Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Gender Stereotypes

Gender stereotypes are almost a theoretical term for a specific sex’s social and behavioural actions. It could be within a specific culture, religion but as a stereotype there it is considered to be a socially appropriate thing to consider when talking to someone of again a specific sex. The idea of a stereotype depends on roles and how

a person’s attitude is, what actions they do, what their personality is like, and how they are associated with other people of that culture. Gender roles and stereotypes are often seen obviously in a home environment but you can also see them on the television and in television dramas of how particular characters are presented depending on their gender.

I am going to use doctor who as my example as it is a very ‘manly’ program and I would say that the majority of their target audience are male. In doctor who, every single doctor that has been on the show has been male and all of the assistants have been female. When looking at this in terms of stereotypes you could say that the doctor is the predominant person in the program and the assistant is just there to look pretty. What I mean by this is that the man is in charge, and this is often the case when thinking about home environments and things like that. Stereotypically, the man does the watching of the television and the women is stuck in the kitchen or doing some kind of house work when the man or men of the house do nothing at all. In Doctor who currently the female assistant is a girl called Clara Oswold. She is a very clever brunette girl and is very pretty. As a stereotypical way of putting this, girls are seen as cleverer than boys and it is portrayed as this in this case. Sometimes girls are seen as the dumb ones but this programme is the opposite and have a got a teacher as the doctors assistant. In the programme she wears makeup and her hair is always done perfectly. She is skinny and wearing skirts and little blouses. Again stereotypically I would say that that is what ‘girls’ wear. However not all girls like wearing skirts, not all girls wear make-up and not all girls can be bothered to do their hair in the morning and can be stereotypically as lazy as boys but in Doctor Who this is not the case.

When looking at the camera angles in the show you can actually notice how most of the shots of the doctor are just of his head and shoulders, so a long shot and how most of the shots of Clara are of her full body. This could also be due to gender stereotypes because of the audience. With there being a predominant male audience they will want to see Clara more clearly, like her body and the way she dresses so that it draws the audience’s attention further. I’m not saying that this is a good way in which to show females in TV Dramas, but this could be the case in this programme. In terms of how the characters speak, Clara has quite a stereotypically sweet and girly voice. It is soft and can be quite relaxing to hear whereas previous voices that were heard in the show like Katherine Tate was quite strong. Stereotypically girls have soft voices so when Katherine was in is was a more opposing sound to hear. As a male stereotype in terms of The Doctors voice it would be seen as quite powerful. He has a very loud voice and this also links back to men being in charge over women.

Overall I feel that gender stereotypes are used in TV dramas and this is represented in Doctor Who in very non obvious ways. This through the mise en scene, lighting, sound and editing. Clara a typical girl and the doctor a typical strong man who like to be in charge. In the shows defence, I personally can not imagine a doctor being female and that is most probably the idea of the show therefore the stereotypes in this programme are probably suitable for what the drama actually is.

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