Archive by Author

Reflection

9 Mar

Conclusions:

As a reflection, the portrayals of gender in the media go right along with societies expectations. Not sure what comes first, societies behavior or the medias’ portrayals… if the media just plays monkey see, monkey do or if we’re the monkeys doing the seeing… Its all pretty much a blur still. But one thing that is clear that if there’s a 1 its man, and if there’s a 2, its women. Men are seen the driving force in our culture and it seems as any everything in the media is catered to what men want.

Prescriptions for Change and Growth: Im not sure how we as a society could go about this change. For our prosocial media project we did a presentation of an idea, similar to the “go green” movement, this would be an alternative approach to present women in the media. By encouraging all modes of entertainment to “de-sex” the images they present, it may serve as the first step to changing the way in which women are presented. I think it has to be a goal of everyone, the clothing lines, designers, movie and video producers, song writers etc… My implementing and just providing an alternative way, a new way to be cool and popular… by trying to show that our society values other things like intelligence and purity… maybe just maybe this”alternative approach” attempt would serve as the first step in a new direction. Again Im not sure if this would even be realistic, our culture is so submerged and heavily rooted in its hegemonic way of like I dont even think people, at first glance into our culture, see a need for a change. If they were to get that magnifying glass out, or just take this class however, I would bet that they too see room for improvement.

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Transform-her

3 Mar

Hauna Dawkins

Group: Gender

Summary: This week I watched a movie that came out in 2011 called Transformers III “Dark of the Moon”. Transformers is a movie series that tells the story of Sam Witwicky , played by Shia LeBeouf and his encounters he has with robots from another planet. These robots called the “Autobots” have a past history with another sect of bad robots referred to as the “Decepticons”. In the end Sam, his new girlfriend along with two of his companions in conjunction with the Autobots, defeat the Decepticons from taking over Earth.

Analysis: Looking at gender this week with this movie, it was easy to analyze as the way that both men and women were represented in this movie went right on the line of the stereotypical ways in which we perceive men and women in our society.

 

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, casted as Sam’s girlfriend in the film is, in real life a model an in the movie she is exemplified for her appearance. Sex sells and they definitely use her looks to their advantage to gain the interests of viewers. Booting Sam’s previous girlfriend Megan Fox—another sexy vixen that’s on the rise in the film industry, the producers didn’t fall short casting Sam’s follow up. Not only does she wear the tight clothes, have the long sexy legs and wear heels in almost every scene her behavior also falls into the stereotypical feminine category.

In the movie she is taken captive by her boss, who is with the Decepticons undercover. Sam is her hero and has to come save her from danger… all going in junction with the idea that women need men, men are smarter, stronger and she’s the damsel in distress needing to be saved. I’m realizing that in most movies the women get themselves in trouble where they have to be saved and/or men use women as bait, or tokens to get the men that care about the women to do what they want. In this movie, Sam’s girlfriend was the entry way to the Decepticons, they worked on getting closer to him through using her.

One thing that kind of went against the grain of the usual male and female perceptions in movies, was the fact that Rosie was in fact the person in their relationship with the job (even if the only reason she got the job was to get closer to Sam)… as Sam struggled to find work…she paid the bills, gave him money for lunch etc… In most romantic relationships in movies if one person is staying home it’s the woman. But as it goes against the grain it also goes right along with it because, Sam not having a job in the movie was looked down upon. His parents were upset and he himself felt less of a man because he didn’t have a job. There were times in the movie where his girlfriend’s boss challenged his masculinity and made him feel inadequate because he couldn’t provide for his girlfriend like her boss could. Her boss even went as far as buying her a $80,000 car. That really hurt.

The men in the film were defined by their masculinity through their means of dressing. Sam was often portrayed as the weaker male, whether it be due to experience, age etc…Carly’s boss was always clean cut with a nice suite, shiny shoes etc… and when Sam teamed up with some army guys including cast member famous r&b singer Tyrese.. these guys had on cut off shirts, army uniforms and held heavy guns. They looked tough, acted tough and were presented as not being afraid, strong and helped Sam save his girlfriend Carly in the end.

