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Marriage and Families: Gender Roles in Media

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Assignment 1

In the Miller Lite advertisement I chose, we see a man who has been accused of committing "unmanly" acts. In the commercial, the man is seen crying in front of his significant other at the airport, claiming how difficult it will be without her (despite the fact that the trip is only for two days).

This advertisement aims to attract a demographic of men nationwide. This commercial can both appeal to younger men (those who cannot legally drink) to older men (those above the legal drinking age). The commercial plays on the gender stereotype that men should always act manly. This means that they should make "manly" decisions, and avoid signs of femininity. In this case, the Miller Lite company plays on the emotional side of women, although it is the male character that is displaying his emotions. Typically, it is said that men never cry, that, "men are more likely to suffer in silence, whereas women tend to show their emotions more openly." (Benokraitis, 2012, p. 107) However, as seen in this commercial, the opposite takes place.

The setting of this commercial seems to take on the stereotype black and white movie where the male character is about to board on a flight and the female character is madly in love and cries as her love interest boards the flight. With a glimpse of this in this advertisement, it is easy to see that the commercial appeals to men in a humorous way, playing on the gender stereotype of men never showing emotion, while one can tell that the commercial was not intended for a female audience. Also, being a commercial where the product, Miller Lite beer, is seen as a manly beverage, the stereotype plays perfectly when looking at the demographic the company is trying to reach. I feel that through the perfect product placement and the use of humor as a selling tool, the company should see an influx of males purchasing their products.

In the episode of Run's House I viewed, "Run's Big House", the family presented is an African-American family. The family is comprised of married parents and their six children, three girls and three boys. Not all of the members live under the same roof, with the two oldest (both girls) have moved out of the house, this is discovered after the father of the clan, Joseph Simmons ("Rev. Run"), states that his daughters had flown in to town due to the situation the family was dealing with. When compared to the nuclear family presented in the textbook, one that, "is made up of married parents and their biological or adopted family" (Benokraitis, 2012, p. 8), this family is an example of one. However, the family is not a typical family from a social standpoint, where a family is comprised of married parents and two children. The show presents the family in a positive manner despite the situation that they have been put in with their oldest son being arrested for drug possession. Despite the situation, the family sticks together and overcomes any adversity that is brought up. When compared to the family in "Run's House", the episode of "Modern Family" viewed, "Virgin Territory", is on a completely different level. Firstly, rather than just portraying one nuclear family, there are three different families presented. The show delves into the extended family, "which consists of parents and children as well as other kin, such as uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, cousins, and grandparents." (Benokraitis, 2012, p. 8) In the episode, the viewer sees one family consisting of married parents and three children (two girls and one boy), a same-sex male couple and their adopted Vietnamese daughter (one of the men is an uncle to the family), and the divorced grandfather, his "trophy wife", and her son (from another marriage). This gives the show a wider demographic as well as gives the show many different conflicts that will be resolved in the episode. And throughout any conflict or obstacle presented in the episode (and there were many; five in the episode), the family was never portrayed in a negative manner. The family never split, nor took sides, and was the same happy family at the beginning at the end of the episode.

In both shows, gender is portrayed in a positive manner. Both shows present both the male and female characters properly. There is no sense of focusing on one gender than another as both present both genders equally. In "Run's House", there is the father figure, where the man is in charge of the house. This can be seen in the episode when the father is the one to bail the son out of jail and is the first to punish him. However, both the mother and the father consult each other every night to discuss different decisions that



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