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Where do I begin? Tonight I was informed that Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was going to be on TV.  I never really knew what it was but I had heard about it; I guess it’s a pretty big deal.  As I was sitting in my dorm room, everyone else had it on their TV’s too, as if it were a Packer game.  Everyone was raging on Facebook saying how excited they were.  So, instead of viewing a movie, I decided to watch the show to wrap up my blogs about gender roles and stereotypes in shows and movies.I love modeling (although I definitely don’t do it, haha) and am extremely addicted to America’s Next Top Model, so I can appreciate what the girls were going through on that stage tonight. However, if I were to point out the gender roles expressed on the show, it makes it harder to appreciate.  First off, the girls are (obviously) wearing almost nothing, with the most covering clothing being a VERY push-up, push-up bra and skimpy underwear. Secondly, they are to make a pose at the end of the runway, which generally entails a very flirtatious and provocative facial expression. Plus, these girls are strutting down that runway in skyscraper heels, I swear! Gotta give ‘em a little credit for that, haha. 

So, men and women alike all over America had free access to what could be considered very inappropriate images.  Some of these girls were barely 20 years old, making me feel a little uncomfortable since there were a few younger than me (which seems crazy… mostly because I think I would too young for that kind of thing).  My point is this: the show began at 9 and aired on CBS— what about little kids? I never went to bed until it was about 11 each night since I was in about 4th grade, and I know I’m not the only kid who did that.  So we’ve got a bunch of possible 8 year olds watching these girls as either their role-models for who they want to be or for who they want to date. Great.

Here's a much more conservative picture... wait, aren't they trying to sell bras or underwear... or anything people can buy at the store? Hmm...

This leads me to my next point.  During some of the breaks, commercials were played that showed interviews of the Angels (the models in the show that represent Victoria’s Secret).  They showed them in the famous “pink robes” that were opened enough to see the push-up bras and far more chest than anyone under the age of 18 should be seeing.  What struck me as funny was that they were trying to relate to young girls and families by talking about dreaming big, the way they grew up, and how they got to where they are now.  I found this a bit demeaning to the girls and to girls like myself. Could they not have expressed their dreams and talked about their childhoods while fully clothed? Hmm…

One of the Angels in the famous "pink robe"

During other commercial breaks, it was very clear that the intended audience of the show was for men. I found it a little humorous how obvious they made that; I’d thought they’d balance the product placement a little better.  There were continuous commercials about action shows, and about buying something from Vicky’s for your girlfriend since it is the greatest Christmas gift (I thought that was funny because I bet a lot of people actually will now). There were a few “girly” commercials about body lotion and whatnot, but I found the more dominantly male audience insinuation to be stronger. This tells me that the people in charge of the show thought men all over would want to freely ogle at these women, so they catered the commercials to them.

Finally, I saw what was on Facebook after the event. The results were shocking to me.  There were at least 50 posts about the show, probably half female and half male.  The female portion was literally saying things like “Oh, never eating again” and “Getting a gym membership on Thursday!” and “I wish I had a nice body.”  The male half was saying “Looks like I found a taste in fashion tonight” and “Women have the twilight movies, men have the Victoria’s secret fashion show.”  I found that this very much solidified the stereotypes of men and women; women want to be pretty and skinny, and will do almost anything to get to that point, while men want to look at women as freely as they please.  It was really sad to see all the girls posting about how fat they were and whatnot. The show seemed to instigate this universal feeling of unhappiness within the girls; they’re supposed to be drop-dead gorgeous, stick-skinny, toned, tan, tall, and able to walk in 30 inch heels to appear beautiful to men.  Overall, I actually enjoyed the show, because like I said, I can appreciate it. However, I do wish that some things could be tweaked in order to make it less stereotypical and less available to young audiences.

I didn’t post any of the show on here due to the fact that some people might find within it a slight level of inappropriateness, but I’m sure it can be found on Youtube or elsewhere if you are interested!

 

Written by: Molly Farley

My last entry discussed the characters of “That 70’s Show” and the gender roles that they portray throughout the series.  Though they can be seen as harmful if children watch the show, or even as offensive, they can also be seen as a form of satire and therefore can be humorous. However, when watching episodes of the show, things may get a bit more offensive than anything else to a strong feminist or to someone who is strongly opposed to any kind of stereotype for any gender.

The 10th episode in season 8, called “Sweet Lady,” was full of gender roles and stereotypes.  Jackie wants to get a job working for an anchor on the show “What’s Up Wisconsin” and needs Fez to pretend to be her “boyfriend” to get the job; this is because she needs someone to be on the interview with for Valentine’s Day.  At the interview, Fez tries to trick Jackie into kissing him (since she has the pressure of being live on the air and getting a job under the anchor).  Eventually, against her will, Jackie kisses Fez so she won’t be heckled anymore.  This portrays men as pushy, and women as being easy to give into physicality if it means being unbothered in the future.  Also, in the show, it is perceived as funny; if people are watching, they may perceive this type of situation to be humorous and therefore acceptable in reality.

Later in the show, Red (one of the main character’s father) is getting a present for Kitty (the mother).  When he shows up without a present because another character stole it, Kitty has an emotional outburst.  She gets so angry that she yells at Red and then storms out of the room with a threat.  I thought this was an awful portrayal of women, seeing as it made Kitty look extremely materialistic and overdramatic when she stomped out of the room. 

