Sunday, May 21, 2017

Analysis of Gone With The Wind

The 1939 movie Gone with the Wind promotes the Mammy stereotype, which is present throughout the movie. This movie is still relevant, along with other works of fiction based during the same era, as the Civil War is still a highly studied topic by scholars today. It begins right before the Civil War, and takes place in Georgia, so the families owned slaves and servants. In the O’Hara family, the main household servant, Mammy, is the perfect representation of the Mammy stereotype. The film portrays her as someone who does not mind being enslaved, and as someone who loves her work.
Throughout the movie, Mammy acts as mother to the O’Hara’s eldest daughter, Scarlet, and even more so when Scarlet’s actual mother dies. One of the most important scenes in the movie involves Mammy. When Scarlet finally returns home after the war is over, she discovers that her mom has died. Scarlet turns to Mammy, who then calms Scarlet down. Mammy is the one figure Scarlet looks to for help.She offers strength in times of hardship, and helps her in times of need. When Scarlet has to go to town to talk to Rhett to collect money to pay taxes, Scarlet takes Mammy with her, as she makes her feel safe, which is especially important as the town is dangerous. Mammy also breaks the stereotypes as she has some agency during the movie, especially after Mr. O’Hara dies. She begins to run the household operation, with a few restrictions from Scarlet and the others. Ultimately,this movie enforces the idea of the Mammy stereotype, which portrays a slave liking the job she does and as being treated well by the family, when, in reality, that was usually not the case. Over time, movies have represented slaves and servants in a much more realistic manner.

Extra Credit: Video Link

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Qualifications to be pretty

     Inside the TV show america's next top model it picks girls from around the world to compete in a competition to be a model. Each week the girls have to go through an array of competitions ranging from commercials to modeling to doing runway shows, and are judged off of their looks and progress throughout the weeks. Even Though this seems like a shallow show that continues spreading the old ideologies and views on women as sex objects that are meant to only be looked at. It actually takes the lead in showing the depths of women and is changing the old views and standards of beauty, while showing the different types of women in this country. Therefore, america's next top model should be considered as a feminist work of art.
     America's next top model (ANTM) works to reinforce, and change many stereotypes, gender roles and old ideologies surrounding women. Inside of the fourth season of ANTM it went against the gender role that women should show domesticity and submissiveness. It fights this by showing Noelle, who was in this this competition despite she had a husband and child. This shows that even when women have responsibilities at home they will still try and follow their dreams, even if it entails being the breadwinner in the home. In season four one of the contestants were kicked out of the competition because she almost fought someone who poured something on her. Even though the show went against those gender roles it still reinforces that women should show purity and piety. And should never show angry emotions in public even if it is instigated. ANTM also works to go against many stereotypes but still enforces some. In our society many people see models as sex objects but ANTM tries to change that view with the contestant Brittany. At the beginning of the fourth season she was almost eliminated because she came off as too sexy. Inside the TV show the judges didn't want the girls to come off as sex objects. But they wanted them to be seen as seductresses to all genders. who can get anyone to buy their products just from their looks. Even though in this society models are seen to be skinny, ANTM tries to change this by letting in competitor Keena who is considered to be a plus sized model. She continued to get really far in the competition but her personality simmered away and she lost. This shows that personality is more important than the pictures, which is a very rare view for models.

     As a whole, ANTM sees how society views women and tries to fix it through showing that models have personalities and home lives that helps them as models. It also shows that if women are driven enough to do something they can, even if it goes against the views that society has on them.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

No amount of roses or champaign will mask this blatant sexism

As one of ABC’s most successful shows, The Bachelor has been on the air for fourteen years. For just as long, however, this romance-centered program has come under very harsh, very valid criticism. Accused of promoting and perpetuating blatantly sexist themes throughout its time on TV, some might say that a more appropriate name for the show would be something along the lines of Search for the Perfect Housewife.

As early as the first episode of the new season, a number of the women are unknowingly and quite unluckily assigned tropey roles by ABC themselves that they will be stuck with for the rest of their time on the show. Utilizing camera techniques that appeal to the male gaze, the woman of that particular season who has been named “the sexy one”, for example, might later watch her episodes and find that for over half of the footage used of her she is wearing a bikini, and rarely speaking at all. A very similar experience, meaning being portrayed on screen as more of a character than a real woman is had by the women that are titled things like “the stuck up one”, “the mom”, “the party girl”, and “the dumb one”, respectively.

Every week and in each episode, two dates take place. The one-on-one date, during which just one of the twenty-five women is selected to spend a magical evening alone with the bachelor, usually complete with a helicopter ride and a private concert, and a group date, when a large portion of the women are forced to go on an outing that feels more like a school field trip than a date, only with more cameras, crying, competition, and public humiliation. If the women are especially unlucky, there might even be a two-on-one date. This happens about once a season when two women go on the same date, effectively creating a humiliating atmosphere for whichever woman  is being treated like the third-wheel. At the end of what is always the most uncomfortable date of the season, only one woman is given a rose, and the other must go home immediately. Televised mortification to this extreme degree is not only disturbing to see but also perpetuates the inconsiderate nature of which this show treats its female contestants.

It would not be difficult to write off The Bachelor as just some reality garbage. Due to it being one of the longest-running reality shows on any network, the shock of the ridiculous premise (one man dating twenty-five women at the same time to hopefully meet and fall in love with his future wife) has worn off, each episode becomes more and more predictable, and all drama is so obviously staged it almost hurts to sit through. Through each group date, catfight, breakdown, scandal, and glass of wine, in the last episode of each season the bachelor is expected to pick one woman to be his wife. But why do they have to get married right then? Can’t they just continue dating like a normal couple until they are positive that they are both ready to take that step? Shouldn’t this happen organically? Those All great questions, all ones that the production team at ABC has never bothered to acknowledge. It is for that reason that a bachelor couple very seldom ever actually makes it down the aisle.

Through all of the criticism and reasonable disapproval of the show by onlookers, The Bachelor remains ABC’s biggest cash cow and longest running reality show. For fourteen seasons, the obvious promotion of countless examples of sexist ideologies have taken a back seat by viewers to utter (maybe slightly morbid) curiosity. The show’s sheer ridiculousness is enough to keep its viewers coming back each season, if only for the helicopter rides and dazzling dresses. This fascination that each new season brings, unfortunately, is still too strong for many to step back and consider the potential problems and unhealthy standards that airing a show like this could plant in its supporters minds.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Espionage at its finest

The show Archer is about the world’s greatest spy named Sterling Archer and his wacky adventures and the people he works with. The show was created by Adam Reed for the FX network back in 2009 and is currently still airing and about to premiere their eighth season on May 5th. By over-exaggerating stereotypes — specifically, the “douche bag” or “player” stereotype of men and the “seductress” stereotype of women -- the show is mocking traditional gender roles. And by employing a very self-aware male gaze (we see the world through the sexist eyes of Archer), the show makes the audience understand the stupidity of that perspective.

