason to stay in the family home rather than disappearing. ‘Typically,also television was considered a remedy for problem children.’ (Spiegel, Lynn1992:45) This idea makes it clear that televisions were used in family homes byparents to try and keep children out of trouble buy keeping them busy withwatching television, this gave women the opportunity to have something to lookafter their children without being invasive and over controlling but still beable to be concerned. CRITICALLY ENGAGE. The introduction of the television andits effect on the children makes you wonder what the effect could be on theadults in the family home suggests the idea of how television consumption couldchange gender roles because it gives women the idea to watch and see somethingelse than being the home maker in the house waiting for the husband to gethome.
‘Television threatened to drive a wedge between family members.’ (Spiegel,Lynn 1992:65) Because the new technology affected how the family were with eachother they didn’t just have each other’s company anymore they all had newtechnology to watch, and didn’t have to rely on each other as much. Whilefamilies got used to technology developing and it being a part of the familyhome families had to grow to get used to the television in the family room asit took up a big part of a family set up. For some families, it gave them somethingin common and they would spend more time together creating a nicer familyenvironment, as the impact of a television softened the parents as the childrenwould spend more time at home and it would bring the family together. ‘Televisionwas the great family that promised to bring mom, dad and the kids together; atthe same time, it had to be carefully controlled so that it harmonized with theseparate gender roles and social functions of individual family members.'(Spigel, Lynn 1992:37) When a television was introduced into the family home familymembers had to control the use of the television so that every gender wasconsuming the television and that it didn’t disturb the family home.
CRITICALLY ENGAGE. Television consumptioncan be gendered in different ways from the different types of television genresto how the impact of technology in the family home affected family members. Femalefronted talk shows target women as their core audience and aim to give women avoice and a platform for them to talk about experiences, this kind of televisionshow is more consumed by women as it is created for them. Televisions are aimedat everyone but the original introduction of televisions into the family homesaw men originally feel less powerful, however some people felt that it broughtthem closer together.
Television consumption has had an impact on how peopleview gender in television shows because people it is often felt that televisionshows shouldn’t be created with the intention of forming gender stereotypes.