I Get I’m A Woman, but I Think I Can Save Myself

I love to read, and I do so extensively. Up until a few years ago, I never understood the depth of which I was influenced by the books I so whole-heartedly devoured. A person is everything they see, their actions, their beliefs – everyone is. This is common knowledge and its understood to be true and accepted. I guess I just never realized the extent. I am a product. Everyone is a product. Feelings and actions are created not only because of the things a person is taught, or the things they inherit, but they are the result of the TV shows watched, the music listened to, and all the books they consume.

This month in lecture we began to analyze. Instead of discussing issues, Professor Tolmie showed us real evidence. She presented us ads, discussed TV shows, scrutinized movies and dissected books. Having read both series she discussed a few weeks back, she had my attention. It was so weird for me to see books I had read picked apart; and in doing so, I was able to pick up on things I had never noticed before. I guess it is important for me to mention I read fast. I read so fast that I don’t really take the time to reflect on what I’m consuming, or its effect on me. I never associate the roles of the characters I read as being problematic unless they are evidently flawed. Sure, some are written as stupid, or afraid, or waiting for their prince charming, and those are normal attributes that can be associated to anyone – regardless of their age, sex or nationality. But I honestly never associated these ideals as being offensive, derogatory or undermining. I never realized that these ideals are so consumed and socially constructed that we don’t even recognize them anymore unless we take the time to critically analyze. And let’s get real, who makes the time to do that with everything else they have to do? Not many of us.

But that’s the problem. We let these things stay prevalent in society because, hey, they aren’t that detrimental. It may be a popular series, but it is not that noticeable. No one really picks up on how Bella Swan or Anastasia Steele depend on a man, no one notices how much they request their approval before they act, no one picks up on their inability to self sustain. No one except a Gender Studies prof, or maybe a feminist. But that simply isn’t true. The signs are all there, and we ignore them. We let them slide by because were reading these books, or watching this show for pleasure, not to scrutinize. So what, you may ask? (I asked it too – don’t worry). Then I stumbled across this:

http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-and-politics/details/2012-12-a-letter-to-the-guy-who-harrassed-me-outside-the-bar

It’s an article on the unwarranted and unwanted compliments women receive from men in public (and it’s worth a read!). Most women disregard the comments as annoying and obnoxious, or we cross to the other side of the road, or we just ignore it. It’s the same as in the books. We’ve just accepted that this is our reality – it doesn’t matter whether we want the attention or not, or if were even deserving of it (a friend of mine once got cat-called walking her dog in her fathers sweatpants – “the perks of being tall and blonde” was her response to it), all us women just accept these situations to be truth. But in doing so, we are promoting rape culture.

These things are so embedded within our society it is almost impossible to think of a reality without them. What is good TV if the cute boy doesn’t fight two to three seasons for his dream girl? How can a book hook so many readers if one the character lacks an attribute that needs to be fixed? How can anything work without gaps for others to fill? But with that, our society continues to perpetuate women as victims, as naïve girls who need to be saved.

Maybe it’s appealing – I know I dreamed of my knight in shining armor for years because Disney showed me that he was coming – but it leads to so much more. People aren’t meant to be saved, and women don’t need someone else to complete their lives for them. Characters can still be ideal and relatable without the assumption that their independence is lacking, or without a strong male “counter-part”. Relationships can be people of equal attributes and a level playing field – as much as I enjoy the different realities to escape to, I don’t think I would ever want to live in one where my boyfriend told me what to eat. We as women complain often about the world we live in, and we do so because it isn’t fair, or fun, or equal most of the times. We complain because were scared and were aware, and we know reality. We’re entitled to that much at least. Yet, we let it slip by and remain as we consume it in different worlds through the characters we read and see. Maybe we have more to change than we thought.

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Growing up, my favourite movies to watch were definitely Disney. At home I have three shelves of different Disney films, including all the Disney princess ones of course. I basically thought I was a princess and apart of Disney World. These movies truly fascinated me. I was a young girl who was mesmerized by their lives and the fairytales they were living in. I agree with the previous post in that these Disney movies highlight many negative stereotypes concerning gender and race. All of the princesses are beautiful, thin, and attractive young girls. These are the stereotypes and sexual scripts that are unfortunately instilled in the minds of children at such a young age.

