This week’s article on how societal norms are punishing working mothers and their reputations relates directly to my research assignment we are creating for this class, which allowed me to use this article as part of my research (I’ve done my project on The Devil Wears Prada). The aspect pointed out in this article that I will be focusing on is how women are being held back in a male-dominated workforce, as well as not allowed the same opportunity in achieving the goal of “having it all”. This concept supports the other information and articles that I have found and will be relating to in my research assignment. While the article discusses how “…having a career and raising a family [is] incompatible goals and that women who try to have it all feel miserable…” (1) showcase the ideal in the media of a great woman is a woman that is family-oriented, not career-driven. A woman cannot seemingly have both a great family and career without being shown as “unhappy,” and less of a woman due to her “…failing to maintain healthy relationships with loved ones and their family.” (10). Miranda’s seen as an extraordinary boss in The Devil Wears Prada, but her career “…prevents her from fulfilling her role as a ‘good’ mother” (10) as she is depicted as having male-like leadership qualities which aren’t culturally accepted. Also, Miranda is showcased as the breadwinner in their family as her behavior as a powerful boss-lady even threatens her husband’s masculinity. The concepts including the choice that a woman makes to strive for a successful career is at the expense of her family, reinforcing the assumption that “bad” mothers are “devils” (not always wearing Prada). The takeaway I got from this article was all the helpful insight and information that have helped/ supported my research I’ve done for my research project and am hoping to incorporate some of the main ideas of gender roles and class mentioned in my final e-portfolio.
When discussing how people view pornography in regards to these articles, I will be focusing on both anti and pro feminist views of porn, and comparing them to how pornography can encourage sex-positive behavior. As for the anti-feminist debate on how horrible pornography is, porn can be said to portray ideas that objectify women, teach men that women are only objects, and allows women to be treated as victims, all of which are clearly not what we want. I believe there must be education on this this porn to allow for it to be used in a safe manner, as porn is so easily accessible for everyone that has access to the internet. Due to the fact that porn is easier than ever to get your hand one, I’m not surprised that people, including feminists have become detached from anti-sex views and the stigma of porn is slowly diminishing as time goes on. Its noted that porn and internet access regarding sexual material can educate men and women about sex, their anatomy, and create new opportunities for identity blending. With the data that reveals evidence of pornography consumers to have higher satisfaction with their bodies, being less ashamed of masturbation, as well as being more open to more nontraditional sexual relationships including having: homosexual encounters, or one night stands, or masturbating. My take away from these articles as well as my outside experiences lead me to believe that with the proper sexual education men and women can use pornography to expand their sexual experimentation and knowledge to understand our own bodies, as well as one anthers bodies in everyday life. In regards to my critical analysis project, I may try and incorporate some of the statistics and sex positive information from this week’s readings as a way to show the evolution and history of female sexuality.
In this week’s readings, it was brought to my attention the social ideals and standards for men and women can be quite similar in regards to how sexuality is portrayed through cinema. The theme and concept I chose to focus on are how male superheroes seem to be objectified similarly to how women are objectified. I also found it notable that many male superheroes face more social isolated (perhaps due to being different), similar to how women have been portrayed as outsiders (women at home, not in the workplace) and secondary characters in films. This could be an interesting topic to add to my portfolio as it displays the notion of leading male characters being pushed as objects and erotic-displays for the viewers. Films show male heroes as “bodies unmarked as objects of erotic display” but undesirable men (villain) characters are seen as aggressive, hated, and feared. As my takeaway from this article, films seemingly uses men and women in similar ways to showcase district points of attraction and “physical beauty” in a way to attract and engage audiences.
