Gender Roles In Sitcoms

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Within the last 40 years, the way that women have been viewed by society has altered. They are now accepted in the workforce and hold positions that have been previously only held by men. Women are now also told they can do anything, and be anything they decide to be. However, beneath all of that is a society that, in spite of all the success that women have been achieving, maintains a strong patriarchal formation that tries to keep hold of control. Sitcoms, a source of entertainment that is currently extremely popular, intend to mimic real life situations through characters, showing different types of sometimes relatable characters in a humorous way. In regards to women in sitcoms airing from 1990 and on, they are typically still portrayed …show more content…
According to a study from the University of Washington on sex roles, blame falls on the negative stereotype of the nerd in the media. Interestingly, the study specifically mentions The Big Bang Theory as a sitcom to place blame on. The Big Bang Theory bases itself entirely on stereotypes in a huge number of ways by continually prolonging out of date ideas. The women of the show are constantly sexualized in many ways, for example, In the episode “The Panty Piñata Polarization,” where while attempting to locate the contestants of America’s Next Top Model, Raj and Howard stalk the models and show up at their door pretending be the satellite repair men in order to gain access to the house, during which Howard says; "Every week, they kick out a beautiful girl, making her feel unwanted and without self-esteem, a.k.a. the future Mrs. Howard Walowitz." This further amplifies the idea of women only being valuable to men as easily manipulated sexual objects. Mainly in the earlier seasons, the female lead in the sitcom, Penny, seems to be portrayed as the typical helpless but sexy "dumb blonde." While Penny is the one that the male characters lust after, Amy, unlike some of the other female characters on the show, is portrayed as a very clever and successful woman. Although, she is also viewed as unfriendly, obnoxious, and unattractive, thus portraying intelligent women as …show more content…
The first family is more traditional, consisting of a mother, father, and three children. While Phil, the father, provides the income, Clair, the mother, is a stereotypical housewife. The character of Clair is based on the gender stereotypes that society and the media have constructed throughout time. Since the men have more power over the household for the reason that the women do not contribute when it comes to the income of the family, these stereotypes portray women as weaker and inferior to men. The next family that will be mentioned consists of a mother, step father, and a son. This family is different from the others because it includes an interracial marriage. Much like the first family, the idea of men having more power is seen here as well. The husband and father, Jay, is the family’s income provider, the wife and mother, Gloria, is the stay-at-home mom who cooks, cleans and serves the family. Not only does Modern Family enforce the control society has adopted about women in the household, it also further enforces racial stereotypes against Hispanic women. Gloria has a crazy personality, often mispronouncing words and saying whatever is on her mind even though it might hurt another character’s feeling, which is usually a stereotype for Hispanic women. In the episode “Planes, Trains and

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