The final example of stereotypical gender roles was in a scene where one of the characters, Donna, was being asked on a date by another character, Randy.  Being the feminist of the show, she had asked him out earlier in the episode, but he said that he was actually going on a date with another girl.  He later surprises her with a candlelit dinner.  When she asks why he lied, he goes on to explain that he is “kind of a traditional guy” and likes to do things in the traditional manner, which means he would have had be the one to ask her out.  She seems completely fine with this, and enjoys the rest of her date with Randy. This is exactly why I think the show missed the target on defining a character as feminist; if she truly were, she would not have just let that go.

There were many other examples of stereotypical gender roles in the episode, such as Jackie fighting very immaturely with two other women (suggesting that women cannot logically handle a situation and must be catty in order to solve it), and also when the anchor says that she’s “missing the only thing every woman needs to feel good about herself” – a man.  All of these examples point out the stereotypes America has given to women and men, thus influencing our thoughts about our human counterparts and the way we may treat them or let ourselves be treated.

I don’t have a lot of pictures or clips or anything for this post, so here’s a clip of Kitty’s obnoxiously hilarious laugh:

Enjoy!

Written by: Molly Farley

When a typical American between the ages of 15 to about 30 hears the name “Fez,” the immediate reaction may be a smile, a bit of laughter, or a sudden outburst of conversation regarding everyone’s favorite sitcom, “That 70’s Show.” This show seems quite harmless, seeing as it now airs on Nickelodeon (generally a children’s network) quite frequently. After viewing just one episode—though I’ve seen almost all of them, twice—while keeping gender roles in mind, I think its assumed “harmlessness” could be endangered. I will do one post focusing on simply explicating the characters and their gender roles, and my next one will explain a particular episode. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the main characters in the show:

Eric: That awkward but awesome friend. The only thing I really have to say about Eric is that much of the time, he expects Donna to be a traditional teenage girl; he wants her to submit to him, have sexual relations with him, marry him, and raise their children at home. He is not a jerk about it and actually does push against many stereotypes about men, but he definitely falls into the category of stereotypical man in a relationship.

 

Hyde: The jerk in the group who has a conspiracy theory for everything. He has a general dislike for people which others respect by staying out of his way (I find this to be a “masculine” thing, therefore a stereotype). He is sarcastic, dry, a bit of a loafer, and takes strong interest in girls and alcohol. He embodies the typical male teenager; however, if these traits belonged to a girl, I feel as if it would not be seen as funny or acceptable.

 

 

Fez: The foreign exchange student who wants on every girl alive. He frequently lies and tricks girls into getting intimate with him. He acts childish and immature most of the time. Again, something that I think people would feel uncomfortable with if Fez were a girl.

 

 

Kelso: The foxy town idiot. He portrays how “good-looking” men should look: tall, muscular, perfect smile, white, etc. Throughout the series he also shows that good-looking people are constantly given opportunities simply based on their faces and bodies; he is successful without trying. Talk about “white privilege!”

 

 

 

 

 

Donna: The only feminist or person concerned about feminism in the show. Though she has big dreams of becoming a journalist someday and tends to defy much of the “typical woman,” she proves that TV shows are, indefinitely, fallible. Despite her shiny future, Donna is constantly collapsing under the pressures of sexual actions with her boyfriend, Eric. She is never truly happy unless she’s with Eric (or, in later episodes, with other men); their relationship seems to always at its best when they are having sexual relations. Furthermore, she is called “Hot Donna.” She is tall, skinny, blonde/red-haired, and frequently presents herself in a “sexy” way (i.e. not wearing a bra). I think they really missed the target on making a character with feminist ideology and “different” dreams.

 

 

 

Jackie: The stereotypical female everyone stays away from. Jackie is extremely materialistic and narcissistic. She thinks that beauty defines not only herself but her life as well in regards to social and financial status. She is always hooked up with a guy, and the audience is consistently reminded who she is “doing it” with. She is promiscuous, unfriendly, and only cares about herself. I feel that this is the way many men view women; they see them in their worst light, and Jackie’s character does not help to dissuade them from these stereotypes. (Sorry about the vulgar in the GIF, but it’s perfect!)

 

Though I do love this show, there is much to be considered when watching. Since it is shown on such a renowned network, it is easy for young children and young adults to learn the stereotypes and “expected roles” that it portrays. The men are generally inconsiderate and objectify women, while the women do generally find themselves as these objects of sex. Furthermore, it portrays the women as average, since there is nothing “radical” about any of them (TV Show Hit List). As for the men, the stereotype of “men are pigs” is deeply enforced in this show. Yet, amidst all this, everyone seems okay with it. Personally, I think that this is because the show can use the excuse that it was set in the 70’s where things truly were much more traditional. However, kids don’t take that into consideration when watching TV shows. On a last thought, I can appreciate this show very much, because it can make fun of the way society is; therefore, it can be seen more as satire than as enforcing certain stereotypes when an adult mind is viewing it.

Written by:  Molly Farley

Website Cited: http://webpub.allegheny.edu/employee/a/acarr/ws200/tvhitlist.html – TV Hit List

Originally, I was to watch That 70’s Show or Family Guy in order to expose the plots and characters through a viewpoint focused on gender roles.  I had already watched a few episodes of That 70’s Show, but last night I discovered an entirely different subject in which to study.  One of my very good friends posted a status on Facebook that read “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she gets ideas… and thinking…” I was immediately offended and typed the sentence into Google to find out if it was a quote from something.  Surely enough, the quote was from the well-renowned Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast. I began thinking about other Disney movies, and decided to embark on a study of gender roles based around Disney classics.

 

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