20. Changing roles for women in T.V./movies don’t mean an absence of stereotypes Thursday, May 7 2009 

Although recent television show and movies show women stepping out of stereotyped roles that cast them as loyal wives and nurterers, victims, or vixens, their new roles as professional, independent women do not separate them from stereotypes (Gamble, p. 357). Women may be becoming more successful in action movie and television shows, but these kinds of roles still require women to be a “babe.” In Mr. and Mrs. Smith, for instance, Angelina Jolie’s role as an assassin shows her as strong, courageous, independent, unemotional, and competent. However, Angelina Jolie is also considered one of the most attractive women in the world and used her good looks to slay her victims. She keeps her gun on her upper thigh for sexual appeal and seduces her victims into death traps. She also still cooks for and serves her husband to deceive him into thinking that she is a typical housewife. While this is supposed to be contrasting her more action-oriented and independent way of living, it still reinforces that normal women just stay in the home. Jolie’s role shows the new age action-woman, but it still perpetuates feminine stereotypes in many ways.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.


19. People of color, particularly women, try to resemble white people Thursday, May 7 2009 

Colorism is the subtextual belief that people of color are more attractive and appear more intelligent when their hair and facial feature resemble those of whites (Gamble, p. 354). Successful African-American models, singers, and actresses often get criticized by African-Americans in the public for changing their hair and images to reflect those of white women. The picture of Tyra Banks compared with Giselle Bundchen shows this idea that successful black women often resemble successful white women in the same field of work, in this case modeling. This relates to gender because it coincides with the notion that women in our culture are expected to fit into one mold of “beautiful.” The media tries to erase all differences among women- race, size, etc.- and focus on defining beautiful in one particular way. Women are socialized to believe that femininity is linked with this particular type of beauty (Gamble, p. 46)


Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Link to Tyra picture.   Link to Giselle picture.

18. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is often directed towards women in the workplace Thursday, May 7 2009 

There are many different kinds of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, however quid pro quo sexual harassment is unique in that it involves someone asking for something in the exchange for something else (usually something sexual) (Gamble, p. 277). An example the book gives is if a boss offers a promotion to an assistant if she spends the night in his room on a business trip.

An example of quid pro quo sexual harassment is found in the movie Legally Blond. In this movie, Elle Woods is striving to become a lawyer and her professor/boss offers her an apprenticeship if she were to become sexually involved with him. Elle refuses and the professor says “I thought you wanted to be a lawyer,” insinuating that as a woman, she needed to sleep her way to the top of the professional hierarchy.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

17. Women are cleaning product representatives in the media Thursday, May 7 2009 

Advertising is one of the most obvious ways in which gender stereotypes are perpetuated in the media. Women are often the targeted audience for cleaning product commercials (Gamble, p. 353). This encourages women to believe that the traditional woman’s role in the home is still a part of the modern desirable woman’s role. This commercial is for a Swiffer duster and shows a woman treating her duster like she was in a relationship with it. This gives the impression that women clean in the house so often that they almost form a relationship with the product. You almost never see a man using cleaning products in a commercial. The only male reference with cleaning is “Mr. Clean,” but even he is just the face for cleaning- no men are shown using his products.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

16. Men are taught to be autonomous, while women are taught to be dependent Thursday, May 7 2009 

Men are more autonomous and independent than women because the Social Role Theory suggests that boys develop gender roles by rejecting the mother, while girls identify with their mother (Gamble, p. 39). This automatically promotes male autonomy since fathers are not around as much as mothers to be role models for sons. When fathers are around, they also emphasize independence and autonomy while interacting with their sons (p. 41).

The following lyrics are from the band No Doubt’s song “Just a Girl.” The song has multiple lines that relate to gender concepts, however the following lines explicitly explain how women are told to be dependent. Specifically, the part that says “Don’t let me out of your sight” refers to the fact that autonomy is discouraged for women.

‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ‘ol me
Don’t let me out of your sight
I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

15. The Social-Learning theory affects male genderlect Thursday, May 7 2009 

According to the Social-Learning theory, boys learn what boys do by modeling their fathers and being rewarded for appropriate behavior (Gamble, p.37). Similarly, girls learn what boys do by watching their fathers, even though it doesn’t directly affect their own actions. One of the gender roles that children learn is appropriate for boys is that men should not express emotion verbally- at least not often. This has to do with the fact that male genderlect is not focused on the relationship level of communication, so phrases like “I love you” are not used as commonly (p. 77).

A newly popular website called fmylife.com allows individuals to tell the world about negative or embarrassing events in their lives. A recent post highlighted the fact that the Social-Learning Theory affects children went as follows:

Today, my dad texted me and told me “I love u.” I answer back with “I love you too dad...are you drunk?” and he answers back “Of course I am...” My dad only tells me he loves me when he’s drunk. FML

Whoever posted this has learned/is learning from his/her father (Social Learning Theory) that male genderlect does not include the words “I love you,” adding to the fact that men do not vocalize emotions as women do.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.


14. Gendered artifacts include colors associated with each gender Wednesday, May 6 2009 

Gendered artifacts help communicate what society believes males and females are like and how they should behave (Gamble, p. 103). As mentioned in the example with the movie Matilda below, pink is associated with femininity. It is a soft, not harsh color- again emphasizing submissiveness and sweetness in women. Recently, a popular form of spotlighting has been the use of the phrase “real men wear pink.” Since this color is generally used to define femininity, men have begun expressing how “manly” they are by feeling comfortable associating themselves with an artifact that is normally associated with women. Men want for others to believe that they are so closely associated with being a “real man” and not feminine at all. They show this through wearing a shirt that basically says “I can do something that is normally feminine, but I’m so masculine that this gendered artifact won’t even make you question my manliness.”


Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Link to t-shirt picture

13. Men and women want different things from sex Wednesday, May 6 2009 

Sexual intimacy is percieved differently by men and women. Women link sex with emotional involvement, but men want sex for physical pleasure, to please their partner, or to relieve tension (Gamble, p. 181). The reason men may be better able to separate sex from emotion is because they are pressured to have sex more often, thus making it a less special ordeal.

In the movie Wedding Crashers, the scene where one of the guys finds out that the girl he just slept with was a virgin displays the different perceptions men and women have of sex. The man in the movie simply wanted sex to feel pleasure, but the girl expected sex to involve a committed relationship. This really upset the man because he was not interested in having a relationship, but did not realize until after the sex that the woman was expecting emotional involvement. This is the exact clip of that scene.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

12. Men friendships are usually chumships Wednesday, May 6 2009 

Men and women form friendships in different ways and for different reasons. Women tend to build friendships in order to confide in one another and have someone to talk to. Men, on the other hand, often express emotional closeness to a friend through by doing things with that person. They use action-oriented behavior to express their closeness and connection to other men (Gamble, p. 151). Because of the fact that activities are the center of most male friendships, these friendships have been named “chumships.” This term differentiate these kind of friendship standards from the ones that are usually thought of with a friendship.

The movie I Love You Man is about a man who is trying to find someone to be his best man in his upcoming wedding. This whole movie is about what means for men to have/form close relationships with each other. The idea of a “man date” is when two men go to do something together.This goes along with the notion that women talk together, while men DO things together. The trailer below shows the two men doing a lot of activities together, thus forming their friendship, or chumship.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

11. Gendered artifacts appear from the day we’re born Wednesday, May 6 2009 

Artifacts are personal objects that are expressive of our identities and reveal to others how we see others and ourselves (Gamble, p. 103). According to the text, an example of this would be pink blankets or clothing for girls and blue clothing or blankets for boys to help define the gender of babies. A perfect illustration of this particular gendered artifact is displayed in the opening scene of the movie Matilda.  In this scene, the narrator is explaining that everyone is born as an individual, yet the blankets of all the babies already start putting the infants into boxes by the color of their blankets (pink or blue). This shows that from the moment we are born, we are expected to fit into a gendered mold (despite this new age idea of individuality). During class discussion, we touched on this idea that although American society promotes individuality, we are still expected to stay within the norms of our particular gender

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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