Women are expected to maintain beauty as a top priority as part of their gender stereotypes that are placed on them by society (Gamble, 2003).

Lowe

Last semester I took a ULLC class about Political cartoons and I recently found some that pertain to Barbie’s recent 50 year anniversary. The political cartoon that I found on Daryl Cagle’s website does two things: they show how much of a role model Barbie has been in terms of beauty gender expectations for women and they mock how obsessed America’s women have become about retaining beauty. Both of these messages secure the common stereotype that beauty and looks should be of the main concern for women all across the country.

The cartoon depicts a woman looking at the “Botox Barbie” that her daughter has handed her. On one hand, the little girl wants the doll because its Barbie, on the other hand, it’s making the mother think about her own beauty and if she does or doesn’t need to get botox herself to stay looking young and fresh, just like Barbie does at age 50. The cartoon also pokes fun at the intense expectations of women in the US to keep their beauty. Does the mother need botox? Probably not, but there’s a societal pressure for her to look good as a woman–and after all, if her childhood role model is doing it, then why shouldn’t she?

Lowe, C. (Artist). Barbie turns 50. (Cartoon). (2009, May 7). May 4, 2009, from http://www.cagle.com/news/Barbie50/3.asp

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

“We recognize that through the years, gender inequity has assumed many different forms, and we realize the extent to which issues of gender inequalitiy either have or have not been addressed (Gamble, 2003)(p.5).”

What is it with girls posting everything about their recent pregnancies on Facebook? On one hand, you have the gender expectations that girls should want and should reproduce. On the other hand, society’s taught us that us girls should be “pure” and get married before they have sex–or a baby, for that matter. If she’s young and unwed, does that make her a “slut” or a “whore”? It seems to. But why does that slut and whore factor fall on girls? What about the responsibility of the guy involved? He should know how to wrap it up. There are so many double standards when it comes to gender communication between men and women.

These double standards also correlate with the differences between the stereotypes of men and women. Women are traditionally the vulnerable, child rearing compliment to men, and they must listen to the man because he is superior. Men, after all, are the ones who have to go out and bring home the bacon (Gamble, 2003). It’s so easy to call a girl a whore based on their actions or the way they dress at a party, but call a man the male equivalent? Then, it’s okay. Don’t worry, he just had sex with 20 girls last month, no worries. The introduction to the texts tells us that we need to ask ourselves what we see in our gendered lives–here’s mine: I see my gendered life as one day leaving behind double standards. Then again, we don’t live in a Walgreens commercial.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Women are stereotypically seen as sex objects (Gamble, 2003).

Every time I turn on my television, it’s usually turned to channel 40–home to G4. It’s a television network that is completely devoted to everything involving video games and naturally appeals to men. What always gets me is the way the programming portrays women. During a commercial break, they showed five or six college graduate women competing in a bathing suit hula hoop competition in order to get an internship. It doesn’t stop there, either. They have new show that’s coming out that completely portrays women as sex objects, more so than I’ve seen on any other network that comes to mind.

The International Sexy Ladies Show will air on the network in June. Basically, they have found videos and women all over the globe who will and have submitted themselves to such a degrading status–just watch the videos posted on the show’s website above. One clip shows a woman purposely getting stuck in sticky candy wearing a super small dress (with a few Brittany poses thrown in). While she’s doing this, the voice over tells you that the video was made for men and women to enjoy the “soundtrack”–which is her moaning. It’s almost as degrading as the half naked women you see on the walls of college-age boys. Really? I feel like women in general have come a long way, but images and notions like this just enforce these gender stereotypes that I find so ridiculous.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

International Sexy Ladies Show. (2009). G4tv.com. Visited on 3 May, 2009. See link above for website information.

“A diva is a female version of a hustler (Knowles, 2008).”

Diva

Above is the link to one of Beyoncé’s newer singles Diva. This particular video is interesting because the introduction that defines diva and the rest of the video & the song’s lyrics seem to conflict. The introduction defines “diva” as “a successful and glamorous female performer or personality” and “a female singer who has achieved popularity”. The song, however, defines a “diva” as “a female version of a hustler”. One definition adheres to gender role expectations of women and the other compares and suggests that women are just as capable of men. The video and song conflict with the traditional gender stereotypes of a woman that have been studied (Gamble, 2003).

Even throughout the video, Beyoncé flits back and forth between a nearly shapeless figure and a futuristic woman–the shapeless woman fitting in with the hustler image in an effort to downplay sex and gender, whereas the futuristic woman is still clearly a woman (if only a woman who downplays beauty and enhances a harsh masculine attitude). It’s really confusing, in terms of gender. Is she a force to be reckoned with cause she’ll light your car on fire if you cross her path? Or is she a glamorous, popular singer? Maybe she’s both, but it sure is a bit confusing.

Knowles, B. (Writer). (2008). Diva. Music video. New York, NY: Sony Music Entertainment.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

“Borders of genders are continually resecured by media representations in response to this change (DeFransisco, 2007)(p.254).”