Response

This movie definitely played into societies expectations of the gender roles for men and women. I see more and more how true it is that women can play these major lead roles in film, but only by compromising at some points. In order to have a major role like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, you have to be sexy, tall, or appeal to a particular crowd and be type casted like Rosie O Donald or other women who are famous because they fit particular roles needed in movies. Sometimes I think this in unfortunate but I think that this is just how things work for us and I think more people agree with it than not.  To be honest, I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

Taxi

24 Feb

Hauna Dawkins

Group: Gender

Summary: This week I watched a movie called Taxi (2004) starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon. Taxi is a movie about a feisty woman Belle played by Queen Latifah and an “inept” cop who end up randomly teamed together in a cat and mouse chase, trying to catch 4 female bank robbers. For the past blogs I have been analyzing the ways in which women are stereotypically presented in the media, for this week I chose a movie that I think tries its best to challenge society’s expectations. Looking at large scale the movie definitely uses Belle’s role and as well as other cast members to change the way women are presented in film …However they weren’t able to eliminate the stereotype in its entirety as typical female behavior/expectations are evident throughout the movie.

Analysis: Main character Belle is the exact opposite of the stereotypical woman that we usually see in movies. Although she is a relationship (with a veryyy good looking man I must say) she doesn’t wear the typical revealing, tight clothing and she isn’t portrayed as a sex object or in a sexual way as most leading women in film are. Belle drives a taxi, and she is among the best drivers in New York… she started off bike racing with a group of young males and at the beginning of the movie gets her taxi license as all her peers congratulate her, her old boss tells her “you’ve been the best guy I’ve had”. Throughout the movie she displays these male characteristics/behaviors that go against the usual expectations.

At one point in the movie she is going off on Andy Washburn (the cop) because he accidently shot her taxi. She throws him down, takes his gun and his badge…all in comedy, she’s yelling at him because it took her 5 years to work on all the special effects on her car…

Instead of having the soft, feminine, sexy demeanor Belle is dominant, aggressive and persistent. Andy had gotten into her cab to get a ride to a bank robbery because his vehicle was totaled… the police had confiscated her taxi after the chase because she had so many violations from driving fast etc…In the police station she gets into it with Andy again and their conversation goes like

Belle: “it was that stupid idiot right there!”

Andy: “You don’t talk to me like that”

“I talk to you however I want….somebody better talk to him!”

This type of conversation is just one of many that Andy and Belle in the movie where she’s schooling on him on something, whether it’s what actually happened during the case, or how to drive… Queen Latifah does a great job of being a strong, dominant, woman …giving the rules and calling the shots.

It’s funny because I noticed that although she is a main character, and one would assume to be the main character, the plot is still based around the story of a quirky cop who loses his job and has to solve a case with the help of the “black best friend”… who is female. I just thought that it was interesting that when first watching the movie, you think this is about Belle and her story when really it’s just her playing a part in the hegemonic world’s scheme of things.

Belle’s relationship with her boyfriend was another thing that I wanted to discuss… it was almost as if she and her boyfriend Jesse switched roles with her being the man and him being the woman. Two times in the movie, she stood him up and he was sitting at the restaurant waiting for her to come…she had got tied up at work and with running around with Andy trying to catch the robbers that she had forgotten about their plans. Usually in movies it’s the woman waiting around for the man who gets caught up at work and neglects her feelings…etc…

Jesse (Belle’s boyfriend) is very forgiving, understanding affectionate. He initiates physical encounters with her and exhibits soft behavior that we usually see women participate in.

Washburn’s boss is played by sexy actress Jennifer Esposito. In this movie she is a no nonsense boss, the lieutenant at Precinct 8 where Andy works. Her dress is very appropriate, she wears a skirt, past the knees, a buttoned up blouse and jacket. She also has her hair pinned back and she doesn’t wear any distracting jewelry. She doesn’t play a major role in the movie, but her character seemed to go in opposition of how women are represented in film. She didn’t play into her appearance at all …

At point in the movie she even takes the hostage’s place with the criminals and goes with them, allowing for the young boy to go free… She was the only woman at the scene and there were several male cops there and she was the one to offer to take the hostages place… I thought that that was unusual because men are usually the ones that are the “protectors”…

The movie, unable to escape all modes of stereotypes, chose to have the robbers in the movie be four women who just so happen to be sexy Brazilian bombshells. Lead by model, Gisele Bundchen the four women are beautiful, wear provocative clothing and use their beauty to fool the cops after they rob the bank.

