Essay: Gender issues in Cinemalaya Gender films

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  • Subject area(s): Media essays
  • Reading time: 18 minutes
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  • Published on: July 20, 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2
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CHAPTER 2

REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE

In this study entitled “Content Analysis on the Presentation of Gender Issues in the Top 11 Cinemalaya Gender Films”, the Researchers compiled a number of different literatures which seeks to provide clarity to the study’s concern which is the Presentation of Gender Issues in 11 Cinemalaya Gender Films.

GENDER

Based on a study conducted by The Gender Spectrum, an organization that promotes gender acceptance, most often people interchange or falsely use the terms “gender” and “sex”. This concept has become so collective, mainly in western societies, that it is rarely questioned. We are brought into this world, assigned with either male or female reproductive organs, then sent out into the world. For many people, this is the cause of misunderstandings and conflict. However biological sex and gender are two different things; gender is not inherently nor solely affiliated to one’s physical anatomy

Gender is the complex interrelationship between an individual’s sex (gender biology), one’s internal sense of may either be male, female, both or neither (gender identify) as well as one’s outward presentation and behaviors (gender expression) related to perception, including their gender role. As an outcome of these three dimensions intersecting lies one’s authentic sense of gender, both based on individual experiences of own gender and of different perceptions.
In addition, as defined by the Gender Booklet, Gender is how an individual considers himself to be identified as. These could either be in a masculine or feminine manner, neutral, androgynous, ambiguous, or in any combination. There are more than 20 types of gender combinations. Bostian (2011) Retrieved from: http://www.easybib.com/reference/guide/apa/website

MEDIA AND GENDER

In the society, media plays an influential role. From current events, interpretational frameworks, keeps the mass connected with various issues and topics, reproduces predominant culture and society, and entertains. As such, our promotional media has an impact on the presentation of gender issues both for men and women. The Role of the Media in the Construction of Public Belief and Social Change [PDF].

Social norms are greatly influenced by media forms particularly regarding gender, class, race, nationality, etc. Forming the standards of which is masculine and feminine. Is used to communicate general ideals to the public. Socio linguistic and gender (2014) Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/kheiraarab3/sociolinguistics-and-gender

For instance, in 2008, four Colt 45 commercials wherein men in different scenarios are situated to be “unmanly” or considered as not “man enough”. In this situation, men are not entitled to comment on women’s fashion, to show affection, to worry if his drinking glass is clean, or to wipe oil from his face.

Typical Filipino men are observed on how they act and labeled “unmanly” if their actions don’t display ideals that are commonly accepted by many even how normal it is for a guy. Male Roles, Masculinities and Violence [PDF].

A research conducted by the people of Restless Development in the rural areas of Eastern Cape, found that there is great pressure on men to prove their manhood. Men are commonly characterized with dominance and power.

Men are not entitled to be weak, it is true that women are more often affected by gender-based violence however, there is a need to appreciate that men can also be abused, emotionally, sexually and physically. Generally, it is difficult for men to voice out abuse of any form, a man should be tough and invulnerable, they are prohibited to be emotional or else it will show lack of manliness. Struggling to be a Man: Young People’s Perspective of Gender Inequality and Gender-Based Violence. Clarfelt (2015) Retrieved from: http://restlessdevelopment.org/news/2015/01/02/boys-don-t-cry-how-sexual-based-violence-affects-young-men-in-south-africa

In spite of the changes in gender roles that are portrayed in media, many are still caught up with the morals of the Spanish religious doctrine: that men should be overpowering women.
Another gender issue brought about by media is “Body Shaming”, wherein media envelops us to what should be seen as perfect and what is not. This excludes no one, both men and women are criticized on how they should look or their physical attributes. Men should be muscular while women should attain an hour-glass shaped body.
In addition, scholars, Frederickson and Roberts coined that the habit of culture body observation through objectifying sexuality reduces an individual’s quality of life. An example of the Relationship of Female Sexual Dysfunction [PDF]

GENDER ISSUES

According to Springer, gender issues is interdisciplinary and cross-national in scope focusing on gender and gender equity. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/journal/12147
Remaining at the 7th position of the Gender Equal Countries stood the Philippines, amongst 144 countries, assessed by the Global Gender Gap Index 2016.

However, there are still issues of inequality that concerns gender specially in its representation in media. Here are the issues gathered by the researchers:

Inequalities in political power (access to Decision-Making, Representation, etc.). Throughout the world, women are under-represented in most political processes. The importance of understanding and sighting gender differences in power over formal decision-making structures (such as community councils, governments, and policy-making institutions). Given the under-representation of women and the low visibility of women’s perspectives, the fact that women most of the time have various priorities, needs and interests than men is often not apparent. Equal Participation of Women and Men in Decision-Making Processes, with Particular Emphasis on Political Participation and Leadership [PDF]

Inequalities within households. Unequal approach in decision-making and negotiating potential and access to resources have been observed within households. Encouraging questions on both policy and research which is based on the assumption that households function as units where each member benefits equally.

Differences in legal status and entitlements. Considering the number of national constitutions and international instruments that proclaim equal privileges for men and women, there are a handful of situations wherein equal rights to personal status, land, inheritance, security and employment opportunities are denied to women by practice or law.

Violence against women. Gender discrimination also manifests in gender-based violence, either by a woman’s intimate partner (domestic violence), by an enemy army as a weapon of attempted ‘ethnic cleansing’ or in sexual exploitation through, for instance, human trafficking.

From the London film festival, Stacy Smith and Mark Choeiti wrote on their study Gender Inequality in Cinematic Content? A look at females on screen & behind the camera in top grossing 2008 films , “In the top 100 grossing films of 2008 young women were sexualized more often than men. 39.8% of women were wearing sexually revealing attire compared to 6.7% of men and 30.1% of women were shown partially naked compared to 10.3% of men.

This study is not a surprised at all: Women are viewed as sex objects. An article from National Review confirms this theory by stressing it out in an article entitled, Men see women as sex objects: it not misogynist, its reality.

Powerful and dominant, what a man should be, the pressure on men to be financially stable in relationships and families can also trigger violence. Facing the realities of unemployment and poverty, more often young men encounter feelings of frustration and disempowerment at the thought of not being able to provide, as a young man stated:

Men are not Entitled to be Weak

While true enough that women mostly are, the ones affected by gender-based violence, there should also be an understanding that men are prone to abuse, both emotionally, sexually and physically. Addressing Domestic Violence Against Women: An Unfinished Agenda. (2008) Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2784629/
There are cases wherein boys are raped however, these are stigmatized, meaning that they are unreported and isolated from the public. Abused by their women partners, but this is not accepted to be real.

Ron Mattocks from The Good Man Project (A media-company which collects men’s stories about the defining moments in men’s lives and about what it means to be a good man in the 21st century) testified from his own experiences. His story entitled, When Men are the victims of abuse, earned not only about 156 more testimonies of abuse on men, but also criticism, from all over the world. His story, together with other testimonies, are proof on how society view men. His story tells of how his wife mentally abused him and how it ruined his social life, his career, and left him ready to commit suicide. Ron and his wife would fight frequently, but no matter how valid his arguments were, his anger was automatically seen as negative. He quoted,” During truces, we even joked about how I just needed to learn that timeless truth upon which every successful marriage is built: the husband is always wrong. But it was no laughing matter.”

As mentioned by Psychcentral, “Men usually are blamed for abuse because of modern gender stereotypes. Women are perceived as the weaker, gentler sex, whereas men are perceived as being stronger and having natural tendencies toward violence.”

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