If you are a white girl, a black girl or a black boy, exposure to today’s electronic media in the long run tends to make you feel worse about yourself. If you’re a white boy, you’ll feel better, according to a new study led by an Indiana University professor.
Nicole Martins, an assistant professor of telecommunications in the IU College of Arts and Sciences, and Kristen Harrison, professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan, also found that black children in their study spent, on average, an extra 10 hours a week watching television.
“We can’t deny the fact that media has an influence when they’re spending most of their time — when they’re not in school — with the television,” Martins said.
Harrison added, “Children who are not doing other things besides watching television cannot help but compare themselves to what they see on the screen.”
Their paper has been published in Communication Research. Martins and Harrison surveyed a group of about 400 black and white preadolescent students in communities in the Midwest over a yearlong period. Rather than look at the impact of particular shows or genres, they focused on the correlation between the time in front of the TV and the impact on their self-esteem.
“Regardless of what show you’re watching, if you’re a white male, things in life are pretty good for you,” Martins said of characters on TV. “You tend to be in positions of power, you have prestigious occupations, high education, glamorous houses, a beautiful wife, with very little portrayals of how hard you worked to get there.
“If you are a girl or a woman, what you see is that women on television are not given a variety of roles,” she added. “The roles that they see are pretty simplistic; they’re almost always one-dimensional and focused on the success they have because of how they look, not what they do or what they think or how they got there.
“This sexualization of women presumably leads to this negative impact on girls.”
With regard to black boys, they are often criminalized in many programs, shown as hoodlums and buffoons, and without much variety in the kinds of roles they occupy.
“Young black boys are getting the opposite message: that there is not lots of good things that you can aspire to,” Martins said. “If we think about those kinds of messages, that’s what’s responsible for the impact.
“If we think just about the sheer amount of time they’re spending, and not the messages, these kids are spending so much time with the media that they’re not given a chance to explore other things they’re good at, that could boost their self-esteem.”
Martins said their study counters claims by producers that programs have been progressive in their depictions of under-represented populations. An earlier study co-authored by her and Harrison suggests that video games “are the worst offenders when it comes to representation of ethnicity and gender.”
Other research is starting to show the impacts of other kinds of entertainment sources, such as video games and hand-held devices. It indicates that young people are becoming creative at “media multitasking.”
“Even though these new technologies are becoming more available, kids still spend more time with TV than anything else,” Martins said.
Interestingly, the young people were asked about their consumption of print media, but the results were not statistically significant.
Martins conducted the research while she was completing her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, as part of a larger longitudinal study done with her co-author, Harrison. They sought out certain school districts in Illinois because of their diversity, but African-Americans were the predominant minority group.
Sorry to sound like an asshole, but as someone in a college on the west coast this kind of shit has REALLLY been getting to me. It’s time for some basic facts.
White men are responsible for:
- Every doctrine of…
I wouldn’t go too far with this concept. Where civilization developed is largely due to environmental factors. For example, the planting of maize in North America by Natives took a long time and a lot of care, whereas the crops planted in Europe were not so time consuming to plant. Subsequently, Europeans had more free time to develop modern civilization, and Natives didn’t. There isn’t something genetic that makes white people more able to come up with the internal combustion engine. Likewise, there isn’t something genetic that made white people commit crimes in Africa, North America, and elsewhere. Once you have civilization, and another people don’t, it’s too easy to think of them as lesser humans. If Native Americans were the ones who came up with modern civilization first, you could expect that white people would be upset about Europe being stolen by the tribes from America.
I never said there was anything genetic about this. I’m saying it’s stupid for people to hate white males because as a race they have contributed more technology, science, and literature to humankind than anyone else. This is a fact that anyone with a vague understanding of world history knows. Yes, they have done bad, but every other people the planet has too.
Anyways, you are a gentleman and a scholar. Unlike these rabid dogs who have just been slobbering on eachother, circlejerking, and hating white people. Thanks for being a rational person, I see you’ve read guns germs and steel too. Very good read.
I can be polite also I don’t hate white people, Whiteness, yeah. But not White People. (Read Guns, Germs and Steel btw)
I did some digging into your list, here are my foundings if you’re interested.