Sterling Archer is the world’s best secret agent and the main character of the series Archer. In the show Archer is often portrayed as a player, the alpha male, and an immature douchebag. The numerous amounts of woman, of age and not of age, he sleeps with is ridiculous. Either trying get a girl or paying a prostitute he is always sleeping with and or insulting women left and right. The morning after Archer doesn’t even care care to see them out the door he sees them nothing more than his continued list of conquests, toys, or sexual objects even. He’s the worst of the worst and almost makes you think there’s no way a human being like this even exists. However, sadly there are people who are like or even worse than this and kind of makes you disgusted to even think that there are people out there like this. Although Archer does sleep with a lot of women and clearly shows no intention of caring for women, at least not until later, or the health he is also quite the charmer in the show which only adds to his crazy persona. If he is not paying for a women to sleep with him he is charming his way into a bed with women at night. On multiple occasions Archer leans on the table flirting with a woman and gives the well known flirtatious head dip when talking to a woman. Being a charmer he is quite often the center of many female characters attraction and that only helps him, being a spy, when needing to seduce or persuade someone. Archer lives a good life full of danger and excitement and is quite skilled in using weapons, driving, and martial arts. Despite that he finds more joy in his job when enjoying a lifestyle full of sex, alcohol, thrills, and lacrosse. Most people he associates himself with despise him, can’t stand his presence, or want him dead. Having Archer be the main character we follow Archer’s lifestyle and in doing so some could say the show is seen through an extreme male gaze. However, this is nothing compared to the stereotypes of women throughout the show.

The top female agent at ISIS and usually coming second to Archer is secret Lana Kane. Kane is portrayed as the seductress of the series and is usually seen as the center of every male and female attraction. Kane is usually shown in a one piece, cowl neck dress with her thigh high stiletto boots showing off her womanly physique and figure. Due to different circumstances Kane is more than not seen in her underwear and as the series progresses she is seen with even less clothing.(Example) Kane is very smart, clever, and sharp witted so she is commonly the person to get the agency out of sticky situations. Kane is also very tall and extremely strong, when she’s not outwitting her enemies she’s using the skills she’s obtained in martial arts or brute strength to get what she wants. Kane has also had relations with multiple people in the office and was at one point in a relationship with Archer. However, that didn’t not last and now they aren’t exactly on the best terms. At one point to get back at Archer she decided to say anyone that wants to have sex with her should come into an office. She had almost everyone in the agency men and women alike line up outside the office. When people went in though they didn’t have sex with her, instead Kane said “you’re allowed to say that you’ve had sex with me which is the next best thing”. She did this to everyone and when asked wouldn’t she be worried that since you said the same thing to everyone someone would figure it out. In response she said “no because they’re all stupid and I mean look at me… who wouldn’t want to admit they’ve had sex with this”. This is just one example of how Kanes charisma works in her favor.

Archer creates a world where traditional gender roles are used to create and shape the characters on the show. By doing this the show mocks these traditional gender roles and shows how absolutely ridiculous they are. In Archer these stereotypes are exaggerated so much that it’s almost impossible to imagine that this could be true. The “player” stereotype is taken to an extreme in this show. A life full of non stop sex, diseases, and an unsatisfied need for something that you just can’t quite figure out what that might be but you know no matter what you do you still feel empty inside. When you do find love it is ripped from you and you’re left heartbroken and stranded alone not knowing what to do but turn back to your old habits. The “seductress” stereotype s also taken to an extreme in ways you would and wouldn’t expect. Being a spy you can imagine having skills in order to get your way whether they be mind games, brute force, or persuading through various ways. When in that line of work you can only assume that that is what’s needed in order to be able to do you job. But not outside of work to get whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. Everyday something new tearing or shredding your clothing. Almost always in your underwear or less clothing with thousands of eyes staring at you around every corner. It’s almost as if every time we see Kane that were seeing her through Archer’s eyes. Of course having Archer be the main character it is expected to see the world through his perspective, but there are times where we are literally seeing the world through Archer’s eyes. This creates a very known male gaze throughout the entire show which causes the characters to act in a different way depending on how Archer sees them. Looking at the show this way employs a very sexist view of woman in the show and only leads to them being devalued as human beings. This being so makes it so stupid that the audience can only see and laugh at how idiotic these characters are, when in actuality the show is mocking these traditional gender roles we’ve learned to mold into in life.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The United States of Tom

Both Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn have their own United States. It is mostly an even divide, however the United States of Tom Sawyer has more control in the end. One of the main characteristics that makes the United States more of a Tom than a Huck is the value of money over friendship or caring for others. Tom wants to take Jim in to earn the money no matter what, while Huck thinks about it, and decides it is not worth losing his friendship to turn Jim in, as he means far more as a friend than any amount of money could mean to him. Another reason the United States is more a United States of Tom more than a United States of Huck is the fact that people usually have large goals in life, versus the idea that Huck just goes along with what happens, and literally rides the river. Another reason for the fact that the United States is more of a United States of Tom versus a United States of Huck is the fact that they value working for a reason whether it be money or not, instead of enjoying life as it is.

Defiance of Female Stereotypes in “The Big Bang Theory”

Female scientists on TV? Unbelievable! Not any more...

“The Big Bang Theory” is a CBS TV show produced by Chuck Lorre. This situation comedy, still popular in it’s tenth season, depicts the story of Sheldon Cooper, a theoretical physicist; Leonard Hofstadter, an experimental physicist; Penny Hofstadter, a pharmaceutical sales representative; Howard Wolowitz, an engineer; Rajesh Koothrappali, an astrophysicist at Caltech; Amy Farrah Fowler, a neurobiologist; and Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, a pharmaceutical biochemist. “The Big Band Theory” represents a forward thinking show, with equality between genders and female characters who are empowered and independent.

All three of the main female characters interact with one another and make choices independently from their male significant others. They are very intelligent and hold positions at levels that reflect their abilities. This was not always the case. Originally, Penny was an unsuccessful actress and waitress, but then she studied to become a pharmaceutical rep. After being hired for this position, her character has been portrayed as smarter and more self-confident. In Howard and Bernadette's case, Bernadette makes more money than Howard, defying the classical stereotype that men make more money than women. Bernadette manages the home finances, and in most cases, is also the head of the household, another position stereotypically held by the husband. Bernadette shows this while also expressing her motherly instincts after she had her baby. She runs the house, and commands everybody else in the household, including her husband and their male friends, reinforcing the stereotype of how mothers have strong maternal instincts, but also defying the stereotype that men are the leaders of the house.

Another important aspect of “The Big Bang Theory” is the fact that the women in the series are never objectified or referred to as sex objects, and all the men treat them with respect, and are not dominant over their significant others. The men in the series rarely talk about other women, and if they do, they never objectify women. The women have nights out together, and they almost never talk about other males. However, in Amy’s and Sheldon’s relationship, the stereotypical roles are reversed. Amy, at times, thinks of Sheldon as a sex object, such as when Amy fantasies about Sheldon being a sexy train engineer. This satirizes societal constructs set forth.

Amongst the men, Howard and Sheldon fall under the stereotypical “smart guy/nerd” umbrella, as they both are very nerdy, and are constantly expressing how smart they are. Their characters revolve around both their level of knowledge, and their love of comics and science fiction, such as “Star Wars” and “Star Trek.” They are both somewhat socially awkward, another stereotypical trait of nerds. Because the characters are multidimensional, the show makes them human, and not just a stereotype.

