Portrayal of women in soaps essay research

By making a textual and feminist analysis, the specific issue we examined in our survey is how adult females ’ s characters are portrayed in soap operas, specifically Days of Our Lifes, and how their behaviour is affected by the patriarchal system. The women’s rightist and textual analysis were done through the screening of Days of Our Lifes on three back-to-back Fridays. We besides read related articles that gave us a better apprehension of our research subject. The combination of our screening, research and reading enabled us to make an equal women’s rightist and textual analysis.

Many points Harper discussed are relevant to our research inquiry, particularly those covering with the manner patriarchy affects adult females ’ s functions. Harper systematically explained the usage of certain stereotypes on telecasting. A survey by Tedesco in 1974 showed that 51 per centum of females compared to 31 per centum of males were clearly shown to be married on telecasting play. Besides McNeil found that 75 per centum of work forces were gainfully employed, compared to less than half of the adult females. McNeil besides found that when employed, a female character is less likely to hold an of import occupation and more likely to work under close supervising. These statistics found in Harper ’ s articles support the thought that adult females would be better off being married and maintaining a place instead than traveling out into the high-octane universe. Harper says that although a parallel construction is evident in soap operas, the female character will normally neglect or lose her power by going more sensitive and lovingness, or by being condemned to a life of wretchedness and solitariness. Harper says that soap opera is a feminine signifier because of the no existent beginning or terminal, the multiple characters and the concentration on domestic and personal issues such as relationships and the domestic scene. Harper cited Fiske ’ s view that adult females can utilize their gender as a positive beginning of pleasance or a agencies of their authorization in the patriarchal universe. Harper besides cited Fiske ’ s position that the adult female ’ s power to act upon and command the male can ne’er be achieved, but it is invariably in advancement. This implies one time once more that adult females can ne’er finally be in full control.

Helen Ingham says the bulk of soaps are set in a domestic state of affairs because this is purportedly the most valued topographic point for adult females ’ s expertness. The cardinal characters are frequently female, with the end of acquiring married and holding kids. This could back up the statement that the myth of ceaseless maternalness really conceals the subordination of adult females. Ingham says that even when adult females are shown in a place of power, they are still viewed through a really patriarchal political orientation. At many times, powerful adult females are portrayed as unnatural because from dominant political orientation work forces are the most powerful and should ne’er be under a adult female ’ s power. This is portion of the ground so many adult females are shown in domestic state of affairss. In more glamourous soap operas like Days of Our Lifes, the middle-aged adult females are presented as sexually desirable in comparing to more domestic soaps. Besides, female characters are seen as more powerful in the more glamourous soaps. These adult females are frequently portrayed as the villainess, with a beginning of strength gained from their feminine features. As Sammy antecedently did on Dayss of Our Lifes, many adult females use gestation and penetration to pull strings people. Ingham says that some argue that the concluding control the villainess strives for is control over inactive muliebrity instead than command over work forces. Even though soap operas do portray adult females in a more positive manner than advertisement and other signifiers of telecasting, they still respect and conform to a broader mainstream of cultural demands. When adult females do hold occupations in soaps, they are frequently unsuccessful or non trying to prosecute their callings. This shows that even a signifier of telecasting targeted at a bulk female audience contains subliminal messages reenforcing the dominant male political orientation.

Our research supports these thoughts from Harper and Ingham because we found really similar consequences from the textual and feminist analysis. Through our textual analysis, we found that Days of Our Lifes went from equilibrium to disequilibrium to a new equilibrium. The characters and events told the narrative, and events followed one after another, doing us infer causality. We found that this soap compensated for the deficiency of suspense through proliferating narrative lines and accent on character. Since characters continue from hebdomad to hebdomad, there is small suspense and the soaps continue without come oning. The feminist analysis added to our apprehension of the female characters in Days of Our Lifes. Through the analysis of Lexie, Kerry, Nicole, Kate and Sammy, we found many interesting points that support the thoughts we found through our readings. Lexie represented the ideal adult female who was successful in her calling but feared her hereafter as a female parent. She was afraid of come ining the patriarchal system by going a female parent and being unable to go on her calling as a physician. She is controlled by her hubby, who systematically pressures Lexie into going pregnant before she is ready.

Her hubby was the perfect, comforting adult male and father figure. He frequently called her cute, which could be found take downing. Most of import, he called Lexie his perfect rose, which decidedly leads back to the political orientation of patriarchate.

