Gender Roles In Psychological Thrillers

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Gender has always been a key part of media’s social representation. the horror especially uses gender for easy representation, for example the weak, attractive, female character as the victim. i have chosen to study gender in the horror sub-genre Psychological Thrillers, and research into how gender is used in their trailer and if it’s changed over the years. my research will focus on the women, and ask if they have been empowered over the years or kept in the same roles. One gender theory i have chosen to study is ‘The Male Gaze’, created by Laura Mulvey in 1975. This theory refers to the objectivation of women in the media, Mulvey suggest that the camera is in the point of view of a hetrosexual male, and therefor women exist purly for…show more content…
This evident through his action in the trailer, for example Patrick is shown as being self-obsessed and vain, something typically associated with females, but done in such a way it makes him appear more of a man to other men by having a clean cut suit and perfect hair.. In private however Patrick is shown as having skin masks, tans and massages in order to keep up his ‘manly’ image. It can be suggested Patrick behaves his way because as Butler suggest gender roles are purely constructed and have nothing to do with our natural behaviour. But it can also be put down to hypermasculinity; a psychological term for the exaggeration of male stereotypical behaviour, Patrick tries so hard to be a man, it almost turns back on itself and comes across more feminine. Hypermasculinity could also be the reason for Patrick 's extreme violence in the trailer, such as the act of chasing his victim with an axe, as in his article Hypermasculinity and Violence as a Social System Thomas J. Scheff states “The combination of alienation with the repression of vulnerable emotions suggest a biosocial doomsday machine that leads to cascading violence and destructiveness”. This is relatable to Patrick as in the trailer he’s shown as showing little emotion to his girlfriend and feeling isolated from men so badly he goes to extremes to…show more content…
It’s clear in the trailer that expected gender roles are swapped, with links to Butler 's idea that gender roles are not biological but are instead created through culture and can be therefore exploured. Clarice goes against her prescribed gender roles by wearing a man 's style suit with trousers and doing the typically male job of hunting down and stopping the killer, Bill swaps into a female role by having quick shots of him doing himself up by applying make up and doing his hair, something we would expect Carice to be doing. Bill does however keep some form of his masculinity by being a monstrous villain with the possibility of overpowering
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