ATTN: COLLEGE GIRLS
Going to the gym is not the same as going to the clubs. So please, back away from the MAC eyeliner/blush/lipgloss, and the hair gel/hair dryer/hair straightener, and have a nice workout.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
ATTN: COLLEGE GIRLS
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I have a class this semester called TV Audience and Industry. What we’ve mostly been going over lately is the representation of certain people on television, like African Americans, Latinos, and women. We also talked about how if characters on television don’t act within their gender role they are punished. For example, Jack on Will and Grace has more feminine traits than male. He also is never able to hold a job. Will, although gay, still acts like a “man,” and he does have a job.
When this came up the first thing I thought of was Samantha from Sex and the City.
For those of you that don't know, Samantha acts like a stereotypical "man." She has sex very often with numerous different partners, and has very few emotional ties to any of them. Several of them she never even bothers to learn their names. She runs a successful Public Relations firm and is wealthy completely on her own- even owning the apartment building she lives in in New York City. Men to her are only objects, an accessory to the lavish lifestyle she lives going from club opening to high class parties and bars, and spending time eating lunches and shopping for shoes with her friends. It is very rare that we see Samantha ever upset over a man, and she rarely lets her connections with men affect her everyday emotions and behaviors. To sum it up, men rarely have any emotional importance to her, and she has even referred to the thought of getting married and having children making her want to vomit.
Samantha does not fit the gender role that is meant for women. She does not want to get married. She does not want kids. She doesn’t even want a serious relationship. She has sex with more partners than she can keep track of. And although she never gets an STD or HIV, she does get breast cancer.
Now how can breast cancer be related to her promiscious life style? It probably isn’t, although on the show the doctor says that statistically women who don’t have children are at a higher risk for developing breast cancer. However, can this be a punishment for Samantha not living up to her gender role expectations? She acts “like a man” in many aspects of her life, including being good at business, and never settles down like a woman “should.” And she is the only one on the show who is ever faced with a fatal illness. Sure other bad things happen to the other women –Miranda’s mom dies, Carrie has several bad breakups, Charlotte can’t get pregnant- but Samantha is the only one that faces a fatal illness. Hers is the only life that is ever brought to risk on the show. And I’m guessing that if I, a student, saw this then odds are the producers saw this too, and knew what they were doing. Are they sending out a message that if you don’t pick the traditional lifestyle that women usually choose, you will be punished? If you don’t act in your certain gender role, it can be detrimental to your health?
This might be a crazy theory, but it was just something I thought of. Regardless, I still think it’s a good show, and I think it overall does send more positive messages than negative.