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The specific role of each gender in the television series lost

Do they fulfill a role of liberation or containment of progressive gender messages? An in-depth examination of these episodes, after first examining their context, will illustrate how gender messages are conveyed through the second level of fantasy, often in contra-distinction with messages in the first level. These include not only some of the strongest and most straightforward feminist messages, but also messages about male and female roles, identity and sexuality.

Danae Clark notes that when the two eponymous female detectives of the TV series Cagney and Lacey CBS, 1982-1988 wear disguises or go under cover, it offers a critique of representations of femininity.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess and Charmed, the masquerade can go well beyond just changing clothes, and appearance, and involve elements of fantasy. This enables the action dramas to explore a broader range of literal and allegorical themes, than the standard law, medicine and family dramas allow 5.

The lead female characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed have supernatural powers. The eponymous heroine of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is supernaturally endowed with the strength to fight vampires; Charmed features three sisters, Piper, Phoebe, and Prue and later Paige, when Prue is killed off who also happen to be witches. While Xena usually does not have any special powers, Xena: Warrior Princess takes place in an ancient Greece where the lead heroine, Xena, has regular contact with Gods, monsters and other mythical creatures.

And all the shows are loaded with special effects. Their different non-human forms can include mermaids, demons, goddesses, fairy tale heroines, werewolves, harpies, furies and vampires, as well as others. It is the farthest extension, in sensibility, of the metaphor of life as theater 6.

Some examples will now be examined. Buffy is usually the tough one; her male best friend Xander, is the weaker one, which already is a reversal of traditional gender stereotypes. Magic makes her actually assume this identity with no memory of her real self. She had chosen this costume because she felt insecure about her relationship her boyfriend Angel, a vampire with a soul, and wanted to be like the kind of woman he would have known in his youth.

When Buffy literally transforms into a lady, she becomes silly, helpless and scared of everything, instead of being her usual strong and intelligent self. Such intertextuality has a specific purpose, according to Tanya Krzywinska: In part, this [. By placing characters and viewers in a similar cultural and interpretational space, topical tastes, debates, and antagonisms drawn from contemporary culture are introduced.

The carefully forged illusion is that the viewer is living in the same cultural space and time as the Scooby Gang 8.

  1. He drugs Gabrielle so she believes she is his wife because his real wife left him. What is certain is that the episode contains a message of rejecting passive femininity, and of the importance of being strong and confident.
  2. Unfortunately, audiences can, and do, happily see around the intelligence of these modern magical beings. They usually perceive modern witches as powerful but miss their intelligence.
  3. He is garbed in a sleeveless army tank top that leaves bare his muscles and tattoos, whereas the everyday Xander is usually quite modestly attired. While it is shown as important for the heroine to reject old forms of femininity this is not necessarily the case for old forms of masculinity.
  4. She pulls him close and kisses him, but then hits him when she becomes aware who is really kissing her. You had a problem, I fixed it.
  5. The eponymous heroine of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is supernaturally endowed with the strength to fight vampires; Charmed features three sisters, Piper, Phoebe, and Prue and later Paige, when Prue is killed off who also happen to be witches.

Being a strong woman means being appreciated by a handsome man like Angel; passive, weak femininity will make one a victim. Many male characters on Buffy display both at once, a kind of split personality 9. When under the spell, he becomes quite virile and manly. He is garbed in a sleeveless army tank top that leaves bare his muscles and tattoos, whereas the everyday Xander is usually quite modestly attired. Military Xander carries a rifle and shoots often, in a sort of mockery of excessive manhood.

When Xander becomes his costume, he beats up Larry, who has been transformed into a pirate, in order to save Buffy from being sexually assaulted by him.

  • When a demon appears in her kitchen, she screams in fear and then reproaches him for his atrocious manners rather than trying to combat him as she usually would;
  • Baughman, Burr-Miller, and Manning, for example, note that having women be witches is way to hide what is in plain sight;
  • Warrior Princess episode Married with Fishsticks deals with the issues of marriage and family, and once again strongly rejects traditional feminine and masculine roles;
  • When she revives in reality, the real Joxer is giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation;
  • Palgrave MacMillan, 2007, p.

His soldier alter ego says he oddly finds satisfaction in that. Interestingly enough, the tough guy Larry, who seems to be the classic heterosexual athlete, actually turns out to be gay later on in the series. While it is shown as important for the heroine to reject old forms of femininity this is not necessarily the case for old forms of masculinity.

She decides to pose as a male cousin to help her sisters hunt a demon, a succubus who preys on human males using a dating service. In order to succeed, Prue must learn how to be a man, which illustrates the performative nature of gender. Piper and Phoebe have to coach her. The sisters have trouble deciding amongst themselves how Prue should act in order to be the most appropriately male, which highlights the difficulties of understanding contemporary gender norms.

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Just step right in and take over. You had a problem, I fixed it. Oh, you bet your butt, you did. I saved his life. So I acted on instinct.

And tell you the truth, the moment that I hit him, I felt powerful and strong. Like somehow that made me a man. You wanna know how to be a real man? Honest, kind, good heart.

The type of guy who would risk being late to work just to make you smile. Not some bully who walks around thinking one punch is gonna change anything. The attractive man is the kind man, not the tough guy. Thus the female the Succubus takes the male role of dominance to try to kill a male who is actually a femalebut she does not succeed.

