Confronting Media Privilege

4 Nov

I recently went looking for a list of markers of “media privilege” — something similar to the checklist in Peggy McIntosh’s famous knapsack article, but specifically geared toward media. I didn’t turn up anything right away, so I’m generating a list of my own, to use in my Intro to Media Criticism class later in the semester.

 

Gender

I can name a Hollywood director who is the same gender as I am.

I can name five Hollywood directors who are the same gender as I am.

I rarely see jokes on tv and in movies mocking my gender.

When the lead character in a tv show or movie has the same gender as I do, it’s hardly noticed or commented on by anyone.

When a celebrity of my same gender wins a big award, their gender is not excessively pointed out.

If I want to get a job in the media industries, I don’t have to worry about being pigeon-holed into certain positions, companies, or topic areas based on my gender.

 

Ethnicity

I can name a tv show where most of the main characters are the same ethnicity as I am.

I can name five tv shows where most of the main characters are the same ethnicity as I am.

I can name a Hollywood director who is the same ethnicity as I am.

I can name five Hollywood directors who are the same ethnicity as I am.

I rarely see jokes on tv and in movies mocking my ethnicity.

When a celebrity of my same ethnicity wins a big award, their ethnicity is not excessively pointed out.

I can regularly find television shows in the same language my parents speak at home.

I have access to an entire television channel in the same language my parents speak at home.

I have access to five television channels in the same language my parents speak at home.

People of my ethnicity are frequently featured on the covers of mainstream magazines.

I can be pretty sure that most newsstands will have magazines geared toward people of my ethnicity.

People of my ethnicity are frequently featured in advertisements.

If I want to get a job in the media industries, I don’t have to worry about being pigeon-holed into certain positions, companies, or topic areas based on my ethnicity.

 

Sexual identity

When tv or movie characters have the same sexual identity as I do, it is not seen as controversial.

I can name a tv show where most of the main characters have the same sexual identity as I do.

I can name five tv shows where most of the main characters have the same sexual identity as I do.

I can name a Hollywood director who has the same sexual identity as I do.

I can name five Hollywood directors who have the same sexual identity as I do.

I rarely see jokes on tv and in movies mocking my sexual identity.

When a lead character in a tv show or movie has the same sexual identity as I do, it’s hardly noticed or commented on by anyone.

When a celebrity of my same sexual identity wins a big award, their sexual identity is not excessively pointed out.

People of my sexual identity are frequently featured in advertisements.

I can be pretty sure that most newsstands will have magazines geared toward people of my sexual identity.

Access

The home I grew up in had cable television.

The home I grew up in had premium television subscriptions.

The home I grew up in had high speed internet access.

I had a smartphone before I was 18.

I had an iPod before I was 18.

I had my own computer before I was 18.

My high school had updated computers and high speed internet access.

 

New questions could be generated around age, disability status, class, region, nationality, religion, political affiliation, and so on, depending on the material to be taught. We could also get intersectional, asking these same questions but combining identity categories. So for instance, “can I name five shows with main characters who share my gender and my ethnicity and my sexual identity?” Comments with additions to any of these lists welcome!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: