Archive by Author

Reflection

9 Mar

Doing these ideological analysis blogs have really taught me a lot. It is one thing to sit in a classroom and learn about things that you can apply to the real world; it is another for the class to go one step further and make you apply what you have learned to real world examples. That is what this blog has taught us to do and I think it makes me retain the material more because of it. It also has helped me see how much of the stereotypes and mis-representtations we have learned about in class are still present in the real world; and not just the stereotypes and mis-representations about women. These blogs have also taught me to look at media with a more critical eye.

The portrayal of women in the media follows society’s stereotypes about women. Women are often portrayed as infantilized or in a position of submission. It is often said that sex sells and this definitely stands true for women. They can often be seen in advertisements and commercials wearing skimpy clothing, lying down, and touching themselves. As it was put in our notes, “women are placed on display for the pleasure of a male-dominated society.” In television shows, women are seen as the blonde bomb shell, femme fatales and there is often the dilemma of the virgin-whore complex. Women are generally not taken seriously in the media and if a woman is in the position of power, comments are often made about her acting like a man.

However, this is not always true. In shows that are made by women, such as Grey’s Anatomy, these stereotypes of women are trying to be broken so women can break out of the mold society has placed them in.  In Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith’s mother was seen as one of the best doctors to ever have worked in the hospital. In movies such as Colombiana, even though it was made by a man Zoe Salanda plays a woman who becomes an assassin after she witnesses the murder of her parents. Women can break out of these molds in which they are in a movie or television show just because they can draw an audience with their sex appeal. Look at television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar played a high school student who hunted vampires and saved the world.

If there is going to be a change in how women are portrayed in the media, the change cannot come from one direction. Actresses need to stop accepting roles in which they have to demean themselves and women as a gender. Producers, writers, directors, photographers, etc., have to stop making advertisements, television shows, movies, etc., in which women are used as props instead of an actual well developed characters with a storyline, emotions and a true purpose. As consumers, we have to stop accepting women being portrayed in this way. Stop endorsing these images by buying the products and seeing the movies. Write letters to let the industry know that you are not okay with the way women are being portrayed. The industry makes what they think will sell and what they think the public wants. If we can get a big enough voice and let them know that we want real women, we will eventually be able to make a change.

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Paranormal Activity 3

2 Mar

Group: Women

Summary: The movie I chose to watch was Paranormal Activity 3. This movie starts off with Katie showing up at her sister’s house while her sister if getting a nursery ready for her baby. She drops off three boxes, including a box of movies. The movie fast forwards and Kristi, Katie’s sister, and her husband come home to find their house a mess and the box of movies gone. Then the movie goes back in time to show how Katie first came in contact with the demon that follows her in the other two movies. In this movie Katie has an imaginary friend named Toby. As the movie goes on we find that not only is Toby real, but he’s a demon. When Dennis, the mom’s boyfriend, hears weird noises, he puts cameras up around the house because he is a photographer. When things get too bad, Julie, the mom, Dennis and the kids go to stay with Julie’s mother. That night Julie hears strange noises and goes to check on the kids. When she doesn’t come back, Dennis goes to find her but he can’t find anyone in the house. He goes outside and sees the grandma in the garage with her friends and they’re really creepy. He goes in the house, finds the mom unconscious and levitating, and then she’s thrown at him and they both fall down the stairs. In the end Dennis is killed by Toby and the grandmother takes the two girls upstairs to “get ready.” It’s also important to know that there was a symbol written on the wall inside the girls’ closet and when Dennis did some research he saw that the symbol was the same that was worn by a cult of women witches that would brainwash girls that could have children, make them have a son, and then forget about it. When they get to the grandma’s house and Toby is back, Dennis sees the same symbols on her walls, that were hidden behind pictures. It appears as though the grandma was apart of the cult.