Neither misandry nor misogyny is acceptable, and both are punished in the narrative 21The point of the episode as it were, is to show that it is difficult for both sexes to navigate the new gender roles and rules. You know, we all feel the same emotions. The world of Charmed is shown as being a post-feminist one, in which men and women should get along 16.

I mean, I like Samantha but I never actually wanted to become her. See, Samantha, she was married to a human, Darren. And this was one of your favorite shows? Well, not that part. And he was able to meet people and leave the house and go to work and build his career and she had to stay home and you know, cook dinner and do the laundry. She went from being Samantha to being Mrs.

Douglas, Where the Girls Are: Comical twinkling music plays whenever she appears on screen. Her makeup, hair and clothes are quite feminine: As a traditionally feminine woman, Phoebe appears to be silly, vulnerable, helpless, and a victim.

When a demon appears in her kitchen, she screams in fear and then reproaches him for his atrocious manners rather than trying to combat him as she usually would. She is much sillier than the real Samantha Stevens, who was generally gifted with good sense and who possessed strong supernatural powers — arguably stronger than those of any of the Charmed sisters — and who could have probably caused the unwelcome demon to disappear with the twitch of her nose.

In fact, Susan J. Even though she was technically not supposed to use her magic although she often did anywayshe could and did outsmart the men, notably her husband Darren, and often saved the day.

Sitting and knitting is not the woman you are, just like sitting and typing is not the man I am. Warrior Princess episode Married with Fishsticks deals with the issues of marriage and family, and once again strongly rejects traditional feminine and masculine roles.

The use of a campy fantasy scenario in this episode allows the audience to imagine Gabrielle, the possibly lesbian warrior, as a straight supermom married to Joxer, who in the actual reality is enamored of her. For example, in one scene, Gabrielle appears in a sheer pink nightgown with curlers in her hair, a blond Barbie-like wig.

Her hair and makeup are always styled and overdone and feminine in this episode, which contrasts with her usual appearance. In fact, in the series at this time, in reality she sports quite a butch short haircut and wears strapped to her legs her weapons of choice, two pointy daggers called sais, which are significant in-so-much that knives, like guns, are considered to be phallic symbols associated with masculinity 21.

According to Jowett, Joxer and Xander have comparable roles in their respective series, as they both want to fight and be heroes, but often need to be saved instead: Those male characters who do exude a hegemonic masculinity — exhibiting physical power and achieving occupational success as valued by capitalism, controlling a family as a patriarch, manifesting characteristics of the frontiersman, and displaying heterosexual power — are the specific role of each gender in the television series lost often villains 23.

He drugs Gabrielle so she believes she is his wife because his real wife left him. Then she berates and slaps him and waves a knife at him as she says: You and I are going to raise these children together because I will not have them treating their spouses the way that you treat me!

Moreover, she reciprocates and is attracted to him. When she revives in reality, the real Joxer is giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She pulls him close and kisses him, but then hits him when she becomes aware who is really kissing her.

This episode allows for the possibility that Gabrielle is actually attracted to Joxer in reality, making her sexuality ambiguous. What is certain is that the episode contains a message of rejecting passive femininity, and of the importance of being strong and confident: As in the other episodes, the heroine has learned something important through having been someone else. The characters are literally not themselves in some way, and are no longer living their everyday reality.

The strongest and clearest outright messages on gender and gender roles often exist and are told in this second level of fantasy, when the characters literally assume a different identity. It is as if the series have to make things more fantastical in order to convey this sort of message, and some of these plot premises can seem fantastical to the point of ridiculousness.

So, once again we got metaphors and kitsch: The very fact that gender issues were being explored at all, means they were not in essence being contained. Baughman, Burr-Miller, and Manning, for example, note that having women be witches is way to hide what is in plain sight. Distracted by the special effects, and supernatural powers, audiences do not often notice that female witches are actually very intelligent women.

The modern witch has become everything women want to be. Yet, the witch also comforts those who see these traits as unlikely or dangerous in women; after all, witches do not exist, so it is equally as easy to dismiss their other positive qualities, should audiences chose.

  • Bruce Seth Green, scr;
  • Warrior Princess episode Married with Fishsticks deals with the issues of marriage and family, and once again strongly rejects traditional feminine and masculine roles;
  • Warrior Princess takes place in an ancient Greece where the lead heroine, Xena, has regular contact with Gods, monsters and other mythical creatures;
  • Some examples will now be examined;
  • As in the other episodes, the heroine has learned something important through having been someone else;
  • Sitting and knitting is not the woman you are, just like sitting and typing is not the man I am.

Unfortunately, audiences can, and do, happily see around the intelligence of these modern magical beings. They usually perceive modern witches as powerful but miss their intelligence. Warrior Princess, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, take stories about strong messages of identity to the second level of fantasy in order to make them less threatening and to avoid offending the audience, even if they are in the not-so-distant past, when feminist progress would have seemed to have been made.

Yet, the very need for this sort of camouflage — of characters having to disguise themselves and use a second level fantasy to depict strong gender messages — shows that maybe feminism may still have a long way to go.

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Warrior Princess are all men, as well as a majority of the writers, directors and producers. In fact, of the four writers and four directors involved in the production of the episodes examined for this article, six are men 28.

This does not mean that there are no positive interpretations to be made of these representations, that there is no progress to be seen, and that no women were involved in the production of the series 30.