Holly Golightly, a character created by the infamous Truman Capote and turned into a motion picture icon, forever immortalized on the silver screen by Audrey Hepburn. In a different post, I briefly described the closing scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in relation to the Ten Stage Model of Relationships (Gamble, 2003). Here, I will further analyze Hepburn’s character as portrayed in the movie.

Golightly is a Manhattan party girl who gets $50 for every visit to the powder room when in the company of a gentleman and always wears a little black dress on her excursions. Overall, she makes decisions on a moment-to-moment basis, always ready for what comes next as she makes money partying with gentlemen and visiting the prison, Sing Sing. She is always on the go and is a little unstable. Golightly lives with a cat that she refuses to name because it’s too wild and free, even though he really isn’t.

Overall, Golightly could be considered one of two things: confusing in the terms of traditional gender stereotypes or modern in the terms of traditional gender stereotypes. She is confusing in the sense that she doesn’t really adhere to any of the traditional stereotypes, except maybe for being beautiful and needing to retain the beauty for party and social reasons (even then, she doesn’t make a fuss about it). This could be confusing, or fresh depending on how you look at it, if you’ve only seen one gender role for women all your live (which is possible, given the time period it came out in). She could be considered modern because she doesn’t adhere to those traditional stereotypes, as well. However, Golightly’s balance between stability and her never ending quest to be as free as she wants could be negative because of that instability. It’s also important to note the ending, where she gets together with Paul–which violates her wishes from throughout the movie to be free and “un-caged”. Essentially, I’ve just realized that Breakfast at Tiffany’s adheres to DeFransisco’s statements about how media can “resecure” traditional gender norms, even if it seems that they are being broken. The gender norm of being a woman who is unstable and too free is cut down as soon as she and Paul get together at the end of the movie because that’s precisely what he adds to the picture. The movie defies the stereotype of a typical woman then resecures that fact that women want and should be in stable relationships–after all, you want Paul and Holly to get together during the whole movie!

AH!

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.

Jurow, M., Shepard, R., & Edwards, B. (1961). Breakfast at Tiffany’s. USA: Paramount Pictures.

Again with the homophobias and I can’t come up with a quoted title at the moment to go with the rest of my gender blogs for the portfolio

Here’s a video that was posted by some of my residents last semester (they were so proud of them when I first met them (I’m a mid-year hire)). It features them in their own version of a music video to the song What Hurts the Most by Rascal Flatts. The begin arguing at a conference table while one boy slumps in his seat, sad. As the video ebbs on, a romantic relationship is revealed… between two boys (not that this is a bad thing). They also look like Backstreet Boys with their suit jackets on. ❤

Despite the fact that they make fun of a favorite song of mine, it’s intriguing they way they’ve put this imaginary relationship together. After peeling away the top layers of their concept, you can see where there’s issues of homophobia (because the two boys aren’t public about their relationship) and Willie finds Andy making out with a girl after screening his calls. Willie stalks away and slaps Andy for cheating and being insensitive, and also for denying his attraction to guys. Knowing the boys that put this whole video together, they weren’t trying to deliberately make fun of being a homosexual, but they’ve come up with this performance that shows how society can effect someone’s actions if that person thinks that society won’t like what they’re doing–meaning that Andy was making out with a girl because that’s an acceptable thing to do for a guy, whereas being homosexual can still be considered a taboo subject in different areas of the country because it goes against the traditional gender norms for a man (Gamble, 2003).

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Morgan, T. (Director & Producer). (2008). 3 East Boyz: What hurts the most. YouTube.com, See link above to YouTube video.

“Three ingredients are necessary to nurture a romantic relationship: commitment…, passion…, and intimacy…(Gamble, 2003)(p.166).”

Love Story

Taylor Swift is America’s sweetheart. She lulls us into her world of love, heartbreak, and happiness with every note she sings. It started with Tim McGraw, and now we’re hooked on her one of her most recent hits, Love Story. The song is about two young lovers in a Romeo & Juliet type of situation that takes place in their small town. The parents don’t want the relationship to happen, but despite everything, their love prevails, just like a fairy tale. In the official music video, Swift portrays the song just like a fairy tale as well. She’s dressed in a beautiful, old fashioned gown standing in a castle-type setting, waiting for her perfect Romeo. It’s all about emotional intimacy and commitment.

If only real life was like that, but of course, all her songs are based on true stories. Of course, it seems like this type of story could never really be possible, or could it? In the text, the authors reference three ingredients that need to be present in a relationship in order for it to be a success, at least, according to researcher Robert Sternberg (Gamble, 2003). They say that you need commitment, passion, and intimacy (Gamble, 2003). According to the text, commitment would be the “expectation of a relationship permanence… even if trouble occurs (p.166)”, passion would be “intensely positive feelings of attraction that increase you desire to be with the other person (p.166)”, and intimacy which is “sustained feelings of closeness and connection (p.166)”. In this song, Swift portrays a relationship that seems to have all of the three ingredients to make it last, so maybe it’s not so much of a fairy tale, after all.

Fanjoy, T. (Director), & Swift, T. (Writer). (2008). Love Story. Music Video. Nashville, TN: Big Machine Records.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.