Application/Analysis: It’s kind of hard to find things that fit in a horror movie because they’re often short and don’t have a lot of material to work with. In this movie, I found a few instances of how women were portrayed. In the beginning of the movie, Julie and Dennis are about to make a sex tape when all of a sudden, there is an earthquake. When they watch the footage back, Julie tells Dennis to delete the tape because she looks fat. This relates back to what we learned in class when we talked about beauty ideals and how fat is detested. It also relates to the fact that more women than men are affected by negative body image. Another instance of the portrayal of women is when Julie is talking to her mother, Lois. Lois is complaining to Julie that she makes more money than Dennis and that she is supporting him. Based on old American values, men are generally supposed to be the bread winners and it’s okay for a woman to make less money than a man. Yet if it’s the other way around, people view it as abnormal and emasculating for the man. Another thing is, the mom was really annoying. She wouldn’t believe her boyfriend when she tried to tell him about the cult and about Toby being real. She got mad at him and wouldn’t even look at the tapes. I find that in horror movies, there is always one character that is stupid and ends up making a decision that hurts everyone in the end. And I also think that that character is generally a woman. Also, the way the mom handled it, she was being completely unreasonable and I know that they wouldn’t have portrayed a man that way. She really just seemed like a dumb, naive women.

Response: This movie wasn’t really that scary. I watched it with my sister and she seemed scared, but the movie was more of someone startling you because of the camera, not a movie that was scary by content. Also, it left a lot of unanswered questions and I don’t really watch the Paranormal Activity movies so I don’t know if there is going to be another one or if there is, where it will start up at. According to my sister, the second one left off open ended as well. I don’t really like horror movies anyway because I hate how stupid people act. I’m usually the one yelling out how stupid people are being than actually being scared. And horror movies are always predictable too. You can always tell what’s going to happen next. The dominant reading would be that this movie is simply about a demon terrorizing a family. The oppositional reading would be that this movie has an underlying message of religion; with the demon possession and then the cult of witches. And in fact, in the first movie a priest is brought in to the house to expel the demon. The negotiated reading would be that, even though religion could be an issue in the movie, the movie is a horror movie about a demon that is meant to scare people.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

24 Feb

Group: Women

Summary: The movie I chose to watch this week was Pride & Prejudice (2005). In this movie, Elizabeth Bennet, the second oldest of her 4 siblings, whose mother is trying to marry all of her daughters off because if her husband dies, their property will be inherited by Mr. Collins. During the course of the movie, Elizabeth’s sister, Jane, meets Mr. Bingley whom she falls in love with. However, because of the way the rest of her family acts in public, Mr. Bingley’s friend, Mr. Darcy, convinces Mr. Bingley not to ask Jane to marry him. Mr. Darcy ends up falling in love with Elizabeth but when he asks her to marry him, he tells her every reason why he shouldn’t love her and she ends up refusing him. However, when Elizabeth’s youngest sister, Lydia runs away with Mr. Wickham because he thinks he’ll get money from marrying Lydia, Mr. Darcy tracks them down and pays Mr. Wickham the bride costs. Also, Mr. Bingley, due to Mr. Darcy’s influence, shows up at the Bennet house and asks Jane to marry him. When Elizabeth finds out she changes her opinion of Mr. Darcy and they end up getting married.

Analysis/Application: Because Pride & Prejudice is based on the Jane Austin novel, Pride and Prejudice, that was written in 1813, it is different from a lot of modern day movies. For instance, many of the stereotypes that apply to women and men do not hold true for this movie. For instance, the women are not blatantly over sexualized and the men do not always need to either be overtly masculine or always in motion. However, because of the time period, it is obvious that White men are the hierarchy. For example, there are no characters, other than White people, and the men are very much in charge. That is seen by the fact that, after Mr. Bennet’s death, his house would go to his closest living male relative, not his wife or daughters. However, Elizabeth is a woman that stands up to men. She does not feel as though she needs to be saved by them or taken care of by them. By agreeing to marry Mr. Collins, when he proposed, Elizabeth could have made sure her family’s land stayed in the family, instead of refusing and taking the chance of her father dying before all of her sisters could be married off with a stable place to live. Elizabeth and her sisters also always seem to go beyond what their society deems appropriate for a girl. For example, some people are appalled by the fact that all of Elizabeth’s sisters, even the youngest one, is running around town before the older ones have been married off. In Jane Austin’s time, Elizabeth would have been a women who broke the standard rules of society. Her and her sisters were raised, by their father, to be strong women who could hold their own in a society dominated by men. Even if their mother treated them like objects to be sold to the highest bidder. However, many of Jane Austin’s novel are written about a strong willed woman in a society run by men.