Another mentality on the female characters in Days of Our Lifes gave us a different thought of patriarchal association. Kerry and Nicole were similar characters because of their suicide. Both of these characters made errors, and so they constantly feel regretful for themselves. Kerry cheated on her hubby, and Nicole was paid off by Kate to get married her boy, Lucas. Both of these adult females are immature and had everything traveling for them, but for some ground destroyed it all. Kerry can non look to calculate out whom she truly loves, and Nicole knows whom she loves but married another adult male for five million dollars. Kate paid Nicole this money to get married Lucas so he could hold detention of his and Sammy ’ s boy. Since Nicole married Lucas, he looked responsible and the babe would hold a female parent figure at place. After she married Lucas, Nicole realized that the money was non traveling to do her happy and that she truly wanted to be with Eric. Now Nicole is seeking to calculate out a manner to acquire Eric back without losing all the money and aching her hubby. On the other manus, Kerry married Austin for love, but she was tempted to be with person else when her hubby was preoccupied. Kerry ’ s sister, Sammy, had a kid and positive Austin, Kerry ’ s hubby, the kid was his. This caused convulsion in Kerry and Austin ’ s relationship, and finally caused Kerry to confide in another adult male for support. The male parent of the babe really ended up being Austin ’ s brother Lucas. It was excessively late when truth came out because Austin had already pushed Kerry into another adult male ’ s loving weaponries. Although Kerry has a successful occupation and is slightly powerful in her company, her failing with work forces brings her down. Nicole besides is a successful theoretical account and lets the work forces in her life make her unhappy. Now both Kerry and Nicole are suffering because of work forces, and have been turned into weak adult females. They rely on work forces to finish their lives, when they should be content with their ain successful lives. This supports the thought of patriarchate in soaps because of these adult females ’ s dependance upon work forces.

Although these female characters may look strong on the exterior, they are affected by patriarchate in many ways. Kate and Sammy are the female scoundrels that are really powerful, but ever stop up unhappy and lonely. Kate is the calling driven adult female who controls everyone with her money. Kate has three childs that are grown, but she still interferes with their lives. She ever manipulates people with money to assist out her two boies, Lucas and Austin, and her girl Billy. Sammy is the immature, conniving adult female who uses her babe and lies to pull strings others. Sammy drugged Austin, her sister ’ s hubby, and convinced him he was the male parent of her boy. This indirectly destroyed Kerry and Austin ’ s matrimony, even though they found out the truth about Austin non being Will ’ s male parent. Sammy has been obsessed with Austin for old ages, and she is eventually really near to being with him because of all her conniving and plotting to acquire him. Since Kerry cheated on Austin, he is now turning to Sammy for support, particularly since he is so affiliated to her boy. Austin was a male parent to Sammy ’ s boy, Will, for about two old ages before the truth came out that his brother, Lucas, was the male parent. Sammy is on the manner to acquiring what she has done all this soiled work for, but something will likely turn up to catch her in her prevarications. Sammy besides manipulated Kate by blackjacking her so she could acquire what she wanted, including a occupation at Kate ’ s company. Kate and Sammy fight dirty, and they will non rest until they are winning. Although they eventually get what they have fought for, they end up being suffering because of something else. These female characters greatly support the presence of patriarchate in soap operas, and they are finally vulnerable and weak in the terminal.

By watching Dayss of Our Lifes and making a women’s rightist and textual analysis of the female characters, we concluded that patriarchate is a cardinal factor in the functions of these adult females. All of these thoughts found through the analysis of the characters supports the points from the beginnings. We found from our research that adult females in soaps can be portrayed as strong persons, even powerful in the work force. They can be manipulative, commanding and utilize sex, money and kids to acquire what they want. Although patriarchate is non ever obvious, it does be and affects the functions of adult females in soaps. As antecedently pointed out, the female characters in Days of Our Lifes are greatly related to the thought of patriarchate. On the outside the female characters may look as if they are in control, but in the terminal their characters benefit work forces. All of these adult females ’ s characters are boundlessly ruled by work forces.


P. Harper, “ The Portrayal of Women on Television ”

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.aber.ac.uk/ ednwww/Undgrad/ED30520/pth601.html

H. Ingham, “ The Portrayal of Women on Television ”;

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.aber.ac.uk/ ednwww/Undgrad/ED30520/hi601.html

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