Media Analysis Of Gender

1930 words - 8 pages

First of all, in The Simpsons, the scene where we get into the actual plot of the story opens with Marge and Lisa walking into a department store that sells dolls. The gender stereotype that girls are only interested in playing with dolls is reinforced here as a huge selection of Malibu Stacy dolls is on display with a throng of screeching, bloodthirsty girls tearing the store apart. Lisa says, “I’m warning you mom, I might get a little crazy.” and immediately knocks down a girl and snatches another in a choke-hold to be the first in line for the new Malibu Stacy doll. In the very next scene we have the whole family in the car with Homer driving. He is baking a cupcake with an easy-bake-oven ...view middle of the document...

The show makes an obvious distinction between how men/boys and women/girls act. Anyway, the episode continues with lisa playing with her doll pretending that Malibu Stacy is giving a speech at the U.N, but Lisa is disappointed when she realizes that the new and improved doll says sexist remarks such as “don’t ask me, I’m just a girl” and “let’s buy make up so that boys will like us!”. Lisa goes on a rant about how “millions of girls will grow up thinking that this is the right way to act! That they cannot be anything more than vacuous ninnies...!”and gets really mad when Bart does not understand why she is so upset. The difference in communication styles is shown here as Lisa is more adept with words than Bart is as Bart can only give Lisa a stupid reply like “that’s what I was going to say.” This illustrates the stereotype that girls are more expressive and sensitive than boys are. On the other hand, Marge plays the more traditional housewife as her mind never delves into issues that are not relevant to the domestic center; she is not privy to relevant discussions on social issues like Lisa and cannot understand why Lisa is so upset. She said that Lisa had been speaking up “an awful lot lately.” This suggests that typical lady-like behavior does not include speaking out and that the mother should enforce positive female behavior. Additionally, in the next scene, Marge and Lisa are taking a tour of the Malibu Stacy plant and Lisa boldly asks the tour guide if it was a mistake that Malibu Stacy is so dumb and sexist. Marge responds in shock by cupping her hand in her mouth. Again, we have Marge recoiling to the fact that Lisa’s outspoken behavior is not in line with the feminine stereotype of being polite, etc. A little more than halfway through the episode, Lisa meets up with the creator of Malibu Stacy and convinces her that together they can make a better talking doll with “the wisdom of Gertrude Stein, the tenacity of Nina Totenburg, and the common sense of Elizabeth Cady Stanton...” The doll changes drastically taking on a strong, independent and intelligent persona. The next scene shoots to a meeting room at the Malibu Stacy Headquarters in which men in suits with stern looks on their faces try to come up with an idea to “sink” the new Lisa Lionheart doll. The gender stereotype here is that only men would occupy such high-ranking positions in corporations. Furthermore, the fact that the production of this new doll Lisa made is conceived of as a threat suggests that strong and independent women are an affront to a male-dominated society and have no place in the male world. The stereotypes continue, however, as Lisa’s doll does not sell because a new Malibu Stacy doll came out at the same time that sported a new hat. The fact that the girls went for the other doll solely because it was wearing a new hat enforces the stereotype that girls are only obsessed with superficial things etc.
In The Berenstain Bears: No Girls Allowed there is a...

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