The stereotypes of gender roles

The stereotypes of gender roles

Through this definition, the stereotypes of gender roles in the family have evolved, thus becoming a controversial topic within a number of studies and disciplines. The ways in which gender roles have changed over time has become a topic Of many articles, and its effect on family as a whole continues to be analyzed. In this essay, I will focus on the relationship between family members, mainly on parenthood and gender roles, which will then be further explored in their connections to the workforce, colonization, and identity. All of these will be analyses within the film Deathblow’ which was produced in 006.

The film revolves around a number of the sociological topics outlined above. The purpose of this essay is to show the stereotypes of gender roles, and the ways in which they affect the family and individuals within families, and the ways in which these ideals are changing over time. The relationships among the family members will also be explored, and how different situations lead to several occurrences or disputes within parents. Also, the way in which the film portrays the idea of taking care of the elderly will be addressed. Motherhood’ revolves around the life of wife and mother Elise Welch (Mum Thurman) as she attempts to both prepare for her daughter’s birthday party and complete her entry for an important writing competition. It details her life as a former Manhattan writer who is now dealing with a cramped apartment, a busy husband, and a side-street parking problem, while raising her two kids. The film primarily details Elijah’s episodic exploits over the course of one very long summer day. The film has a humorous and hectic picture of family life.

As a stay home mom, Elijah’s frenzied day begins immediately as she gets out of bed. She lives a life filled with an “energetic allot”(Robbed) of activities; these range from dropping the kids off at school, walking the dog and planning her daughter’s sixth birthday party, and making sure to fix time to shop With her best friend. The movie has been said to be an ode to the joys and agonies of parenting. The protagonist Elise feels overwhelmed by her motherly duties, and is shown to resent the fact that her husband works in an office because he is hardly ever around to help her out.

Within her life and hectic schedule though, we are given an insight into her husband’s life and the relationships within the family. It is mentioned during the early parts of the film that Elise was once a great writer, but when she had kids, she decided to give up her job to raise a family, “Now, she’s a shell of her former self in frumpy clothes and messy hair” (Buzzards 2010). The film’s take on family although is humorous, consists more of internal themes such as identity, family, and relationships.

The major points of the film that I will be exploring are; First, the way in which it depicts stereotypical gender roles with the characters of Elise and her husband Avery. Second, I will explore the ay the film touches upon aiding the sick and elderly through Elijah’s care for her elderly neighbor Edith who seems to have dementia and needs care. From this I will address the topic of care giving addressed in the course. Third, the issue of divorce is also touched on a little bit and allows for a bit of exploration in the essay as well.

Lastly in regards to the idea of colonization and identity, the former is explored with the various scenes in the movie where for example, profane words are used or Elise is seen to be smoking and she stops when she is going into the house or the kids are around. The tater on the other hand is explored in the film through Elijah’s feeling that she has lost her identity from having to do the same things over and over again. She feels this because her life before having kids was very much different and she had the chance to live a life she wanted and was content with. In an article by Tim B.

Wheaton and Ashley M. Blake (1999), both authors talk about how gender has an impact on marriages and sometimes on its dissolution. To them “gender differences are evident in the household division of labor, in parenting styles and responsibilities, in the expression of sexual intimacy, and] in psychological orientation (26). This definition is present in a number of scenes in motherhood. Gender differences are evident in division of labor in the household from the beginning of the film, as we see how Elise is the one who takes care of running everything in the house.

She gets up before everyone, and makes sure to check her to-do list before going on to make breakfast and get the kids ready for school. Although because this film runs in somewhat real time for a day’s worth Of events, it is almost impossible to draw out the issue with parenting styles. Though, from a scene in which Elise is seen to be struggling frantically to get everything in order with the kids and making sure they are eating, her husband Avery is shown to help with very little, and then goes off to watch TV. He helps later on by taking them to the car when she is ready to drive them to school.

This scene can be said to represent the stereotype that women are expected to be the ones who do the running around, and that they make sure everything is in place, whilst the man helps in some cases during the little time he his around. Another early scene that shows this clearly is in the beginning when Elise is struggling to sake her son eat and get her daughter dressed at the same time, and even whilst doing this she still has to make Avery coffee and listen to him ramble on about something her expression clearly shows she is not quite interested in.

