Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hidden Values: Femininity In Soap Operas

The article by Fiske aims at looking at how TV creates masculine and feminine subject. The author examines soap operas for feminine narratives. Fiske looks mainly at soap operas, but he also looks at Charlie’s Angels when discussing female characters or the roles that they have in these TV shows. I found it incredibly interesting that in the soap opera narratives women cannot have a happy marriage or life. They end up having affairs because they are unsatisfied with their lives. Yet, the men in these soap operas appear to take on a more ‘feminine’ role. They engage in intimate dialogue and come across as more emotional and caring. It is positive to note that traditions “macho” men are construed as the villains in soap operas. It suggests that our ideologies toward how men should behave toward women are shifting. Yet, this is not consistent with the women in soap operas who also use their body to seduce a man to get what they want in the shows. This is unsettling to me because the ideology that women are supposed to want a happy home and marriage yet can never achieve it is always in the background. Also, that they only way to get what you want is to use your body as a form of currency. When looking at Charlie’s Angels, the idea of patriarchy is still heavily embedded in the shows narrative. I happen to love Charlie’s Angels and was really surprised and enlightened when reading this article. The female characters are the one’s who do the ‘job’ but they rely on Charlie and Bosley to tell them what they need to do and give them all of the tools they need. These women are only doing what they are told. They are not resourceful or independent. This article demonstrated that it might look   like ideologies are changing, but that the standards of patriarchy are heavily laced within the background of these media texts.

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