Monday, March 5, 2012

Gender Roles

Every day in the real world we see gender roles take place we can be anywhere and we can notice it. Society in the world of today puts pressure on individuals to look a certain way because there a girl or they have to look and dress ‘this way’ because there a guy. If you’re a girl you should be dressing in skirts, cute shirts or wearing makeup, dressing in pink and purple because those are the colors ‘Girls’ wear. If you’re a guy well you’re supposed to wear boy clothes and colors like blue and black. They also imply that they have to act a certain way because of the gender that they are. It can be okay if a girl cries because girls are classified as overly ‘sensitive’. Although if you’re a boy you’re supposed to act tough and do manly stuff because that’s what a boy does. Were taught since a very young age that this is how were supposed to act not only by our parents but by our society. Although with our world progressing much faster now a days we are starting to accept people who choose to be different. We see gender roles taking place in the real world we can also see them come up in video games, movies, television shows, the media, and even some toys factories come out with now days. In the following movie “Gamer” and the novel “The Surrogates” we can see gender roles being a big part.

 In the movie “Gamer” we see how gender roles are present in the movie and the video games that come out in the movie. In the movie we are introduced to a video game called “Slayers” where we see muscular guys running around caring a gun and shooting other men in order to survive. Except these are not avatars one can create these are actual humans, these are prisoners who are given the chance of being an “avatar” in this video game and if they survive 30 battles they are promised they are set free. The way a player can control this “avatar” is they are inserted with a chip on their brain and linked to the person who buys there link. Watching this made me think of the actual video games that are out there in real life with characters like this basically brainwashing little boys and teens that they need to look this why because that’s how a real man should look like. Or they should be tough like these characters in these video games because that how a real man should act like. On the other hand in the movie we also see another video game that is popular in that world which is called “Society” this works exactly like “Slayers” except the ones who play an avatar is an actual person whom volunteers to be an avatar. “Society” is like “Sims” in our real world, you create an avatar and you make it live this life you want it to. In the video game “Society” we see these people randomly partying and doing stuff a regular person would do. Except I noticed that there style of clothing is different we see the women dressing more provocative and men chasing after them. This brings us back to gender roles were a game like “Society” can teach girls that it is okay if we dress in little clothing and have men chase after us because a video game makes it seem like it’s a normal thing. It is basically degrading woman when they are portrayed in such a way.

            In the novel “The Surrogates” witch is revolved around what the world can look like in the year the future when ‘robots’ are invented to take over our lives. We start off and see that there are hardly real people in the real world there mostly surrogates that are controlled by regular people at home. Regular people can have a career through there surrogates they can be a police officer or a firefighter anything they want. A person who is 18 years or older are only allowed to buy and own a surrogate, because of an incident that happened when teens used there surrogates to beat up and eventually kill a homeless man. On the other hand some people are against having surrogates because they think it’s taken over society and peoples’ lives. In the story we see a female having a male surrogate and goes under the name Victor when in reality it’s a woman named Victoria controlling the Surrogate. When the detectives find out Victor is actually a girl they question her why she chose to have a male surrogate. Her statement was that more people will actually feel safe investing with male more than a female. In the following she states “The Board of directors feels more secure having a male CEO. Investors like that sort of thing” (Venditti and Weldele 141). Basically people have more respect for a male in an industry more than a female will ever have. If she would to have a woman as a surrogate in the industry she works in they probably wouldn’t accept her or acknowledge her. So it was best to choose a guy surrogate and work the industry with him and it seemed to be very successful. Gender role is also present here were a woman feels like she wouldn’t be paid attention in the business world because our society is always portraying a man to be the ideal business person. They are portrayed as the ones who can close a good deal or can be trustworthy and for many years it has been like that. Even as our world is progressing it still never seems to change, a man in society’s eyes will always be the go to guy to close a business deal or trust with when making a deal.

            Genders roles are basically everywhere not only in movies like “Gamer” or in novels like “The surrogates”, they are also found in the media like I mentioned before. Let’s take a look at celebrities. Magazines are always putting good looking people (celebrities) on their covers; we are constantly looking at their definition of beautiful people. This includes a woman mostly professional models or famous actresses with perfect or almost perfect features and a body like no other, whom by the way is slim and always dresses to impress and wears make up every day, and who men think they are the perfect woman to be with. On the men’s side we see famous actors who are cut, muscular looking men (like the ones in “Gamer”) and perfect face features that women fantasize of all the time. Of course if you see someone that good looking you are bound to want to look like them. When society puts things types of things out and accepts them then that’s when girls and guys will want start to look like that person on the cover of the magazine and eventually do damage on themselves. People will go to a far extent to get that ideal body or look that they see in a magazine. There are so many disorders we hear about in the news that girls and guys obtain because society’s ideal image of a woman is slim and pretty and men’s ideal image is a muscular body type. Girls think that the only way to obtain such a body is to starve themselves and exercise a lot which can cause severe damage. On the guys side they become obsessed with getting this muscular body because that’s the only way a girl will ever notice them and in my guess makes them feel manlier. The media puts these magazines out for the public to see and our society accepts but what they don’t know is it can damage some people deeply.

            Media isn’t the only ones who are defining what a man or a woman should be looking like or stereotyping woman and men in certain ways. We also have toys that tend to separate girls and guys. If you’re a girl the toy you’re supposed to be playing with is either a baby doll or a Barbie. For boys you have your usual car toys, your G.I Joe action figure, and other action figures. These are the toys that society and our parents have raised us to play with. This brings us to gender roles you can basically be defined by the toys that you play with. Also brings us to image G.I Joe is portrayed as a muscular type of looking guy like the one you see in “Gamer” while Barbie is a beautiful slim looking girl that you can also see in “Society” were most of the girls looked slim and beautiful. Kids can pick up these images and try to portray them on themselves later on when there older.

            Moreover gender roles can be seen everywhere whether it’s in video games, movies, toys and the media. Our parents and society raise us to have these portrayals of what a woman should look like or what a man should look like and push it upon is. Shows, movies, video games, etc., are also constantly pushing these images down on us. Not only that but a video game or a movie like “Gamer” can degrade woman, and make it seem acceptable. As time passes this can do long term harm and damage to some people. Although this is how we were brought up it doesn’t mean we have to follow it as our world is progressing, and it is subject to change.                         

Works Cited

Venditti, Robert, and Brett Weldele. The Surrogates. Ed. Chris Staros. Marietta, GA: Top Shelf, 2006. Print.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leticia,

    This a pretty good breakdown of what Gamer and The Surrogates are trying to say about Society. The part of your essay I became more interested in was your overview of gender roles in The Surrogates, specifically the Victor/Victoria dichotomy and the advertisements. I think for a revision, you should focus on one or both of these areas because you can use examples from our world to show that the The Surrogates is, indeed, a commentary on our society. Where in our society or in what specific cultures do we see people wanting to look like the ads they see daily? What about female CEOs? What does The Surrogates say about male-dominated business?

    This will allow you to bring in other resources to make your argument that men dominate gender roles.