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The way people see themselves in daily life depicted in film, television shows, and other programming may expose the personality of the viewer. Gender is one of the built social identities in the media, particularly in movies, by producing representations that can have some effect on audiences. Research has shown that men and women are built differently, with the latter believed to be inferior in a number of cultures. Considering the film of choice, Sex and the City directed by Michael Patrick King, gender orientation is very evident as the lead characters are all women. In this movie, four white women belonging to the upper class living in New York City take the center stage. One of the characters, Carie gives an account of their lives as women as they try to fit in their different roles in the society (Scene 1Act1). The four have different personalities, which are depicted very clearly in the movie and help to identify them with the social gender roles. This analysis will focus on construction of gender, beauty, and women roles by considering the conversation involving Samantha and Miranda at the beach.
In this movie, there are conversations such as in scene 1 where the women reveal the Social Construction of gender identity and the role of women in the society (Scene 1Act1). In the case, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha sit by the beach dressed in bathing costumes revealing their feminine bodies. Their talk is related to women troubles especially in their relationships with men, expectations from the society, and own view of self-image. For instance, Samantha makes a comment on Miranda's pubic hair and the latter is quite offended. From their conversation, it is clear that Miranda blames her pubic hair for causing her husband to cheat on her. Another constructs involves beauty in which women are supposed to be pretty and attractive. The conversation between Miranda and Samantha reveals that pubic hair makes a woman unattractive. Miranda adopts the connotative meaning of pubic hair as something that makes a woman ugly instead of focusing on the denotative, which interprets it as one of the signs of maturity in women at their puberty stage. She blames it for her troubles with husband instead of accepting herself as a mature beautiful woman. Social construction on gender favors men by associating them with masculine roles such as being the head of the family while women take the second position. As a result, the latter are always trying to impress men especially their husbands exposing them to abuse.
In several societies, women are blamed for causing their men to cheat on them for not playing their roles right. For instance, Miranda's argument is that her husband cheats because she cannot maintain her beauty (Scene 1Act1). Women are symbols of beauty and are expected to maintain it at all costs to attract and retain their husbands. The pubic hair therefore symbolizes ugliness causing great distress to Miranda. However, the interpretation of Samantha's comment depends on the intentionality of the conversation since Samantha may have commented in a lighter note but Miranda took it quite seriously. She felt guilty for the troubles facing her marriage yet she may not be the cause of her husband's infidelity. However, the society has given the responsibility of home building to women. In case of any issues, she is to blame even when the man is on the wrong.
From the conversation, Miranda lacks critical thinking skills by taking the comment of her friend seriously and interpreting it as the cause of her problem. The comment was offensive to her even if the intention of her friend may have been different. The women are relaxing and chatting by the beach having a casual talk but due to issues of social constructs on gender, Miranda thinks that her friend's comment is intended to humiliate her (Scene 1Act1). It can also be blamed on obstacles to listening since she seems to have a negative attitude towards her image and during their conversation; she takes offense and thinks that her friend is mocking her. The best thing for the women is to practice active listening and discuss everything openly without focusing on personal comments. Whatever Samantha said could have been a joke yet Miranda took it quite seriously.
Women are supposed to perform certain roles in the society such as maintaining the unity of a family. In case of breakup, they are blamed for not taking care of their husbands and not being good homemakers. This is a gender construct that gives certain roles to women who are supposed to work hard to keep the family intact. In the conversation, it is very clear the women believe in some of the social constructs concerning their position and roles in the society. In addition, beauty is highly valued and women have to do everything to maintain an attractive appearance. As the characters talk one can feel their worries from the tone of their voices yet the problems are due to the construct on gender, women roles, and expectations of beauty.
"Sex and the City (2008) Full Movie". Youtube, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsN30OC2XzA.
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