In the following few pages of blogdom, you’ll find a variety of different artifacts that anyone could encounter during their day-to-day lives that have been analyzed in relation to gender communications. The artifact topics include new music videos by Beyoncé, women’s rights in the Middle East, and television character analyses from our favorite television shows (or mine, anyway). The major enveloping theme that I chose for this project focuses on society’s gender stereotypes and how some shows and instances break them, while others encourage them. Some do both.
Significant portions of my gender artifacts are about the stereotypes that surround women. As a woman, it’s certainly easier for me to recognize these stereotypes over other stereotypes because I’ve either seen or experienced the limitations or maybe even instances of sexism. This also has shaped my own personal interpretation of gender roles. Some major examples of these artifacts include my brief analysis of Clinton and Palin in the news media throughout the 2008 Presidential election as well as the artifacts about women’s rights in the Middle East (which also links to our recent class readings regarding global feminism). I’ve also included analyses of musical artists like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, as well as interpretations of advertisements (like for Michael Kor’s advertisements). I’ve also included information about one of my favorite television shows, Gossip Girl, and about the best movie ever Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
On the reverse side, I’ve also included analyses about men, the most notably being the one about How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson. This artifact highlights the ways he enhances gender stereotypes about men when he also breaks his own stereotypes in order to help out his best friend. I’ve also analyzed the Ashton Kutcher commercials for Nikon Cameras and the relationships I have with several of my gay friends—relationship-types that aren’t really covered in the book. Overall, it seems as if it’s becoming more acceptable for men to be emotional and a little more feminine that would have previously—however, like DeFransisco said in her text, there’s still this overlying sense of homophobia (that we need to kick in the butt).
In addition to these two main gender focuses on men and women (whoda thunk?), I also have some random artifacts from different sources—my favorite being the ones I picked up from my Art History II class. I thought that these pieces were clever and out-of-the-box. These are some of my favorites of them all. I chose to take things I’d learned in this class about female artists who were interested in women’s rights before they were even on a political agenda (Gentileschi) and I chose to represent the significance of women in other cultures in order to show that not everybody necessarily holds men as more important than women.
Overall, I consciously chose a set of artifacts that anyone could encounter on a day-to-day basis. Most of all, I chose topics that I see everyday (or often). Ultimately, gender expectations reach me, too (even if I am an awesome Communications student). I chose these artifacts so they’ve influenced me in some way, which helps my gender interpretations differ from other people’s gender interpretations. After all, we each have our own gender role expectations (the most common considered stereotypes) and they help create unique persons.
DeFrancisco, V., Palczewski, C. (2007). Communicating gender diversity: a critical approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.