Response: Personally, I love this movie and the book. I don’t think it has such a strong sense of female empowerment as it may have had when the book was written because women have more rights than the women did back in Jane Austin’s time. The dominate reading of this movie would be that a woman whose mother tired to find a husband for ending up finding one on her own, and for love, not his money. The oppositional reading is that, Elizabeth is a sign of female empowerment from the early days. She was a woman who was not afraid to stand up to a man rather than fall at his feet. The negotiated reading would be that, both of these statements are true. Yes, Elizabeth found a rich man on her own, that she actually loves, but along the way she showed that she was not just another woman to be bought by a rich man. She stood up to the men who thought she was nothing more than a woman who should be honored to have a husband, and she stood up to members of their society who thought a woman who didn’t only live to find a husband and to take care of him was a myth. Not to mention Lady Catherine who thought her nephew was too good for Elizabeth and married him anyway.

Doctors vs Zombies

17 Feb

Group: Women

Summary: I watched The Walking Dead on AMC at 9 pm on Sunday and Grey’s Anatomy on ABC at 9 pm on Thursday. This episode of The Walking Dead resumes just after the group discovers Carol’s daughter Sophia is found in a barn as a member of the walkers and they kill all of the walkers. Herschel disappears and Rick and Glenn find him at the bar. Herschel’s daughter collapses and no one can get her to wake up. Shane and T-Dog burn all of the walkers. When Rick and Glenn find Herschel at the bar they are confronted by two men who want to seek shelter with them; Rick kills the men when they won’t take no for an answer. After thinking she can bring Herschel back faster than Rick and Glenn, Lori sets off to bring them all back from town. On her way there, she runs into a walker, flips her car, and no one knows what happened to her.

In this weeks episode of Grey’s Anatomy, one of Dr. Bailey’s former patients is about to undergo surgery with Dr. Sloane and Avery. Christina and Owen are in marriage counseling because he is having trouble with her decision to have an abortion. Alex’s intern, Morgan, has a heart attack and has to have her baby delivered early. Meredith is working on a man who had his hand stuck in a meat grinder in order to impress Cali so she will help her study for her test. Derrick is working with his sister and Lexi in order to try and save a mother who needs brain surgery.

Analysis/Application: On this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy Christina is in marriage counseling with her husband and his main issue is the fact that Christina had an abortion and says she doesn’t want to have kids. To counter that, Christina tells him that he held her hand through the abortion and then a few weeks later he yelled out in front of all of their friends that she killed his baby. He also tells her that she is going to regret not having children. Another incident in the show was one of Dr. Bailey’s former patients decided to have a surgery that Dr. Bailey didn’t approve of. While Dr. Sloane and Avery were performing the surgery, Dr. Bailey was hovering around them, telling them what to do. Both of these situations seemed stereotypical of women. Owen made it seem ridiculous that Christina didn’t want to have children, that she would choose a career over having a family.  Dr. Bailey’s incident seems to be stereotypical of women because she seems like a nag the entire episode. She is literally hovering over Slaone’s and Avery’s backs telling them what to do. The other women in the episode don’t seem as stereotypical although they don’t really do anything that would be considered masculine.

In The Walking Dead there are almost no women on the show and in the episode I watched, they didn’t really make an appearance. However, from what I saw in this episode, the women seem to be portrayed as weaker than the men. The only instance of strength I saw from a woman was when Andrea stabbed a zombie in the head. The only other time the women made an appearance was when they were having emotional outbursts or seen in some other instance of need. When Herschel’s daughter passed out for some unknown reason, all of the women gathered around and sat in the room with her. Then when Lori decided she could get all of the men back from the city she crashed her car into probably the only person in miles. She couldn’t even drive her car in a deserted area without wrecking. It made her look really stupid. While watching The Walking Dead, it is obvious the ratio of men to women in the United States is not accurately portrayed on this show.

Response: Grey’s Anatomy is not much different than last week’s episode. The dominate reading is that this show is just simply based on the lives of these doctors. The oppositional reading would be that the events and situations these characters go through are not incidental but their genders and races play a role in their story lines. The negotiated reading is that the characters on the show go through these situations because of the lives they have lived, not because of their genders and race.