Similarly, these stereotypes and sexual scripts are apparent in television shows today. In my opinion, I believe the degree to which television shows portray certain stereotypes is quite obscene in popular culture. The majority of television programs that adolescents watch nowadays are filled with gender stereotyping, racial stereotyping and as mentioned earlier sexual scripts. However, I also feel that some shows are trying to bush the boundaries of stereotypes and show the truth of it all. I will do an analysis of several shows comparing the differences some being very stereotypical and others not. For example, on Modern Family, Cam and Mitchell are homosexuals and the way they behave on the show is very stereotypical to gay men, such as the way they talk and act. Max Blum, a character on the show Happy Endings is portrayed as the gay best friend, however his character is very different than Cam and Mitchells. Blum’s character portrays a man who is “a hairy, horn-dog, no-good single gay dude…who spent more time eating Cheez Whiz than applying ‘product’” (Pinkert, 2013). As I was watching this show, I immediately thought this to myself. He is not depicted as the typical, stereotypical gay guy on a TV show. His character is hilarious and he’s essentially the joker in their friend group, but the majority of his jokes are not about him being gay or even homosexuals at all. I thought this was very interesting to compare the two TV shows and compare the portrayals of these two homosexual men. Another interesting comparison I would like to address is Sofia Vergara’s character on Modern Family, Gloria. I am a fan of this television show; therefore I am quite familiar with each character. Gloria does not go an episode without mentioning her ethnicity, her promiscuous clothing or acting in a certain way because she is “Colombian.” Of course, Gloria is always dressed in revealing clothing with her breasts out. This is typical and also very stereotypical, which is quite apparent in many episodes. On the other hand, April Ludgate on Parks and Recreation is also Latina. Her character is very different from Sofia Vergara. The humor on the show got me hooked immediately along with the cast and their personalities. The majority of the characters are presented without all the typical stereotypes that are visible in the majority of television shows today, such as Modern Family. April is “vivacious” and never goes on a rant in Spanish or even with a heavy accent as Gloria takes on in Modern Family. Also, Tom Haverford played by Aziz Ansari in Parks and Recreation is without a doubt comical and charming. His role on Parks and Recreation breaks the barrier of stereotypes as he is not portrayed like most South Asians would be – “proud and macho” or even “effeminate and nerdy,” however he is sweet, comedic and definitely considered the coolest guy on the show by far. The last example I feel is really prevalent in TV shows today would be the typical dumb blonde. On the Big Bang Theory, Penny definitely fulfills this character of a dumb blonde that is dating a nerd. On the other hand, Dallas Royce played by Cheryl Hines is very good at handling things, has great judgment with a good head on her shoulders as much as she comes off as a blonde bimbo.

These TV shows show us how gender and racial stereotypes are so apparent in popular culture. However, some shows in popular culture are able to push these boundaries and make great television. I believe it is quite distressing that children are being instilled with these stereotypes at such a young age and I believe more television programs should stop trying to make their show more comical by being extremely stereotypical.

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

 

 

Max Blum, Happy Endings

Max Blum, Happy Endings

 

Modern Family

Modern Family

April Ludgate, Parks and Recreation

April Ludgate, Parks and Recreation

Penny, Big Bang Theory

Penny, Big Bang Theory

The Utopia Isn’t So Perfect After All

It has become common knowledge that those with disabilities in western, modern society are constantly faced with social barriers that prevent them from fully participating within their community. I personally believe that with time and effort that these barriers can begin to diminish. However, the influential and powerful pop culture today plays no role in helping reducing the barriers for people with disabilities, because movies and advertisements are constantly portraying disabled persons as helpless and useless. We, society, are unconsciously influenced by these endless amounts of media portrayals that surround us on a daily basis.

Definitions and terminology play a strong role in defining the negative perceptions placed on those with disabilities. For instance, the individual model of disability uses a physiological approach and states that impairment is due to genetic heritage, accident or disease. This definition clearly claims that those with disabilities do not follow what the majority of modern, society defines as ‘normal.’ Official terminology, like the individual model of disability, has the capability to affect how society perceives those with disabilities. If the terminology is giving a negative connotation on those with disabilities then the perception of disabled persons by society will also tend to have an undesirable implication.

You might be wondering now what media portrays disabled persons in a negative light. One example is a top selling box office movie hit in 2009, Avatar. Not only does Avatar make those with disabilities appear weak and unworthy, but it also has numerous racists and gender stereotypes remarks. No wonder thousands of articles were published critiquing the movie after it was released.