At one point the women got pulled over by a cop right after they robbed a church … Gisele’s character Vanessa was wearing a swimsuit and teasingly distracted the cop by showing him a suitcase full of thongs while also demonstrating other seductive behavior …the girls were able to escape without the cop second guessing if they were the women who were involved in the robberies.

Another scene were the typical sex objectified woman was evident in the film was when Vanessa (Gisele) frisked the lieutenant before taking her captive as their hostage… as all the men cops watched in awe, she sexually frisked her body, grabbing her boobs, butt etc… as if she was looking for weapons on her person. The cops were dumb struck, and some even seemed to lose grip on their stance and gun holding position as this scene truly catered to the hegemonic society we live in as it teased and tested the male “gaze”.

Response

I saw this movie when it first came out years ago and I didn’t notice all the ways in which males and females were represented in the movie. I think this movie does a job at trying to change the stereotype …but at the same time I think that the producers feel like they HAVE to give in to our HEGEMONIC society’s expectations and stereotypes of our culture in order for a film to be successful and to make money. I think that if the robbers of the bank were 4 unattractive men, the dynamic of the film would have been missing that something, that extra-ness that sex that “makes the world go round”.

Cable and Broadcast, Gender

17 Feb

Hauna Dawkins

Group: Gender

Summary: This week I watched a show called The Voice that airs on NBC and The Office that airs on TBS.

On The Voice, there are “blind auditions” where singers have the opportunity to impress judges based on their voice alone because the judges have their backs turned to them. Four judges, Ryan from Maroon 5, Christina Aguleria, Cee lo Green and Blake Shelton have the opportunity to push a button, when pushed their chair will turn around and that means that that judge wants that artist on their team. If more than one judge turns around indicating interest, the artist then has the choice to chose whose team they want to be on. This show provides opportunities to individual artist who appearance who don’t match their voices and get often discriminated against from record labels etc…

The Office is a satirical comedy where the staff is just absolutely hilarious… the show is just an inside look at their daily  routines showing what goes on …the relationships the staff has built and how the boss Michael ultimately brings drama to the environment.

Analysis: Looking at gender this week with these two shows I found the presentation of gender to be different for each show. The Office, airing on the cable network presented gender along the stereotypical lines. Michael (the boss and one of the main characters on the show) was trying to find a girlfriend on this episode. At the very beginning with this I just automatically thought of Michael being the “man” the predator, the suitor… going along with the hegemonic norms with the man being the dominant of the two sexes.

There was also one point when there was meeting where only the males in the office were present along with a few men from another company. The entire meeting dynamic was hegemonic savvy-male driven. I noticed that all the men were on the same physical level when talking to each other… they all stood during the meeting, were all dressed in suits and ties, didn’t touch each other, smile and initiated firm handshakes. The meeting was quick and to the point. I found this part of the episode to run alongside the ideological state apparatus because with the media being unquestionable, I felt like the scene created a norm…and an event schema for viewers to have, “in your face” illustrations” …the viewers with this provided illustration would be able to mock the behavior for how men are supposed to behave in a business meeting setting.

In the second 30 minute episode, Michael (the boss) and another employee and lead character Dwight went on a random trip to New York to party with another coworker Ryan who works from NYC.  Again in this episode the way in which gender was presented went right along with our culture’s expectations.

At the club Michael was buying girls drinks; initiating the contact, the aggressor… so appropriate in our hegemonic society where this type of night life behavior is not only tolerated or welcome but expected.

The only reason the men had got into the club because they had beautiful women with them; they had met girls in line after being rejected at the door… when the bouncer realized that the guys were with these beautiful women, he changed in mind and they got into the club. Women in this part of the show, to me were just like “token wives”… admired for their looks alone…It goes to show that women have power yes…but only because they are attractive, dressed certain way and provide a certain sex appeal that is pleasing to man. It’s just like what we discussed in class; women can have these dominant roles but only if they are barely clothed, sexy, etc…

With The Voice I found the way in which gender was represented was more sublte…maybe because it’s a reality show..and the people on the show aren’t exactly told how to act and roles aren’t created for them…I think that the differences in the two just reinforced the idea that the producers are the ones who reinforce and exaggerate these differences between men and women. I mean Christina (judge) was dressed in a sexy way, her cleavage was showing and she had sexy red lipstick…