Overall, “The Big Band Theory” is a forward thinking show that represents women as intelligent, empowered people. These characters seem to accurately represent the types of women one would find in the real world. So even though it is a light-hearted comedy, it takes women seriously.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Feminism Has Seen Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a recent Netflix Original series that blew up in popularity. The show contains elements of mystery and sci-fi, and takes place in 1990’s Indiana. The television show seems to have an interesting relationship with modern gender roles. The main trio of boys searching for their friend Will have these stereotypes pushed onto them, but fail to follow. They play Dungeons and Dragons, get scared easily by almost everything, and end up making Eleven do most of the dangerous activities. Teenager Nancy is stuck between two boys, Jonathan (Will’s brother) and Steve. Yet as the story progresses she ends up firing a gun and showing more bravery than both the boys combined. In only eight episodes, Stranger Things promotes the individuality and power of women through its complex characters while also showing how society attempts to shut these females down.

The children of the story are arguably the protagonists. Three of Will’s friends, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, leave the hard and dangerous work of finding Will to a young girl named Eleven. Although tormented and abused to gain these abilities as a child, Eleven is intelligent and exact with her telekinetic powers. Without spoiling the show, there are many instances in which clues are found and lives are saved all because of her. Overtime the storyline begins to paint her as Mike (the leader of the group)‘s love interest. But when analyzing her it’s clear she’s not doing all of this necessarily for Mike, she’s doing it because she cares and wants no one to go through what she has.

The teenagers of the story are sadly very cliche. Nancy is the older sister of Mike, and Jonathan is the older brother of Will. Steve is Nancy’s current boyfriend, who causes her to neglect her best friend Barb in order to be popular. Through helping out their siblings in any way they can, Nancy and Jonathan start develop a romance. But this does not get in the way of Nancy’s determination to help her younger brother, as she travels to different dimensions and fires a gun all on her own. And in the end of the season, despite the clear opposition most of the audience felt, Nancy dated the guy she wanted to. Her only downfall as a character is neglecting her best friend Barb, which causes this ginger sidekick to get involved in the disappearance of Will.

The adults of the story seem to, quite frankly, be the laziest until the last couple episodes. One of the questionable female of the show is Will’s mother Joyce. She goes into hysterics when Will goes missing, frantically begging Chief Hopper of the police to devote his work to searching. Over the course of the show, the debate arises on whether or not Joyce in mentally sane. She keeps claiming to be receiving messages or calls for help from Will throughout her home, through christmas lights or telephones. Society, like Hopper, see this behavior as pure craziness and just a symptom of a grieving mother. Yet this remains a mystery, as season one concluded with no real answer to how much Joyce saw was reality.

In the society of Stranger Things females lack agency in how they appear how they act, etc. But the strongest leads are women who fight for their agency and basically do whatever they want no matter what they’re told. On the one hand, we have the powerful telekinetic girl Eleven, who directs majority of the plot and fits none of the womanly spheres. On the other hand, another featured female Nancy seems fierce, but is continually having to ‘decide’ between two male love interests. Yet the only visible stereotype is the mother figure Joyce but even she stands up for herself and her own (possibly insane) ideals. Almost all the females in the story are told at some point that they’re crazy, that they’re wrong and should listen to what the men have to say. In some of these cases it’s reasonable, as the female’s action may harm other. But nevertheless there is definitely evidence of “mansplaining” in the young boys and grown men of the show.

Stranger Things barely passes the Bechdel Test, but this does not mean it doesn’t promote feminism. The main conflict of the series is the disappearance of a young boy named Will. Therefore, most conversations between any of the characters are about Will. The only small incidence that passes the Bechdel Test is when Nancy asks a random side character named Mia if she’s seen Barb today. This counts because Mia’s name is mention seconds before, so she is a named character. But this still barely counts, and the entire gaze of the show is still on Will.

The hit Netflix Original Series didn’t get it’s fame for being radically progressive with its badass females. They just added to the intriguing storyline and attracted a stronger female audience as they saw themselves in Eleven, Nancy, or Joyce. This kind of work, shows that highlight feminist ideals but isn’t centered on them, is becoming more popular in movies and television. In order to shine light on an oppressing situation, a fictional representation can be created to real in the audience to the reality of it.

Going Inside of "Inside Amy Schumer"

Amy Schumer is a name that is impossible to ignore, especially in the world of entertainment. From her comedy specials in front of massive audiences, to her well received show on Comedy Central, and her various cameos and writing contributions, she is certainly a female powerhouse in the entertainment industry. Because she is such an popular comedienne who relies on shock and conventionally “inappropriate” humour, she is often lambasted by critics for only having one dimension of comedy. Despite this, she has managed to become an influential female comedian who is able to send poignant messages about feminism, American culture, and general problems in society, especially through her show Inside Amy Schumer.

Inside Amy Schumer is a sketch comedy show that premiered on Comedy Central in early 2013, and has since won two Primetime Emmy awards and a Peabody Award. The show has a variety of guests and bits, including from her own stand up, on the street interviews, and skits, all including Amy herself. Many times, her skits differ from her stand up, as her skits and sketches are can contain a strong feminist undertone, and are more than just simply humorous. They can speak to a real issue, and because she puts it in a humorous light, it is easier to relate to and therefore understand.

Perhaps the one of the best examples of this is with her skit, “A Very Realistic Military Game.” It opens with Amy and her boyfriend, who is playing a first person shooter game. She asks him to play, and then enthusiastically comments about their being a female character option. He makes a face, and snickers. As he leaves the room, it is implied through dialogue and Amy’s facial expressions that her character is raped in the game. When her boyfriend returns, he refuses to believe that the character was raped, stating, “You must have just pressed the wrong button," dismissing her and blaming the rape on her. The game then informs her that she was "Just assaulted by a fellow soldier," and asks her if she "would wish to report." Amy confirms she does, and the game's narrator begins questioning her, even mentioning that the rapist has a family in an attempt to dissuade her to continue reporting.

The next scene includes a shot of Amy controlling her character, but it is just a woman filling out a stack of paperwork, as her life force and health meter deplete rapidly and her "stigma" also increases very fast. Eventually Amy fills out the report and sends her victim to the Pentagon, in a final effort for justice. The attempt at retribution is feeble; as soon as she makes it to the center of the American military, she is barraged with questions like "what were you wearing?" and calling her an "occupational hazard." This direct slander, against someone who has just gone through a recent traumatic experience, speaks all too true to the reality.

Rape and assault in the US Military is an epidemic. As Amy Schumer portrays this sad fact in the form of a somewhat comedic short, she also implements an effective and somewhat emotional portrayal of what can actually happen. This is an excellent example of how Amy Schumer uses her show as well as her knowledge and passion for women's rights, and that she covers several different and pressing topics.

