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    Throughout the course, one important topic that keeps coming up is the issue of gender and gender roles. Based on the society you live in, you are socialized to behave in certain ways based on whether you’re male or female. And as we’ve mentioned, media plays an enormous role in how we define what is socially acceptable for both genders. In this essay, choose one television show or movie and examine how gender is used in this text. How does this piece of media reinforce mainstream gender roles? How does it subvert them? If someone from a different culture watched this show or movie, what would they understand about gender and sex in the United States? Do you feel this show/movie is an accurate representation of gender?

    What I’d like you to do is really examine gender through this piece of media. Be a critical observer of the show/movie and analyze how gender functions. You can definitely use examples — that would make the essay stronger — but be sure that the examples are there to back up the argument you’re making.

    Please write an essay of approximately 500-750 words (2-3 pages) answering these questions.


Subject Essay Writing Pages 3 Style APA


Gender Roles in the Media a Study of the Television Series My Wife and Kids

(Season 5 episode 8)

         Media plays a huge role globally and influences various factors within the society. Because of its diversity and ability to take various forms, media reaches out to a very wide audience. This makes it a tool that influences negatively or positively how a society operates. Gender is easily defined as the way a society trains and equips the men and women regarding the specific roles designed for them (Huffington post par.2). The media, however impactful in the business world, has in the recent past left little to be desired especially on matters regarding morality. However, some television programs still depict the traditional well structured families with roles specifically set for each of the sexes.

      The program My Wife and Kids is an American family sitcom. It is based on the life of the Kyle family, Michael Kyle (Damon Wayans). Michael who is also the writer of the program plays the part of a fairly successful businessman who seeks to create a perfect traditional family. The family is made up of three children, a wife. There are two recent additions to the family that is Michael’s daughter in law and her baby. In this episode, the Kyle family is having breakfast and the wife who is a housewife and a good cook comes up with the idea of starting her own restaurant (Don and Damon). The family is seemingly fearful and negative doubting the mother’s potential to nurture her business. The wife, a former investment banker with self belief to succeed and has supported the husband establish himself as a business magnate. They try to disapprove of it but being a woman with a strong belief and control of her home, she ensures that the plan goes on. They face a strong challenge in their bid to control the soul food market facing a formidable foe in the HOO family. The HOO’s are a Chinese family that works on all ways to wipe out competition. They comically face off till they settle on a middle ground. The restaurant survives and the wife now has a business one on the successful path (Don and Damon).

      This piece of media reinforces mainstream gender roles by depicting the wife (Mrs. Kyle) as a housewife. Once a successful investment banker, Mrs. Kyle left employment to take care of the home. The husband is not for the idea of the wife working and tries to tie down the idea unsuccessfully. Women are mostly depicted as unable to run successful business enterprises and only seem to do well in the house management. Most of the mainstream media tend to show more of working dads and stay at home mothers.

      The program subverts gender role by showing women as mainly home makers. In the end, Mrs. Kyle seemingly enjoys a successful business venture. The episode also brings about the roles of men as the best poised for jobs outside child rearing in the depiction of Junior (Kyle’s firstborn child). He has a wife and a child but the wife is the one responsible for the child as junior goes out to work.

      An individual from a different culture after watching the program come to an understanding that gender roles in the United States as flexible towards gender roles. This is because; the Kyle family though afraid, of the potential failure, supports their mother to the end. On the other hand the HOO family is controlled by Mrs. HOO and she directs the way things are done in the family. The outcome is that men still are portrayed as the overall providers with the women having to prove much harder to find support.

      The program is a true reflection of the actual setup of gender representation to some extent. In most television acts the gender roles are always well defined with very few ever showing women in any other role apart from housekeeping and attending to the needs of the children and general family welfare. Recent media have been trying to find a balance between the two sexes and a few have had roles for men taking care of the family as the mothers work.




Don Reo and Damon Wayans. My wife and Kids, Season 5 episode eight. Retrieved from www.watchepisodes1.com/my-wife-and-kids-season-5-episode-8-s05e08. Web. 22. Feb.2016.

Huffington Post. Gender Roles Media. Retrieved from  www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-lantagne/gender-roles-media. Web.22.feb.2016.

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