Sunday, October 21, 2007

Da "Real" and The "Ideal"

Da "Real"

The "Ideal"

The first photo represents the "real" man, myth, legend Dave Pica and the second photo reveals what an "ideal" Dave Pica would be like. Right now I'm just a poor college student who enjoys hanging out with friends, going out drinking, sports, fishing, meeting women and cars. In the future hopefully I can accomplish being an "ideal" Dave Pica. A successful college graduate with a good job making decent amount of money who can enjoy having nice things, the ability to do things I love, and maybe one day settle down and have a wife.

You could say that I am very into going to the gym playing sports and the usual masculine activities. "At any given time, individual men as well as groups of men are engaged in an ongoing process of creating and maintaining their own masculine identities" (Katz, pg 351). From my collage you can see that I'm a typical masculine guy. "The differences between advertisements for male toiletries and those for female toiletries are marked and, to a certain degree, conform to certain binary oppositions which are generally accepted to relate to men and women" (Kirkhan and Weller, pg 269). Men and women are different and their products that they use should relate to them. Men are masculine while female are feminine. I see nothing wrong with advertising products differently between men and women. If I see a commercial with a women using a shaving cream to shave her legs it's not gonna make me want to run out and buy it. It does not relate to me. Products for males are typically going to have masculine qualities while female products are typically gonna display feminine qualities.


Kirkhan, Pat., and Alex Weller. Gender, Race, And Class In Media. London: Sage Publications, 2003.

Katz, Jackson. Gender, Race, And Class In Media. London: Sage Publications, 2003.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blog 1

Do toys and products marketed to children display gender roles and stereotypes? Many toys today are marketed specifically for boys or girls and do develop their understanding of normative gender roles and stereotypes in childhood. Humans have been playing with toys since the beginning of existence. Parents began by making toys from simple materials like wood and stone, to today where toys are mass manufactured. Toys play a huge role in the development of children. Children play with toys to learn about the world, practice skills they will later on need, and create their identity. Not only do they serve to entertain but to enhance physical and metal ability.

Many toys are marketed specifically for boys and others for girls. For instance Barbie, which is targeted primarily for girls. When searching on for Barbie this is the picture that comes up. The girl looks like a miniature Barbie. Barbie puts the image of what a “normal” girl should look like in girl’s minds. Girls that play with Barbie may get the idea that they should look like Barbie. In reality, Barbie’s proportions are not even close to the average girl. GI Joe is a toy that is specifically marketed to boys. This image was taken from

GI Joe is a very popular military action figure. Most of the GI Joe's are male and could give children the stereotype that only men are supposed to join the military. Also, as you can see from the picture this GI Joe is very muscular, as are most of the GI Joe's. Young boys may get the idea they should look like him when in reality very few men look as muscular as him.

The idea that “Environmental cues set the stage on which the power relationships of the sexes are acted out and assigned status of each sex is reinforced” shows how toys can develop a child’s normative gender roles and stereotypes in childhood (Henley & Freeman,85). As a child most of their environment is going to consist of playing with toys. Some toys like Barbie and GI Joe can display negative stereotypes about men and women. Many people say “aww it’s just a toy”, but is it? People don’t consciously think about the effects a toy will have on a child. Toys develop a child’s identity and their ways of thinking, so it’s important to make sure each toy doesn’t exhibit a certain stereotype and encourage children to play with all types of toys, not ones just specifically targeted for his or her gender. Hall uses the saying, “Little boys like playing rough games; little girls, however, are full of sugar and spice”(Hall, 90) , to explain the ideology of masculinity and femininity and how it’s constructed in society. Toys can also display typical masculinity or femininity.

While looking at the age ranges in toys you see that as the ages increase, there is increase in the amount of promotional toys. Younger children play with most of the same toys until they are about five years old. At this point they are bombarded with promotional toys like spider-man, sonic, and Harry Potter. There are a lot less promotional toys until the age of five years old. Children are watching TV more so they are going to see commercials for movies and TV shows and want these types of toys.

The one toy found that was on my child’s list that was gender neutral was a water gun. Most advertising for water guns include both girls and boys. As a child I remember both girls and boys being in all the commercials and also boys and girls in the neighborhood playing with them. In conclusion, I think its important for parents to consider how the toys they buy for their children will effect them and their personality. Some toys can cause children to develop a stereotype or gender specific role, that we as a society need to break away from.


Hall, Stewart. “The Whites of Their Eyes Racist Ideologies and the Media.”

Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Sage Publications, 2003. (89-93).

Lull, James. "Hegemony." Gender, Race, and Class in Media. Sage Publications, 2003. (61-66).