Gone Girl Feminist Critique

     The film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is as provocative as controversial.  The movie does not conform to the normal gender roles portrayed in modern works of culture, and defines characters in a way that makes the main character a hero and a villain.
     The story of Gone Girl puts a feminist psychopath against a misogynist jerk in a dysfunctional marriage. The wife, Amy, sets up her philandering husband, Nick, for her murder. the two characters vie for the reader's sympathy, lying and manipulating one another in order to survive. Most viewers would see Amy as the "worse" spouse: she's smarter, stronger and willing to commit murder. One one hand, some argue that a conniving character like Amy only gives women a bad name, but on the other, viewers might see Amy as an empowering character because of how she takes control of her life. Ultimately Flynn and the director portrayed a female lead with a complex and intricate persona that challenges stereotypical female characters in modern film and culture. As Amy is depicted as a powerful woman who does not let her husband or society control her, Nick is the opposite of typical portrayals of men. Nick is not a manly man who runs his household or is in control of his life. Nick is oblivious to most of his wife’s life, he isn’t a hard worker who provides for his family either. Gone Girl challenges gender roles all around; the film portrays a woman as a leader and a rebel against society and patriarchal wedlock itself, meanwhile, the man is useless, lazy, individual who is clueless about his surroundings.
    As Amy is making her getaway, she goes on a rant about women who try to become the "Cool Girl" in order to please men. This monologue showed how her life did not revolve around a man, and she was an independent person who had her own thoughts and agenda.
According to Amy, the Cool Girl is a woman who pretends to like what men like in order to attract attention. She's the type of girl who unabashedly loves sex and drinking beer and eating and is always ready to forgive her husband's foibles. Amy almost points out to the audience how bad it is for women to fall into a roll of servitude. Amy also looks down upon some women who assume traditional female rolls as mothers and wives, again calling out how social standards and expectations hold women down.

Batman And Gender Norms, A Love Story

Image result for batman saving rachel

Batman Begins is the first movie in the batman trilogy. It came out in 2005 and included stars such as Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine and Katie Holmes. It focuses around the origins of Bruce Wayne and his backstory on becoming Batman and his take down of the mob. This movie perpetuates gender norms and tropes such as male individualism, the damsel in distress, and women seen as distractions and not important characters. It does this by showing batman as extremely individualistic, having one of the few important woman characters as a person who always needs to be saved, and showing all the women characters as unimportant who are always in the way.

Batman Begins constructs gender by showing batman as an extremely individualistic person who doesn’t need help from the outside world. While Batman has to be by himself to evade the law, he prefers not to work with others. He helps the police, but even then he is elusive and doesn’t trust anyone. This perpetuates the idea that men need to take care of themselves with no help from others. This is very destructive to men because it discourages them from getting help when they need it. This contributes to the mental health crisis in America. Men don’t want to get help for their problems because they have made up idea that men need to be strong all the time, and a real man doesn’t get help for his problems.

A common trope in superhero movies is the damsel in distress trope. This is when a female character is in a terrible situation and needs a man to save her. This is extremely common in superhero movies, being in almost every one. In Batman Begins Rachel Dawes plays the Damsel. Rachel Dawes is portrayed as a smart, successful, powerful lady, who despite her incredible accomplishments gets abducted multiple times throughout the movie. She is first abducted by Dr. Crane when she goes to investigate the Arkham Asylum. After she is drugged, Batman, the big strong man, swoops in and saves the day by bringing her to his house and saving her. This helps construct gender because it reinforces the idea that women have to be saved. She is the most accomplished person in the entire movie and still has to be rescued.

Rachel throughout the movie is nothing more than a distraction to batman. She is prize rather than a aid. She is constantly in need of Batman's help, and doesn’t actually do very much. She is a common example of the seductress trope in film. Her power in the movie is less as a District Attorney and more of an important object for batman. Bruce Wayne is in love with Rachel, and while she doesn’t know he is batman for a lot of the movie, her power over him is through his love for her. Without being extremely good looking, she would have no power of Batman. This shows the shallowness of the film in terms of feminism.

This movie perpetuates gender norms and tropes such as male individualism, the damsel in distress, and women seen as distractions and not important characters. Unfortunately, these gender roles and tropes are far too common in movies. Batman Begins is actually more of a feminist movie in terms of stereotypes of women than most. Batman is simply one of many movies that constructs gender, and perpetuates stereotypes. Movies and entertainment as a whole represent America in many ways. They tell the stories of the people, they control how we think and view culture. This is why it is so important to make sure that entertainment reflects how we as a society actually is, rather than how the patriarchal society constructs it.

Mr. Robot or Mr. Feminist?

Hacking, perhaps one of the most feared and glorified trade in today’s society. Mr. Robot, an American drama series by USA network follows a young man named Elliot. Mr. Robot has been glorified for its complex ad accurate portrayal of the tech world as well as it’s critiques on corporate america. With six Emmy nominations as well as a renewal for a third season, there is no doubt that Mr. Robot has something special. Mr. Robot follows Eliot,  a cyber security employee at a large firm by day, but by night, a serious computer hacker. Mr. Robot has been a breakout TV series because of its controversial themes that criticize corporate america, as well as its realistic display of gender and humanity. The cast of characters in this show follow a robust group of underground hackers as well as the top professionals in a technology corporation. Mr. Robot is a feminist work because it portrays women characters as fully human and complex as well as uncovering the damaging effects of masculine and feminine ideals in America.
Mr. Robot’s portrayal of a complex and anti-heroic female challenges all norms of women in television. A female anti-hero  is so rare in popular American television. Angela is a lifelong friend of the main character, Eliot. Angela’s physical appearance sways the audience’s first perception of he
Angela Moss
r. She is a tall and beautiful a blonde working as a cyber security worker at one of the largest businesses in America. Not only is Angela cunning, but she is resilient. She endures intense sexism in her job. As Angela discovers a scandal in her workplace, she meets with the head of the company she works at. As she tries to cut a deal with the boss, she is brutally humiliated and sexually harassed. The realization for Angela sets in; she can never make it as a women in this job by not playing dirty. Angela’s only viable option is to become ruthless, becoming an anti-hero. Angela ends up getting offered a prestigious job at the company because of her new found identity. Because Angela’s morals have been clouded, she commits very questionable acts in order to gain status and power.  A woman who is completely complex and represented in a tv show is almost unheard of. The notion of Angela being an anti-hero is also very rare in today’s media. Angela’s character exposes how sexism and patriarchy the workplace force women to decide between two extremes. Angela is forced to decide between giving up her dignity or throwing away her morality. The show is arguing that patriarchy forces women to endure defeat and give into the system, or become inhuman and evil. This system offers no true victory for any woman. Mr. Robot is a feminist work because it represents Angela as a complicated character who is not always likeable, yet the audience still roots for her. Mr. Robot also uncovers a larger truth about the detrimental effects sexism has on women as a whole.
The  consequences of patriarchal ideologies are exposed through Tyrell Wellick. Tyrell Wellick is a upstarting business man who works for the company. On the surface, he is cunning, handsome, put together and successful. As the audience sees more of Tyrell, we uncover that he is deeply unsatisfied with himself and is being driven crazy by his need to protect his family. Tyrell’s wife, a beautiful woman who has much complexity to her, schemes with Tyrell in order to blackmail his way to a promotion. Tyrell is so obsessed with being the provider for his family he risks everything. Tyrell cheats, kills, and lies in order to work his way to the top. Tyrell is also deeply enraged and repressed. This is symbolic to many men in society today. The stereotypical man is not allowed to show emotion. The “entrepreneur” needs to be cunning and friendly yet willing to use his power whenever needed. Tyrell’s insanity leading to a  downward spiral are a reflection of what societal norms do to men themselves. Tyrell needs to be the image of perfection, free from emotion and flaws. Tyrell reveals his sense of self when speaking with Eliot early on in the series, “But even extraordinary people, and I believe you are, are driven by human banalities. And unfortunately, we're all human. Except me, of course.” Mr. Robot critiques the construction of the male gender through Tyrell. It reveals the consequences of conditioning men to be robotic and emotionless, and the disgusting effects it has on men.

