Archives for category: Television

I have always been a huge fan of the television show, That 70’s Show.  It’s incredibly funny, the actors are great and it gives a look into a small Wisconsin town in the 1970’s, what’s not to love? There are several episodes throughout the eight seasons dealing with gender roles and expectations, gender stereotyping and second wave feminism. 

For example, Donna’s mom, Midege joins a feminist group called, “Feminist Warriors” and also takes a few women’s study classes. As we know, during the 1970’s second wave feminism was in full swing and allowed women like Midge to take classes, join feminist groups and teach their daughters, like Donna, the fundamentals of feminism.  

There are also a couple of episodes I find very interesting as far as gender roles, expectations and stereotyping are concerned.

The first one is episode four from season one.  The episode is titled, “The Battle of the Sexists”.  Throughout the episode we see many accounts of gender roles and stereotypes.  For example, at the beginning of the episode, Hyde, Eric and Kelso are sitting in the basement discussing and comparing the size of a few girls’ breasts.  This is pretty stereotypical for a highschool boy or a group of guys to be talking about. Also, in the episode, Red, Eric’s dad is out of a job and has been attempting to fix various things around the house despite the fact they are not in need of fixing.  This, also can be seen as stereotypical for a man to want to work and without a job, a man goes crazy and has to be doing or fixing something.  Along that same note, since Red has been trying to fix things that aren’t broken, Kitty, Eric’s mom is upset about Red trying to fix things because he ends up making them worse.  In the episode Kitty refers to the things Red is “fixing” like the dryer, as things she needs, uses and loves.  This also struck me as extremely stereotypical.  Because Kitty is a mother and wife in the 1970’s she must love her appliances that she uses to do daily chores?

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Another episode that is very amusing and relevent to our class is titled “Baby Fever”.  In this episode, Eric is impressed at Donna’s motherly skills and they each imagine their future together with children.  First Eric imagines Donna at home with two babies and he comes home from work. Then Donna imagines Eric at home with the babies while she comes home from work (wearing professional clothing).  This is so interesting because of the stereotypes in both scenarios. Eric just assumes Donna would be staying at home with their children and Donna assumes opposite. Watch the clips and see what you think.

BABY FEVER

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By: Brittany Polacek 11/7/11

In anticipation of next week’s lecture about gender, crime and popular culture, I decided to blog about some of the things I like/dislike about female detectives on television.

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When I heard that a transgendered model was going to appear on the newest season of America’s Next Top Model, I decided to watch just to see what kind of reception she’d get on the show. As it turns out, the current season is an “all-star” season featuring models who appeared on previous seasons but didn’t win. Isis King (born as Darrell Walls) first appeared on the eleventh cycle of the show but was eliminated roughly halfway through the competition. Unfortunately, the modeling itself seemed to be the least of King’s troubles.

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One of my favorite tv shows is the hit series Two and a Half Men.  I believe Charlie Sheen played a terrific role in the original version and helped to make the show what it has become today.  It will be interesting to see if it was Charlie to make the show or if it was the show writers that made the show so good as Ashton takes over as the main character.  However, this show is very sexist towards women and that might be why it is such a large hit with Americans.  In every episode you can find numerous parts where women are being treated with a sexist attitude or interpertation. Two and a Half Men show women in three different ways: for pleasure, for work and for a pain in the butt.

Women are shown as a use for pleasure in many ways durning an episode.  Charlie is constantly hooking up or looking to hook up with women after women after women.  To Charlie women are used for pleasure.  All of the women that Charlie hooks up with are pretty and most of them are not the smartest tool in the shed.  To someone watching the show, such as a young kid this could show the kid that women are all dumb and are all used to hook up with for your pleasure.  Charlie doesn’t want to spend time with the women that he hooks up with and he expects them to leave in the morning otherwise he thinks there is a problem and starts to panick.  They are simply there when he needs them and gone when he doesn’t need them.

Next, women are show as workers in the series.  Charlie or any of the other males in the house ever do any house work or make any food, that is why they have Berta.  Berta does all the cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping and anything else that the males need her for.  Charlie expects berta to do all of the work and thinks that that is what she is there to do for him.  Her only job is too keep the house clean and make food for everyone.

Women are also treated as a source of pain for men.  A great example for this is Allen’s exwife.  Whenever she is brought into the story she is treated as a pain and nothing good is going to come out of talking to her.  Allen never wants to talk to her or see her and when he does see her she is yelling and screaming at either Allen or Charlie.  Allen is constantly complaining showing that he doesn’t want to see her or talk to her.

All of these examples are from the old Two and a Half men when Charlie Sheen was the main character.  As the new series starts it will be interesting to watch and see if it was charlie who brought the sexism to the show or if it is the show itself.  I believe that it is the show that brings the sexism and Charlie was its source to comedically show the sexism.

-Matt Zangl

FeministFrequency.com is run by Anita Sarkeesian. She is a self titled “feminist pop culture critic” who uses video commentary to explore pop culture through various lenses such as: gender, race, class, and sexuality. Sarkeesian states that her goal is to bring discussions about gender, sexuality and feminism out of an academic setting and make it more engaging and accessible with the universal language of pop culture. Her goal is to celebrate the joy of stories and characters, while at the same time unmask and demystify the dangerous social norms perpetuated by many of them. I really think her blog is not only entertaining and clever, but a really good model for our own blog. Pop culture, whether it is books, movies, video games, TV or music, is something everyone can relate to and discuss with some degree of familiarity.

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