For me the central argument while reading the prompted portion of Judith Butlers “Gender Trouble” as if sex is the physical orientation we are born (male, female, or intersex), and gender is the manner in which we interpret the combination of social and behaviors roles, how we find our individual gender identity. Butler argues that although sex and gender do have similar characteristics for some people, there is more to a single person’s identity than the sex they are born. For me, the gender and sex I identify as a cisgender heterosexual female, which is typically the box females get placed into. If you have been born with a physical vagina, you should not immediately be subjected to a life of being told you’re a female if you do not emotionally and mentally comply with that sex and gender. There should be an area in which you can express the gender in which you feel most comfortable with, whether that be: cisgender, transgender, gender fluid, queer, etc. When sexuality becomes something that is instinctual instead of forced, we were to see many different opinions of sexuality emerge within society, especially due to the mass amounts of social media presence, the media allows people to share their ideas and options on sexuality and relate to one another. How can we dress, treat, and educate young children in a way that they will understand that they have a choice in the different emotions they face regarding their sexuality and gender? Should we avoid dressing boys in blue and expecting them to be interested in cars and sports, and respect them having emotional outbursts regardless of what’s “masculine” and vice versa for young girls. Personally, the takeaway for me from this article is the complexity of the social construction of gender stereotypes, and how many factors there are to consider when thinking about the difference between sex and gender, especially in regards to feminism. Feminism must change with the times as more information is released regarding sexuality and gender, gender and sexuality are seen as a free-flowing fluid movement, similar to the feminist movement. I believe that as humans gain more knowledge and experience, the acceptance and understanding of gender and sex will become more universally known, bringing communities together that have previously been separated.
Fun little note: I saw a post on Facebook a few months that states the following, and I thought it was so fitting I had to share it with you!!!
Man: “Sex and Gender are the same thing!!”
Woman: “So you want to have Gender with me?”
Being subjected to social stereotypes in the media is nothing new to women since World War II, groups of women known as feminists made it their life’s goal to change the way the world saw women. Women were seen as sex objects, victims, and had an extreme lack of power in the mid-1900’s. I believe it’s possible we have forgotten to keep fighting for equality and are now neglecting the hard work that women like Betty Friedan and other feminists of this time gave their lives up for; or perhaps, has how women get discriminated against has just evolved into more sinister ways.
As more women are becoming aware of being blatantly sexualized and discriminated against in television shows and movies, women have won lawsuits and settlements in favor of the women, yet I believe the creators have just adapted into being more devious about how they perceive women in their productions. Women are shown having lead roles, carrying out prestigious jobs, and being able to support themselves as individuals, but in shows including “Suits,” “Greys Anatomy” and movies including “Wonder Woman,” yet the lack of diversity in how the women characters are portrayed is frightening. The actress’ that are shown as successful, powerful, and strong characters are typically advertised as thin, always having perfect hair and makeup regardless of any circumstance, even in cases when the actress’ are working 80 plus hours a week as a surgeon. These are all factors that women and children look at, and see as a means necessary to be successful in these social roles. Information noted in “Never Just Pictures” highlights how actress’ are shamed for gaining an extra few pounds of weight after finishing the film. This issue brings into question why does our society have such a body image problem, are these accusations of actress’ we look up to and admire being “fat” the reason we hear about so many eating disorders? These ideas all tie together in the sense that eating disorders have been linked to having the same desire of their peers, and women are then seen as a victim of the society in which they live. As more women are becoming aware of being blatantly sexualized and discriminated against in television shows and movies, lawsuits and settlements have been won in favor of the women, yet I believe the creators have just adapted into being more devious about how they perceive women in their productions. Women are shown having lead roles, carrying out prestigious jobs, and being able to support themselves as individuals, but in recent shows including “Suits,” “Greys Anatomy” and movies including “Wonder Woman,” yet the lack of diversity in how the women characters are portrayed is frightening. The actress’ that are shown as successful, powerful, and reliable characters are typically advertised as thin, always having perfect hair and makeup regardless of any circumstance, even in cases when the actress’ are working 80 plus hours a week as a surgeon. These are all factors that women and children look at, and see as a means necessary to be successful in these social roles. The moral that I got from the writings was that gaining power and control was seen as a necessity to the women’s liberation movement, yet now that we have more control and woman’s rights than in the 1960’s, women must stand up for the sinister discrimination that women face every day.
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