Lets first focus on the portrayal of those with disabilities. For those of you who do not know, Avatar is about a white man named, Jake Sully, who abandons his disabled body and goes to a world called, Pandora. In Pandora he is suppose to persuade the nature-loving Na’vi tribe that lives there to make way for humans to come in and mine in their land. Eventually, Sully switches sides and falls in love with the Na’vi princess and leads the tribe to victory against the white men. Sounds familiar, right? To begin, Avatar takes place in a utopian society, meaning it is an imagined place where everything is perfect. Yet, one aspect that does not appear ‘perfect’ is Sully’s disabled body. Throughout the movie, Sully expresses that he prefers his Avatar body because in it he is able to walk and is not restricted in his wheelchair. The movie delivers the message that one should be happier and life is better when you are not disabled, for Sully’s character only feels powerful and useful when he is in the Avatar world and not in his wheelchair. In addition, the utopia created in Avatar is extremely high-tech and futuristic. Technology is constantly aiding researchers on the Avatar world and helping them solve their problems. In other words, the movie is predicting that in the future it is possible that technology might be able to solve multiple problems for it will become so advance. It is quite interesting how the technology in this utopia is used in multiple ways, yet it appears that it was never used to study how it can assist those with disabilities, showing that disabled persons’ life style remains the same in the present and the future and they will always have barriers restricting them.

While on the topic of Avatar, it is relevant to mention the gender stereotypes and racists remarks that occur throughout the movie because these are still ongoing issues that surround us. Lets first take a look at the structure of the Avatars:

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Avatar’s Body Structure

Notice how both are practically naked and that the male is muscular, strong and has a defined six pack and the female is thin and physically fit. Both the male and female Avatars are given the ‘ideal’ body image of their sex. Even in a utopian world, media shows that there is still only way to appear attractive.

The racism throughout Avatar is the plot of the entire movie. If you recall the plot summary, Sully, is a white male that leaves his disabled body and becomes an Avatar in Pandora. Although Sully physically appears as one of the Avatars, white privilege – advantages that white people benefit from that is beyond the common advantages experienced by coloured people – remains with him throughout. Sully does not necessarily get the whole Na’vi experience because he always has the choice to switch back to human mode, giving him an advantage over the rest of the Na’vis. Lastly, the movie ends when the white man, saves the ‘helpless’ coloured people, in this case blue people, from the white peoples’ attacks. As usual, the white person is accepted in the coloured world, becomes the most loved person and then eventually becomes their leader and saves them. Again, media is emphasizing that coloured people always needs a white person to rescue them, even though we all know this is not true.

Although Avatar may have been a box office knock out, it is no secret that the movie discriminates those with disabilities, reinforces gender stereotypes and reiterates the historical white people-colour people relationship. With pop culture producing movies with these messages, it is no wonder that barriers exist for minority groups today.

Disney Princesses and Villains

I couldn’t agree more with Wordtothewomen1’s statement, “there is a large inequality of racial representation with Disney princesses”. In fact, I could argue that this is an understatement of the racial representation of Disney princesses. Despite Disney’s small strides towards diversifying the representation of gender and racial differences with its characters (e.g. Disney’s 2009 film, The Princess and the Frog), what occurs “behind the scenes” is far from diverse. Not only are the vast majority of princesses and other Disney characters white in colour, but the voice actors of the few racially diverse princesses are in fact Caucasian themselves. Take for example princess Jasmine, a young woman of Arabic decent. One with think, like her character, the voice behind the princess would be of a similar background, however, unsurprisingly a white-American is the actress. Similar with Pocahontas, a Caucasian women (whom is not in the slightest Native American), is the one belting the songs for the animated character.

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One does not have to look very deeply into what goes on behind the scenes in Disney movies to discover a lack of racial diversity and the presence of racism. Below are several photos of Disney villains. While looking at these photos, I urge you to find similarities.