1. Democracy: Hilariously, while typically given Greek origins there were democratic practices in other places, such as Mesopotamia and India! Not all white then. (1)
2. Doctrine of Human Rights: Like…the constitution? Pretty sure other nations/races/ethnicities had those as well for different situations. Like, 100% sure.
3. Secularism: SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT Islamic people had that shit in the middle fucking ages (2)
4. iPad/Computer/Internet: Similar to cars, to attribute…any of those things to one person is erroneous. Let me just say that for sure PoC’s helped make them. (off the top of my head Dr. Mark Dean (black) helped make the personal computer possible) Shhhiitt, the very invention of the computer would be impossible if not for the math that people from the Middle East invented while a good portion of Europe was mud wallowing. (Pretty sure one of the first known kinda machines was from there as well)
5. Running Water: White people invent water now? BUT, and this is great earliest uses of Tap water? Pipes and shit? Mesopotamia! AND EGYPT! Despite what Hollywood tells you Egyptians weren’t white either. (And Rome)
6. Abundance of Food: ??? Um, okay like…every major group of people learned to farm and harvest food so I literally don’t get this? Do you mean modern times? Cause 80% sure most of my food doesn’t touch that many white hands unless it’s from Whole Foods and even then…(Also many irrigation techniques come from non-white civilizations see cause of the lack of rain.)
7. Car, Public transit system, Bicycle: Can’t speak for the Bike (Damn you white people! Ya got me.) But for Cars while the initial idea/patents may be held by white people, I find it hard to believe that no PoC revolutionized it in any way ever. Same with public transport (black dude invented the Stop light know that. And please, let’s get into who built the railroads.)
8. Architectural Achievements: No. Much like fashion designers, architects are able to pull from whoever and whenever they want for their designs. So I don’t even know what you’re trying to say here. (3)
9. HAHAHA I THINK I’VE DIS PROVEN THAT. AND EVEN SO, WHO CARES? ALL THAT SCIENCE IS STILL ON THE BACK BONE OF MIDDLE EASTERN MAAAATH (4). I THINK YOU WHITE PEOPLE OWE SOME FOLKS SOME SHIT. ROYALTIES OR SOMETHING.
10. Modern Philosophy, Art, and Literature: IRL LOL. Sure if you ignore all the PoC writers, artists and Philosophers sure. If you don’t learn about them I guess they don’t count? Shit man, them Africans Socrates talked about didn’t mean shit to you huh?
No matter where you turn Western Civilization was built upon the backs of PoC’s, from Asians, Latinos, Black People and Native Americans have come different styles of writing, art, language, MATH (I cannot stress this enough, white people did not invent math), philosophy, science, industry. White people may have been in charge of it all (western civ) yet that was only by keeping others down and literally stealing things from other cultures.
Is this how a civilization was born? Yes. Is it good to live in? For…some, yeah. But what makes you think that white people are literally the gods of all invention and civilization? SHIIIIIIIIIIIIT Africa and the Middle East was doing pretty great until White people intervened.
AND WHILE I’M ON MY ROLL, THIS is why we need ______ History Month’s. Because people will literally think White People did everything and PoC’s sat on the sidelines watching.
SO ONCE AGAIN:
YOU THOUGHT WESTERN CIV WAS BUILT BY WHITE MEN
(1) Yep yep yep. Pretty sure Kalinga in India in the 2nd century functioning democracy (broadly, for this time period, because we have to consider the fact that Greek democracy had stuff like property qualifications and restrictions on gender etc)
(2) I think Akbar is a really good example of this.
(3) Again massively over-relying on the example of India here because it’s the example I know (somewhat) about, but Mughal architecture?
Also Islamic advances in medicine etc
People are silly.
Also, can we not forget that in almost every society in history wherein the privileged elite had the leisure of sitting around thinking great thoughts, they were able to do so because an entire underclass of slaves/servants/indentured labourers were doing the day-to-day work that formed the backbone of society?
If you think white men emerged from the fluffy clouds of heaven with all these inventions raining out of their assholes down upon the poor POC masses below, then I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you.
Woah, I didn’t know my Privilege Denying Asshole Coworker had a tumblr!
