Daily Archives: March 8, 2008

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Old Gender Roles in Television

Today is the International Women’s Day which is celebrated around the world. It is an important day and I feel great to feel more and more included in the community of women. Being among women and feeling a kinship is of course important to me as a transsexual woman. The strange part is that it was probably something I desired much more 7-8 years ago when my views of what was masculine and feminine was much more bipolar. However, as many women realise the line is not that clear and it becomes especially evident when you find yourself interested in something that the cultural codes says you shouldn’t or at least view it as unusual. The options then are:

  • Ignore it and be yourself
  • Still follow your desire but feel a bit less feminie
  • Fall for the group pressure and just do what is considered feminine
  • In today’s Swedish newspaper SvD there is an interesting article about Gender Roles in Television. The author points out that there is a trend nowadays to create women’s and men’n nights on Television. In general that means that during men’s nights the networks have shows about hunting, wildlife, cars, action thrillers and sports. During women’s nights there are instead shows about gardening, cooking, romantic shows, Dr Phil and of course the ones dealing with the paranormal stuff like mindreading, ghosts and hypnosis. Finally there are wedding shows which really highlights women’s desire for fairly-tale weddings where guest placement seem to be much more important than the relationship committment. The underlying message is of course that a “real woman” wants to have a wedding day like that where she is in total control and her husband is just a prop.

    I have the same feelings here. On one hand it feels great that I can devote myself to a home-decorating show or a romantic movie without having to justify it. It also feels great to have a pink TV graphic saying it is women’s night and with a few shows that I like. It is something for me – a woman.

    On the other hand I think it is so sad that we keep reinforcing old gender roles and essentially putting social pressure on men and women to only be interested in traditonally male and female activities. There must be many many ways of being a man and woman, otherwise we will never achieve equality. Also it is important to have in mind that culture change and what was traditionally seen as a female activity is not today. Hopefully we will have even more changes in the future.

    I hope I can continue to evolve what I think is me. Today I am a lesbian woman with transsexual background working with Enterprise IT in the Swedish Armed Forces with a love for pink clothes, high heels and fast sports cars. A pretty good combination I think :)