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It disturbs me to realize that many of the Disney villains are made to look as though they are a different race from the “white” norm portrayed in films. In Aladdin for example, Aladdin and the villain, Jaffar, are both Arabic men. Yet Aladdin has been given a very light skin-tone and speaks and sings with an American accent. Jafar on the other-hand is portrayed in a more ethnic manner with a thick Middle-Eastern accent and a darker complexion. An even more distinguishable example would be the colour difference between Scar and Mufasa in the Lion King. Although both are kin of the same parents, they appear to be two different “races” of lions, with of course, the darker of the two being the evil lion. This racial insensitivity is also displayed more subtly in films such as Cinderella. Looking at the skin tone of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters, they differ from that of her own, a porcelain-white skin and blonde hair appearance. Her one stepsister, the biggest villain of them all, has a much darker complexion. Moreover, both stepsisters are made to be unattractive compared to their beautiful stepsister. What kind of message does this give young children, particularly children of colour? That women of colour are not as attractive or appealing as those who are white? It is very discomforting that I did not make these realizations until now, which makes me fear how many young children subconsciously develop the notion that lighter skin is more attractive than darker. Providing villains with the appearance of racial minorities is very unsettling to me. Coming from a family of diverse racial backgrounds, it saddens me that my caring, compassionate, and loving family members whom are of Middle-Eastern and African-American decent are indirectly portrayed as villains in such films.

Evidently, it is not only Disney that can be faulted for its racial insensitivities. More specifically, Disney is not the only franchise to racially stereotype villains as being ethnically diverse. Many movies (e.g. Twilight) and novels (e.g. 50 Shades of Grey) can be faulted for the same underrepresentation of racial minorities. In fact, the sole character of a racial minority in the two examples provided above both happen to be the “villain”. Laurent, an African-American vampire, is set out on a mission to kill Bella Swan in Twilight. In 50 Shades of Grey, Jose Rodriguez, a Latin American, is the romantic competition and only threat to Anastasia’s love interest, Christian Grey.

I would like to add that on a very different note, these same Disney movies, novels and blockbuster hits can all be faulted for giving fantasies of power to females. As stated by Susan Douglas in her novel, Enlightened Sexism, (2010), “we are getting images of imagined power that mask, and even erase, how much still remains to be done for girls and women”. It is through media outlets such as those described above as well as tv shows, for example, the Apprentice and movies such as Legally Blonde, where women are competing or acting alongside men, or even have a superior role to men, where both women and men develop the notion that all are finally equal in society. However, looking deeper into these female roles, it is apparent that they are simply given fantasies of power, and contribute to the concept of enlightened sexism. In Legally Blonde for example, the main character Elle Woods, is hyper-feminine. On the surface, she is the top of her class and ultimately wins a major court case. One must think, however, how did she get to the top? Well, through her sexuality and femininity she trickled her way to the top. Enlightened sexism is taking the gains of the women’s movement in the past as a given and consequently turning women into sex objects, whom succeed because of their appearance. Enlightened sexism is merely one of many consequences that have arisen from fantasies of power in popular culture, and I am certain that if this downward spiral continues, the efforts of feminism and women’s rights from the past will slowly disappear.

Does a Princess Always Need a Prince?

 

           As a child I grew up, like many, surrounded by Disney princesses. The Disney princesses were first introduced in movie form, but quickly grew into a large-scale business endorsement. The main Disney princesses such as Aurora, Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine and Mulan appeared on all childhood products such as birthday hats, blankets, clothing, toys and even had their own figurines. Although each story varies all of the Disney princesses share a similar plot element: a man that saves the princess.  For those of you who have not see any Disney movies I will highlight the plot of a few of the famous stories. For starters we have Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Snow White in Snow White, who both need kisses from a man to awake them from a permanent sleeping state. Then we have beautiful Cinderella who is put to work by her evil stepmother and needs Prince Charming to save her from her future of slavery and misery. Lastly, we have Princess Ariel in the Little Mermaid whose beautiful voice is taken away so she can become a human, but Prince Eric saves the day and gets Ariel her voice back even when she is a human.

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            Evidently, all of these storylines include a man saving a woman. These are the movies that are instilled in children’s minds from a very young age. All of these stories bring to the foreground the same sexual script. A sexual script is the way one is suppose to act in relation to one’s gender. These movies represent women as having to be attractive, happy, but always in need of rescue from a male. Many of our current sexual scripts are similar to those portrayed in the Disney movies. Furthermore, Disney’s slogan is “where dreams come true.” If this is really true then can a woman’s dreams only be fulfilled if there is man in her life? What message does this send to the young audience?  Personally I believe this message is corrupt and instills the wrong values in children. Women are independent beings and should not conform to any sexual script imposed upon them.

               Disney Princess act as role models for young children and continue to be present throughout their entire lives. People who aspire to be similar to these characters are what some would call fandom. Fandom is a person with a strong interest with a particular show, book, movie, character etc. Fan viding is the most demanding form of fan engagement. There is a plethora of fan vids surrounding Disney princesses, and I have chosen one to examine. It can be found on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyrLed7Fp-s. It would be good to quickly watch the clip to understand what I am going to be talking about.