The aspect Of responsibilities in this film can be said to have a stereotyped share for each parent, with Elise taking care of the household, the children, and making sure everything goes well, an example being her daughter’s birthday party. Whilst Avery, takes charge of making sure he is earning enough money by working overtime in a job he hates. This can be traced back ND linked to the notion of a nuclear family. The film portrays the image of what functionalists, who defined the family as consisting of the submissive and content housewife and the working father, would have termed a perfect family.

Although, this film goes further in making the protagonist who is the housewife, challenge her roles and finally reach her breaking point when she rants at the end of the film about all the housework she has to do. Studies have shown that if men view an activity as something other than real work, they are particularly likely to place a low value on it and unlikely to invest effort in it. Evidence suggests that men do not view women’s work as real work (Availed and Client 1984). This definition can also be related to the film. An example is the way in which Avery sees Elijah’s constant work in their lives.

He does not seem to see it as something she should not be doing, and does not attempt to help. This can be interpreted as a result of Elijah’s constant act that she is fine with having to everything herself. In a scene where she has just asked him why he did not pick her calls when she needed him, and he replies by saying he did not see them. She then responds by eying, “[any”ay] it was nothing couldn’t figure out on my own, you have no idea how lucky you are to be married to a multi-taster” and Avery replies by saying but I do know”.

This sentence alone tells how her husband is well aware of the amount of things she has to do in the household, and yet he does not see it as anything burdensome in a sense because he believes that is expected of her and she is able to do it all. This is yet another confirmation of the stereotype of gender roles in the home. Elise can be seen in the early parts of the movie to have conformed to this roles society has her restricted y. By doing all of these things, she agrees to have herself placed in the role Of being a compliant wife and not complaining. She seems to have succumbed to the stereotype of a woman’s place being in the home.

Although, as the film moves on, we start to see the frustration build up, and the tiredness and loss of identity that results from continually doing the same things over and over again. Also, this frustration evolves as a result of feeling like her efforts went unnoticed by her husband. This perception can be seen as somewhat similar to the idea Barbara Mitchell(2009) terms “labor of eve”, which refers to unpaid or unrecognized work in the household. As the film shows, even Elise is aware of this constriction being a housewife puts on her, although unlike many women she does not seem to view her work in the home as real work.

In a scene when she is talking to her best friend Sheila about wanting have a job, she rants and finally states that “there’s something validating about having a real job”. This scene in the movie can be scene somewhat as criticizing this notion Of housework not being a “real job”. Also, the job that Elise is interested in getting by winning the competition can be en as similar to the idea that even though society is changing and women are now going into the workforce, the jobs they are going still constitute of the same requirements as the household.

Such as nurturing and caring. In Elijah’s case, the job is one that requires a mother who writes to write monthly columns in a magazine about different topics on motherhood. The film also addresses the ideas of changing ways of parenthood. Through a number of scenes, this term is stressed by majority of the mothers. An example of this is the scene in which Elise takes her son out to the park and is seated when a reined comes over with her son to sit by her. After a few minutes, her friend’s son begins to cry and his mom start to cry with him almost instantly.

Elise is confused by this occurrence and asks the reason for her doing so, she replies by saying she read a book once written by a pediatrician, and he came up with a theory that :if you really connect with your child in a moment of pain, it calms them down”. As written by Barbara Mitchell (2009), mothers in earlier centuries tended to focus more on children’s physical health, but as economic conditions became favorable, child-rearing literature “began to focus more n the social context of mother-child relationships and its role in psychological health” (151).

She quotes Wall and states that there has been a wider expansion of educational material targeted at parents that stresses the importance of secure attachment. (151) On the topic of identity, Peggy A Those (1991) defines it as referring to “individuals’ conceptions of themselves in terms of the social roles that they enact. She writes that virtually all studies show that “homemakers exhibit significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression than employed husbands, and most studies show that employment does not benefit wives as much as husbands, particularly when it is combined with rearing young children” (102).

For examples of such research in her essay, she cites Gave and Tudor (1973) who attributed the higher distress of wives relative to husbands to the unique strains induced by traditional gender roles. For them “these strains include social isolation (among homemakers), low-gratification, low-prestige occupations (among employed wives), role conflict and role overload, and the burdensome demands of nurturing others. (CTD. Those 102). In the film, we see Elise as Ewing fully aware of her identity as a mother and a wife.

