Thursday, October 15, 2015

Throwing Gender Roles Out of the Rear Window

     This film takes place in the 50’s. There are two classes predominantly shown in the film. Jeff demonstrates the middle class society being a photographer in a small town and Lisa represents the high class society being an expert in fashion, on great terms with important people, and being very wealthy.

     The values and beliefs derive from the role of women, clichés, and stereotypes of the 1950’s. Lisa is thought to be the image of perfection, being pretty, smart, and giving up her lifestyle to settle down with Jeff. In present day, the standards have changed, gender has been redefined, and gender roles have almost been eliminated. In the 1950’s women were expected to focus on domestic duties and assist in homemaking, where as now we much much more freedom, rights and this role is not expected any longer. We have advanced and come a long way from that decade.

    The social expectation of the 50’s revolves around gender roles. Men were expected to be masculine, but also be able to settle down and start a family. Jeff as a photographer must go out in harsh climates and sleep in rough conditions, and argues with Lisa how she could never do his job because she is too feminine and fragile. There were set cookie cutter standards that were followed and almost never questioned. Women were expected to cater to a man’s every will, while also keeping their femininity. The nurse in this film seems to depict this sort of standard, but Lisa, however, almost breaks the role by jumping into Jeff’s life and getting involved in his adventures.

    This work does convey notions of power and dominance and this is portrayed through the murderer and his wife. In the film, it seems as if the wife is gaining power over her husband because she is sick and he must tend to her every need. It is clear that this frustrates the husband, getting in many disputes with his wife. We never actually ever hear the conversation, but it is implied in their actions. In the end, the man ends up murdering his wife and it seems as if this was an quick act to regain his dominance and almost prove his masculinity.

    I identify as a feminist,
so having feminist views definitely affected my interpretation of this movie. I think being aware of the oppression of women today and in the past helped pick out the gender roles in the film, and helped me easily identify the gender interpretive framework.

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