Post images of femininity here:
I’m not sure if I posted this video correctly, but you can go to youtube and look for Castle, Season 6, episode: “The Final Frontier.” In this scene, Beckett and Castle are solving a murder at the Super Nova Con, where Castle just happens to be doing a book signing. While the two are conversing, out of the corner of Castle’s eye, he sees an attractive group of ladies walk by and realizes that one of them is his daughter, Alexis. Startled and upset by her rather overly revealing costume, he asks his daughter to go home and change. Alexis, in return, tells her father no and then walks away from him embarrassed.
The irony is, during this whole episode Beckett teases Castle about owning a sci-fi costume from her younger years and Castle eagerly wants to see this sexy outfit. The double standard, is that Castle, as a man, preys upon Beckett for her (behind the doors) sexuality and is attracted to her by this nature, but it is not okay for his daughter, with similar qualities like that of Beckett to dress in a sexual manner. As a father, he does not want his daughter to be preyed upon, when he too, in his youth, went after similar women of this taste. Morally, he is not ready to see his daughter as a full-grown woman, eighteen years old, and ready to make her own decisions as an adult.
In our society, especially how I was taught, a woman is to be reserved and respected, not loose, and boys will be boys and prey upon the weak. Masculinity teaches boys that they do not seek the virtue of women, but rather see an opportunity for sex. Castle, prides himself on his daughter being intelligent and beautiful, but in their father-daughter relationship, they never openly discuss Alexis’s sexuality or go in-depth over the expectations that come with having a relationship.
Watch the ending of “The Final Frontier” when Beckett finally reveals her costume to Castle. It’s hilarious!
Sorry, it didn’t post properly, here are the two web links:
Castle and Alexis (as father and daughter):
Castle and Beckett (as boyfriend and girlfriend):
Remember the old coffee commercials where the little woman of the house struggled to make a cup of coffee for an emotionally and mentally abusive husband? This really is no much progress from that. More than a commercial of a progressive era, it is an Orwellian sequel in which the little woman completely settled in and knew her place to fix things up right for her man, and everybody is disturbingly happy about it. I am not saying it is bad to be a stay-at-home mom. It is a respectable job for those that choose it, but it is still an over played cliché as shown here, and worst yet, they dad have fun making a mess, and the mom’s joy is “cleaning” it. The problem is that we keep women boxed in the common tropes, and act happy like sexism is no longer a problem. There are many commercials like this, we have all seen them. And while some the shows I am about to mention are quality and progressive, they themselves still follow it. Shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Bob’s Burgers, Malcom in the Middle, That 70’s Show, Married With Children and Good Luck Charlie in which the mom quits her job to raise her children. Sexism is still a thing of the present as the media demonstrates.
I think this clip from All My Children does a good job in showing what television and society in general consider to be feminine. In this clip these four women are trying to create a new lipstick color for their cosmetics company. All four are pretty impractically dressed for creating lipstick, especially one as red as their making. Two of the women are wearing dresses, one is in a white shirt, and none of them are wearing an apron. They’re all aesthetically pleasing and well dressed, even when they don’t need to be. They’ve all also suddenly become airheads despite their ability to run a company, using potentially unclean cases for the lip color and adding in ingredients without measuring. When their blunders become too much for them and they accidentally glue Simone’s lips shut they call a man to come and help them. I feel like this shows that it isn’t considered feminine for women to be too smart, even in a subject that they’re supposed to be an expert in. They’ll inevitably have to call a man to help when they’re in over their head. The four also spend a lot of time discussing men they like or want to date, despite the fact that the lip color their making is being presented the next day and they need it to save their company. Even when they should be focusing on themselves and their own problems, their talk revolves around men.
this was from Andrew:
One way femininity is constructed: Hairlessness.
I have a hard enough time with my own beard. Sometimes when I think about what women put themselves through to attend to the removal of leg and armpit hair… well, that’s a considerably larger amount of real estate.
I have female friends who do not shave their legs or armpits. Quite proud, they are.
I am not condemning the practice. This “clean” look, in women, seems to be preferable to both men and women. So it goes.
As far as practices go, this kind of shaving isn’t even in the same ballpark as… say, foot-binding in ancient China.
When the guys were asked to consider what the media portrays as ideal masculinity, one actor came to mind, at least for me: Schwarzenegger.
