Gender Role Reversal

So What IS My Role?

I have spent the entirety of this blog discussing the roles which men and women play in literature and society with a specific focus on role reversals (males performing as females and females performing as males). I was shocked when doing the research that so many examples of gender role reversals can be found in the movies and on TV shows. I included some of my favourites such as The Big Bang Theory, The Office, and How I Met Your Mother but there are scads more such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Buffy Summers is a girl with superhuman strength whose job is to kill demons, and save the world from the Apocalypse numerous times, or Jack McFarland from Will & Grace who refers to himself as a “queen” and loves to gossip with his “girlfriends.” In the movies there are the characters like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games who is the provider for her family and only survives The Hunger Games by killing other children, or Robin Williams’ character from Mrs. Doubtfire in which Williams portrays a female nanny in order to spend time with his children. By examining the gender role reversals found in both literature and popular society the traditional stereotypes are beginning to be debunked as proof is coming to light that not all women are solely feminine and not all men are solely masculine. Through the use of literature, TV and movies, I think it is starting to become more acceptable for women and men to perform in any way they wish. Thanks to people like Judith Butler and Judith (Jack) Halberstam, more terminology is being invented to help those men and women who do not feel they associate with being a man or woman. I am hopeful that in the coming years, the traditional stereotypes that are so commonplace today will become a thing of the past. To leave you on a light and laughing note, I came across this funny web series called The Flip Side that takes traditional gender roles and stereotypes and flips them. While they are completely stereotypical, they still present a valid argument as to how men and women are viewed in society, plus they are pretty funny.


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