Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dude Looks Like a Lady

Relationships and gender roles have always been a confusing concept and difficult to study because of the variety of people, ideas and opinions involved. In today's society, it is even more complicated since we are striving for equal opportunities for all. Fifty years ago, women and men had "cookie cutter" lives with "cookie cutter" roles. Women were expected to cook, clean and care for the children. Men were expected to work hard, pay the bills, and be the head of their household. Today, it is sometimes hard to distinguish between men and women, especially in populated, urban areas such as New York and Los Angeles where the arts thrive. It is so fascinating to consider gender roles in relationships and in society. Below is a clip of one of my favorite movies that has many aspects of gender roles involved throughout the plot.

In most relationships the woman is shorter and more petite than her husband because of the actions that are expected of each. The first couple catches us off guard because of the reversed gender roles present. The woman has an endomorph body type and looks as though she could protect her ectomorph husband better than he could protect her.

The second is odd because of their androgynous appearance. It is hard to distinguish between the male and female in this relationship.


  1. I am bummed I can't see your pictures! Mrs. Doubtfire not only plays with the issue of gender but of sex too. It is so interesting how men and women have almost embraced being able to move to the other end of the gender specific spectrum. Even to take guys on our campus, some are completely confident in wearing v-necks and some won't even wear pink.

  2. You are certainly correct that gender roles have become increasingly blurred over time. I suspect this may be due to a breakdown in many modern families. So many homes are run today by only one parent, in contradiction to older days when the nuclear family was the dominant household arrangement. In these situations, the only adult in the home must learn to adapt to more gender role line blurring in order to keep the needs of the household running smoothly. Good, modern-day thoughts!

  3. haha Mrs. Doubtfire is a classic. I really want to watch it now! I blogged about She's the Man, where a girl pretends to be a boy; in Mrs. Doubtfire, obviously, a man pretends to be a woman. These plots are very humorous because we see one gender's perception of the other, and how they attempt to take on those characteristics. So much of their time is spent adjusting their nonverbal behaviors in order to convince the rest of society that they are indeed a 'real' man or woman. I think in each movie, though, the characters become more understanding of the other sex and gender, which I think we could all use.

  4. I agree completely because when I went to L.A. for a vacation a couple years ago I was very taken back by the style of dress that the men and women wore to express themselves. Me being a simple Texas boy was having serious trouble determining what was appropriate for the culture there, which was so very different then in my home town of Houston.