Author Archives: masonshr

Negative Gender Stereotypes in Television

The sticom is a staple of American life. Ever since the television became wide spread we have had sitcoms. They have been around so long in fact that it is understandable how many people miss the generally sexist tones in most mainstream sitcoms. A running theme in both live action and animated sitcoms centered around a family is the man is always the comedic while the woman is always fighting against the man trying to put an end to his fun.

#1 The Big Bang Theory

I will start by conceding that the show has done some to correct this issue introducing new characters. But at the beginning it was possibly one of the worst show at perpetuating negative stereotypes. The female character was there just to be less intelligent and laugh and ridicule the antics of the male characters.

#2 Family Guy

Family Guy is a show guilty of a lot of negative things but most are arguably  on purpose. However the show is one of the worst cases of making the women in the show either unfunny or the butt of a series of running jokes.

#3 Kevin Can Wait

Yes, I’m bias I do truly hate Kevin James and basically his entire body of work. But his new sitcom is a remarkably tired an barley updated version of his last sitcom (which also sucked). In the sitcom Kevin James plays a overweight “every man” married to a woman that always disapproves of his life style after retirement.

The problem with these stereotypes is it makes young watchers believe women an unfunny compared to boys. There are positive role models in comedy for women but normally they are not widely available until mid-teen years. I think the reason these stereotypes are part of the tradition of sitcoms that dates back so long before these stereotypes were a problem. As long as this type of sitcom continues to work it will continue to be successful. But, with things like the new ghostbusters (whether it was good or not) show a willingness to try to correct this problem.

 

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The Problem With Free Speech

Almost everyone agrees, free speech is a great thing. However people start to agree less when they are surrounded by people who have different opinions. Free speech is an important right that must be continuously fought for regardless of the speakers views. As America is showing increasing support for the republican party I can feel myself becoming fed up. But, just because I don’t agree with the policies of the political party currently on top doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to say it. Once any group is refused their rights it becomes a slippery slope until they all do.

This is the case of CWA, Inc. vs Lafayette County. Concerned Women for America (CWA) was a religious group that tried to use an auditorium space in Lafayette for a group meeting. However, the CWA was refused the auditorium stating that the space was not available for “social, political, partisan or religious purposes”, but because this auditorium was in a public library the supreme court ruled that it could not discriminate by religion. I can appreciate the want for a political free environment but it is not up to the government to decide where that should be regardless of my personal feelings.

This case may not of had a lot of influence on the country but I think it serves as a good reminder especially for liberal youth who have spent the majority of their life under president Obama. Even opinions we don’t agree with deserve to be heard.

Television and The Influence it Has On Me.

In a three day span I have watched a total of just over 14 hours of movies, three seasons of television and 64 music videos. Out of which  I would say 75% of which dealt with or depicted/glorified violence and a general lack of morality. It has been two days since I documented this and I think it is a good time to reflect on a sample selection of the violent debauchery filled material and see what effect it had on me.

Rick and Morty:

Why I watched : I like Sci-fi and cartoons.

Rick and Morty is a modern day Sci-fi cartoon on adult swim. It mixes grotesque violence with complex scientific theories.This is a simplified description it is a fairly deep show but the basic premise is Morty an awkward teenage boy and his alcoholic grandfather  go through wacky adventures. This show doesn’t deal with any issues other than a few jokes here and there.  It is very up front with violence and is rated TV-MA.

Jimi: All is By My Side

Why I watched : I’m a huge fan of both Andre Benjamin and Jimi Hendrix.

Jimi is a feature length movie depicting the life of Jimi Hendrix The movie shows sex, drug use, and some violence. I would say the end message is a positive one. The journey has more than a few controversial moments rated R.

Alien ( 1979)

Why I watched : To write a review for a separate school project.

Alien is a classic movie that first mixed horror and sci-fi it is gore filled with extreme violence and is absolutely terrifying. The monster in alien designed by H.R. Giger is made specifically to imply rape. Obviously rated R.

The Good, The Bad and The Weird

Why I watched: Recommended by a friend.

The last movie on the list is the most lighthearted and also filled with the most death and murder. This is a really interesting Korean film (on Netflix) that is definitely worth a watch. It is an almost pure action film with a western twist filled with shoot outs and fight scenes. Also rated R.

So, what have I done in the two days since watching these shows? well nothing really. It is safe to say all of these shows/movies are over pouring with violence and after seeing them all in a three day span it has made me no more violent than I have ever been. When talking about media creating violence I think it is entirely possible for media to effect someone who is already mentally unstable, such was the case of John Hinckley and Taxi Driver. But, violence in media has no effect on regular people. Media is used as a scapegoat anytime something bad happens because it is an easy target. I don’t feel any different after watching these shows. The intention of movies are not to make people want to commit crimes it is to make people feel and in a lot of cases it isn’t even to make people feel but simply just to entertain.

Childish Gambino – A New Age of Artists

It isn’t anything new for actors to start a music career and it isn’t anything for music artists to start an acting career. But rapper Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) didn’t stop there… well he didn’t start there either. He started his career as a writer for SNL, 30 Rock and, The Daily Show. Which are pretty big projects to start with but he wasn’t done there he would secure a lead role in NBC show Community moving from writer to actor. After five seasons with Community he left the show to peruse a career in music releasing debut album “Camp” to poor reviews from critics Pitchfork Magazine gave the album a 1.6 out of 10 Rollingstone gave it 3 out of 5 stars. But, long time fans of Glover fiercely supported the project. The reason Glover was so polarizing was simply, he had no image. Why should rap fans like a comedian? Why should comedy fans like a rapper?  Although Glover turned off some fans at first he started to gain a lot of steam from sophomore album “Because The Internet”. In the album Glover told a story merging all of his personalities into one. No person before had a single persona spanning multiple mediums, there is LL Cool J the rapper and LL Cool J the rapper and there is no in between.

 

But what Glover really shows is the new wave of artists replacing stereotypes in the hip-hop industry. With this new wave still being a minority, it is hard to say what the future holds.  But new artists using multiple platforms all combined to tell a larger story could be the future of celebrities themselves. This, would have a huge impact on pop culture having aspiring artists be inclined to study more facets of art. and fans focusing on different works their favorite celebrity created be it cinema, music or, painting.