Gender Roles In Popular Culture

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If a movie or television show in today’s society were to bash a certain race, desecrate women, or outwardly reject the LGBT community, would it gain a positive response? Of course not, this is 2016! In order for popular culture outlets to appeal to modern viewers, the content must remain current; from movies to television shows, society expects them to keep up with the times. Therefore, popular culture provides a reflection of changing attitudes regarding a multitude of social constructs. Where the public stands regarding topics such as racial diversity, gender roles, and the LGBT movement can easily be determined by simply taking a stroll to the cinema or even flipping on the television. Perhaps the strongest example of popular culture’s …show more content…
Historically, males have long occupied the role of the dominant gender, even into the twentieth century. However, as feminism flourished, so did women’s roles within popular culture. “During the ‘sexual revolution’, TV began to feature independent women who could take care of themselves,” explains television critic Michael Abernethy (465). When the world began to change and include women, the media reflected the movement. Veronica Chambers describes a scene in the 1997 remake of Cinderella that involves the princess questioning the motives of the prince—rather than simply falling into his arms as was the case in the 1950 animated version—and demanding to be treated like a person, not a princess (459). However, as society continues to embrace feminism, an adverse shift in the previous situation has formed. In respect to television shows, Abernethy feels that “portrayals of of men have become increasingly negative” (465). It does not take a genius to notice what Abernethy is referring to; while females continue to prosper in roles that present them as upstanding and witty, males are being used as punchlines to insensitive jokes. If one were to spend an evening watching today’s television sitcoms, chances are they would come under the impression that Abernethy did: “men are selfish and lazy, inconsiderate husbands and poor parents” (465). These false stereotypes are just as offensive as the ones thrust upon females only a few decades earlier. Will males and females ever be equally portrayed? When society decides, popular culture will surely follow

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