Mr. Robot most successfully displays the human side of people. While it does represent many different types of people-men and women alike, it is not afraid to show flaws in both. It is simply too hard to watch this show and decide who is innately good and bad. The characters and their circumstances are too complicated to determine morality. Mr. Robot is not a feminist show because it glorifies women and puts them on a pedestal of altruism. Instead, it exposes the very real and flawed characteristics of everyone. Most feminist type media places a strong and hero-like woman as a lead character. Mr. Robot challenges this old notion by presenting all types of women, good and bad. Mr. Robot’s subtleties also reveal an intense truth to the audience. Mr. Robot reveals the consequences that gender norms have on men and women, as well as the eventual destruction of the characters themselves. A feminist work does not require the utopian image of a woman and a society free from flaws, instead it simply asks for a true and honest portrayal of society today.

Gilmore Girls Shows How Girls Should Be Treated

The Television Series, Gilmore Girls, portrays the life of a mother and a daughter during the beginning of the 21st century. Although so many Americans love this show due to its relatability and humor, this show possesses feminism in a way that is rare among any similar television series. Gilmore Girls recognizes traditional gender roles and lack of agency that women have in society refutes this idea. By showing a family of two women who are strong, independent, educated and infinitely amicable, this television series defies stereotypes of women.

In Gilmore Girls, Lorelai and Rory, mother and daughter, are the main characters. Lorelai and Rory live alone in a small town close to Hartford, Connecticut. Lorelai is the daughter of two extremely wealthy parents whom she lived with until the age of 16 when she became pregnant with Rory. Throughout the show Emily and Richard Gilmore, her parents, heavily criticize Lorelai for her acts of impurity and are embarrassed of her. In the show the audience is taught to dislike Emily and Richard and view their ideas of femininity as old and outdated. In this way, Gilmore Girls displays how society views women through the way that Lorelai’s parents view women. Lorelai’s mother and father also follow traditional gender roles in society. For example, Emily Gilmore always speaks very properly, dresses modestly and is very domestic while Richard Gilmore is the breadwinner for the family and does not deal with any of the housekeeping in their house. The TV show displays this lifestyle that forces the viewer to see this as absurd and unnatural and to see the very unconventional relationship between Lorelai and Rory as better.

The Television series also shows the two Gilmore girls as being young, independent and educated. In the Series, Lorelai Gilmore is even the manager at an inn where she is the boss of several men below her. Having a women displayed as a successful businesswoman refutes the idea of a patriarchal society. While it is very uncommon to have successful women in mainstream media, the show never calls this out, the show simply sets an example of how women can all be successful and professional in their lives. Often in the media women are view as being objects for the sexual pleasure of men. In Gilmore Girls, Rory and Lorelai rarely talk about the men in their lives and instead focus on the things that they love doing. It is crazy that having women in media express their desires is uncommon. While Rory and Lorelai sometimes have men in their lives, they never become completely dependent on them and they never change themselves for a man.

In conclusion, the show, Gilmore Girls, displays how women can be independent, educated and professional. The medial often unrealistically represents women in a false way that overlooks how complex females actually are. This show should be a model for other TV shows because it displays what it is really like to be a woman.

Gender Roles in Gossip Girl

The first episode of the TV show Gossip Girl aired in 2007. It’s storyline focused around the complicated lives of a group of extremely wealthy and elite teenagers of Manhattan, New York and one less wealthy family living in Brooklyn. The show targeted teenagers, it’s main audience being teenage girls, and through the portrayal of the complex dynamics of the relationships between the teenage characters on the show, enforced extreme ideas about the roles of males and females in romantic relationships. Because some of the main characters, although none extremely poor, came from families of different economic and social statuses, the blending of these groups on a romantic level both challenges and enforces gender stereotypes. Through following three separate relationships involving people from different social classes it is seen that, although typical and less dramatic positions of male dominance and female submissiveness are reached when both partners come from similar social statuses, lack of money can lead to feeling of economic inferiority in the male partner, while higher economic status can lead to hyper masculine and even violent behavior.

By the fifth episode of the first season, we know that Dan Humphrey, who is not a member of the elite, popular, and rich friend group that dominate his high school, is infatuated with Serena Vanderwoodsen, a girl born into money. In pursuing a relationship with her, Dan, who has never had a girlfriend before, is extremely nervous. However, his nervousness, as he describes it to his dad saying, “because she’s Serena Vanderwoodsen” comes not from inexperience, but from an inherent feeling of inferiority because of her wealth. Because society enforces the idea that males have to be the “breadwinner” and financially superior member of the relationship, Dan felt that because he could not fill the high school equivalent of this role he was not deserving of her company. Although the class difference called for significant shift some aspects of their relationship, the strength of gender roles ends up showing itself when throughout their relationship, Dan ends up being the Knight in Shining Armour that saves Serena from the selfishness of her status and shows her how beautiful she truly is.

Later in the episode, Dan’s younger sister Jenny goes to the party of a member of the elite group and gets sexually assaulted by a boy a few years older than her named Chuck Bass. When Jenny arrives at the party, Chuck, immediately upon seeing her without any conversation or further interaction, says, “Here we go”. This simple phrase and objectifying phrase began Chucks aggressive pursuit of Jenny, ending with alone and cornered on a roof. In the show Chuck represents the ultimate and most powerful man. He is the most wealthy of his friends and is at the center of his friend group. Being in the position of a fairly charismatic human being and committing such a serious act and violent against a female dramatizes sexual assault in a way that almost normalizes it. Chuck never receives any significant punishment for his horrific actions, demonstrating the idea that class can further and even encourage the enforcement of gender roles to a dangerous extent.

Towards the end of the episode, we explore the complex and fading relationship between two of upper class friends, Blair Waldorf and Nate Archibald. This relationship enforces the idea that even when the class playing field is evened, the partners of a relationship take on the classic roles of male dominance and female submissiveness. This episode focuses on Blair’s desire to lose her virginity to Nate. A few times throughout the episode, Serena Vanderwoodsen, Blair’s best friend, says to her, “but I thought you were saving yourself!” This statement being made by an extremely significant and likeable female character enforces the idea of a woman’s virginity holding her self worth and value as a human being. Blair spent the majority of this episode planning the “special night” and making sure everything was perfect for Nate, while all he had to do to participate was show up and have sex.

Gossip Girl has been off of the air for years, but it still on Netflix. Teenage girls and boys still have easy access to these complex characters. Although the extravagance of the lives of the characters is unrelatable to the average teen, many can relate or learn from the romantic relationships portrayed. Through this show it is seen that sexism and gender roles are so deeply rooted in society that they cross class lines and even affect the lives of those who seem to be living the dream. It is important that it is realized that, although these characters are caricatures and the plots seem unrealistically dramatic, the hardships they face due to gender roles and societal pressures are extremely real. Although Gossip Girl explores the ways in which class can bend gender roles and provides a platform for young teens to learn about them through colorful characters, it does enforces stereotypes more than it breaks them.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

What Really Happens After he Cheats?