The dominate reading of The Walking Dead is that this is simply a show of what would happen in the case of a zombie apocalypse. The oppositional reading would be that it isn’t a coincidence that there are no women on the show. Women are considered the weaker sex and fewer women would survive an apocalypse. Also, the women rely on the men for protection. The negotiated reading is that even though there appear to be few women on the show, it is a matter of circumstances based on what has happened in the show. It is not necessarily a statement about women. However, before I took this class, I never paid attention to the number of women on The Walking Dead and I didn’t notice how stupid they appear to be. The women on the show are always the ones that try to get through to a loved one that has turned into a zombie. Then when the zombie attacks them, the men have to save them. The women seem really stupid and it’s annoying to see.

What If… Women Were The Dominate Group?

3 Feb

Group: Women

Summary: I watched Grey’s Anatomy on ABC at 9 pm. This episode is a “What If” episode in which Meredith starts to think what would have happened to everyone had their lives taken a different course. The episode continues as a dream of Meredith’s in which her mother never died and ended up marrying the chief of staff, Derek never met Meredith so he stayed married to Addison and Meredith ended up engaged to Alex. Also, Bailey who is usually outspoken is meek, Lexi is now a drug addict, and the doctors who are no longer on the show have left for another reason. However, in the end, some things end up the way they were originally.

Analysis/Application: The show I usually use for analysis is Modern Family. It is clear there is a difference of characters on a drama compared to a comedy. Another thing that sets these two shows apart is the fact that Modern Family is only a 30 minute show while Grey’s Anatomy is an hour long show. There is a distinct difference in the woman on Modern Family compared to the women on Grey’s Anatomy. On Grey’s Anatomy, there are more female actors than there are male actors. The women on Grey’s Anatomy are in positions of power and they completely throw off the hegemonic idea of a white, heterosexual male being at the top of the pyramid, especially since more than a few of the women are not white. The women are more dominate in this series than the men. When Grey’s Anatomy is not doing a “what if” episode, Dr. Bailey who is a black female is one of the best doctors on the show and was the mentor for nearly all of the show’s regular characters. Although the women are the dominate group on this show, one aspect of this week’s episode I’ve found that relates to what we’ve seen in class is the sexualization of women. In this episode there was talk of the women doctors sleeping with men and the women have all of the fault placed on them. It was said that Christina slept with Dr. Burke and because of that relationship, Dr. Burke left the state. There is actually an incident where all of the doctors are confronting Christina and Meredith says that if Christina hadn’t slept with Dr. Burke, he would still be there and they all could have learned from him. The fault was automatically place on the Christina, not the higher ranking doctor that should have known better. Another incident is when they discussed Izzy’s absence. They explained Izzy’s departure because they said she slept with a patient and was fired. Everyone made it seem like it was a major scandal because a female doctor slept with a patient. I highly doubt  it would have been such a scandal if a male doctor had slept with a female patient. The way they talked about it on the show made it seem like Izzy was a slut. And again, the full blame went to the female of the situation. Another thing I saw was Addison’s relationship with Derek. Derek was definitely the dominate member of that relationship. It seemed like she was begging for him to love her and she even made a comment that the baby they were having was going to help their relationship. This, to me, seems like a stereotypical view of women. I have heard many times that women have babies with a man because they think it will keep their relationship together. With Addison being a baby doctor, you would think she would be smart enough to know that a baby won’t fix a relationship. However, one thing that I have noticed on this show is that the men are not hyper-masculine. On tonight’s episode, Hunt was having issues from the aftermath of being in the war and Christina helps him get through an episode. The men in this show have emotional issues and the women help them through it. Normally women are seen as the weaker sex that need men. However, the men in this show do turn to women for help. Because of what we talked about in class this week, I am beginning to notice how women and men are represented in television shows compared to their population in the United States. Based on the notes we have taken in class, it appears as though the ratio of men to women on Grey’s Anatomy is close to the ratio of the actual population.

Response: After watching a show like Modern Family where you see characters like Gloria, it’s refreshing to watch a show that doesn’t make women wear sexy clothes all the time and make her look like an idiot. Even though it’s not my category, I also like the different races on the show. Especially because the characters all have their own story lines and are not just made the “black best friend”. I think that most people that watch Grey’s Anatomy watch it with the dominate reading. They view the show as the lives of a set of people that work at a hospital. The oppositional reading would say that the genders and races of every character and the situations they go through are not incidental. The negotiated reading would note that this is a drama that involves both genders and a few races are represented, however, the incidents that these people go through are because of who they are as a person and the life they’ve lived, not because of their race or gender.

The Picture Says It All!

