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Omar Rasoul

Media BTEC
Year 12
Using any media text, you have studied, compare how masculinity is represented in the media
today. (10-marks)

Gender is the roles that are socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a
given society considers appropriate for men and women, and these things have changed throughout
time specifically I will talk about the two media texts that I have chosen which are the Cillit Bang
advert and the clip and poster for the 1987 action film ‘Predator’.

Traditional stereotypical representations of masculinity are that men are the breadwinners of the
family, have the best or highest paying jobs (highest paid jobs or the highest ranking jobs), are
physically fit and are in dominant positions in society. These stereotypes were once the dominant
ideology prior to the late 1980s and early 90s and this linked to for some people the idea of
patriarchy and that men are dominant in society. Traditional ideas of masculinity in the media
include representation of men in films as the ‘Action hero’ or the ‘strong silent type’ which is seen in
films such as ‘Terminator (1984), Batman (1989), Predator (1987) and Rambo First Blood (1982) and
these representations of masculinity are even seen in modern action films such as John Wick 1-3
(2014-19), Mad Max Fury Road (2015), Batman Begins (2005), Taken (2008), etc.

This is seen through the poster for ‘Predator’ and the costume, props and body language and the
inferences they create for example the character ‘Dutch’ who is the central image takes up a large
amount of the poster and there are no other characters present which gives the viewer the idea that
he is dominant and important and meets up with the action hero stereotype which is further
emphasised through his costume which is cargo pants and a tactical vest which leaves his arms and
chest exposed and this is done to put his muscular physique on display because stereotypically the
‘Action Hero’ is muscular and over powering and dominant through his physical strength.
Furthermore, on the poster Dutch is staring at something with an intense and serious facial
expression and there are explosions behind him and this links to again the stereotypical ‘Action hero’
and just a stereotype in most portrayals of men in the media which is the ‘stoic, emotionless and
fearless character’. In addition to this the ‘action hero’ masculinity stereotype is further emphasised
Omar Rasoul
Media BTEC
Year 12
through the props in the poster mainly the weapon Dutch is wielding which as we already know
from countless action movies is the hero’s main prop. The clip for ‘predator’ also clearly shows how
the main character mirrors the ‘action hero’ stereotype because he is in a dominant position and is
able to pull off unrealistically hard tasks as he not only saves one of he’s team members but also
gives them orders to carry out while transporting a wounded team member at the same time this is
further emphasised through the editing which is mainly jump cuts and cross cutting in order to
create the fast paced and intense action feel.

On the other hand, the modern representation of Masculinity has changed in the sense that
masculinity is not always represented through physique or having the best job and in some cases
men are represented as having what is considered feminine characteristics and there is less of a
focus on heterosexuality being the norm for masculine men as there would have been in past media
representations for men, such as old action films where the man always had a female love interest.
In addition to this the modern representation for masculinity has a link to the idea of ‘masculinity in
crisis’ and the idea of men in traditionally female positions this can be seen in media such as films
‘Daddy day care’, ‘Mr Mom’, Mrs Doubtfire, etc. This change in the perception of masculinity came
supposedly from the rise of female rights movements and as more women got into better jobs some
men felt that they had to re-establish their masculinity.

This is seen through the advert for ‘Cillit Bang’ which gives a more modern example of ‘masculinity’
for example in the video the man is seen dancing around his work place which dancing is not a
stereotypically masculine thing to do but in addition to this he is cleaning which stereotypically is not
what a man does. Furthermore, he is listening to the song “She’s a Maniac” and just by the title we
know the song is referring to a female and the film it was used in ‘Flashdance’, this links to the idea
of ‘masculinity in crisis’ and through the way that men are doing what is considered more feminine
things and the gender fluidity and this mainly believed to because as women gained more equality
men started to lose their identity or what it means to be masculine and this lead to the creation or
of stereotypes such as the metrosexual man, New Family man and buffoon/ daddiot. In addition to
this in the advert there is a juxtaposition between traditional masculinity and modern masculinity
through the fact he is in a garage which is a rationally male dominated space cleaning and dancing
but also his manager is in and out on time and in addition to this the manager does not really show
any emotion whatsoever and while he is in the advert he remains monotone, he also in the advert
throws the towel over to the other man as he thinks it is not his job to be cleaning, on the other
hand he stays back to clean he also links to the modern stereotype of metrosexual man through for
example his costume, he has his hair done and he’s wearing a white shirt which is not the usual
attire of someone who works at a garage. Modern stereotypes of men include the spornosexual,
metrosexual, the buffoon, etc.
Omar Rasoul
Media BTEC
Year 12