Media can morally degrade people in prison by categorizing them as “less than human”. Masculinity in particular plays an interesting role in that men, like Jeremy Meeks (a.k.a. the hot felon arrested earlier this summer), may or may not be able to rely on their masculinity to escape consequences of social justice.
Hegemonic masculinity, in particular, plays a role in this phenomenon. While Meeks is of one of the lowest “rungs” of the hierarchical structure, he is capable of drawing on the ideals of the top hegemonic levels that depict male domination. The difference between males and females in this aspect is quite remarkable. If a woman were in the same situation that Meeks was, she would not receive as much internet adoration as he has. According to our stereotypes, women are classified by being subversive, wearing makeup to look good for male partners, and caring about what others think about her.
A female in the criminal position would seem to fit all but such characteristics, which in many males’ eyes is unattractive. On the other hand, women may see the “bad-boy” in Meeks to be a desirable trait even though he is a convicted felon. This particular clash of genderization highlights the very differences between how men and women are perceived to exist in society. In addition, it shows the invisible power that someone like Jeremy Meeks has that gives him a head-start when talking about convicted felons.
Genderization can be seen in many other cultures across the world. Both genders, and even in some cultures a third or fourth gender, have specific roles that they are expected to fulfill in society.