27 Jan

Group: Women

Summary: I tried to look at ads from magazines that cater to different genders since my target group is women. The first magazine I looked at was the January 2012 issue of Motor Trend. I chose this magazine because it tends to cater more toward men. That is where I found the advertisement below.

The second magazine I looked at was the January 30, 2012 issue of People. I chose people because it seemed to be the only magazine that could be for both men and women, yet after actually looking through it, it seems to be geared more toward women as well. That is where I found the ad below.

The third magazine I looked at was the January/February 2012 issue of Women’s Health. I obviously picked this magazine because it is a magazine for women. That is where I found the ad below.

Analysis/Application: The ad I found in Motor Trend is for tires, which makes sense because it was found in a magazine for cars. What does not make sense is the ad itself. The most prominent image of the entire ad is the picture of a tattooed woman, in a bikini, blowing snow out of her cupped hands. The idea that we discussed in class that this ad most represents is that idea that sex sells. There is no other possible logical explanation to explain why  a woman in a bikini, blowing snow out of her hands, is being used to sell tires. The woman being dressed in a bikini is not the only suggestive thing about her. Her facial expression is sexual as well. Although it seems she is merely blowing snow out of her hands, she does not have to make that seductive fact to blow snow. Her eyes are closed and her lips are puckered, like she is about to kiss someone. The photo in this advertisement is also hyper feminine and sexualized. I, for one, do not know any women that go out in the middle of winter in a bikini. It reminds me of the commercial for some kind of alcohol that have cartoon women is bikinis outside at a ski resort waiting for men to come skiing down the hill.

When I was looking through People magazine and saw the ad for the pregnancy test, I actually stopped and looked at it because it made no sense. I understand that fact that they are playing off of a woman’s insecurities about her bra fitting right and using that to convey that a woman needs a pregnancy test that is the right shape to get the most accurate results, but even so, this ad is ridiculous. This ad reminds me of the movie we watched in class about advertisements in which it was mentioned that ads made for women sometimes play off of their insecurities. When we see an ad for something that we believe can fix one of our flaws, we are more drawn to it.

The final ad I saw was the Olay ad in Women’s Health magazine. This ad is using celebrity endorsement to sell a product, which many companies do. This ad is relying on the fact that Carrie Underwood is a beautiful woman and that other women want to look like her. This ad, like the ad for the pregnancy test, is using a woman’s insecurities against her and trying to get her to buy a product that will make her think she can look like Carrie Underwood in some way. Carrie Underwood’s picture is such a big part of this ad that people do not even read the words at the bottom of the ad. This shows that this company is trying to use artificial images to sell their products rather than trying to sell their products based on their merit. The problem with this picture is, it is clear that this picture was photoshopped to hell.

Response: When I ever read a magazine, if I am in a waiting room somewhere, I never look at the ads. I always scan the cover of the magazine for an article that interests me and read it, then move on to the next one. However, when I saw the ads I found while researching for this assignment, I was extremely irritated by what I found. I am getting tired of companies trying to use images to promote their products when their product has nothing to do with how it looks. For example, people do not pick tires based on which ones look the best, they do not pick pregnancy tests based on which ones are the trendiest and I hope they do not pick facial products based on what the photoshopped celebrity looks like in the photo. Lately advertisements have been getting a lot of flack for having obviously photoshopped pictures and even some celebrities have come forward and said they do not like having their picture photoshopped and they do not condone it. A person who is not looking deeper into these ads may actually buy into the message the company is trying to promote but I have been taught to be critical and seeing ads like these have a lot of flaws. They are not trying to sell products to help people. They are trying to sell these products by tricking people who do not see how ridiculous they really are. In my opinion, companies that have ads like these are less reliable because it makes me think they have to use trickery to get people to buy their products; the quality of their products do not speak for themselves. Especially the Olay ad. If their product is so amazing, why did they have to photoshop Carrie Underwood so much? It just does not make sense.

Public Access Pervert – Autotune

20 Jan

Group: Portrayal of women

Summary: This week I watched Modern Family on ABC at 9 pm on Wednesday. This week the episode was called Little Bo Peep. In this episode, Claire is running for town council and her family is coaching her, Lily starts saying f**k and is going to be the flower girl in a wedding and Jay is afraid his dog Stella wants to kill herself and he blames it on his wife, Gloria. In this episode, the storyline that most deals with gender is Claire running for town council. The other storyline that deals with gender is Stella the dog being suicidal.