Also there were several times when Cee lo would call girls “baby” and “honey” and “I see your legs shaking” “quite naturally you belong to me, don’t you agree?””you can’t handle us both baby”… Cee lo used sexual comments to try to appeal to the women…

Adam (judge) also mentioned to one artist “it takes a real man to wear a bow tie”…

I noticed that when the judges were giving feedback they would use soft language with the women and often use more words that would describe their appearance to describe their performance. “Beautiful”, “stunning voice”…”sexy pitch”…when they talked about guys I noticed that they would sometime use those words but they would more than often use neutral words like; “unique”, “amazing”, “special” “great quality”.

One part of the show that stood out to me was an audition by a girl named Sarah Golden. Sarah is not the average looking girl according to our perceived notion of what women should look like, she has more of a boyish appeal; baggy clothes, short hair cut, she wore a men’s watch …her appearance didn’t fit at all with the societal norms of what we would expect. Sarah told a story of how she had been rejected by two labels based on her look alone and that the voice was a great opportunity for her to further her career and not be judged on her looks.  At first the show blacked her face with a shadow, so even the viewers at home didn’t know what she looked like… at the beginning of her performance they then revealed what she looked like… I think that this was the producers good attempt to try to go against the grain and present women in other ways that the media often minor-itiz-es.

Response

I thought that this week was interesting. I think that the reality show on the primetime network had more wiggle room for people to come off as real and the perceptions of gender were closer and more relatable than the extreme instances and illustrations of the women on actually sitcom shows. Generally I think/thought that cable had more room when it comes to the extremity when it comes to presenting gender…women on cable shows are often overly sexy, overly blonde, submissive , softer and the weaker of the sexes… the shows on abc, nbc, fox… I think may present gender in a more realistic way. I’m not sure if its like this always but that’s definitely what I found this week.

3 Feb

Hauna Dawkins

Group: Gender

Summary: I’m very into watching HGTV shows like House Hunters, Property Brothers, Property Virgins, Love it or List it… For this week’s blog I am going to do a small gender analysis on House Hunters International. On House Hunters, individuals or couples are moving, and with the guidance of a realtor they are shown three properties from which they have to choose one property by the end of the show that they want to live in.

Analysis: 

Overall I noticed the differences in the way that the show presents the buyers on the show. Whether the buyers are male or female determines the way the realtor appeals to them and the narrator sets up the whole 30 minute segment.

During the first 30 minute episode of House Hunters, there was a guy named Karl who was moving from New York to Scotland. I noticed right off the bat, that the show was focusing on the fact that Karl was a single young bachelor and that he was a professional. The narrator for the show is a woman, (which is another blog entirety, the fact that a woman is almost always the narrator for the HGTV shows) and she began immediately playing up Karl’s masculine position in our hegemonic society as a young professional looking for his “dream bachelor pad” and “bachelor dream home”. She used phrases like “bachelor this, bachelor that” to emphasize that his position BUT when selling houses to single women, they way that they present the character of the woman they are selling to is completely different. They often talk about how she is leaving her family, needs kitchen space, or rooms for future family… It’s almost as if they appeal to women in a domestic way and to men from a dominant, professional, power standpoint.

Karl was interested in having space for his sporting equipment and being in a great location. Karl’s realtor, Andrew appealed to Karl’s masculinity by selling all three properties through their entertainment capabilities. Andrew made remarks like “this is near the best bar in town” and “you can’t lose with this hot tub”… he played up the emphasis on the fun, entertainment. He even made a point when Karl’s friend (a woman) expressed concern for one of the properties because didn’t have room for dining space, that for a “as a young professional he doesn’t need a table, but if he was a family man that may be something to worry about”.

Assisting Karl on his house hunt was his friend from the Scotland area, a woman named Rachel. She lived in the Scotland area and throughout the tour she reinforced the feminine ideals by playing the mothering, nurturing voice. She often used soft words like “beautiful, lovely”…a pool of words that directly correlation with societies expectations of what woman would/should say.. Rachel also served the role of being the motherly voice to Karl. She pointed out that the blue fluorescent lighting in the bathroom was not really a necessity and that it could be a problem because it wasn’t as much light exposure in it as a regular bathroom with regular lighting. When she said this, the realtor interrupted with another bachelor comment saying that this type of bathroom screamed attention and that it is perfect for that bachelor pad lifestyle.