              After watching this clip the first thing that resonates with me is the fact that more than half of this video is focused on the relationship between the princess and the particular male lead. The fan that created this video and many others have pinpointed the most important part of these movies to be the relationship. This fan has taken multiple Disney movies and highlighted that in every movie there is a princess that falls in love with man. This portrays the fact that the fans feel as though the princesses, their role models, need a man in their life to be happy. This is confirmed by the fans choice of music. This fan chose the song title “Ever Ever After” by Carrie Underwood. The choice of music is very important as it tries to encompass the meaning the fan wants to get across to their audience. This song is very upbeat and happy with lyrics that delineate that fairy tale endings do come true and that you can find true loves kiss. While these lyrics are playing all the princesses are being saved by their specific prince and they are experiencing their happy ever after. This fan vid clearly shows the impact these Disney movies have on children as it makes people believe they need to find a prince to be happy. This creates a distorted image of reality as a woman can be independent and still happy.

             In addition, all the couples present are heterosexual couples. These couples act as role models to young children, therefore by having all heterosexual couples it emphasizes the stigma of compulsory heterosexuality. Due to the fact these movies are repeatedly shown throughout our childhood it creates an environment where children feel uncomfortable to truly express their sexual identity.  Not only are homosexual couples not present, but there is a large inequality of racial representation within the princesses. Out of the seven main Disney princesses, only two of them are not of the Caucasian descent; this is less than one third. This inadequately represents our multicultural population, thus introducing inequalities between the races at a very young age.

            In conclusion, these Disney movies instill bad morals  in young children as they all want to live happily ever after, but Disney creates many boundaries to achieving this as they portray one as having to be skinny, attractive and predominately Caucasian to achieve this happy ever after. Truth be told, a woman does not need a prince to be happy and this is a moral that clearly isn’t present within Disney films as reflective in the fan video presented. 

The Notion of The Perfect Woman

I couldn’t tell you when it started, and I probably won’t be around to tell you when it ends, but I can tell you its really shaped the woman I have grown up to be. For as long as I can remember I have had the idea of womanhood, ladylike behaviors and femaleness instilled in me. You never realize as a child, and sometimes not even as a teenager or an adult. Our behaviors, attitudes, and feelings are all shaped by this “reality” that we, as young girls, are going to grow up and become women – our gender is socialized to fit this mold. But what is a woman? Why do all us girls end up at this ending point of her – the epitome of femaleness?

My mother used to tell me “beauty is pain” when I would cry over my pierced ears or complain over how my tight shoes hurt my toes. She would look at me with a sense of disgust when I went to leave the house in sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt – a look I admit is gross, but not for the same reasons she thought – the same way she looks at me with genuine surprise when I have makeup on. She was, and continues to, try to teach me and my sister the proper ways in which women act in society. She never leaves the house in her pajamas, and will do her makeup while driving if she’s late. At home, she is the opposite – slobby (in her own depiction of herself) and not put together. In this I learned the greatest thing I know about being a woman in public, something I have only recently realized to ring true in my own life; that it is an act. That ideal woman I mentioned earlier? She’s a fabricated creature – yet lives on.

Maybe we get our ears pierced because we want them to be, and we wear stilettos because they are beautiful shoes and make our legs look great, and maybe we paint our faces with makeup everyday because we enjoy it. All of this is true, for me at least (and I’m sure a lot more of us), but the truth of it is, it is all a big charade – a way for us as women to feel good about ourselves, look good, and to be “presentable” (another word my lovely mother has instilled in my brain) for the world outside of the comforts of our home.

I don’t go to class in sweats, and I never leave the house without a coat of mascara. I wear high heels because they are beautiful and make me taller, and I stand differently around guys I think are cute. All of this is fine and good for me as an individual (what’s wrong with being a better version of yourself?), but it’s a fake showing on behalf of me to be the ideal woman I see in my mind. My gender is so morphed into society’s depictions of the accurate female I can no longer differentiate between what is socialized and what is not. I see my best self as poised, pretty, clean and put together. I follow through with the actions that get me there – these things I somehow know will make me a lady. I see these things because my mother taught me what it was to be these things – and how if I was them I would always be fine.

