Deconstructions Of Gender

By. Jessica M.

In addition to the construction of gender stereotypes in comedy television, gender deconstructions can also be noticed in shows that aired in the 1990’s. For example, in King of Queens, which began in 1998, America became introduced to a show that represented what is opposite of a gender stereotype. To start off, it showed an attractive, smart, thin woman, Carrie, who married a larger man, Doug, who acts stupid, which had not been seen on Television often. Also, Carrie tends to be the dominant one in the relationship, rather than the man being the head of the household. For example, in the episode “Bun Dummy,” Carrie makes fun of the amount of television Doug watches in a week, suggesting that he is dumb, ridiculing him for his laziness. This situation represents the deconstruction that a woman is the one in charge by showing her criticizing her husband for something he had done wrong rather than her being reprimanded from her husband. In the article “Beauty and the Patriarchal beast: Gender Role Portrayals in Sitcoms Featuring Mismatched Couples” written by Kimberly Walsh, Elfriede Fursich and Bonnie Jefferson, it touches on how the King of Queens sitcom makes fun of this idea of a “mismatched couple.” The article comments on how this show maintains two contradictory story lines in relation to gender stereotypes; first, that women are physically and intellectually superior to there husbands and second, that feminist ideals reaffirm male dominance.

Another show that represents gender deconstructions in comedy is Roseanne, a family-oriented television show that instead of portraying a larger man as the main character, like in the King Of Queens, portrays an obese woman shown as the working class mother. Roseanne, the main female character, to the audience is found to be sloppy, loud and unattractive; not what female stereotypes are generally represented as on television shows. In the article “Class and gender as a laughing matter? The case of Roseanne,” written by Allesandra Sesnzani, it explains, “Roseanne never misses a chance to mock the male gender and reaffirm women’s voice.” Roseanne finds humor in the stereotype that a man is better than a woman. In this show, the women does just as much to support her family as her husband does, showing that women can be just as capable of taking care of there family financially as a man can. For example, in the “Pilot” episode, Roseanne’s co-worker Crystal comments that Dan is the “ideal husband.” Roseanne comments by saying that men like him only become that way from the influence of women (Sesnzani). This representation is not often shown on sitcoms, however is clearly apparent in Roseanne.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch adds to this pile of shows involving gender deconstruction. The show depicts a teenage woman living with her two Aunts, all of them being witches. Unlike shows that included a man supporting a family, this show represents three women taking care of themselves without the support of a man. In most situations one thinks of the absence of a man in the family as something that’s unfortunate, showing gender construction, but in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, this absence can be looked up to, showing that women can make it on there own without the help of a man.

Gender Deconstruction in The King of Queens!

Works Cited

Sezani, Allesandra. "Class and gender as a laughing matter? The case of Roseanne." International Journal of Humor Research 23.2 229-253. Web. 3 Dec 2010. <>.

Walsh, Elfried Fursich, Bonnie S Jefferson. “Beauty and the Patriarchal Beast: Gender Role Portrayals in Sitcoms Featuring Mismatched Couples.” Journal of Popular Film & Television. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2010.