Social Media and the End of Gender

gender_equality1

This week I watched Johanna Blakley perform a TED Talk on ‘social media and the end of gender’. The title of the talk immediately intrigued me. Because on one hand, the young generation today is constantly dealing with online problems that no generation has ever dealt with before. This includes everything from a mandatory use of computers in the majority of schools to serious cases of online bullying.  On the other hand, social media networks allow people to be exactly who they would like to be, even when they are not ready to be that person in the real world. For example: ones sexual status, age, or ethnicity. The presence of the digital and social media can thus be equally negative and positive. And if the internet is supposedly on its way to becoming a gender free platform, then perhaps that means that the young generation has moved one step closer to a more contemporary definition of world equality.

In the talk, Johanna Blakley commences to explain that media and advertising companies are still using the same traditional demographics to understand their audience. This would include age, gender, and race. However, with the growth of social media networking, the demographics are becoming harder to understand and track. It has become harder to track a person’s age and easier to track a person’s Likes on, for example, Facebook. Blakley continues to explain that as social media outgrows traditional media, women are starting to outnumber men. Thus, women are changing the gender stereotype of advertising, public relations, and media companies. Sadly, the speaker lost me when she commenced her feministic argument. The title of the video was “the end of gender” not “the rise of women” and because of this misguided message, I do not believe that Blakley presented a legitimate and focused argument. The discussion could have been very interesting but due to Blakley’s feministic and unequal stance, I was only left feeling as if it was a waste of an intriguing title.

Please watch it and let me know if you agree! Do you believe that a gender neutral media platfrom could bring the world a step closer to equality?

2 thoughts on “Social Media and the End of Gender

  1. I watched the entire talk and I got a different perspective than you I think. While I agree that it shouldn’t have been titled to focus on gender, I think the feminism part was really just an emphasis to show how women are becoming more of a dominant force worldwide and with power they hold. To answer what it should be titled, probably “end of demographics”.

    With that said, I agree with what she was saying. She mentioned Buff the Vampire Slayer (the TV show, not the movie), which was written and directed by Joss Whedon who is a feminist himself. More and more female heroes and action stars are coming to the forefront and being successful. Buffy is an example, Alias, Chuck, Black Widow from The Avengers, Gina Carano in Haywire, and more are being used as leading or co-leading actors. The movie industry is promoting more women in the spotlight.

    Additionally, women are in the military and are allowed combat roles (though most don’t want them per this article: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ap-exclusive-army-women-combat-jobs-22662668). There are also more women as CEOs, in the medical field as doctors/nurses/physicians, and even dominating the communications field (look at Loyola’s gender division in communications for proof).

    I think she had a strong point using feminism, which gets a bit of a bad rap from some loud people who misconstrue the idea. Feminism, at its heart, is about equality for women rather than putting men or other demographics down.

    I do digress, though, as the talk was more about breaking down demographics in general rather than just gender. Wow, sorry for the soap box there!

    Like

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