The song “Before he Cheats,” by Carrie Underwood has been played millions of times, through headphones, speaker, car radios, and so much more. The song is well known by many and has left a imprint on country music as a whole. The single was one of the first country songs to ever really break the barrier between deep southern country and today’s pop culture music. “Before he Cheats,” won a grammy for “Song of the Year,” as well as recieved many other notable awards.

The song is written from a first person point of view, making it seem as though Underwood wrote it about herself. The song is based around the idea of a man cheating on his significant other, being Underwood, and her reaction to what he has done. She attempts to get revenge on him by taking things into her own hands and messing with him.  Although the song “Before he Cheats,” features a woman who shows a great amount of agency, the song also promotes multiple stereotypes of women in America.

The song begins with Underwood talking about her significant other being with another girl. She mentions different things that he would most likely be doing with her, then continues on to insult the girl. One line reads,
“Right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink.
Cause she can't shoot whiskey…”
By including this line, Underwood is only putting herself down and making herself seem like a worse person, as well as promoting a stereotype of a jealous, over attached girl. The stereotype of a women being envious of a significant other is a common one. It’s not seen in just movies and television shows, but in also in the way many people think now a days.

The song goes on to show her reaction to what he does. She becomes impulsive and violent, which only further plays into the crazy girl stereotype. The chorus itself has these three lines in it:
“Carved my name into his leather seats...
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all four tires…”
These lines are repeated three different times throughout the song, which leaves the listener with pretty clear picture in their head of what is happening. Carrie Underwood writing about how she commits a legal crime by destroying his property, doesn’t really help demote the idea of a “crazy girlfriend,” or the idea that girl over react to everything.

The point of view can also be flipped here, if brought back to the original point to the song. The actions that the male has been said to take apart in, play into the role of a guy who has no respect for women and treats them horribly. Yes, there is always gonna be people out there that are truly self centered, but not all guys are, that’s for sure. This song just automatically makes the guy out to be a bad person, which isn’t really spreading a good idea of men out there.

Therefore, this song is most definitely not a feminist piece of work as there is no strong argument for gender equality. Even though though Underwood shows agency, by taking matters into her own hands and getting revenge, this doesn’t really put across the best image of women out there.

Let Us Play!

A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall, is a movie about the inaugural season of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league was created to fill the gap left by the disbanding of Major League Baseball due to World War II. The newfound league scouted young women from farm leagues and urban softball leagues all over the country to play baseball for a living. The movie itself, which follows the Rockford Peaches, was made in 1993, however takes place in the 1940s, when sexism in the United States was predominant. Therefore, the movie displays examples of the sexism that consumed the country at this time, showing many examples of misogyny, as men in power take advantage and exploit the comparatively weaker women, however A League of Their Own itself is a feminist movie because it defies gender norms as it gives women agency and a prominent place in society.

In the 1940s, America was overpowered by sexism. This was the era of the Cult of True Womanhood, which declared that women belong in the home and are expected to display ladylike characteristics at all times. This changed, however, when men crossed the seas to fight in the war because women had to take men’s place in society, thus leaving their traditional place in the home. In real life, this was viewed by the public with outrage and confusion. The movie cannot, however, be knocked for illustrating this reaction because it is accurately representing the time period’s profound disrespect towards women. The sexism of the era is shown in the movie as a radio talk show host introduces the radio world to women’s baseball. He says, “Careers and higher education are leading to the masculinisation of women with enormously dangerous consequences to the home, the children and our country. When our boys come home from war, what kind of girls will they be coming home to? And now the most disgusting example of this sexual confusion. Mr. Walter Harvey of Harvey Bars is presenting us with women’s baseball. Right here in Chicago young girls, plucked from their families, are gathered at Harvey Field to see which one of them can be the most masculine. Mr. Harvey, like your candy bars, you are completely nuts.” The radio announcer uses words like “disgusting” and “sexual confusion” to describe women breaking out of the private sphere, displaying the popular opinion that women cannot hold the same place as men in society. The movie exploits and emphasizes the radio announcer’s use of sexism to allow the audience to recognize the misogynistic treatment of women when the league started. Because it does not condone or encourage sexist behavior, the movie is a feminist work.

A League of Their Own is a feminist movie because, despite the obvious objectification of women by the public, the movie gives women agency in a time period when this was extremely uncommon. The agency of the women in this movie is shown when the women sneak out of their residence on an away trip to go to a local roadhouse for dancing, drinking and fun. This scene is visually different from the rest of the film because it is fast paced and filmed with a moving camera to display how wild and unusual the women’s actions were. This scene also shows cultural difference for the time period because it shows women making impulsive decisions for themselves. Their decision, consequently, allows them to abandon common stereotypes of women such as that they are submissive and tranquil. Because they are defying common stereotypes of women, the movie is a feminist work.

After the teams are selected for the league, the women discover that they are required to wear uniforms that are no type of uniform at all, but rather very closely resemble dresses. Not only do their required uniforms make it almost entirely impossible to perform at the level they are capable of but also, turns them into sex objects. This attire was a real requirement in the AAGBL and is important because it shows that no matter what women are doing, they are required to look good and ladylike to please the public. The movie, however, takes this perpetuation of gender expectations and uses it to show the determination and grit of the women in the league, characteristics not normally given to women at this time. In one scene, we see the results of the terrible uniforms, as a player slides safely into third base and gets a severe bruise because the uniform does not cover her legs. Despite her deep contusion, she continues to play through the pain showing the audience the magnitude of female perseverance, further justifying that the movie is a feminist movie.

In conclusion, A League of Their Own is a feminist work because it gives women agency, defying gender stereotypes that were commonly perpetuated in the 20th century. The women in the league defy these common gender stereotypes by neglecting the private sphere and pursuing their dreams as professional baseball players. The All-American Girls’ Baseball League is a real life example of the type of work women can do when given the opportunity.

For Honor of Women

Video games need to appeal to their target audiences to sell. This usually means men, a larger percentage of whom play video games. To do this, game developers make sure to add extra amounts of violence, gore and swearing to their games to appeal to males. To add to this, women in these games are often portrayed as sexual objects. These women are shown as weak, feminine, and overly sexified. They rarely add anything important to the conversations and dialogue of the overall story, and are put in the game just to appeal to the male sex drives. While these extras are applied to many other genres of games, fighting games are likely the most oriented towards male appeal.  However, recently more and more games have been getting better in portraying women as more than just a pretty face. An example of this can be seen in a new game called For Honor, a new fighting game released February 14, 2017. By giving the female characters in the game realistic armor, classifying them as more than sexual objects, and by passing the Bechdel test, For Honor breathes new life into feminine portrayal in fighting games.

