Ideology is the system of ideas that forms some type of policy, and the concept of gender ideology has been around for generations. This is the same concept that influenced our parents to make our rooms’ pink if you are a girl, or blue if you are a boy. One could argue that we should not follow these gender stereotypes, but these have become the norm in our everyday life. Ever since we came out of our mother’s wombs, we have been exposed to these roles of gender stereotypes. As babies our rooms are painted a certain color, our clothes are certain colors, and the toys we play with are either masculine or feminine. As we grow older, that does not change, and it is arguable that we are exposed to the gender roles more than we were as a child. I have experienced gender roles in my every day life in situations such as: fantasies, watching television, and advertisements.
My dad and every other gentleman in my life have unintentionally planted this masculine gendered stereotype into my head. They told me that I should like girls, and like “manly” things, but they did so without knowing it. The bigger reason is that they were unintentionally taught the same things. The gendered stereotype in a male’s fantasy is the ideal of looking good and being in shape, having a big house and nice car, and of course, having a beautiful wife by his side. I am not different than the average male and that is exactly what I fantasize about. It was Sunday, October 30th 2016, and while lying around doing nothing I could not help but think about my future. I want this big, gated mansion in Georgia, a nice big truck I can fit all my kids in, and last but not least I imagined my beautiful model wife lying by the pool while I admire her golden hue. Another fantasy guys have is the belief at being the best at everything we do, whether it is in our work place, playing a sport, or in competition with close peers. On the same day of my fantasies about having a great life, I also fantasized about being the best at everything I do. For example, when playing a sport, the average male most likely fantasizes about some part of their sports more than they should. I cannot remember a day I did not fantasize about dunking on someone, or scoring an insane amount of points in a game. Every one of my fantasies is masculine and are a part of a gender stereotype. This can even be applied to when I am sitting at home watching television.
On Saturday, October 18th, 2016 I compared and contrasted the feminine and masculine tastes of my girlfriend and me. I realized this through the taste of TV shows we like to watch. I watched more masculine shows, for instance Sports Center or Sunday Night Football. My girlfriend on the other hand preferred to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians or Say Yes to the Dress. Those are shows that I absolutely don’t want to watch, but what the girlfriend wants she gets. I also tend to watch a show that gives me scophophilia or the pleasure of looking at beautiful things (D. Valkanova, personal communication, October 18, 2016). Hollywood and other cinema often appeal to a male audience; therefore those are the types of shows I find interest in. I choose the shows I enjoy to watch because of masculine and feminine stereotypes, but this is not what is going through my mind when searching for something to watch.
Another part of my life that appeals to gendered stereotypes is my exposure to advertisements. The Internet has an interesting way of knowing who you are. Throughout my experience with the Internet I realized that everything I search will most likely pop up as an advertisement in my later Internet searches. I noticed this when it comes to emails and there are numerous amounts of masculine advertisements everywhere I scroll. I did not notice the gendered stereotypes that surrounded me until required to do so. The advertisements in my emails involved Express Men, Forever 21 Men, and Lids. All of these advertisements showed either a sharp looking man in nice clothes, or the man was doing something that showed he lived a luxurious lifestyle. This is important because it is not only sending me the messages of what type of lifestyle I should want; but also appealing to the gender stereotypes that are influencing the type of clothes I should want to wear.
In class, we discussed how mass culture believes that only women in society can be gendered. This is not the case after analyzing a couple days of my life, and now looking back at it, there are many more gendered stereotypes around me that I did not realize existed. Gender stereotypes are not going anywhere because of ideology that has been around since life first stepped foot on this earth. I have experienced gender stereotypes through fantasies, television, and advertisements and I will be more attentive to notice these in the future.