The Gendering of Women

By: Jordan C.

Time and time again the stereotypes presented on gender repeat. The female, stereotypically the housewife, or only valuable for her looks and ability to cook, while the male, the sole breadwinner, is the one in charge of providing for his family. However, even when these stereotypes seem to be broken, new and even more traditional stereotypes arise.

In the article, “Constructing Gender Stereotypes Through Social Roles in Prime-Time Television,” by Martha M. Lauzen, David M. Dozier, and Nora Horan, new stereotypes come forth. Typically the female lead of the show remains at home, taking care of children and cooking the meals, while the male lead goes out and earns the money and advances in a career. In the 2000’s, women began to be shown more in their occupational roles in these television shows. However, contrary to what is to be believed, this creates an affirmation for the original stereotype. Although women now follow their own career paths instead of being housewives, the work they do at the office reflects similar work they would do in their homes. According to the article, “Although women were present in the workplace, they continued to play domestic and interpersonal roles” (Dozier, Horan, and Lauzen 203). Women aren’t the ones making the decisions and making things happen within their company. They motivate, socialize, give advice, and develop worker relationships (Dozier, Horan, and Lauzen 203). These roles that the women play at the office almost directly simulates what housewives have been doing all along. Housewives motivate their family, give advice to their children, and develop relationships in order to make a family get along. This idea still emphasizes the fact that females will always be known as the nurturers, while men will be seen as the more aggressive of the two.

Here is a video of the hit TV show, Modern Family, were the wife is shown giving advice to her daughter and trying to keep the family together. Watch how in the end, she still becomes the less dominant spouse when she calls her husband at a basketball game.

Works Cited
Lauzen, Martha M., David M. Dozier, and Nora Horan. "Constructing Gender Stereotypes Through Social Roles in Prime-Time Television." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 52.2 (2008): 200-214. Communication & Mass Media Complete. EBSCO. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.