When the show ended Karl chose the property that had the most bachelor appeal of course. I think that the way in which the realtor presented the properties had a grave effect on his choice. Andrew (the realtor) appealed to Karl, man to man and trusted him not only because he was knowledgeable about the properties but because they were of the same status. The dominance that Andrew exerted, fit into Karl’s mental, and it was almost as if Rachel’s presence wasn’t needed. Rachel was more concerned with practicalities of the properties and sometimes the appearance… ironically Karl’s bachelor pad he chose had evidence of water damage…guess the hegemonic lifestyle of the bachelor pad dream home outweighed the costly repairs that may come in the future.*shrugs*

When they first introduced a couple in the second 30 minute episode, they keyed in on the woman and her story. She was moving to her boyfriend’s city in Norway and the narrator emphasized all the sacrifices she was making for her relationship (again the submissive, weaker being of the two sexes). The narrator talked about how she was leaving her family, leaving everything she was familiar with because she got married. From an oppositional standpoint I think that this is the type of thing that reinforces the perception of how women should act, and teaches us what we should do. When we get married we are to leave and submit ourselves (weak) to our husbands (dominant figures). This to me connected to the schemata’s we talked about in class… These shows reinforce visually (which is why the media is so effective in its influence on us) our expectations that we have for social categories; women are to be submissive to their husbands and leave the home upon marriage and start “new life”.  As a viewer I think that most people watch these shows and think from the negotiated stance, where they are aware that women are weaker, and submissive but because society teaches us that this is what we are supposed to do, it makes it okay.

Response: Regardless I love HGTV and I will continue to watch it, and try to stay as non critical as possible because sometimes it just makes me mad and drives me crazy! Being in this class definitely helps me see the gap that exists between men and women in today’s media. I’m noticing it more and more in all type of media outlets… it’s impossible to escape, men and women are not equal as we may want to think in our culture, women are inferior to men and it shows; we are consumers and producers of this ideology. I am convinced we can’t escape it and part of me believes that even if we could we honestly wouldn’t want to.

Boobs, Legs, and Lipgloss. That ish cray.

27 Jan

Hauna Dawkins

Group: Gender

Summary: Three magazines I chose to examine for this assignment was People magazine; People is popular among males and females, Vogue; a fashion magazine, and W magazine; a male geared predominately toward the male population. In each of these magazines, from a dominant reading one could assume they are exactly what they appear to be, reality talk, advice columns, fashion etc…But taking a deeper look and an oppositional view, the way that gender is portrayed in these magazines may make you think about our society twice.

Analysis:  Boobs, Legs and Lipgloss.

People Magazine:

In people magazine one thing I wanted to note was one of the main stories highlighting Will and Kate’s wedding. The magazine described it as being one of the most talked about events of 2011. From an oppositional stance, this screams attention. Although the wedding was both Will and Kate’s the spread’s main photo was the one above, with just Kate, as she’s waving angelically, in an expensive all white lace gown, and no Will in sight. This solo shot of Kate just reinforces the idea that weddings are for women. A union confirming a love between two, is really a big show for the woman. Most of the photos in Will and Kate’s spread were about her, her dress, how she felt, her smiling, him accompanying her…everything was based around the idea that women live in these fantasy worlds having these fairytale ideals about their weddings. This notion in our society makes women the more romantic of the sexes, the weaker, the emotional, the dependent unrealistic being that life is filled with content when a marriage happens…and a man comes along and seals the deal. In the photos for their spread, Will was assisting Kate out of the car (reinforces the feminine ideal, that she’s needy), exposing his broad shoulders in his tux… all of the photos went along with the hegemonic ideals that the men are controlling, the head of the household; the leaders.

