In previous posts we have discussed television advertisements and shows that actively encourage “hypermasculinity” and “emphasized femininity”. In this post we will look at the show The Big Bang Theory and discuss the masculinities and femininities that are presented as alternatives to “hypermasculinity” and “emphasized femininity”.
In a previous post for XY online we discussed the Spike TV show “MANswers”, what the show insinuated about men and women, as well as its treatment of “hypermasculinity” through its focus on violence, toughness, aggression, binge drinking and dangerous behaviors. Spike TV is very specific in regards to the shows that it airs and can be described as a channel that is aimed at men, where the focal point is on “manly interests”. Spike TV focuses heavily on “hypermasculinity” which can be noticed in the names and contents of shows such as “MANswers”, “Deadliest Warrior” and “1000 Days to Die”.
Television advertisements often portray men and women in very different roles, engaging in behavior that is often “safe” to perform in regards to one’s gender. Women are usually seen as domestic, marveling over the wonders of detergent, or as gentle nurturers and housewives who love preparing dinner for the family. They are also often depicted as sex objects of men’s desires. Men, on the other hand, are often depicted as workers, as engaging in masculine hobbies and leisurely activities, as sexually active, and on the prowl.