The clip linked here is from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, a scene in which Ah-nuld protects John Conner from the T-1000. From the get go we are supposed to look at Schwarzenegger as the embodiment of the perfect body. The guy works out non-stop, to a point that is pretty much impossible for any sane person who actually has to work every day. He is selfless and sacrifices himself for the young boy (something we see taken to its extreme during the film’s climax), an honorable act strong protagonists are expected to do in action films. Selfishness is a trait found in the antagonist. Schwarzenegger also shows no emotion. We are expected to follow out our duty without showing fear or compassion; the minute that we do we reveal that we have feelings, that we can hurt.
Browsing through this week ends issue of ‘Nightlife’, I found an advert for “The Pony”, what is described as ‘Americas Strip Joint’.
The background of the advert is droplets of water (very badly “photoshopped” in, of course – how suggestive!), with three girls wearing very little looking at the viewer in a very suggestive way. The slogan is ‘Think Pink’, and all the text and the majority of the girls clothing is pink. The models are all very slim, and what I could consider very typical of todays media (all long blonde/ brown hair, very slim, large chested, heavy make up).
The use of these 3 near identical models suggests that this is what men should want (and, as a result, this is obviously what this strip join provides). The models themselves suggest that females with large boobs, wearing heavy make up, and dressed in this way are attractive/ sexy, and that if females dress this way they will get male attention (whilst also, labelled as a stripper). By paying for this ‘service’, although you can argue that it is the womans job, women come accross as an object that can be purchased to no end, providing that the customer pays.
Of course, this industry also influences what those who are attracted to women in a sexual way, think of the female body and female sexuality. These females modelling are highly selected for their bodies, and the viewer must understand that not every female will look like this!
Party City’s Official Website / Women’s Costumes: http://bit.ly/dBrZBo
It’s Halloween season! Time to be bombarded with ads for costumes…
Gender is very much constructed in the way Halloween costumes are designed and advertised, mostly in regards to females. The formula seems to be: (1) pick a character or archetype, (2) find a way make it sexy and revealing. The cover page on this site even manages to sexualize a few characters that are from children’s stories, including Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and Little Red Riding Hood (aside: my girlfriend and I like to play this game during Halloweentime where we find the most outrageously sexualized costume. After a quick scan of the site, what takes the prize is the sexy “Crayola Crayon Costume”, pink of course!). Most of the outfits include a short skirt and cleavagey top. Also of note is the fact that the models hardly vary in look. All of them are super slim. It should be noted that there’s a separate “Plus Size Costumes” section, suggesting that non-skinny women don’t belong in the regular women’s category. It seems like it would have been entirely reasonable for them to just vary up the sizes of the models in the main section.
Men do not have to choose costumes that objectify them (although I guess the giant banana costume *literally* turns the wearer into an object). Men don’t have to be sexualized at Halloween. They instead are given the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild. Interestingly enough, Halloween is one of the few times where it’s widely acceptable for a man to dress in drag or perform femininely. However, I suppose there’s a ‘it’s-funny-because-it’s-not-masculine’ air to this.
I spent forever trying to find the advertisement I wanted online, but no luck, so I’m going to describe it best I can. Last night Copperdragon had a dubstep show last night that was sci-fi themed, and they were heavily advertising it for a while. The mini-adverts featured a crowd with lights flashing overhead and a DJ, but to the left of that image, twice the size of it, was of a woman dressed in a very provactive sci-fi outfit. It was for a dubstep show, but the ad almost made it seem like a slutty cosplay convention was in town. Even more interesting was that someone working for Copperdragon would deliver these adds off by the D.E. racks nightly. I’m a D.E. circulation driver and I deliver around campus, including the student center. And surprisingly, nightly a guy was dropping off a stack of the adverts by every newsrack. I in no way support adverts like this, but it’s so common to see, especially bars in a college town where they push sex for sales.
When asked to analyze a portrayal of gender in the media, I racked my brain to think of an example of masculinity on display. Fairly soon I thought of an Old Spice commercial that says something quite interesting. Though this commercial is only 18 seconds long I think it says a great deal about how the media is willing to treat its male subjects in an era where masculinity has been described as being in a crisis. This clip uses a jingle which hearkens back to 80’s television, it has a structure similar to a lot of sitcoms popular in that era. And while a commercial from that era probably would have treated its male subject with more reverence, this clip features an idiot architect who is completely inept at his job. In this era we feel much more comfortable poking fun at our male subjects. I realize that the conversation is much more complex than a commentary in this blog suffices to explain, I note that there are plenty of examples of mysoginy and patriarchal control exemplified in current media; however this clip represents a very strong subversion of those presentations of masculinity. This clip is reminiscent of mainstream sitcom depictions of the male, who is ultimately a buffoon.
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