Gender Representation And Gender Roles Essay

Gender Representation And Gender Roles Essay

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The classic network era is one of the most easily recognizable and distinct eras in television history. Both Bewitched and I Love Lucy were huge sitcoms that took up issues of gender representation and patriarchy in their programs through the representations of the main male and female characters of their respective series. While both of these series pushed boundaries when it came to the representation of women, in the end, the costuming of these men and women, how the main characters are introduced, and the domestic environment that the atmosphere takes place in, all serve to reinforce traditional gender norms and reveals that patriarchy is dependent on maintaining dominant ideas about masculinity and femininity.
In both of these series, the costuming of the male and female characters play an important part in emphasizing traditional patriarchal structures. In I Love Lucy, the main woman character, Lucy, is usually seen wearing a dress and an apron, while her husband, Ricky is usually seen wearing a suit and tie. This same pattern carries onto the series of Bewitched as well. The main woman, Samantha, is usually seen wearing a dress and the occasional apron, while her husband, Darren, is seen wearing a suit and tie. This pattern of costuming the main characters by gender plays directly into common gender tropes that were around in the 1950’s. As Mittell states, masculinity is usually linked to a professional role and femininity is usually linked to domesticity. The costuming of the males in both of these series, with their suit and tie outfits, gives the audience the impression that these men have professional careers, linking the men’s masculinity to their professional jobs. On the other hand, the costuming of the women in both...


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...argues back to her, raising her voice in anger as well. While it’s important to analyze the nuances of the show, it is also important to analyze the broader context of the show too.
Classic Network era television series, I Love Lucy and Bewitched, reinforced traditional patriarchal structures of relationships and family through the costuming of these men and women, how the main characters are introduced, and the domestic environment that the atmosphere takes place in. In both of these series, representations and meanings of masculinity and femininity are affected by the ideology of patriarchy. Even though it is true that these shows tried to fight back against stereotypical representations of men and women, the subtle textual evidence in these shows show that there are limits to how gender norms can be represented on television, especially in the Classic Network era.

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