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Men on TV

phenoms's picture

"It really takes some effort to match television's historically disastrous relationship with femininity, but at this point, I'm prepared to say it: Right at this moment, I'm more comfortable with what scripted television thinks being a woman means than I am with what scripted television thinks being a man means.


I'm fascinated with media/television portrayal of gender and sexuality. But I'm not familiar with any of these shows - have you guys seen them? What do you think?

Comments's picture

Cool article!

These are the moments where I actually wish I watched more TV, haha...I don't really know any of these shows either, but I read an article about The Playboy Club/Pan Am a while back, and the part of the article where it referred to those as "relying on nostalgia" to justify oversimplified portrayals of femininity was interesting to me. I guess the women's movement functions as a historical marker of when certain notions of femininity became largely "outdated," and allows for a sort of before-and-after dichotomy that doesn't exist for notions of masculinity. I'm sure even the "nostalgic" shows can function better or worse, though -- from what I've read it sounds like Playboy Mansion is no Mad Men in its nuanced portrayal of women from the pre-women's-movement era. As someone who watches very little TV, it's articles like this that remind me how it's actually pretty important to know what's on the air if you have a real interest in gender and sexuality in today's society. Glee, for example, is one of the only shows I actually have watched regularly, and I constantly find myself thinking about its portrayals of homosexuality in a high school context - here's an article from 2010 calling it "the gayest show on television"...

...although admittedly there are much "gayer" explicitly gay shows, the fact that Glee is on Fox and appeals to a broader audience makes its portrayals of homosexuality particularly important to watch. Thanks for the reminder to keep up with this, Phenoms -- maybe I'll devote a little fall break time to checking out portrayals of femininity and masculinity on some of these shows.