W Magazine:

W Magazine is a magazine full of wrestling talk, discussions and highlights of the world’s famous wrestlers. Most of the men in the magazine are shirtless, tattooed and exposing themselves in a masculine way that idolizes their strength and aggressiveness. The males in this magazine all appear to be strong, aggressive, demanding, powerful, threatening and intimidating! This photo of The Rock in this photo may be a bit extreme be it represents the ideals that are prevalent in our society…. men and women representations go completely opposite from each other. If men are rough; women are soft, if men are strong; women are weak. These ideology , these expectations that these perceptions are normal in our culture, that these perceptions are acceptable and natural … that they are functioning in our society makes me question. Why is it that this photo of “The Rock” (his name even goes with the grain) would be seen as weird if let’s say Jennifer Aniston was doing the same pose?

Another aspect of this magazine that I noticed that at second glance tied into the way that women and men are misrepresented in the media is the fact that the women in the W magazine were all barely clothed and their purpose was to appeal to the men reading it. The girl here <<< in the blue swimsuit, is posing sexy, eyes sexed… and all she’s supposed to be is a fan of one of the most respected wrestlers in the industry. Instead with the way that she’s posing one would think that she’s using her body in more of a sexual way to get most lustful attention. The caption goes again what the message in the photo is giving off… The super fan? Or the super sexy groupie maybe. This photo illustrates the idea of hyper femininity in action… her boobs are rather large, her waist really small … a true vision of a sexualized being.

Vogue:

“Sex sells” is a clear message that the editors of this magazine believe in. A magazine that is one of the leading discourses in the fashion world is full of fashion yes but full of sex too. These women, all sporting some of the most popular brands in today’s fashion world, are all illustrating photographic behavior that put them automatically in “the woman” category as: sexualized beings, laying down, teasingly covering themselves, posing in a lustful manner…

All three of these women reinforce the ideals that shape our society. If women are getting attention in the media, like we discussed in class, it seems as if it has to be in a way that also compliments her bodily assets… It’s as if this really a man’s world.

All these poses appear to me as if these women are posing for men! With the first photo we have the topless woman laying down, and then secondly the woman in the yellow looks frightened like a man scared her or like she was so meek and weak that she had to protecting herself and her BAG, from whatever was scaring her… *in protecting herself, note that she is doing so the most non aggressive way possible. And then lastly, the third photo, the woman bare neck, glossed lips, flawless skin; gorgeous… is posing for Dolce & Gabana… a perfume…and the perfume just so happened to be the most unnoticeable thing the ad itself!

These ideals so prevalent in these magazines go onto show us how to dress, how to behave, how to look, how to act, and how we should want ourselves to be perceived by the males in our culture.

Response:  The media is influential. I am always making connections with our class discussions and the things that I see daily in our various ports of media. I can’t believe that a lot of people aren’t more aware of the differences in the ways that men and women are presented in magazines, t.v., movies etc…and how these notions of “our media selves” influence us to a point that they becomes us… us as a version of our self that isn’t really our original self… but instead is just a reflection of the content we surround ourselves with. I think that in some ways one can argue that things are improving, but the conception that its man vs. woman… with men always being the dominant figure (Ambivalent Sexism Theory)… I just can’t see how we could ever rid ourselves of the idea, or even make it make sense to the people who so subconsciously live by the rules that the media creates/reinforces..whathaveyou..

That ish cray.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

21 Jan

Hauna Dawkins

Group: Gender

Summary: Extreme Makeover Home edition airs on the ABC network during the primetime television hour segment. On this show, a family is chosen, based off their usually less fortunate circumstances, to have their house rebuilt to a dream home that one could only wish for. The Gibbs family was chosen and last week I wrote about part I and the role gender played in the show and how it played into the concept of the show and how it was presented by the producers. This time its part two of the show, I will watch how again gender is represented; if male dominance is still prevalent throughout the remainder and also note the commercials and see what role they may play.

Analysis: The way in which the males and females on the show were represented goes exactly with the concepts we discussed in class. The way the women were presented in the show; weak and dependent. There was one scene where the designers were discussing aspects of the house that would appeal to the different members of the family. For each of the sons the designers had come up with a concept for them to make money to help support the family. For the son who liked fishing they made him storage area for his bait, and introduced the idea that he could sell some of his bait and fishing materials. And then the other son who like fixing motorcycles, they made him a shed shop where he could make, fix motorcycle parts  for himself and they also introduced the idea that he too could use his interest to help support his family. However for the mother the design crew discussed an area outside that would have a hot tub where she could “relax and relieve stress”.  This just reminded me of how men and women are presented in the media, the males on the show were presented as the providers, the strong, powerful … and the woman was catered to making her be the weaker, soft, submissive being of both sexes. On the surface; the dominant reading of all this would be that the designers were just catering to the interests of the family and that there is no underlying interpretation that exists. From the oppositional stance, you can see how one would beg to differ.

