Sunday, 11 October 2015

Gender - The Basics



Judith Butler (Gender Trouble 1990), claimed that gender was a performance. She called this 'GENDER PERFORMATIVITY'

  • Taking on masculinity/femininity to fit in.

  • 'Male / Female' are the sex categories. Gender is a construct.

Definiton: Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity.

Masculinity: Ruthless dominant behaviour. The men that demonstrate masculinity are controlling and they feel that they always need to be on top of women, both mentally and physically. They are seen as much more clever than women and back in patriarchal times, it was up to the man what happened to the women, They were their owner, leader, protector, lover and everything was decided by from the male gender. Masculinity is seen as strong and powerful.  The mise en scene supposedly used in TV dramas to represent masculinity would be things like: - Darker clothes/ colours in scenes - Football and other sports - Professional outfits e.g.. suits (that represent power) - Beer and loud, aggressive company - Harsh lighting - Dramatic music etc.

Femininity: Emotional, nurturing behaviour. Femininity is seen as a delicate representation. The women that show this are caring and loving. They are the gender that are there to be supported on, as they are kind and considerate. They're fragile and weak, much weaker than the men who choose to show off masculinity. They are vulnerable and are stupid, especially if they're blonde and own a small dog or two. In the patriarchal society- the women would have done exactly what the men told them to do, or wanted them to do. They would of had to look after the male in their life with great care and would of made sure his life was perfect, as that, and only that, was her job. The mise en scene supposedly used in TV dramas to represent feminity would be things like: - Accessories (handbags, jewels, makeup etc.) - Lighting on them when they look attractive according to the men - Makeup and revealing outfits - Small dogs and other pets - Clothing that exaggerates the figure etc.

TV Drama - 'Spooks'

Here we can see a clear divide between the two genders: Male and Female.

Masculinity: The males in this photo seem to be more in control than the females. The man that seems to be the more dominant character, (the one in the suit, in front of the man and the woman, standing); is wearing that suit to prove he is the man in control. This seems to prove the point of the men always being the leaders. The man sitting down on the laptop/computer, could be the most clever out of them all, because by the looks of it, he seems to be the one projecting evidence of some sort to conclude a crime. I am not aware of what the programme is about, however I am making a judgement that they have found evidence of some kind and it is a crime show. The looks on all the characters faces, also seem shocked at the discovery they've made. The final man, who is wearing a black jumper and jeans, is dressed more casual. This could mean he is less important than the man in the professional outfit, or the complete opposite way round (that he is more important), because he doesn't need the clothing to present his wealth and status. I've noticed in this photo, that all the men are wearing different outfits. I have come to the conclusion that this photo is telling us men are more dominant and men as a gender can have different status' (in this photo it is proved in the costume). For example, one can be more important and in power than the other.

Femininity: The women in this photo are not as fore fronted as the males. They're out the way and in the corner (back) of the shot. In fact, the lady at the very back of the two men is barely even focused on. The other lady, is sat in a chair (to show that she isn't as important as the man standing up). They're both pulling the same facial expression and are both wearing similar outfits (we can only see the top half - again, because they aren't as important characters). They're both put in the same outfit, because it proves all females as a group are the same. They're all just there in company of the male. It's probably not actually the case in this show, however this shot in particular represents the stereotypical gender types in society.

TV Drama - Happy Valley 

Masculinity: There aren't actually any men in this photo. I think it is because men stereotypically aren't caring and when women re in trouble (as shown in this shot), they're not there to support and really, properly care for them and give them attention. Also, because traditionally men and only men were allowed to take on jobs like policing, when women come and change the rules the men violate and disagree with them - therefore won't be seen in a scene that supports the female revolution.

Femininity: The females in this photo are both sat on the ground, probably to represent the lack of superiority they have. Although the lady on the right (who seems to be injured), is in professional uniform, she is still noted on a lower level. They could have made a big point of this to prove females just aren't suited to jobs like the Police force, because they can't handle the aggression and power that men obviously can handle. She could be looking away from the character trying to comfort her, because she is embarrassed. The lady to the left of her, (the one seeming to check if she is ok), is representing the typical feminine stereotypes, meant to be played by females. She is soothing her and by  the looks of it, she is making sure the band on her head wasn't too fatal. (I am guessing she has banged her head, as she is handling her head like it has been hit). This photo also shows the respect women have for other women. Despite bittiness and unkindness between some groups of women - a lot of the time they are always there for one another and unite. This is proved in this shot.

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