One of the more common ways video games portray women as sexual objects is through the armor that they are given. This involves the males of the game getting the more realistic and normal pieces of armor in the early game, and getting these cool looking sets of armor later on in the game. Women on the other hand, receive semi-revealing sets of armor early game, and very revealing sets late game. These pieces of armor are not only very unrealistic, and would provide no more armor than wearing a real life bikini, but is insulting to all the women who end up spending large amounts of time into the game to receive what they think are the cool sets of armor the males get, but instead get bikinis. An example of this can be seen in the game Terra, a fantasy themed mmorpg released in 2011, of which had 1.4 million users registered in 2013:

In contrast, For Honor takes a much different approach. The game gives the player a chance to pick which gender he/she would like to play in the roster of characters. Doing so however will not change the type of armor given to each of the opposite sexes, but gives both of them the exact same armor, of which is very realistic and does not try to objectify the sex at all.

For Honor also gives players the chance to play as male or female exclusive characters. While the two female exclusive characters are portrayed as the typically fast and agile, they in no way exceed realistic standards to portray sexually to men, or to make them seem feminine. Mortal Kombat is an example of a game which exceeds the realistic standards. One such character called Cassie Cage, is also shown as fast and agile. However, not only does she portray a sexual object through the way she is dressed (mentioned above), but is also portrayed through the way she is used in game. For example, a move in which she splits to punch the other character in the crotch.

Lastly, For Honors campaign passes the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women or girls who talk to each other about something other than a man or boy. As it happens, the main villain of the game happens to be female. Thus, there are a good deal of cutscenes in which the villain is addressing another female and does not talk about another male character, but instead of the plot of the overall story arc.

In conclusion, for a fighting game that is undoubtedly oriented towards a male audience (the violence, gore, vikings), For Honor does a very good job challenging the typical portrayal of women in video games.

No Feminism in Gossip Girl

The TV drama Gossip Girl focuses on the “scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite” through the lens of an anonymous voice called “Gossip Girl.” The series talks about issues of our culture today, but also exaggerates many aspects of the wealthy characters’ lives. While the money aspect of the show in unrealistic for most viewers, the show sends important messages that both perpetuate and defy stereotypes about gender. Although some stereotypes about gender are questioned, the majority of the characters reinforce stereotypes through their personalities and behavior throughout the show.

In the episode “The 16 Year Old Virgin,” male and female romantic relationships are the main focus. The 16 year old virgin is Jenny Humphrey. Her relationship with Damien Delgarde is a prominent issue during this episode. Up until this episode, Jenny has been putting a lot of pressure on herself to grow up as quickly as she can. She has turned from an innocent and preppy girl to a goth, angsty teenager who thinks she knows everything. She wants more than anything to get with Damien because he’s older and more experienced. When she finally decides to ditch school to hook up with him, she realizes what a big mistake she is making because he only wants her for sex. When she tells him she’s a virgin, he replies with, “I figured” and “it’s not that big of a deal.” Shocked, she responds, “It kind of IS a big deal,” realizing that he has no consideration for her feelings. This is a great example of the stereotypical “sex object.” Jenny is someone Damien just wants to have sex with and does not actually care about her as a person.

While Jenny is dealing with the expectations of a stereotypical “player,” Serena is happy in her new relationship with Nate. Nate and Serena have a long history, but ever since the Shepherd wedding, Serena has been particularly unattainable. She is known as the “seductress” of the show. While Nate could be known as a “jock,” who you might consider someone who doesn’t have a single girl on their mind, he really only likes Serena. He confesses that he’s had a huge crush on her forever, and this episode is the beginning of them actually being together. Up until now, Serena has been highly unattainable to Nate, which is why she fits the stereotype of the seductress. While Serena dated Dan (the “geek”), that also fits into a stereotype that beautiful women get with less attractive men.

As for Chuck and Blair, their relationship both supports and questions stereotypes about gender. Before Chuck was with Blair, he was the stereotypical “player,” using women for his own sexual pleasure. Now him and Blair are together and Chuck has become a loyal boyfriend. He has built an empire and Blair is running her mom’s fashion company. Blair’s business success defies stereotypes that women can’t be powerful, but Chuck’s success by becoming the youngest billionaire makes Blair look completely unsuccessful in comparison. Ultimately, the stereotypes that are questioned in the show are not as prevalent as the stereotypes that are perpetuated. The character traits of these elite teenagers have, for the most part, have been made to fit traditional gender roles.

White Collared Women

The show White Collar first premiered in 2006 on USA Network. This show was filled with all kinds of action, intelligence and double crossing, making it easily enjoyable to many of the first time viewers. This shows popularity comes hand and hand with one's interest in crime fighting shows. The show stars an FBI Agent and a former con artist that team up to solve crime and have a little fun in the process. These two powers working together against crime seem to be unstoppable. And can you guess what gender they are? Yep, you got it, they're both males. Both Peter Burke and Neal Caffrey join forces to produce results when it comes to finding and arresting criminal masterminds. Now, you might think that while Peter and Neal are out saving the world the women in the show are just waiting for them to get home so they can "do what they're supposed to do". Wrong. This show is unique because while it may not pass the bechdel test, the women in this show are not only important to the show, but are in positions of power as well.

The first episode of the new series launches with the background of the characters and the build up of how Neal becomes an advocate for the FBI. In this first episode, we are introduced to the two main females characters as well. No more than half way through the first episode we encounter a character by the name of Diana. Diana is an FBI agent right along side of Peter. Although she may not be the main character of the show, she still plays a huge role in the flow of the agency and how they get crimes solved in such a quick manner. Not only is Diana in a position of power at work, but she possesses power over her relationships as well. Right off the bat she denies Neal trying to hit on her because she knows she has her priorities and having a committed relationship is not one of them. Diana is a woman focused on her career and her life rather than giving into the common female stereotype of caring for a man and or children.

Peter Burke is a intelligent, insightful, collected man, but he would be none of that without his wife Elizabeth. While we may only see Elizabeth in the Burke household, it is not to say that she is a stay at home mom. Well for one, they don't have any kids to care for. Two, Peter's long hours get him home late in the evening when she would already be home from work. Yes, work. Elizabeth has a job as a realtor, and a quite successful one at that. And three, she is just as intelligent as her husband. What that means is that a majority of the time when Peter is struggling on a case, Elizabeth will bounce ideas off of him until they come to the solution. Overall, Elizabeth is not just a great partner to Peter, but a great human due to her compassion and commitment to living a good life.

All in all, the two main females in this show may not have conversations or pass the bechdel test, but what they do have is importance to the tv series as a whole. Both Elizabeth and Diana make contributions to the show that break the stereotypes of a common woman in modern day society. And with that, it is arguable that White Collar is a show that surpasses societies views on woman.

Can You Even Critique The Office?

The media plays a big role in creating social norms in our society, whether it’s through advertisements, television shows, or movies. According to the Nielsen Company, 96.7% of people own a television, this shows why TV shows have so much power in our society. They have the power to emphasize and reinforce stereotypes or they have the power to change social norms. More often than not we see shows reinforcing gender stereotypes. People watch so much television that a lot of the times they believe and think what they see. A show that has become widely popular over recent years is The Office. The Office is an American TV series that aired from 2006 to 2013 and has won several awards throughout its airing, including 5 Emmy Awards. The Office depicts the everyday lives of office employees in Scranton, Pennsylvania who sell paper and printers while also going in depth into their personal lives. While The Office does continue dominant gender stereotypes and ideologies of woman as being sex objects, seductresses, and dependant on men, The Office uses satire to show real life issues going on in the workplace and bring attention to major problems that are taking place.

