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The Portrayal of Women on TV in South Africa

The Portrayal of Women on TV in South Africa,Jenny Pretorius

The Portrayal of Women on TV in South Africa  
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Machel (1998) refers to the sex roles and gender roles of women. Sex roles identify the biological make up and difference between the male and the female. Gender is constructed socially and identifies the relationship between men and women in the context of power relations. Gender is not natural or god-given, but is created by society through socialisation, using institutions such as the family, the church and religion, school and education, and the state and laws. Gender relations can therefore be changed by the very society that created them. Gender roles exist in all spheres of society starting with the division of labour in the family. Women are usually allocated the role of domestic chores as if it were natural for them to do this. This work is hidden and not paid for. For most women in this country, domestic chores are additional to the work they do outside the house. This means that women have very little spare time. These socially determined roles for men and women are culturally or socially created and are given the status of being natural and normal as if they " have always been " and " will always be." From these gender roles, certain characteristics, that are a reflection of what it means to be male or to be masculine, are expected of men while other characteristics are attributed to women as a reflection of their femininity. For example, men are supposed to be natural leaders, decisionmakers and providers in society, beginning within the family, while women are the caregivers, supporters and followers of men. Gender Relations Gender and gender roles define the way women and men behave in society and in relation to each other, the way in which they perceive themselves and their attitudes. Gender relations affect the unequal power relations in society, the essence of which is the domination of men and the subordination of women. These gender relations structure the roles of men and women, shape the ideas, knowledge, values, culture, attitudes, structure of society and, in essence, social life itself, and are reinforced in books, history, stories, songs and the media.
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