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Girls On Top: Gendering In Sitcoms - Essay Example

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Girls On Top (GOT) is more of a traditional sitcom than Tracey's other work. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, it is the only sitcom in which she has ever starred. Her co-stars were Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (of French and Saunders and Absolutely Fabulous fame) and American expatriate Ruby Wax (now [May 1998] receiving notoriety in America for her interview with O.J…
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Girls On Top: Gendering In Sitcoms
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Download file to see previous pages The premise of the series is simple. Four women of divergent backgrounds are sharing a flat in the Kensington district of London: Amanda (Dawn), a strident feminist; Jennifer (Jennifer, oddly enough), a mentally-challenged friend of Amanda's; Shelley (Ruby), a struggling American actress; and Candice (Tracey), who is a bit of a party girl, always trying to avoid paying her share of the rent or doing any chores.
The basis for the sitcom has always been about gender, whether rational or irrational, it all boils down to the gender of the characters involved and how they interact with those around them. This type of stereotyping lends to the conclusion that the world is still stuck in the old form of the world's view as women are the weaker sex by nature.
When dealing with this type of gender based profiling, the television producers work to bring about the sex appeal of the female gender in order to bolster the ratings. This brings to mind the tired adage "Sex sells." This sadly is the truth when it comes to the world of situation comedies and their contemporaries.
The Girls On Top sitcom did little to break down the gendering that is so prevalent in television the world over. With the concept of a house full of women from different walks of life and social status all doing their best to create then complete conflict did nothing more than further the tired gendering.
"Women are portrayed in television, particularly situation comedies, as being less than
intelligent and anything but capable of doing things on their own." (Butsch, Richard.
"Class and Gender in Four Decades of Television Situation Comedy: Plus ca Change...."
Critical Studies in Mass Communication (Annandale, Virginia), December 1992.
This continues to be the trend that rules supreme in the television entertainment industry.
"Until women stand up and make it known that they are more than capable of dealing
with life just as well if not better than the men then there will never be a lack of negative
gendering in this world." (Bacon-Smith, Camille. Enterprising Women: Television
Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1992)
Conclusion
The why of it all makes little sense to anyone. It seems that people, especially television viewers, do not like to see women portrayed as strong, but instead the weak and needy of the two genders.
This same concept has reigned since the inception of television. Women are to be weak in most cases, and above all else needy and seeking the help and guidance of the opposite sex. This has caused an influx of gender bias that makes most people quite unhappy, more so the females of the world. This gives cause to the many thought provoking arguments that have been made by feminists over the years.
A failure on the part of the television networks has brought about this type of gendering. By not casting women in roles of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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