Saturday, January 29, 2011

Follow Up Post: Douglas, Walker, Baumgardner and Richards

I found the chapters in Enlightened Sexism to be extremely interesting.  For instance, when Douglas breaks apart the various television shows she clearly demonstrates how the media has portrayed women.  Concerning 90210 it becomes evident that the show focused on the pleasures that result from physical appearance, consumerism and attention from men.  Although I have never seen this show, I can relate it to many other shows, including numerous reality shows that focus solely on appearance or male approval such as Bridalplasty or The Bachelor.  Both these current shows are still portraying the importance of appearance and men in order for women to feel accomplished or even complete.  Women are clearly sexual objects in these shows. 
            Douglas also picked apart the show Murphy Brown, one that I have never seen.  Her evaluation is often positive as the show portrays a successful and confident woman as the lead role.  However, Douglas also explains that the show was criticized for allowing Murphy to have a child rather than representing the childless yet still fulfilled woman.  Critiques like this at times seem very analytical.  The show is still in the business to make a profit and keep an audience.  When deciding the plot the writers are clearly thinking of a storyline that can keep the show interesting and keep the audience engaged.  It seems likely that not all groups of people will be happy with a specific storyline or event in a show.  I question exactly how writers can remedy this without sacrificing the rest of their audience or advertisers.  I definitely agree with some of the criticism concerning the depiction of women as victims or inferior to men.  However, I do believe that some other disapproval is somewhat unrealistic.
            Another topic worthy of discussion is the idea that Janet Reno was dismissed by the general public due to her refusal to conform to accepted gender roles and norms.  This is extremely concerning and even upsetting.  Clearly an independent and career-driven women, Reno was somewhat bullied for acting in a “masculine” and “unsexy” way.  Rather, I believe that Reno should have been applauded for her work in such a high position; as such a successful women, she could have been portrayed more beneficially as a role model to younger women.  

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