I also noticed that the female interior designer would use words to describe objects with adjectives that would usually refer to beauty. At one point she said “see how gorgeous this wood is” and also “this is a beautiful grandfather clock”. Both of these phrases clicked in my brain… the designer who is very pretty, blonde, tall… it all ties into the media being influential. The fact that she is beautiful, dressed nicely, long hair etc..and then the words she chooses to describe these objects that could have been described by any other adjective, to me is just another form of subliminal repetition. We discussed in class that the media is influential and in this instance, not only is it visual providing the illustration, but it’s also repetition because you see it and hear it as well. Double whammy.

Noting the one commercial that stood out to me was a brief commercial about a new show that is going to be aired on ABC called Suburgatory. This short commercial reinforced all the stereotypes we talked about in class about how females are represented. The young high school girls, wore frilly pink shirts and tight short skirts, wore make up and lip gloss and I even caught her twirling her hair! Sex was selling in this commercial and reinforcing the idea that less is more. The males in the commercial were dressed regularly, exposing minimal skin while one of the main characters was the one wearing the provocative clothing and had long blonde hair.  This short commercial tied into our lecture content, because we were just talking about how yes women can play major or lead roles in the media but they also have to be half naked. Also this teenager in this commercial wasn’t in a swimsuit, the mini skirt, and cleavage was enough to get the point across.

Response: I don’t know how I feel about the way women are represented. I’m still trying to evaluate if its really a big of a deal, or if it’s a big deal and we as a society need to tend to it in a more appropriate way. Some things on television are over exaggerated, but I think it’s a direct reflection in some ways. I feel like, of the three interpretive codes I am exercising the negotiated one, because although Im aware of these issues are in the media but I just accept them…for now.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

14 Jan

Summary: I watched ABC, Home edition that airs during primetime at 8pm. On this show, different families who are usually less fortunate than the average family in America have the opportunity to have their house rebuilt by amazing designers and construction teams that rebuild, redesign and upgrade their house while they get sent away on vacation for a week.

Analysis: The Gibbs family is the family that was chosen on this episode on home edition. The Gibbs family is a family with a single mother raising the children, their father died and the mother was diagnosed with 5 aneurisms. In the beginning they discuss the family’s situation introducing the fact that the woman is sick, alone and struggling as a single mother of six. The way in which she is represented from an oppositional stance she is presented in a way that makes her look desperate, incapable of providing for her family and that the presence of a man is needed. The fact that her husband has passed, they make effort to show that the reason she is struggling is not only because she is sick, or because she simply has six children but because she is a single woman alone. I can imagine it would be hard to have the single parent job regardless being male or female but the show uses emotion very heavily when they are doing home makeovers for women particularly. At one point her two sons made the comments that; “it is hard for her to pay bills, and she has to depend on us” “I worry that the stress will get to my mom”… both comments, I noticed were made by the males in the house hold.

At one point one of the male designers approached the oldest son and said that he seemed to be the “head of household” when his father died, and that he was the backbone of the family, and took on the role of taking care of the kids. From again, the oppositional stance, it seems as if he approached him with this conversation because he is the oldest son, there was also an older child that was a girl, there was no conversation between her and any of the designers discussing her new responsibilities as role in the household. Instead with the older daughter, the woman designer talked with her about how she felt and her father dying and her future plans as a young woman.

Response: On the surface when watching this show, you may get emotional as you connect with the people that have gone through a lot, whether it be sickness, death, or whatever the issue the family had that lead them to be selected on the show. I’ve always watched this show and I never noticed how gender is represented and how from an oppositional stance it’s so black and white. The girls are presented as being weaker, emotional beings and the males are presented predominately as being strong, leaders and the “solution makers” (I mean that in the sense that they are or know the solution to all of the problems that women have). Next time I watch I am going to note the gender roles and I would like to see an episode where the mother is not present and it’s a father they are building house for, I would like to see how the producers present the family and the story.