Analysis: In a local newspaper, Claire is described as unlikable so before Claire has to go to the debate, her family holds a practice debate in their living room. During the practice debate, Claire’s family stops her anytime she does something that makes her “unlikable”. For example, rolling her eyes, pointing her finger, pursing her lips and showing the wrong side of her face all make her unlikeable.

Before Claire goes into the real debate, Alex tells her mom that only men call powerful women unlikable because they feel threatened. This shows the challenging of the dominate hegemony because it shows that women are challenging men for their power on top and men are not comfortable with it. Also, when Claire tries to kiss Alex before the she goes into the debate, Alex tells her, “No kisses. Proud and powerful.”  To me, this seems like Alex is trying to tell her mom she needs to stop being so emotional. She wants her mom to fulfill the role schema of someone on the town council, someone in charge, and when someone is in a position in power, they are expected to act more like a stereotypical man. During the debate, Claire’s opponent pointed his finger aggressively numerous times  but no one called him unlikable. This shows that men are held at a double standard compared to women. It is more acceptable for a man to be dominate than it is a woman. Also during the debate, Claire’s son, Luke, says that her eyes are too close together and it has always bothered him, yet no one made note of the other candidate’s appearance. Another double standard placed on women. Another thing is, during the debate, Claire’s opponent brings up her husband and tries to bring scandal into the debate. The scandal is that Claire’s husband was arrested on Valentine’s day because he went into the wrong hotel room and got naked then posed on the bed. When that story is relayed by Claire’s opponent, someone in the audience asks Claire what was she wearing when her husband was naked and a woman in the audience calls Claire a sex freak. The debate ended up being a disaster and became more about the scandal than the actual issues. This shows that Claire is not taken seriously and her whole plan to run has been made a joke.

The dominate reading of this storyline is that Claire’s crazy family ruin her chance at running. The oppositional reading is that women running for any kind of office is a joke and women can’t be taken seriously when running against a man. The negotiated reading would be that although Claire running for office was turned into a joke. It wasn’t the fact that her running for office was ridiculous, it was her crazy family that actually caused the problem.

The other storyline that relates to gender is when Jay treats his dog better than his wife. When Jay comes home from work he automatically greets his dog. When his wife Gloria hears him come home from work, she asks him why he doesn’t greet her and he says if she would wait by the door for him and wag her tail when he gets home, he’d greet her.

Although this seems like a joke. If one paid attention to his message, he is basically telling his wife that he would appreciate her more if she acted like a dog, waiting for him by the door until he comes back from work. He believes the role schema of a wife is to wait around for her husband. Another part of this storyline was when Jay, Manny and Gloria were getting ready for a wedding and Gloria was ready first. When she yelled for Manny and Jay and they were still getting ready, Gloria said, “And I thought I was the woman.” This is making fun of the role schema of women, by saying they are usually the more difficult ones to get ready. The dominate reading of this storyline is that it is funny because Jay has such a connection to his dog, which would again challenge the role of a stereotypical man because women are generally the ones that treat their dogs like children. The oppositional reading is that Jay wants his wife to act more like a dog, following him around for his attention. The negotiated reading is that, although Jay has a close connection with his dog, it does not reflect how he feels about his wife.

Response: When Jay treats his dog better than his wife and then he says he’ll give her attention if she waits for him by the dog with her tail wagging, it seems like a funny joke but when you realize that he is actually comparing his wife to a dog, it is offensive. I would certainly take offense if my husband said he’d pay more attention to me if I acted like a dog. Another thing is, when looking further into Claire’s storyline, that one is offensive too. Even though the show is a comedy, it seemed like they were making fun of the fact that Claire was running at all. If the point is to make a joke out of how Claire’s crazy family ruined her chances of running, they should not have made so many personal attacks on Claire as a woman. In this episode, like last week, I think that no one’s benefit was served. In this show, I think that everyone gets made fun of and although you can laugh at yourself, some of the jokes are too personal. Because the show is set as following the lives of three families, I don’t think people pay much attention to the setting because it is set in a generic location. However, one thing that can be pointed out is, all of the people seem to live in nice houses and none of them seem to be struggling for money, so they all seem well off. Another observation is that there are no African-American actors on this show. On this show, Gloria is shown as an outspoken Latina bombshell and she kind of makes a fool of herself every week and her husband, Jay, is seen as one of the least outrageous characters. This shows the hegemony that white men are on tip and women of color are on the bottom.