But, yes, if your argument is ever ‘we’re not giving enough credit to the white menz and their hardwork-iness!,’ you are wrong and you should feel incredibly wrong. We celebrate the achievements of the white menz every fucking day. They’re not getting shafted for attention
(Though, I should mention: I absolutely despise Diamond-esque theories of environmental determinism for the same reason I hate evo-psych explations for patriarchal societies. It just smacks of apologism and WE’RE POWERLESS TO STOP BEING INHERENTLY RACIST AND SEXIST AND YOU SHOULD FEEL SORRY FOR US BECAUSE IT’S NOT OUR FAULT WE’RE HORRIBLY RACIST AND SEXIST. IT’S JUST THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS, SORRY IF YOU GOT THE SHORT END OF THE STICK, NOT OUR FAULT, BLAME LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE. Enviro/biological determinism is just the new manifest destiny, and it does absolutely nothing to help us move forward to try being less, you know, racist and sexist.)
True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality. A group that is made up of 50% women is perceived as being mostly women. A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.”
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part.
Also the study where they had women and men talking in a discussion and when women spoke around 30% of the time, men perceived them as dominating the discussion. They didn’t consider it “equal” until something like 5-10% of women talking.
Voila. A beautiful example of why fighting for equality becomes a gross exaggeration in the eyes of the oppressors.
File under: loss of unearned privilege is seen as discrimination
In similar news, if I see one more argument that affirmative action is just “reverse racism,” I will actually lose it.
Sequels are hard. You have to take everything up a couple notches without completely blowing your load (because there will probably be a third one) and find a difficult balance between giving people what they loved about the first and keeping things fresh to avoid making it feel…
It was indeed that gay. I am not involved with this fandom, but I imagine they must be exploded bits of squeedust at this point…
“Not that Holmes/Irene was terribly overpowering in the first one, but you subtract ALL the hetero from a series like this and it’s like you’ve just amplified the gay 10 fold without even trying.”
I. Er. OK, I completely understand where you’re coming from, but this is a wee bit problematic in the context of the film itself.
I, too, was filled with glee and glitter at the utterly delightful Holmes/Watson relationship in the original and the sequel - RDJ and JL have brilliant chemistry, their banter was witty and charming, and it absolutely made it one of the best and gayest relationships we’ve seen recently in film.
What they did in this one, though, wasn’t just “subtract ALL the hetero.” If they had, you might have seen a Holmes/Adler relationship similar to the first movie - with some slight token sexual tension, but primarily one of rivals, grudging partners, and intellectual equals (which in no way subtracts from the gayness of Holmes/Watson).
What they did instead was “subtract ALL the ladies.” Irene was subject to a fate far too common among women in popular film - namely, killed as a plot device to motivate the male hero. Her death is narratively important only as it impacts the men of the story (it demonstrates Moriarty’s villany, prompts Holmes to seek revenge, ect). We aren’t encouraged to exam her as a character - what are her own motivations and desires? - or to mourn her in her own right, but merely to accept that she is a pawn in the game played amongst men.
I will gladly dance with you in the field of wonderful homoeroticism, but let’s not forget that far, far too often, “subtracting ALL the hetero” comes at the price of gross narrative misogyny. Is it too much to ask for a movie that, yes, is that gay, and doesn’t throw its women under the bus in the process?
More commonly, of course, critics (usually, but not exclusively, male) have pointed out men have disadvantages too – being drafted into the army, being expected to suppress emotions, and so on. These are indeed bad things – but I never claimed that life for men is all ice cream sundaes.
What I wish he made more explicit here (he sort of dances around it in the next paragraph) is that the disadvantages he lists to being male are also products of the patriarchy. Men are expected to suppress their emotions because emotionality has been given a female connotation. Somewhat by definition, the patriarchy has given femininity a negative connotation. As such, emotional men -> more like women -> bad. The celebration of female masculinity in our culture over male femininity isn’t because women have all of these ~magical wonderful gender-bending freedoms~ that men are denied. It’s because, typically, any attempts to be more masculine (good) are praised over any attempts to be more feminine (bad). And if that’s not explicit patriarchal misogyny, I’m not sure what is.
(Really, this is just a rant against any argument that says that sexism is harsher towards men because women can wear pants and skirts and men can’t. Instead of denying sexism, help us dismantle the patriarchy and give equal value to any forms of gender identity and expression, and then we’ll all just be able to wear and feel and act however the fuck we want).
—RD Laing (The Politics of Experience)