She knows she is expected to run the house and make sure everything is in order, without complaining because that is what is required of her as a mother and a wife. Although, because she has lived a life that was very different from this, with herself and her husband in the work force and no children. Then, there was time for her to develop herself through this process and be a wife, as well as retain her identity of being who she wanted to be as an individual. Although not burdened by having her children, in fact on the contrary she loves them;

She is depressed by the way she feels she has this continuous string of requirements expected Of her, and that this is the way she has to live for a tangible amount of her life. Her search for self is almost touched on in the movie, although it is not the main plot. In scenes such as the end were herself and Avery finally talk about their relationship, we learn that apart from just losing her identity as an individual, she feels like she has lost her identity as a woman as well.

We see this in her reference to her husband’s lack of acknowledgement of her looks and sort, she comments that the delivery man ho she had met earlier in the day, looked at her like she had “something to offer, like she was somebody”. Elise also refuses to fully embody the identity that the society has placed on her, as a mother and aging parent. In a scene when someone refers to her as ma’am, she protests saying although she is old enough to be a mother, she does not need to be referred to as ma’am.

The idea the viewer can gain from analyzing this sociologically, is that Elijah’s refusal to accept the term stems from not wanting to entirely lose the identity she once had. In the scene that follows, she is talking to Sheila her best friend ND says she “used to be fluid and graceful” once and now she is not that way anymore. She indirectly refers to a time when she had more time on her hands and was able to focus on just herself and her writing. Furthermore, the idea of the aging and taking care of the sick is a theme present in the movie as well.

In the flat beside Elijah’s lives an aging woman Edith, who seems to be suffering from dementia. From the beginning of the movie, Elise is seen to show care towards Edith and always making sure to check on her at intervals to ask if she or her cat needed anything from the store. Even though moieties Edith forgets most of the things Elise says, it is obvious that she knows Elise is there to care for her. In a scene where the delivery man helps Elise with her groceries and witnesses her dropping off Edict’s some things for Edith, he comments that it is really nice to see someone who is willing to help another person for nothing in return.

This theme can be said to have been making reference to the ideas of taking care of the aging generation when they are in a situation where they need help from loved ones. The film challenges the idea that as society is changing constantly, people tend to be opining away from the responsibility of doing so. The idea of colonization within the family is also shown in the movie. Through the constant interactions mainly with Elijah’s daughter, they idea of socializing one’s offspring into the norms and values of the society, is present.

In a number of scenes in the movie, Elise is shown to be cautioning herself from doing certain things because the children are around and she is trying not to be a bad influence. In a particular scene when she is shopping for her daughter’s party and get’s into a verbal argument with someone in line, she uses a swear rod and instantly realizes that a child behind her heard the word. She apologizes almost instantaneously, even though she gets weird looks from the women around. In another scene, Elijah’s daughter continually repeats majority of the things she hears her mum saying.

This is shown in a number Of scenes in the film, and can be said to have portrayed the definition Of colonization. The final scenes of the movies, illustrates the notion of divorce and marriage dissolution, as Elise through her frustration and her husband’s lack of involvement leads her to drive out of the city to nowhere in particular. She is angry at the fact that her work in the home is not being taken for how much she puts into it, and her general feeling of losing her identity is also a huge contributor.

Eventually when she turns around and returns back home, she sits with her husband and they talk over things. She explains to him how she feels somewhat left out, alone and unappreciated. She also comments on her frustration on having to do the same things over and over again each day, and he [Avery’] will not help, even by just picking up his socks. Avery is confused by the statement she makes about the socks and does not understand how that is making her cry exactly, but the viewer is well aware that picking up his socks was not exactly just literally picking up his socks.

Instead she is making reference generally to him just picking up after himself and helping her more often instead of assuming she would do it all. Although, even with this disagreement, they talk over their problems and show devotion to each other and their children, and are willing to make sure their family stays together. In conclusion, this film although has been critiqued by many to be lacking, does not fail to embody all of elements of the family it mess to explore. It captures the life of a mother and her relationship with her family as well as herself.

Through the events of just a day, we see the themes of identity crisis, gender roles, colonization and even care giving towards the elderly. The film has been reviewed positively as being an ode for motherhood, although it does not just revolve around Elise but uses her to touch on a number of topics present in sociology of the families. The film is very useful in shaping one’s idea about family life and parenthood as a whole, especially for women who are not in the workforce. It is an almost accurate depiction as reviewed by users on MIDI and Rotten tomatoes.

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