Commercials: Some of the commercials that came on during Modern Family were commercials for food, insurance, cars, movies and make-up. The commercial that stood out the most to me was the Eva Mendes Pantene Commercial. This commercial relates to things we have talked about in class. In this commercial for shampoo, it shows Eva Mendes laying down in submissive positions while she talks about her hair.

Compare that to an Axe commercial for shampoo that is geared toward men, and here we see women in the same position. Being overly sexualized in order to sell a product. In this commercial, a girl follows a guy and says she wants “to bury her face in his backside,” and she bends him over the table, presses herself up against him, and smells his hair.

These commercials both portray gender display; we can tell who each shampoo is for based on the way the people in the commercial act. For example, for the shampoo for women, Eva Mendes is very infintilized, she is displaying childlike characteristics by the way she is being very shy and the way she playfully kicks her feet in the beginning of the commercial. In the Axe commercial the woman is hyper-sexualized because women would not naturally bend a man over a table and practically climb on his back in order to smell his shampoo.

Do You Have A Modern Family?

13 Jan

Summary: The show I chose to watch was Modern Family on ABC at 9 pm on Wednesday. I don’t even watch an hour of TV a week so I really didn’t know what show I should watch. I’ve never seen an episode of the show before so I cannot provide a full backstory but the episode I watched was called Egg Drop. In this episode, I noticed quite a few incidents that showed how Modern Family portrays women. The very first thing I noticed was when Alex tells Luke she will not give him her egg project and she starts to talk in technical terms, Haley tells her that if she keeps talking that way, she’ll go through life “unmanned.” This suggests that women cannot talk intellectually because it turns men off. Another thing I noticed was when Claire tells Phil that she won’t be able to help him with his seminar, he tells her she’s irreplaceable but then before she can even finish talking, Phil calls Gloria to fill in. Another thing is, Phil has only considered women to help him with his seminar. Why hasn’t he asked any men? I think this goes back to the fact that women are used to promote things because they can use sex appeal to gain attention. Another incident that included a woman was when Mitchell and Cameron were interviewing birth mothers. The woman they interviewed seemed young and she was portrayed as being kind of stupid so she comes off as a young, dumb mother. Another thing that happened was, Haley and Gloria missed Phil’s presentation so they could get their hair and nails done. That makes it seem like women care more about appearances than about their responsibilities. Another incident that happened was when Gloria and Phil were fighting, Gloria was being really unreasonable and yelling at Phil for being nice to her.

Analysis: Someone doing a dominate reading of this episode of Modern Family would see this as nothing more than entertainment. The oppositional reading would be that this show is based off of stereotypes that are used to make fun of women. The negotiated reading is that even though the show is making fun of the stereotypes of women, it is to help women see themselves and be able to make fun of it. I think this show is poking fun at every type of person they represent on the show. As far as I could tell, there are no African-Americans on the show so they probably have the most benefit from the show because as a demographic, African-Americans are the only ones not being made fun of. Because the show is a comedy, the audience watching the show would be watching it for entertainment more than anything else, therefore I don’t think they would pay very much attention to the designs of the show. The thing that really stands out on this show is that there is only one person of color on it and it is a Hispanic female. Based on the one episode I saw, in terms of how each of the characters acted, she was the only one who was extremely loud and seemed like the most wild. Therefore I think this show is putting out the message that the Caucasian people are more civilized that the person of color is wild and loud.

Response: This is the first time I have ever seen a full episode of Modern Family so I feel that my opinion of the show may not be as complete as someone who has watched the show before because the characters may not always act like they did during the episode I watched. However, I did find some parts of the episode funny so I think in terms of a comedy, it was successful. I think this show is meant to poke fun at the stereotypes we have of people of different demographics. Whether we admit it or not, when we think of a specific demographic, we always have an image that pops into our heads. We usually think of feisty Latinas, flamboyant homosexuals or goofy white men. I think the show is funny because people are able to relate to some of the characters and they are able to poke fun of themselves. From this one episode, I think I would be most like Claire. I am extremely competitive and I have went overboard when helping someone with their project so I was able to laugh at her in the show.