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Popular media forms contribute to and reflect social attitudes about gender that are often harmful and restrictive. Feminist critics have long complained about the objectification, underrepresentation, and gender role stereotyping of women in film and television. Gender conscious critics have drawn our attention to the patriarchal assumptions that pervade popular culture and how those assumptions send harmful messages about gender roles and gender identity to audiences both female and male. On the other hand, there has been a competing movement in popular culture to take a deliberate stand against restrictive representations of gender and create texts that demonstrate progressive, liberating attitudes.
Assignment: Perform a gender-based critique of a popular culture text of your choosing.
In your analysis, you will argue that your text communicates either positive, progressive attitudes or negative, restrictive attitudes about gender. You may, of course, feel that there are aspects of both (this is often the case), but it is important that you select a text that you feel primarily does one or the other.
Using the various texts that we have read about gender to frame your discussion, develop an argument centered around the idea that Text of Your Choice is either an empowering, progressive text or a restrictive, sexist one. Your essay is essentially an analysis of and argument about your chosen (primary) text, but will make ample use of the required secondary sources as well as ONE SELF-SELECTED SECONDARY SOURCE. These sources will provide the background for your discussion of your text. In other words, your purpose here is to show how your primary text fulfills or rejects progressive or sexist notions about gender as put forward by the secondary texts.
Secondary Texts (you must refer to at least 2):
Tocqueville – “How Americans Understand the Equality of the Sexes”
Woolstonecraft – “Vindication of the Rights of Woman”
Devor – “Understanding the Social Meanings of Gender”
Trites – “Disney’s Sub/Version of Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’”
Morgan – “Fly Girls to Bitches and Hos”
Kimmel – “Bros Before Hos: The Guy Code”
Length: 4 pages minimum
MLA format including proper citation for all sources referenced
Sources: 1 primary text, 2 required secondary texts, 1 self-selected secondary text (your Works Cited page, then, will have a total of AT LEAST 4 sources)
Final Draft: 11/3
Popular media forms contribute to and reflect social attitudes about gender that are often harmful and restrictive. Feminist critics have long complained about the objectification, underrepresentation, and gender role stereotyping of women in film and television.