matt (hbergeronx) wrote,

on portrayals

I'm incresingly frustrated with the stereotypes portrayed on television. The question will be, are they annoying enough for me to want to shut the box off for good?

I didn't see the "nick and jessica" christmas special, only heard snippets on the radio. I can't honestly say whether or not the portrayal was accurate. The segment featured was concerning a magical house in which the wishes of the residents are always fulfilled. Instant snow, instant presents, and instant costume changes. (barf, but not my thesis today)

Jessica Simpson also drew attention, multiple times, to the fact that the magical house also had a magic switch which turned the lights on, and off. Apparently such self-effacing humor is traditional: in the variety show, like Sonny and Cher; or Lucy and Ricky. However, I'm becoming sickened by the ongoing portrayal of stupid stereotypes.

When is it acceptable to feature as humorous another person's stupidity?

I've been watching TV commercials and have noticed a trend: about half to two thirds of commercials that feature "characters", the man involved is stupid. How many people resort to the old saw that a man never asks for directions? I feel that it's different in an ongoing series, like "Home Improvement", where the stupidity of Tim Taylor is not a constant but a starting point- you see him evolve as a person over the course of an episode and season, particularly after consulting with the wiser Wilson, often not perfectly but in a personal way. Learning happens.

I don't think the dumb blond sterotype is any better than the sagacious mother versus dumb dad stereotype. I realize that not everyone is equally intelligent, but it should never be acceptable for someone to stay unintelligent, and just because a person is smart doesn't mean that they should have the power to run things, either. I bristle at the portrayal of couples as one leads, the other follows. I'm all for the death of the patriarchal society, but a matriarchy is no replacement.

The "know it all" mom is just as bad as the dumb blond, because both are incapable of change due to input. Functioning couples work because they are able to influence and create change in each other without having to infantilize the other.

And, when did it become acceptable again to portray women so often as dumb blondes?

I'm wondering if it's just me, or if it's slowly becoming more acceptable to be a dumb blond. Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson: when did it become acceptable again for these people to be propped up and given so much air time, letting them become role models for what girls can become? Or did it never stop, and I just didn't notice it because I was surrounded by women who refused to permit such sterotypes to be let air?

I'm hoping that it's just my overactive imagination, and not a trend.

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