The Babysitter And The Man Upstairs Analysis

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The origin or rather the first collection of The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs was in the early 1960s and this legend continues to be told today. The legend’s emergence and specific origins are unknown; however, attempting to understand why such a legend was told to begin with is not an impossible task. The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs reflects societal anxiety about young girls increasing rejection of feminine expectations and reinforces ideas about traditional gender roles, through the characters, their actions, and the consequences of such actions. During the sixties and seventies there was an influx of social change movements, from civil rights, gay rights, student’s rights and feminism. In the early sixties the US was experiencing…show more content…
However, the focus of the reinforcement of conventional gender roles is young women; this is an attempt to resist women’s fight for equality and opportunities to leave domesticity during the second wave of feminism in the sixties. In the legend the babysitter is a young woman whose task is to take care of children, the whole scenario is set to be a type of role play with the babysitter as the mother (Snopes, “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs”). Support for this perspective of traditional gender role reinforcement are the expectations held about babysitters as care givers for the period of time in which children’s’ parents are not present. In support of the reinforcement of women staying in the private sphere to take care of children and do more homely and conventional tasks – namely not working in the public space alongside men – is in the way the legend acts as a cautionary tale. While the babysitter is expected to do tasks expected of women such as caring for children the fact that the babysitter is working and outside of the home is a reference to feminists’ resistance to traditional femininity. The conflict in the role of the babysitter, coupled with her failure to protect herself and the children in her charge, becomes a statement about how women should not move away from their roles in the home for they are vulnerable without men to protect them. Therefore, the telling of this legend accomplishes the task of reinforcing traditional gender

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