The Office has a lot of characters that continue the social norms in society that women are sex objects and seductresses. While doing this, it also objectifies women and degrades them to a lesser role in society. For example, Michael Scott, the boss of The Office, gets into a relationship with his corporate boss, Jan, but later breaks up with her. Later in the show, Jan comes back with new breasts. Jan uses her looks and her new breasts to seduce Michael into thinking that she is the perfect person for him. She controls their relationship and controls all the power in it. Jan is the typical gender stereotype for women because she is a controlling, attractive, and a powerful woman. While Jan is a seductress, she is also used as a sex object because all Michael wants from her is her sex. Throughout the show, Jan and Michael have sex everywhere and he does whatever she says to be able to keep that up. He tries countless times to break up with her but he cannot do it because of her looks and sex, not her personality. In fact, Michael tells other people in the workplace that he wants to break up with Jan, but he always falls through. Later in their relationship, Michael realizes that he only cares for her sex and breaks up with her. Michael’s associates were the ones who pushed for Michael to break up with her and he finally did.  Here, The Office uses satire to show relationships that happen in the workplace and how they affect everyone around them.

Another example in the show that continues the ideology of a sex object is with Meredith. Meredith is an office worker that constantly has sex with anybody that’s willing. All she does is fulfill male’s sexual needs. One time, she had sex with an Outback Steakhouse worker for coupons and sales deals. She carries on the stereotypes that women are “sluts” and dependant on men. These two examples show continued social norms and gender stereotypes that are seen in this show and everywhere in our society even though they might not even be true. While continuing these gender norms the show also shows that women do not have to be restricted to the homelife and can do things outside of caring for the family.

The Office has consistently had five female leads in the show: Pam, Kelly, Phyllis, Angela, and Meredith. Throughout the show, these woman represent strong and dynamic workers that are involved all over the workplace in places such as accounting and sales. Although some of these women do possess some typical female gender roles such as being emotional, they were given enough development and they were very complex characters which allowed for them to be more than just average stereotypes. Many shows have a big male cast and a very small female cast, The Office is an exception. TV shows and movies continue to cast men way more than women which does not accurately depict the real world. In the real world, women represent 51% of our population and The Office enforces that statistic. The Office usually always has 6 female characters and 6 or 7 male characters depending on the season. An example of this is seen in the episode "The Beach Games".  In this episode, Michael has received job offers at a new office and he needs to decide who will be his predecessor.  He created four teams to compete in various games with four male leaders who are the obvious candidates for the job.  Michael assigns Pam the job of being a note taker to help him decide.  Throughout the episode, Pam acts as a valuable source of insight by completing all the tasks, showing off her leadership skills, and shows her plans for the future office.  While Pam is obviously the best candidate for the job, Michael still over looks her for her male counterparts. This episode gets at a real issue with the treatment and fairness between men and women in the workplace. The show uses this strong core group of women to show that they can have success in the workplace and compete with men in the same fields. It is defying the sense of a patriarchal society because men are not dominating the office place.

The Office uses satire to play on issues that exist in actual corporate offices such as gender, race, sexism, and other stereotypes that they address through humor and and different storylines.  The Office represents a very diverse cast, but the show still reinforces gender stereotypes for the sake of humor.  Some episodes where this occurs is the "Sexual harassment" episode, where Michael and his friend poke fun at a scandal that is going on in the office. While the episode is obviously blown a little out of proportion for humor purposes, it still gets at an issue that a lot of people face in the modern workplace.  Another episode that we satire in is, "Gay Witch Hunt". In this episode, Oscar is offended by one of Michaels comments where he uses an offensive word,  Michael later finds out that Oscar is gay and proceeds to tell the whole office about it. This episode, while being hysterical, talks about an issue that many people face in our society and have trouble dealing with. While it might seem like The Office is reinforcing stereotypes and dominant ideologies, it uses those ideologies combined with humor as a gateway to express real life issues that a lot of people would not pay attention to without humor. There are countless episodes in The Office that use satire to get at real issues, stereotypes, and ideologies in our society which makes is so good.  Satire is used in countless shows but it stands out in The Office because of how it expresses things going on in the country.

In our society, the media controls what people think and what people believe in because everybody watches TV and movies. A lot of people do not realize that these shows are reinforcing dominant ideologies because they are so used to seeing them. If our society is going to change the typical gender stereotypes and ideologies to what our society is actually like, it starts with the media. In particular, The Office puts women in the workplace and uses satire to express societal issues but continues ideologies and stereotypes in the workplace that are seen as normal even though they might not be true. A lot of women in society have power and work outside of their homes but the media does not portray them that way. The Office uses satire to criticize todays culture and how it translates into the workplace. The Office uses satire to demonstrate the ridiculousness of discriminating by gender, race, or sexual orientation in a comedic way while also bringing attention to real life issues going on in corporate offices.  

Get Out's Hidden Secret

The record breaking movie, “Get out” has been seen as a film that is mainly focused on race and the relationships between people of different races. But the movie does much more than that by breaking the dangerous stereotypes of women in society today. Although the film conveys Rose as a seductress in the beginning, the modern thriller breaks this stereotype of women by having both main female characters be the antagonists of the movie, and by not having Rose be your typical woman in a movie.

In the beginning of the movie, Rose is portrayed as a sort of seductress. She is constantly kissing Chris, and is trying to ensure him that everything will be alright. As the movie progresses, Rose begins to do more and more to convince Chris that everything will be alright. At this point, Chris knows that something is not right, but Rose won’t let him leave, and continues to to keep him there until it's too late for Chris. By having Rose control Chris with constant touching, and emotional support, she fills the role of a classic seductress.

The thriller then breaks this stereotype by having both of the female characters being the antagonists of the movie. In the movie the mother, Missy, and the daughter, Rose, are both crucial to the main plan in the movie. Rose’s job is to get Chris into the house and make sure that he doesn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary, and Missy’s job is to hypnotize him so that the family can control him for their own personal gain. They both do their jobs successfully without the help of any man, which you don't see in many movies. In most movies, the main antagonist is a man, who at most may have a scantily clad assistant, but by having the main villains being both women shows that women have agency, and are not just dolls in movies to be idolized.

The other way that the movie breaks stereotypes is the way that it depicts Rose as a bad ass. In the beginning of the movie, we see Rose as this good girlfriend that is just trying to introduce his boyfriend to her parents. Throughout the whole though, Rose slowly begins to turn into a bad ass. She begins to manipulate him and reassures him that nothing is wrong. As the plan progresses, and Chris escapes, Rose has to take measures into her own hands, by taking a sniper rifle and trying to shoot Chris as he escapes. When this doesn’t work Rose has to then come face to face with Chris and kill him as he is driving away from the house. By having Rose do many violent actions breaks the stereotype that all women are soft, and want to be passive. Rose has no problem being violent, and getting her hands in there and finishing the job herself.

In conclusion, the movie “Get out” depicts the stereotype of a seductress through Rose, but then fights this stereotype by depicting women in a major antagonist role, and by showing them to do violent things. Although this movie’s main focus is about race, there are factors that show that there was some thought put into the gender aspect of the movie as well.