Gender stereotypes…

// 5 August 2008

Via Feminist Philosophers – like jj, I’m not completely convinced that this successfully punctures gender stereotypes – as the last few frames suggest is the intention. I think it might rely overmuch on the idea that stereotypes are obviously stupid. And some of the examples seem not to be so much stereotypes as actual constraints on many women’s lives.

As an aside, this was found posted at The Situationist, a Harvard website. Perhaps Harvard has another sort of definition of Situationism that I’m not aware of, but it seems a bit strange to see Harvard embracing it?!

Comments From You

Liz // Posted 6 August 2008 at 1:45 am

What it seems to be saying is that everybody really wants a wife.

apu // Posted 6 August 2008 at 5:45 am

Actually how did this puncture any stereotypes at all? Perhaps I’m not getting the joke – it seemed as if it just presented a whole lot of stereotypes!

Molly // Posted 6 August 2008 at 6:29 am

Not a fan. I’ve seen a video in a VERY similar style, also Italian, making fun of, well, Italians (little circles with EU stars standing politely in line while little circles with Italian-flag colors push in front of each other and curse, kind of thing), and that one definitely was just reinforcing stereotypes.

I don’t think this one’s giving anything but lip service to the idea that stereotypes (gasp!) might not be accurate.

Rachael // Posted 6 August 2008 at 10:43 am

Perhaps Harvard was attempting to make fun of stereotypes but it really doesn’t come across that way to the casual observer. If you didn’t know it’s about stereotypes you would just watch and think “Aw, bless …. look what the silly girls are doing” since there is no comedy-value in the man’s behaviour.

I think it’s been establised that many universities are currently suffering from what’s been called “fun-feminism”. In other words – let’s be blatantly sexist…then call it “irony”. And why should Harvard be any different?

Genevieve // Posted 6 August 2008 at 5:14 pm

What’s annoying is that a lot of people who watch this are probably going to think that all the “silly woman” behaviors are “just the way it is.” Rather than, yes, (some of us) pack lots of clothes on trips, and yes, (some of us) take a longer time shopping…but that’s because we’re encouraged, from a young age, to be conscious of our appearance, far more so than men are. If we didn’t have these social pressures? Then things would be a lot different. Same with the ‘going out’ thing–men might want to look nice for a date but they expect to get by mainly on charm. Women have been taught that they must look perfect, that everything else is secondary. (Which is funny because I believe it took me about two minutes to change from my school clothes into my ‘date’ clothes the first time my boyfriend and I went out, and while I knew I looked good the best part about that evening was the conversation.) We have all of these products thrown at us to make us pretty, to increase our ‘worth.’ And why? Because as many gains as feminism has made, we still have a long way to go before mainstream society sees women as autonomous humans and not as decorations or possessions for men.

E-Visible Woman // Posted 6 August 2008 at 9:05 pm

Yeah, and it was just crap.

I didn’t like how the female voices were like a cross between a baby and a hen.

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