People of all different genders, race, ethnicities, and social classes have established their own types of media usage.  The media has a large impact on the way an individual understands and experiences gender.  Throughout my life, I have never distanced myself from my media usage, meaning my media usage has generally been the same when I started to let the media kind of control my life in a way.  Media can be depicted through books, magazines, movies, the Internet, newspaper articles, video games, television, etc.  My list of media usage might be tedious, but it really describes my gender.

During my teenage years, most of the media I consumed was very similar.  Whether it ‘d be in the dentist office, orthodontist office, doctors office, or just sitting at home relaxing, I loved to read Sports Illustrated.  I was not one of those kids who would just look at the pictures and flip through the pages.  I was greatly engaged in the articles about certain athlete’s accomplishments.  I guess that is why I have a good memory of what famous athletes have done in their careers.

I have had a large collection of video games that I have played over the years.  The games I played were generally for mature boys.  I played games like Grand Theft Auto, Need for Speed, and multiple sports games such as NBA Live and Fifa.  After awhile, one game would become dull, and I would switch to another game until I got bored of that one.  However, after not playing a certain game for awhile, I would always go back to it because I enjoy it.  The sports games overall shape me because my greatest trait is that I am very athletic, and I don’t think someone could name an athlete who was not athletic.

I didn’t really get involved with the Internet until I was 11 or 12.  At that point, I was visiting espn.com on a daily basis.  On my computer at home, I would look up youtube videos of my favorite athletes at the time and watch their highlights.  When I created my facebook page, many of my first profile pictures were of athletes that I had admired at the time.  As you can see, there is a trend going on in the way in which I view the media.  Sports are viewed as mostly masculine, so it explains the impact the media has on my gender role.

Movies break the trend I had been creating.  People of different genders can like the same movies; however, some action movies can be seen through a more masculine role, and some comedies can be seen through a more feminine role if the movie is considered a “chick flick”.  My gender role remains true as I tend to appreciate mostly action/adventure movies.  Additionally, movies such as “The Hangover”, “Superbad”, and “Stepbrothers” are comedies, nevertheless, I believe they are viewed as a more masculine comedy even though many women have watched these type of movies.

My current media menu is limited to what I have described above.  I do not play any more video games because I have grown out of that phase of my life.  I have realized that I have more important things to do.  In regards to television, the program I watch most is ESPN.  That will never change, and I wish I could count the number of hours I have spent watching that channel in my lifetime.  Also, I have now been accustomed to reality TV.  I am a big fan of “Jersey Shore”.  That show carries out both gender roles of masculinity and femininity.   Since I am older, I am now subscribed to Sports Illustrated.  The Internet sites and videos I watch remain the same as well.  Like I stated above, my media usage has been the same throughout my life.

When I think of the one positive, empowering gender representation, I think of the NHL network.  At school, every night I watch the NHL network.  Ice hockey has been my secondary sport to tennis since I was 13, but I still believe I love hockey just as much as tennis.  People might say, “So what, you watch the NHL network.  How does that represent a positive gender role?”  Well, if you look at statistics, ice hockey is a multi-gender sport that is played the least by women.  This means that women participate more in basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and track more so than in ice hockey.  A miniscule percent of women watch the NHL network.

A discomforting gender representation that I am embarrassed to claim is that I have watched “The Bachelor” on multiple seasons.  “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” is designated to a predominantly feminine audience.  Only 8% of men in the United States watch “The Bachelor”.  I believe that men don’t watch because it is a show about finding love.  A man’s masculinity might be called into question if he were caught watching the show.

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