I know some people find problems in all this – I stated above that I thought it was fake –but I don’t see them as the biggest battle. Maybe womanhood is defined by gender socialization through images in the media and instilled into little girls by their family, but is that really that detrimental? Is it really that bad to aspire to be sincere, or poised or elegant – or whatever else it is that classifies that ideal woman? I think these are all good things, and I don’t see a person (male or female) being worse off by carrying some of these characteristics in any situation. I know that some people grow to resent the image of an ideal woman – and I know a lot of people identify with different variations of their own depictions of that. My question lies in how, and why, we got this notion of being a woman – and why, despite feminist movements, liberation and education of all, mothers still want the best for their daughters, and that best is somehow associated with the ideal woman.

Gender Socialization in Society and the Media

The blog post, Gender Socialization at University highlights one of the many gender norms one experiences at university; such as the different gym facilities. I would like to take this idea a step further and explore some other places within the society where social constructs affect gender differences.

            Queens offers a variety of specified programs such as engineering, computer science, psychology, nursing, fine arts and much more. These programs draw students from a wide cultural basis as far as Pakistan, Dubai and as close as Kingston. The Queen’s University Journal conducted a survey, which allowed them to break down the specific faculties by sexes. It is important to take into account that these ratios have a slight bias they come from the 2005 graduating class where almost 57% of their graduates were females. While taking this into account, the enrollment between females and males are still significantly different in some programs, which can be seen with the women to men ratio provided by The Journal. Some of the most significant differences can be seen in, English 3:1, French 5:1, psychology 8:1 and the most divergent is Nursing 81:2. 

One may then ask why does nursing present the most disparate enrollment between the sexes? When one hears the word nurse, the majority of people will immediately think of a woman. This is a prime example of genderization. This can also be seen with Ernest Hemmingway was seen wearing pink as a baby.  Presently, if a baby in our society would wear pink we would automatically assume that it is a girl and to be honest, probably 99% of the time we would be correct. The fact that the colour represents femininity is a social construct that our society has created. Just as though our society has created pink for girls, our society has created a social construct that nursing is a woman’s job. Accordingly, the woman to man ratio of the nursing program at Queens clearly reflects this social construct, as there are 81 females for every two males in the program.

This social construct reflects our values and gender roles in North America. In North America we view women to be the nurturers and caregivers of the household. Similarly, the job of a nurse is to care for individuals and nurse them back to health. A sexual script is the way we are suppose to behave and carry ourselves that is reflective of our gender. Accordingly, is it women’s sexual script to be the homemaker? Is this the cultural ideology within North America?

In contrast, in psychology 100 we learn that in the nation of Burburg, males are raised to take care of domestic duties and women are raised to pursue professional careers. As a result, it is evident that people of Burburg have different gender roles than most people in North America. Is it then accurate to assume that the majority of nurses in Burburg would be males? Or would this be an incorrect assumption. If the majority of nurses in North America are female because they are the caregivers of the household then I believe it would be quite accurate to assume that the majority of nurses would be men in the nation of Burburg. According to the gender roles of these places I believe this to be true, but I definitely do not agree with it.

Bringing this social construct to the outside world, we seldom to never see male nurses in media. If we take it a step further and talk about doctors there is a significant difference in gender roles. Currently, a lot more women are becoming doctors, making the male and female doctors almost a one-to-one ratio. If I think about doctors in the media I immediately think about the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s Anatomy is a fabulous show that highlights the lives of doctors in Seattle Grace Hospital. In Grey’s Anatomy there is approximately the same amount of male and female doctors. Although this is true, throughout the eight seasons it aired many of the main female doctors suffered from mental breakdowns. In season five we see Izzie Stevens suffer from a mental breakdown as she hallucinates seeing her deceased husband around the hospital. This distracts Izzie from her job and is the beginning of her downfall on the show. In season six we see Lexie Grey traumatized by a shooting coercing her into a an unstable mental state making her be admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric ward. Lastly, in season 7 we view the strongest character, Christina Yang suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder provoking her to quit her job at the hospital. It is quite problematic that only the women in this show suffer mental breakdowns from the hardships they have to endure throughout their careers and lives. I believe this creates a strong message to the audience about the capability of women doctors. As well this theme could be extrapolated to refer to the whole female gender in general. Although Grey’s seems to incorporate male and females equally they seem to create an androcentric perspective as the men can successfully achieve their work without having mental breakdowns. This is just one of many shows in pop culture that portrays gender roles, androcentrism and gender socialization. 

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