Essay On Gender Stereotypes In Friends

1043 Words 5 Pages
Nicole Erickson, the owner of the blog Friends: Representations of Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality, argues that the sitcom Friends’ main characters’ topics of conversation lead to the illustration of gender stereotypes. This could raise the question, to what extent does the variation in language used by the male and female characters in the sitcom Friends illustrate conformity to gender stereotypes? Although I agree with Miss Erickson’s claim for the most part, I would have to argue that there are a number of instances where the use of language by both the male and female characters of the show would contradict conventional gender stereotypes. Anyone familiar with the series would note that not all of the show’s characters conform to the …show more content…
From Joey’s notorious pick-up line “How you doin’” to the countless conversations between male characters, filled with objectifying language about the aesthetics of females, it is clear that some of the male stereotypes are indeed conformed to in this series. Where Ms Erickson’s argument is limited, however, is the fact that these characters often stray from the stereotypical gender roles to which she referred. For example, the character Ross, is often subject to ridicule for being sensitive. He is the character in the series who most openly talks about his feelings and emotions. When Ross finally realizes who he is seeking companionship with, he openly tells Joey, “I don’t want to get over her, I want to be with her.” The act of talking openly about the emotional aspect of courtship is a stereotype associated with females and Ross’ willingness to do so indicates a stark contradiction from the male stereotype. When Ross learns that Joey is dating his former companion Rachel, he repeatedly says, “I’m fine!” This phrase is a stereotype of female language, especially used when they are indeed not fine. In this instance it is clear that Ross is indeed emotionally unstable and is using the phrase in the way associated with the female stereotype. Chandler, the final main male character, is known for his use of sarcasm and satire to …show more content…
Through close analysis and further discussion, it will only become more and more clear that the variation in language in the series allows the characters to show both masculine and feminine traits. Hopefully this argument will help others realize that the writers of Friends weren’t just writing characters who they believed to be the perfect representation of men and women, but rather interesting, multi-dimensional characters that demonstrate diverse

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