Term Paper: Women in Mexican Media

Pages: 5 (1464 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Communication - Journalism  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Muzquiz's radio show is just one example of a country twitching as it witnesses a shift - some say the "Americanization" - of its family values (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0218/p01s03-woam.html).

This backlash against women's increasing independence manifests itself across the airwaves, not just during news programs. Not only is there rampant sexism in ads and in newscasts, but also in magazines and newspapers. The sexist images of women that are promulgated might seem to be old-fashioned in the United States, where mainstream companies would not think of using such overtly sexist imagery because to do so would alienate far too many potential customers.

The backlash is apparent in popular TV shows, newspapers, magazines, and music. A nationwide ad campaign by the Monterrey-based bank Banorte, for instance, pictures a stretch of pavement littered with broken glass and a fallen lipstick. A message scratched below warns: "There are many women driving. Insure your car with Banorte!" (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0218/p01s03-woam.html).

While American advertisers shy away from explicitly sexist messages for the most part, talk radio in the United States is laden with sexist and even misogynist imagery. This latter is true in Mexico as well, as can be seen by the fact that Monterrey shock jock Oscar Muzquiz spends a substantial amount of the time that he is on the are reviling women.

Meanwhile Brozo, the lewd clown who hosts the popular morning show "Early Riser," long maintained that his voluptuous and scantily clad "secretary," Isabel Madow, was the perfect woman - not just for her curvy frame, but also since she never uttered a word. (Ironically, she recently left the show to pursue a career on her own.) (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0218/p01s03-woam.html).

A woman who used to work as a news-writer for Mexicali's XHBC said that she never considered working in front of the camera because of the way women were treated - and even working behind the scenes became too much for her. She now works for a newspaper in Southern California.

When we would get tips called in about stories they were always sorted right away into "real" stories and "girls stories." Anything that could involve the newscaster saying anything really lascivious - that went to a woman. Any chance possible to make it seem as if there were a legitimate reason for a woman to talk dirty in front of thousands of men.

And the worst thing was to me that a lot of the women who were on the air really didn't mind. They just wanted to dress up in pretty clothes and work for a couple of years and get a good husband. So you couldn't count on them for support.

But some of the other women, they were real journalists, with professional training, who wanted to do important stories about trade or education or government corruption. But instead they did stories about what some famous man's bimbo was wearing (Godines, interview).

Women broadcasters in the United States are not relegated to such obviously infantilized roles as they are on Mexican newscasts, no doubt in past because the overall status of women is higher in American society than it is in Mexican society. However, it is true that on local newscasts in Southern California that women are far more often given soft news stories - features and gossip and scandal than are men, according to the media critic for the Los Angeles Times (Shaw, interview).

Mexican television stations use women (and their bodies) to sell their programs, thereby increasing ratings and bringing in more money - a problem that haunts all commercial news organizations. But women on Mexican broadcasts are also pawns in a cultural war in which the only way that men can feel that they are maintaining the position that they aspire to is by actively degrading women.

References

Gans, H. (1979). Deciding what's news. New York: Vintage.

Govines, Valeria. (2003). Interview. http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0218/p01s03-woam.html

http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/943/context/archive

Shaw, David. (2003). Interview.

Tuchman, G. (1987). "Representation and the News Narrative." In American media and mass culture. Berkeley: UC Press. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Women in Mexican Media.  (2003, May 13).  Retrieved September 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/women-mexican-media/6095592

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"Women in Mexican Media."  Essaytown.com.  May 13, 2003.  Accessed September 16, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/women-mexican-media/6095592.