Friday Night Lights Gender Roles

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“A family is an intimate group of two or more people who (1) live together in a committed relationship, (2) care for one another and any children, and (3) share activities and close emotional ties” (Benokraitis, 2015, 3). In the first episode of season one of Friday Night Lights, directed by Peter Berg, many different families and family structures are shown. The first family is a teenage boy, Matt, and his grandmother. The second family is two brothers living together, Tim and Billy Riggins. The next family is a higher class family who includes the high schools cheerleading captain, Lyla Garrity, her brother and parents. Although, all these “families” are portrayed differently, all three of them fit and show Benokraitis’ definition of family…show more content…
Both the men and the women are given strength and power. Also, the women are often seen smiling more than the men. In this episode, Coach Taylor is always seen as being frustrated or stressed, specifically at his office while watching football tape, while his wife, Tammy, is always smiling and trying to cheer him up. According to Benokraitis, women are often seen smiling more than men in everyday life (Benokraitis, 2015, 114). Both genders are seen working; however, the males are the ones seen working more extremely in this episode, while the women are seen giving comfort to the men such as Tammy and Coach Taylor. These gender roles seem pretty egalitarian according to Benokraitis’ definition, “both partners share power and authority about equally” (Benokraitis, 2015, 9). Both the men and the women work, both play important roles at home, and the families are often together as a whole. For example, Lyla’s mother Pam states “We're having a family dinner tonight. That means the entire family, dinner together” (Berg, 2006, October 6). This shows the importance of the family role and the more egalitarian way of living. The Modern Family episode has different portrayals of gender and gender roles than Friday Night Lights. The men are given more of the strength and power than women; however, women are given the stay at home duties such as watching the children and keeping the house tidy. In this specific episode, Gloria and Claire, stayed at home and watched the kids while their husbands, Phil, a realtor, and Jay, a closet business owner, worked. Towards the beginning of the episode, Claire wanted to impress the potential new neighbors, so she made sure her three children were tidy and looked clean in front of them. Also, a heterosexual couple is shown in Modern Family. Them too, portray the traditional gender roles. Cam worked and Mitch watched over their adopted daughter Lily.

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