I posted about stereotypes the other day, and have been giving the matter some more thought. I think that the idea of providing “good role models who subvert stereotypes” has gone so mainstream that we now have stereotypical ways of subverting stereotypes.
Here’s a few I’ve come up with – what have I missed?
1. The Kick-Ass Female Character. Most often featured in the climactic scenes of crime shows or action movies, when she is in danger. The male characters run to rescue her, only to find that her awesome fighting skills have saved the day. She dismisses the men with a wisecrack and goes off, reveling in her single-handed salvation of feminism.
3. The Tough-Talking Career-Minded Chick. Different from the Kick-Ass Female Character, who is good at literally kicking ass, the Tough-Talking Career-Minded Chick is the embodiment of 1970’s feminism, kicking ass in the operating room, boardroom, or courtroom. She brings home the bacon, fries it up in a pan, and always has a fabulous blowdry. The occasional half-hearted plotline will explore her complicated feelings on sidelining love/family for her work, or have her Face Some Sexism!, but in general, she sails through life being promoted, saving the day, and looking about 25.
(Olivia Benson from Law and Order: SVU, left, is a mixture of the “tough-talking career-minded chick” and the “kick-ass female character.” Most pure “kick-ass female char
acters” are in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Action genres.)
And a few I’d like to see more of:
4. The Frumpy Minority From The Stereotypically Exotic Minority Group. Ugly Betty is the only one I can think of. Pretty much every other Latina on TV is sassy and gorgeous, and every Indian woman is soft and doe-eyed and beautifully made
up. Come on, people.
5. The Uber-Competent House-Husband. Who Isn’t Gay. I can’t even think of ONE. I might not watch the right shows, but I honestly can’t even think of ONE.
6.The Non-Fabulous, Badly Dressed Gay Dude. They do exist, just not on telly. Seriously, I’ve met plenty. Mostly in Episcopal church choirs.
Add your own in the comments!